Featured Attractions

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Weird Wednesdays: Wacky Weather

When Walt Disney was looking for a site to build his city of the future, he wanted a location far enough from DISNEYLAND so that it wouldn't compete with his beloved Magic Kingdom and also a place with cheap, somewhat usable land. He also wanted a place that could theoretically allow year round operation like Southern California. Far, cheap and the need for year round operations led him to the swamps of central Florida. Orlando was chosen for its relatively hurricane-free weather, though as the company would find, the weather was far from ideal.

Florida's humid summers and frequent torrential storms would make park operations a challenge. Florida's Space Mountain is a copy of DISNEYLAND's Matterhorn, built indoors because Imagineers didn't think the ride system would work outdoors in Florida. A close look at various landmarks throughout the Florida parks reveal a complex series of lightning rods, carefully hidden so as not to alarm guests. The most prominent lightning rod at Disney's Hollywood Studios is actually Mickey himself.

Mickey's left ear is a lightning rod, designed to take the brunt of any possible lightning strike. A lightning strike on Mickey might create nightmares for the thousands of children in the park who witness it, but at least it will keep them safe.