by Military Diva
Due to my husband’s work commitments, it is nearly impossible for our family to travel during Holidays or Summer Break. However, we are lucky to live in a school district that is very understanding and approves travel for us during the winter months. And fortunately, a few benefits of traveling to Disney World during the winter and early spring months are much lower crowds and lower pricing (on food and resort prices). With proper planning we can easily get through an entire park before mid-afternoon, leaving time for another park in the evening or other out-of-park activities.
One drawback of our winter travel is that we aren’t always guaranteed the warm, sunny weather all Northerners dream of mid-winter. We have learned through our years of off-season travel that we need to pack for and be prepared for all kinds of weather. We have had years of warm weather and high humidity advisories (while participating in January’s Marathon weekend of course!). But we have also experienced cool, windy weather that has called for our hats and gloves.
The worst thing you want to do is to be unprepared for any turns in the Florida weather. Our experience is that nothing leads to a meltdown (mostly from teenagers!) quicker than a child waiting in line while shivering. Ice cream isn’t as enjoyable, and by then end of the night you’re hoping the fireworks end quickly.
Remember, it is usually easier to find ways to cool down when warm than trying to heat up in a cool, damp environment.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for Florida’s weather during the off-season.
- Keep checking the weather forecast for Lake Buena Vista, FL. We check the forecast daily during the week before our trip and every evening during our trip. Not surprisingly, the predictions change almost daily. You can almost always expect drastic temperature swings during the winter months. Pay special attention to the range of temperatures vs. a specific high or low.
- Remember that Florida is very damp. Thanks to the wetness in the air, most temperatures below 60 tend to feel very chilly. The wind and humidity can drop your body temperature quickly. However, temperatures above 70 tend to feel much warmer and almost stifling for those of us from the North.
- Pack clothing that will keep you comfortable for the temperature range forecasted. The majority of your clothing should be a match for the general weather forecasted, not focused on a particularly warm or cool day.
- Be sure to have layers of clothing that you can add or remove as needed. Florida weather can change quickly and it gets chilly when the sun drops! Your best bet is to have a little of everything from shorts and tank tops to pants and sweatshirts. We often start the day in summer clothing but have a pair of pants in our bag and a sweatshirt wrapped around our waist. No need to be uncomfortably warm or cool.
- Do NOT leave hats, gloves or coats behind. You never know when the temperatures will take a sudden nose dive. We have been in Florida during a frost watch! Our daughter mistakenly left her coat and warmest sweatshirts behind during our most recent trip. She was truly freezing when we experienced two park days of 30-45 degree weather with spitting rain and high wind. Over $150 of our souvenir money was spent layering her in the warmest sweatshirts we could find. (Had she been better prepared, that money would have been much better spent on ice cream!)
Now I know many of us envision a Florida vacation full of warm sun and smiling faces. But even sunny Florida has a slight variance for the seasons. Traveling during the “winter months” has many benefits, but also carries the risk of downright frigid temperatures. Prepare and pack for everything! Like most things Disney, the better prepared you are as a traveler the better the trip will be.