MickeyBlog News for August 21st, 2023
Fans of The Happiest Place on Earth are nervously watching the skies as an unprecedented event in our lifetimes unfolds.
I’ll update you on the latest in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
A Tropical Storm Bears Down on Disneyland
Disney news doesn’t often break at 9 p.m. on a Saturday evening. And when it does, it’s usually not good.
In this instance, Disneyland Resort updated guests on its plans for today, August 20th, 2023.
This date will go down in Disneyland history as one of the most unusual.
For possibly the first time ever, Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney will close due to potential hurricane weather.
Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that this possibility is theoretical rather than likely.
I typically write MickeyBlog News a day or two ahead of time to give the webmasters a chance to work their magic.
This time, I didn’t even start until midnight on Sunday morning because I wanted to have the most up-to-date weather forecast.
So, early on Sunday, the latest data suggests that Hurricane Hilary will gradually subside and hopefully reach land as a Tropical Storm instead.
I presume that most of you remember the horrific damage that Hurricane Ian caused by reaching land when it did.
According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a storm must possess winds of at least 74 miles per hour to qualify as a hurricane.
Ian reached Category 5 because its winds crossed the 157 miles per hour boundary.
What we’re discussing at Disneyland Resort isn’t anywhere near as dangerous in that regard, but it’s still worrisome in its own way.
Flooding occurs on coastlines when the wind whips the water into larger waves.
A highly unusual amount of ocean water gets pushed ashore, leading to uncontrollable water levels.
Everything I’m saying here sounds more like Weather Channel content, but the first time anyone can remember, it applies to Disneyland.
What We Know about Tropical Storm Hilary
The official update is now live on Disneyland's website: pic.twitter.com/EoXDWxUBLF
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) August 20, 2023
Hurricane Hilary has reached Category 4 status.
That’s the headline here as the storm’s path takes it toward the West Coast of the continental United States. Thankfully, that’s an old headline, though.
As I type this, the storm’s ferocity has lessened to the point that meteorologists have downgraded it to a Category 1 hurricane.
In other words, Hurricane Hilary’s current wind pressure falls between 74 and 95 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Hilary approaches the upper boundary at a current strength of 90 miles per hour.
Thankfully, meteorologists sound confident that by the time this weather event reaches land in Southern California, it will be “just” a tropical storm.
I’m using just here as if this isn’t a wildly unusual event…but it really, really is.
The last time a storm like this reached land in Southern California was El Cordonazo, also known as The Lash of St. Francis.
Friends, that happened in 1939, and the thought of 93 people dying due to flooding shocked people so much at the time that it gained that nickname.
Simply stated, this part of the West Coast doesn’t expect such inclement weather and therefore isn’t well-prepared for it.
Contrast that to Florida, which suffered multiple hurricanes just last year.
So, California officials will proceed with extreme caution here, while Southern Californians remain undeterred.
A buddy of mine spent Saturday night at – I kid you not – an oceanfront restaurant that was ironically (?) serving $5 hurricanes.
That’s where we’re at with this, as nobody has any experience with it.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch.
For those of you unclear which is worse between a tropical storm watch and tropical storm warning, I’ll offer this helpful graphic.
The Disneyland Closure Update
That’s a lot of weather updates that lead us to one simple point.
Disneyland Resort officials must safeguard all these wandering sheep, thereby protecting them from themselves.
As such, Disneyland announced several precautionary measures.
Specifically, both Disneyland Resort theme parks and entertainment district will close early tonight, August 20th.
Currently, the plan calls for:
- Disney California Adventure to close at 9 p.m.
- Disneyland Park to close at 10 p.m.
- Downtown Disney to close at 11 p.m.
My greatest hope is that Disney keeps to this schedule today, aka Sunday.
Still, you should check MickeyBlog regularly throughout the day just in case the weather forecast changes and requires additional park adjustments.
We’re in unprecedented territory here. I promise to update this article as needed, and I’d strongly recommend that you follow MickeyBlog’s social channels as well.
Our staff will alert you quickly should anything change.
More importantly, if you’re in any of the impacted areas, please overreact rather than underreact.
In instances like this, it’s always preferable to say, “In hindsight, we really overdid it that day” rather than, “I wish that we had…”
Sunday Update at 1:30 P.M. EST
Okay, we have what passes for good news on this topic.
As predicted, Hilary’s wind velocity has decreased to the point where it’s now a Tropical Storm rather than a hurricane.
Hilary currently possesses a wind force of 70 miles per hour, with the expectation that San Diego will face 40 MPH winds this afternoon. Orange County is at 23 MPH as I type this.
As the Weather Channel has noted, the ferocity of Hilary stems from its size. This storm is approximately the size of Arizona. So, it’s gonna blanket the West Coast.
The flooding concerns have intensified today, with warnings that desert and mountain regions are particularly susceptible.
Currently, San Bernadino County and Inyo County are expected to suffer the worst, with Orange County, home of Disneyland, supposedly escaping the worst.
Still, forecasts call for up to four inches of rain today in this area. Stay safe, everybody.
Other Disney News and Notes
Honestly, only one story matters today, as inclement weather threatens the most significant theme park on the planet.
Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t alert you to some other stories.
For instance, Disney has revealed the logo and new details about Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana.
Disney also revealed one other surprise. You may get wet as you explore this area…but that’s your choice!
The Moana attraction will offer a dry path as well. That’s ideal for when you want to see the sights but would prefer to stay dry. Nice touch, Disney!
Elsewhere at Walt Disney World, Liberty Square Riverboat will close tomorrow and remain landlocked through at least August 29th.
Meanwhile, other Disney transportation is looking shinier. For example, the monorail headlights display a festive light pattern.
Also, the Disney Skyliner has added some Encanto characters, while you’ll notice a Coco wrap on a few buses.
So, we have an unexpectedly quick answer about which recent Disney movies deserve a park presence! Spoiler: more is coming soon!
The other Walt Disney World notes involve EPCOT. First, Shiki Sai – Sushi Izakaya offered a soft opening, and MickeyBlog was there!
We were fans. Oh, and the cast members here deserve a special shoutout for their exceptional customer service!
Elsewhere at EPCOT, the CommuniCore mural has finally arrived…and it’s pretty great.
Finally, we’ve got a bit of Disneyland news. Tiana’s Palace has revealed an opening date of September 7th.
Oh, and Ahsoka Tano is coming to Disneyland. Yes, while the current week may be stressful, something awesome is just around the corner!
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Feature Photo: Photo: Travel and Leisure