Universal Studios Orlando Closes Major Park Amidst Winter Weather

Visitors to Universal Orlando Resort were unable to visit Volcano Bay this week due to inclement weather. The water theme park closed on Tuesday, Dec. 26 and remained closed on Wednesday. The latest update says that the park will reopen on Wednesday, though Florida continues to suffer a cold snap along with the rest of the U.S.

Volcano Bay is a water park within Universal Orlando Resort, and typically it is open year-round thanks to Florida's equatorial climate. However, snow fell even there in the last week, making it unsafe to swim or enjoy the other amenities. The theme park announced this closure as widely as possible to reach customers with advance notice, and some commented their disappointment on social media.

The "inclement weather" cited for this closure would be hard to miss almost anywhere in the U.S. at the time of this writing. A devastating winter storm battered much of the midwest and northwest, with temperatures well below zero and ice coating streets everywhere. As always, severe weather is relative to each communities averages and general preparedness. In the case of Florida, a dusting of snow and low temperatures were enough to cause a panic.

At the time of this writing, Accuweather reports the temperature in Orlando as 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The city will experience a low of 44 degrees tonight and a high of 73 degrees tomorrow, so hopefully Volcano Bay will be able to reopen as promised. The official resort Twitter account said that the park would reopen on Wednesday at around noon.

While Florida may return to its usual warmth, large swaths of the southern U.S. are in for some storms to send the year off on style. Accuweather meteorologists warn that a major shift in pressure is likely to bring warmer temperatures but lots of precipitation. This could lead to flooding in many areas, and will almost certainly impact holiday travel plans around the new year. Residents in the southeast can expect the change in weather to start on Wednesday night.

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More travel delays will not go over well as the U.S. struggles with the holiday rush, the weather and the strain on infrastructure. This week, airports made headlines as thousands of flights were canceled and travelers were left stranded. The biggest culprit was Southwest Airlines, according to a report by CNN, and the problems are likely to continue.