New Epcot “Attraction” About Hurricane Charley Opens August 2008

| May 21, 2008

The Walt Disney World Resort, in conjunction with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH),  has announced that StormStruck: The Tale of Two Homes will be coming to Innoventions in Epcot in August of 2008.

This 3-D, immersive, surround-sound attraction will recreate the experience thousands of Floridians lived through when Hurricane Charley made landfall on Friday the 13th in August 2004.  This category 4 hurricane swept through the central Florida region with 105 mile per hour winds, leaving a trail of loss and destruction in its path.

The new ‘attraction’ is designed to show how a home’s design and use of certain building materials can mean the difference between total destruction and minimal damage during such a hurricane.

Can anyone else say big fun!!!!

As someone who has lived through Hurricane Charley, bunkered down in our home clutching the dogs in the dark, I think this is perhaps the tackiest idea I have ever heard. I completely understand the need to educate people on storm preparations but to make a 3-D attraction out of it in a theme park seems to be going too far to me.

Now before you argue that Universal Studios has a Twister attraction you have to admit that’s a little different.  Twister is based on a movie.  Plus the attraction at Universal is kind of lame.  Basing something on an actual storm that affected the very area it will be located all seems a bit tacky to me.

The summer of 2004 was a scary time for many of us living in Central Florida, as well as the other Gulf Coast States.  Back-to-back storms pummeled the area and caused widespread damage and destruction.  Images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina still appear on TV and in newspapers to this day. These storms still impact travel to the region as many people wonder if it’s safe to travel to Florida during hurricane season.

Did Disney really think this through?

I will go see this attraction when it opens just out of curiosity to see how the Disney Imagineers handle this very delicate subject; but I still question the wisdom of placing this type of attraction in Walt Disney World at this time.


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  • Disney Khi

    While Innoventions definitely needs some updates, I think that this attraction just sounds scary, and I didn’t even experience Charley. But let’s hope that this attraction will actually educate people on how to make their homes safer and not just be gimmicky and over-sensationalized.

  • LilGMom

    I’ve grown up in Florida and have had to board my house too many times to count, not to mention the storms where we boarded the house and stayed in it (Hurricane Dennis) so I have zero interest in this. There are still areas in my part of Florida that are rebuilding from 2004′s Hurricane Ivan.

    I might stop by to see if they have a flier listing the products that they have but I tend to stay pretty up-to-date on this stuff since it does affect me and my family for half of the year.

    Now if they are handing out Hurricane drinks when you enter I’ll be there. :)

  • calypso

    Hmmm…let’s see, my next visit to Orlando is scheduled for August of 2008. I’m already concerned about traveling during hurricane season. Do I want to go see a new attraction based on what did you say — a hurricane? Not only no, but heck no!!!

  • Cyrano

    I think calypso makes a good point. Will anyone at WDW want this type of reminder during hurricane season :(

  • firemanx

    Bad taste IMO. Anyone who has lived thru a huricane knows there is no fun or joy from these events. Bad choice on WDW part. There are so many better things they could have done an idea of this sort with, but they dropped the ball on this one.

  • maiziezoe

    This doesn’t seem like the greatest idea WDW has had.

    It’s going to scare adults AND kids.

  • mommyceratops

    You might want to take some Xantac with you in case you have flash backs!

    I can’t imagine a hurricane, now I have been through a tornado once and don’t care to ever be reminded of that again….

    Maybe Innoventions needs an INTERVENTION!!! har har har (very bad joke!)

  • NC Belle

    I have been through many hurricanes (lived in several hurricane prone states) including 2 while at WDW (July 96 Hurricane Bertha—no park closures due to the storm went up the coast and did damage to the Carolinas) and Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Disney did a great job in 2005 with updates and other measures. Dh and I were fortunate enough to have been at BWV in a studio so we could had kept some food/water in the room. We were lucky that EPCOT and MK were open to on-site guest by 2 pm…however, the 3 pm parade at MK was shorten and limited food/transportation services at both EPCOT and MK.

  • UrsulasShadow

    This sounds just as tacky and horrible as if they put a Bay area earthquake attraction at DLR. What are they thinking????

  • dpuck1998

    This isn’t a lot different than the house fire exhibit. No one wants to have a house fire, but it was a good exhibit regardless. IMHO

  • timmac

    I think this actually sounds pretty interesting. While I can certainly understand that basing it upon real events may seem in “bad taste” (and to an extent I agree), I think it may at the same time offer a deeper understanding and appreciation to those not from the area.

  • cdfl30

    Hmmm… Maybe Epcot can join MK on the nightime parties and have their own Hurricane Party! I know, bad joke :)

    Being a lifelong Florida resident, I have been through enough hurricanes and tropical storms that the thought of a simulated hurricane attraction doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t need flashbacks to 2004! However, if this attraction brings awareness and education on how to prepare you and your family for these storms, I think it might be a good thing.

    It at least sounds more exciting than the dump truck exhibit…

  • aGoofyMom

    While I liked the house fire thing & think a Hurricane safety or preparedness thing could be a good thing – to base it on a specific storm that took place right there does seem in poor taste. Perhaps a more generic scenario would have been better. I can see this causing local kids to freak out a wee bit, even if they don’t remember 2004.

  • happy2go2wdwmom

    Had my dis-notes on my 4 x 6 notecards ALL primed for our May ’08 WDW trip and so…made my guys go into Interventions—and not just for the FREE Disney Credit Card pics w/ Mickey, mind you–BUT also…to make…a robot…we…could …take…home. To my/our disappointment…this attraction is now closed so that they could build this new Hurricane center…horrors!


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