Once the summer officially ends the hot weather still sticks around in Central Florida. September and October will both have plenty of hot and humid days. Eventually things will change, the humidity lessens and the temperatures become much more moderate. Some days temperatures will still soar, other days will be much cooler. People who think that it never gets cold in Orlando are wrong! While the chances are almost nonexistent that you will see real snow on your Walt Disney World vacation, not every day is meant for shorts and flip flops. Local residents will tell you that it is not uncommon during the winter months to use both the heat and the AC on the same day. The weather can and will fluctuate greatly in Florida during the late fall and the winter. If you follow these tips you will be better prepared for whatever weather Florida decides to throw at you while on vacation.
Some of these tips are meant more for the off-season than for the peak times. That does not mean that you shouldn’t still consider them if traveling during your family’s Christmas vacation or during Spring Break. It never hurts to be prepared.
10) Stay Hydrated
If you travel to Florida during the summer you will sweat like crazy, and you will want to drink a lot of water to make up for it. If you’re at Walt Disney World when it is cooler you might not sweat as much or feel as thirsty. Keep drinking anyway. You will walk for miles each day that you spend in a theme park. Your body needs the water. Don’t use thirst as a gauge, buy a bottle of water from one of the kiosks or restaurants and keep taking swigs throughout the day.
9) Enjoy the Pool
Just because it is 63 degrees outside does not mean that you can’t enjoy the pool at your Walt Disney World resort hotel. The pools are heated, so jump right in! You might want to bring a cover up to the pool with you so that you can throw it on quickly when you are done with your swim, but there is no reason to stay out of the water just because the weather turned a bit cooler.
If you’re staying off-property, ask at the front desk of your hotel if the pool is heated. Many of the local hotels have heated pools as well.
8) Check Park Hours
Park hours will vary drastically once summer is over. You can pretty much count on Epcot, but the rest of them could be all over the place. Check the park hours while planning which day you want to visit each park, and again before you head out for the day. That way you can make the most of every second of your vacation.
7) Purchase Park Hopper
After you have checked the park hours, you will want to know what to do if the park of the day closes early. Park Hopper can really come in handy, especially during the off-season. With Park Hopper spend half a day in Hollywood Studios and finish your day in Epcot to see IllumiNations as an example. If you’re at Walt Disney World when it is not all that busy you will be able to ride more rides in a shorter amount of time. You might even be able to do everything faster, leaving time to do favorites again. Park Hopper will make it possible to do it all again. Remember that Park Hopper comes in handy on peak days as well, it’s not just for the off-season guests.
6) Still Make Reservations
You might think that because the crowds are down when the summer is over that you don’t need to make dining reservations. Think again. If there is a restaurant that you really want to try, ensure that you will be able to get in! Reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant are hard to come by all year long, don’t assume that you will be able to just walk up when the crowds are lighter and the weather is cooler. Don’t forget to cancel your reservation if you’re not going to use it. That way, someone else will be able to have a spot and you won’t lose your deposit.
5) Save the Water Rides
Are you the type of person who heads immediately to Splash Mountain the moment you enter the Magic Kingdom? Getting soaked in the early morning during the summer can be fun because you’ll stay comfortable until you dry off. It is a different story when it is cooler out. Do you want to get soaked when it is 57 degrees, or would you rather wait until it has warmed up somewhat and the sun is shining a bit more brightly? Save the water rides and keep the kids out of the water play areas (if they are on) until it has warmed up a bit. You’ll enjoy the rides and your day a lot more.
4) Wear Sunscreen
Just because the temperature is down and the days are shorter does not mean that you can skip the sunscreen. There is a reason that Florida is called the Sunshine State! Remember that you will be closer to the sun than in most parts of the country. It is easy to get burned in Florida, even in the middle of January. A bad sunburn will ruin your vacation. Do not take any chances, use plenty of sunscreen.
3) Make Sure the Water Parks Are Open
Planning on spending the day at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon? Make sure that the park of choice is open before you head out. Each fall, one of the water parks will close for several weeks for an annual refurbishment. Once that reopens the other one will close. They will switch positions the following year. It is also not uncommon for the water park that is not being refurbished to close if the temperature is not expected to be high enough. If it is cool out, make sure that the park is open before grabbing your gear.
2) Keep an Eye on the Forecast
These days you can check the weather forecast at least ten days in advance. See what the weather is supposed to be like for your vacation before you leave home. Once you arrive, keep an eye on the forecast each day. Knowing what to expect will help you to be better prepared. Remember that the sun will feel hotter in Central Florida, so a forecast of sunny and 75 will feel quite a bit warmer at WDW than in Wisconsin. Check the forecast and plan accordingly.
1) Plan for Anything
If your vacation is in the summer and you bring only shorts and T-shirts to wear, you will most likely be fine. That is not the case if the weather could be cooler. Plan for anything. You will want to have a light jacket with you, even on warm days the nights can be cool. You will also probably not want to leave the shorts at home. The Florida temperatures during the winter are all over the place, you need to be ready for them. You do not want to spend part of your vacation at Target, buying jackets or shorts for the family because you didn’t think that you would need them. Save your money and bring them with you.