Hurricanes are about the last thing tourism officials want Florida visitors to experience. But starting this summer, Disney will treat them to the sights, sounds and fury of 2004's Hurricane Charley.
The only protective gear required: 3-D glasses.
Scheduled to debut at Epcot's Innoventions pavilion in late August, StormStruck: The Tale of Two Homes is designed to be fun -- yes, fun -- and educational.
StormStruck, an immersive digital surround-sound-theater experience, is based on what happened to these two houses -- and is designed to show homeowners that they can make their own homes safer: not by teaching the nitty-gritty of safe construction, but with a little Disney drama.
"What if we could put you in the middle of a storm and make it your job to figure out how to make a safer house?" said Joe Tankersley, an "Imagineer" with the Walt Disney Co.'s creative and design group, during a presentation Friday at the Governor's Hurricane Conference here.
"All the information about mitigation techniques . . . weren't really as important as getting people to understand, 'Hey, you can do something. It's in your hands. You can make your home safer.' "
According to a Disney description, exhibit visitors will don 3-D glasses and watch as their "safe house" is lashed by a hurricane and begins to break up around them. As the eye of the storm hovers overhead, they'll race against the clock to decide how to rebuild the home more safely.
Afterward, they can visit a "Weather Mitigation Research Lab" where they can learn building techniques that will make their homes more weather-resistant.