Weather in Orlando is pretty unpredictable. Sunny in the morning and then heavy rain in the afternoon! So make sure to bring ponchos and umbrella. Some of the areas in Animal Kingdom gets flooded during heavy downpour. So, be prepared!
Cheap ponchos and umbrealls are available at any Walmart branch. Its quite expensive to buy in Disneyworld or Universal Studios.
Hurricane's are a very real danger here. In late August, and early September we were hit on 3 weekends in a row. To give you an idea of the damage, it is now January and some people still have blue tarps on their roofs waiting for repairs. There are also still many signs and downed trees. Take the warnings seriously. (I must admit, the first storm occured just after I had surgery and I slept right through it. The next morning I drove through my complex and the amount of downed trees and power lines was amazing.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that refuse to put on suncream and opt for nothing or even baby oil or cooking oil in the naieve belief that it will help them tan quicker. It will not, it will only make you burn and then peel quicker.
A high factor sunscreen is always a good idea, a healthy white skin is far more attractive than burnt, peeling red skin.
When buying the sunscreen make sure that it doesn`t have water or agua as an ingredient, it evaporates in the heat and doesn`t help you at all.
I would also recommend a hat, long sleeve shirt and sunglasses as well to help protect you from the suns harmful rays.
Florida, having two coasts with different air temperatures, often get thunderstorms. If a thunderstorm is in your area, be cautious of lightning. There were several fatal lightning strikes during our trip in 2004.
If you see lightning nearby, determine if you need to follow the 30-30 rule: if the lightning is followed by thunder in less than 30 seconds, seek shelter until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
For more information on lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service web site.
If you are planning a trip to Central Florida during Hurricane season, be sure to keep an eye on the weather in the tropics. I have lived in Central Florida for nearly 20 years and never thought we'd ever be hit very hard by a hurricane, but Hurricane Charlie gave Orlando, Kissimmee, and the surrounding areas a serious spanking. Today it is 6 days after the storm hit and there are still lines for gas, stores are still closed, and people are still without power. Nearly half of the traffic lights are still out and there are a lot of detours because roads are still blocked by fallen trees. I would hate to try to vacation in this!
Despite Florida, it was very chilly and swimming in the outdoor pool was not really attractive.
My faulty toilet decided then to flood my bathroom and created an indoor pool in my room.
I tried to soak up the 1 inch water on the floor with all my towels and called maintenence ....
Florida can have some pretty bad rain at times so it's best to be prepared. Having an umbrella handy can help but the heavy Florida downpours can still soak you pretty good. We have rain ponchos that fold up neatly and fit in Liz's bag. The ponchos also came in handy for riding the Kali Rapids in Animal Kingdom....you definitely get soaked on that ride.
And let's not forget mighty mother nature with her bolts of lightning! Florida is known for its severe thunderstorms and the fact that lightning can eminate from a seemingly clear sky. This is the lightning capitol of the United States so your odds of getting hit are greater here! If you are outdoors and a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, seek shelter indoors. Even inside a car is good. But whatever you do, DO NOT stand under a tree or any type of non-enclosed shelter. A direct or even a close strike will get you as well. You'd be better off laying flat on the open ground making yourself the lowest target around.
So, with these things in mind, enjoy the great outdoors here in Florida!
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Walt Disney World is located in central FLorida and gets very hot and humid in the summer. People used to milder temperatures (Europeans, Canadians, folks from the northern USA) should visit during spring and fall, when the temperatures are more reasonable. We went in early November and the daytime temperatures were still in the high 70s and low 80s. In addition to having more reasonable temperatures, these months are also less crowded (except for spring break and Easter weeks in the spring).
While in Central Florida, here are some television and radio resources to tune-in to to get the latest weather information. Sometimes weather can get dangerous from hurricanes, thunderstorms, cold fronts passing through.
Television: Channel 9 - wftv.com, Channel 6 - local6.com, With Brighthouse Networks Channel 13 News, Channel 2- wesh.com
Radio: Z88.3 - FM 88.3 (the best station for severe weather information), AM 580 weather, traffic, talk radio
It could save your life.
Unsurprisingly in the sunshine state, you get a lot of sun. The first time I went to Orlando (About 10 years ago) I got sunstroke on my first day. I then spend 5 days throwing up and looking like death. Not the best way to spend your vacation. Even if you have hair, you will still need protection.
It's so easy to be taken up in the active adventure of all theme parks. Please, please remember that if you're travelling in peak season; it's hot!
This brings many dangers:
-Drink plenty of fluids (there are shops and vans everywhere to buy drinks from).
-Put on sun protection (take a small bottle with you, sunburn HURTS!).
-Rest in the shade (there are plenty of benches to sit on all around the parks).
-Wear a hat (if you've forgotten your own, you can always buy one there).
I've seen so many people of all ages falling ill because of the heat and it's so easy to prevent. Don't waste your money buying park tickets if you're going to get sunstroke!
Keeping your health is the best way of getting the most out of your holiday.
On our most recent trip to Orlando it was extremely humid. There had been a certain amount of rain on previous days which should have been a warning. Lin and I were at Epcot and we decided we were going to have an ice cream before we left the park. I could see the sky was getting dark and I suggested we should get a more on but Lin insisted we sit down whilst we eat the ice creams. Bad decision!!! Having finished the ice creams we stepped it out to the exit and just made it before the heavens opened. We waited for a few minutes before it eased off. Again we stepped it out towards the car park and made it to a gazebo by the edge of the car park where we took cover. It absolutely poured, it was like a waterfall. Then a thunderstorm started really close by. It was one of those what do we do moments. It was dangerous to stay under the gazebo but equally dangerous if we made a dash for the car. We stayed put and after about 30 minutes it eased off and we made a dash for the car. Nearly an inch of rain fell in 2 hours.
The lessons to be learnt are if it starts getting dark don’t hang about and then you will not be caught under a gazebo during a thunderstorm like us.
Some people seem completely ignorant to the idea that Florida can get quite cold in winter, though it is usually brief and I often make the reference that a Florida summer is just as bad as winter in the plains... just in reverse.. it is so hot sticky and humid no one wants to do anything.
During winter it is not uncommon to find temps in the 50s in the Orlando area... during the day. I guarantee it's going to feel a lot colder than the 50 degrees you are use to. It's a nice and humid 50 degrees! Nights below freezing do occur several times each winter, and luckily it almost never snows.. though icy roads can occur (say prayers if you encounter a Floridian driver on icy roads). I saw snow flurries 3 times and a light snow shower once in the 15 years I lived in the area. I have seen so many tourists at the beach expecting fairly warm weather; instead, sitting inside the hotel room keeping warm saying things like "o the cold weather followed me" or "it's 60 degrees, why does it feel so cold?". Every year it gets quite cold for at least a few days and chilly for up to a month or so.. plan carefully. Also, because many Floridians do not have central heat, house fires are common this time of year from people using space heaters.
If you are lucky enough to visit during the less humid part of winter, forest fires are common and often cause smoky conditions.
Summer is plagued with super hot and humid days and fierce storms. Always have water / drink available at all times. Sunscreen is a must. Be ready for rain and to run for safety when the lightning arrives. Everyone that lives there will tell you, the storms arrive like clockwork daily in the summer, you should expect them. They tend to disappear almost as fast as they arrive, but occasionally one will stall over you. When driving through the storms be ready for rain like you have never seen it before.. it's like someone has a huge never ending bucket overhead and is just dumping it on you.
Beware of leaving anything in your car that is heat sensitive.. I have had soda cans explode in my car (horrible sticky mess), CD's warped, Phone screens cracked, parking stubs faded, important papers faded, exploding ink pens, etc... all from the extreme heat in the car. Under no circumstance should a child or pet be left in a car in the summer especially!!!
Food spoils very quickly in the heat! - don't worry the ants will eat it for you if it does.
I have only traveled to Florida twice. Once was Orlanda in July. It was terribly muggy! So much so that we pretty much stayed inside all day and just went out in the evening. The best time we went was in January. We traveled from Orlando to the Keys. The weather was absolutely perfect and it wasn't very crowded. I would like to do that again!