Walt Disney World is Under Tornado Watch

Disneyland Closing Early Due to Hurricane Hilary
Credit: Disney/ Canva

Central Florida will avoid taking the brunt of Hurricane Idalia. The storm is moving northeast from Florida’s Big Bend. However that doesn’t mean Orlando is in the clear. The storm’s path is only part of the story.

When you look at the cone on hurricane maps what you’re seeing is the path that the center of the storm will take. It does not depict the size of the storm or how far damaging effects could reach. For that, you need a little more detail and you need to know about “the dirty side” of a hurricane.

Hurricane Idalia

Credit: Wikicommons

“The dirty side” refers to the right side of a hurricane which is stronger than the left. Wind speeds are higher on this side of the storm and the risk of dangerous storm surge and tornadic activity is much higher. Nothing about a hurricane is particularly safe, but the right side is the side you definitely want to avoid.

As Hurricane Idalia made landfall this morning, its right side was facing Central Florida. This made the potential for serious secondary damage much higher. A tornado watch is in place for all of Central Florida.

Several areas have already experienced tornadic activity. Parts of Central Florida were under a tornado WARNING early this morning.

Huricane Idalia

Credit: Isabella Reimer

Tornadoes often spawn off of hurricanes. It happens when cyclonic air spins off from the main storm. These tornadoes are wild and unpredictable and take on a life of their own. Luckily they are weak and short lived. Without the power of the hurricane behind it, the cyclonic air loses steam quickly. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a concern, however. These tornadoes can do an incredible amount of damage in a very short time.

Central Florida, including Orange and Osceola Counties, remains under a Tornado watch. A watch is different from a warning. A watch means there is potential for a storm to develop. A warning means one has been spotted.

magic kingdom storm

Credit: Disney, Canva

Disney World and Universal Orlando remain open. If you are visiting the parks today make sure to follow all Cast Member instructions carefully. Things can and do change quickly when there is a Tornado watch.


About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.