Guests At Disney World & Universal Studios This Weekend Are in For a Shock

disney universal
Credit: Becky Burkett/Universal Studios/Canva

Lots of Disney World and Universal Orlando fans skip the summer crowds at the Central Florida theme parks, opting instead to beat the long lines and the summer heat and visit the parks in late winter or early spring. But that might not be as helpful to guests now as it once was, especially for guests at Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort this weekend.

disney world and universal studios orlando resort

Credit: Disney/Universal/Canva

Headed to the parks today, tomorrow, or Sunday? You may be in for a shock.

A Shocking (and Unmagical) Trend

In what could feel like summertime during the winter, temperatures in Central Florida this weekend are expected to be high enough to challenge historical records in some locations. In other areas, temperatures are projected to be very close to those records. And the weather this weekend may only be the beginning.

The outlook for temperatures in March, as released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, indicates the likelihood of “well above average temperatures on a line from central Montana southeastward through eastern Texas and all locations eastward.” We’re looking at you, Florida.

In the NOAA graphic below, areas in orange and red are favored to see warmer-than-average temperatures. It’s important to note that darker colors indicate a higher probability for those temperatures–not more extreme temperatures.

temperature outlook map of the united states

Credit: Climate.gov/NOAA/Canva

Nearly all of the state of Florida is included in the lightest shade of orange, which denotes a 33% to 40% chance for temperatures to be warmer than usual.

As of the date of this publication, we are only 67 days into 2024, but we’ve already seen the warmest January on record. The year 2023 was the hottest year on record overall, and experts predict that 2024 will ultimately take that title.

If those predictions are accurate, billions of people across the planet could feel the effects of a much warmer climate this year, including visitors from the United States and around the world who come to Florida to experience all that Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando have to offer.

Orlando, Florida: Mild Climate & a Theme Park Mecca

Orlando usually sees a mild climate. That’s one of the reasons that Walt Disney chose the area as the location for Disney World and likely why so many other theme park operators ultimately decided to bring their attractions and experiences to Central Florida.

sea world disney world universal studios orlando theme parks

Credit: SeaWorld Orlando/Disney Parks/Universal Studios/Canva

Highs in the month of January in Orlando average 71ºF, while the high temperature in March is usually around 78ºF. The summer months of June, July, and August typically see high temperatures of 91ºF, 91.8ºF, and 91.7ºF, respectively.

In general, the months of January through March, as well as November and December, offer guests to the Orlando area the most comfortable weather in terms of high and low temperatures, but as those averages continue to increase across the globe, that might not be the case in the future, and the impact of a warmer climate on the tourism sector in Florida could be far-reaching.

orlando high temperatures theme parks

Credit: Universal Orlando Resort/Canva

A Warmer-Than-Usual March Weekend at the Theme Parks

This weekend, March 8, 9, and 10, 2024, is one example of those increased temperatures. According to Orlando news station WFTV, this weekend could bring with it some higher-than-average temperatures, potentially making for less comfortable visits to the Central Florida theme parks, especially for guests who choose to visit in the late winter and early spring because they don’t like the warmer temperatures that typically arrive in the summer months.

public health florida dengue fever

Credit: Disney Parks

Saturday, March 9, has the potential to be the area’s hottest day of 2024 so far, with the cities of Kissimmee and Winter Haven expected to experience high temperatures of 88ºF.

The coolest temperatures in the area are forecast in Ocala and Palm Coast, but those will only be two degrees cooler than the warmest regions of the state.

calendar march 9 hottest day of the year in orlando

Credit: Canva

Orlando, home to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando–and the closest major city to the Walt Disney World Resort–is forecast to have the warmest temperatures of the region on Saturday alongside Kissimmee and Winter Haven, at nearly 90ºF.

Related: Here’s What They’re NOT Telling You About Universal Orlando’s “Epic” New Theme Park

near record high temperatures in florida on a map

Credit: WFTV Meteorology

Heading to Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld Orlando this weekend? Be sure to dress for the warm weather by wearing light clothing made of breathable fabric. It’s also important to drink plenty of water as the weather gets warmer.

Here’s hoping the potential for record-high temperatures in the area doesn’t spoil the fun for you and your traveling party this weekend. If the heat is bothersome, remember that all of the Orlando area’s major theme parks offer numerous indoor experiences, giving guests the chance to take a break from the heat outside.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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