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A Funnel Cloud Formed Near Epcot And The Video Is Wild

Spaceship Earth and Fountain at Epcot
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

When Walt Disney chose central Florida to be the home for his new theme park and city of tomorrow project, one of the major reasons was the weather. It didn't snow in Florida or even get all that cold, so the park wouldn't need to be seasonal; it could be open all year round. That's not to say of course, that Florida doesn't have weather that impacts Walt Disney World, and yesterday we saw an unusual example of that in the form of a massive funnel cloud within sight of Epcot.

Not technically a tornado, as the cloud reportedly never actually touched down, it's still a fairly unusual sight, and the pictures and video that people took in the park are quite impressive. The cloud feels ominous as it sits there, some unclear distance away from the most magical place on earth. Check it out.  

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People usually see theme parks as a place to escape reality but I suppose that's tougher to do when there's a funnel cloud within sight as you're drinking around the world. 

Usually the biggest weather issue that Walt Disney World has to deal with is rain. Epcot has flooded before when the rain got to be too much. And of course, there are the occasional hurricanes that have closed Disney World when necessary, but a funnel cloud or tornado (while not unheard of in Florida) is a rare occurrence. 

And the situation was more significant than just an interesting photo. The severe weather that led to the funnel cloud also resulted in the Epcot nighttime spectacular, Harmonious, being cancelled for the evening. It also reportedly made transportation out of the park a bit complicated. 

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The weather also caused havoc at the other Disney World theme parks. Magic Kingdom saw significant rain, which included some minor flooding. It caused guests to all find cover where they could. 

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When hurricanes happen at Walt Disney World, they know about the storm in advance and can act accordingly. The park has closed when necessary, and while this situation wasn't the sort that would have required closing, it certainly could have taken a turn.

Luckily, since the funnel cloud never actually touched down it doesn't appear that there was any significant damage. If anything, it is a good reminder to future theme park guests that this is a possibility, so knowing what to do if this happens when you're visiting is knowledge we should probably all have.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.