Florida Division of Emergency Management Issues Warning for Disney World Guests & Others

magic kingdom fantasyland and florida emergency management division warning
Credit: FDEM/Becky Burkett/Canva

Florida’s Emergency Management Division has issued a new warning that affects Disney World guests and others living or vacationing in the area.

florida division of emergency management

Credit: FDEM/Canva

Picture-Perfect Weather in Florida

One of the reasons Walt Disney chose to buy up tracts of swampland in Central Florida in the early 1960s on which to build his second theme park had to do with the state’s “year-round” good weather. And it’s true: Florida usually has great park-going weather twelve months out of the year–though the summer months can be grueling for guests who aren’t used to soaring temperatures coupled with high humidity.

According to the University of Florida, the Sunshine State features two major types of climates: tropical wet-dry and humid subtropic. Florida ranks among the top U.S. states for the prevalence of tornadoes and sees more lightning and thunderstorms than any other state.

florida palm trees

Credit: Canva

But in recent years, Florida has experienced some variations from its normal weather patterns, especially in the winter months.

Strange Weather in Florida

In December 2023 alone, cooler-than-normal temperatures plagued the Sunshine State, forcing vacation destinations like the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando to change their operating schedules. More than once during the month, Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park, which is usually open to guests during the Christmas and New Year holidays, was closed in response to cooler weather.

blizzard beach water park disney world

Credit: Becky Burkett

Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay was forced to close for four days in a row in mid-December because of the weather, and additional closures were announced later as the weather in Florida remained unseasonably cooler at times.

Florida’s Emergency Management Division Issues Warning

On Sunday, Florida’s Emergency Management Division issued a warning that affects Disney World and Universal Studios guests, as well as others in the area.

disney world magic kingdom cinderella castle during daytime with visitors standing in front of castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

Per the warning, “Floridians should plan for another round of strong winds, flooding & isolated tornadoes” beginning on Monday evening, January 8, through Tuesday, January 9, 2023.

During times of heavy rainfall, flooding is common in several areas inside Disney’s theme parks. Over the years, there have been numerous occasions of massive flooding in the thoroughfares and other walkways at Magic Kingdom, as well as at other Disney theme parks in Central Florida. Once, it rained so hard that Tomorrowland flooded, and Cinderella Castle literally disappeared from sight.

Contrary to popular belief, though Disney World does have control over mosquitoes in the parks, the sad truth is that Imagineers have yet to devise a way for Disney to control the weather.

weather dome over cinderella castle

No, there’s no dome over Disney World through which Imagineers control the weather/Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

The message continues as the Emergency Management Division encourages Floridians and visitors to “reduce the amount of potential debris around your yard & bring lawn furniture, plants, decorations & other items indoors.” It’s a warning that affects more homeowners in the area than travelers, but loose items at pools and other locations around the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Orlando Resort will be affected as well.

Weather in Central Florida Over the Next Few Days

The forecast in Orlando and the surrounding areas for the upcoming week includes highs in the mid-60s to the low-80s and lows in the upper-40s to mid-60s. Tuesday and Friday will see highs in the low-80s, and thunderstorms are likely on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday as temperatures get slightly cooler going into the weekend.

central florida weather forecast

Credit: The Weather Channel/Canva

For visitors with plans to visit Disney World or Universal Studios, it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before flying into Central Florida, and because the weather in the area changes quickly, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of rain each day in the parks.

Rain showers are plentiful in Central Florida, and though many of them don’t last long, what they lack in duration, they often make up for in intensity. For more information on making the most of a rainy day at Disney World, check out our tips for a magical rainy day by clicking here.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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