Most people are well aware that winter in Florida is quite different from winter almost anywhere else in America. That said, not everybody really realizes just how different it can be. Meanwhile, other vacationers trust a bit too much in the warmer weather and end up regretting their packing decisions. For this reason, it’s always best to check with someone who understands Florida weather before packing for your winter trip. Lucky for you, we ourselves have plenty of experience with wintertime in the Sunshine State, and we’d be happy to offer some of our best pieces of packing advice.
1. Pack for Warmer Temps
First and foremost, you should know that the weather will almost certainly be warm. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see temperatures in the mid-70s (°F) during December and January in Orlando. Because these warmer temps are so common, packing shorts or light pants and t-shirts is perfectly acceptable.
2. Grab the Swimsuits
Speaking of those warm weather clothes, you may want to pack your swimsuit as well. Sure, 70-degree temps aren’t usually considered swimming temperatures, but the Disney hotel pools are super cool and your kids are almost certainly going to want to put them to use. Besides, there are two really awesome water parks on property that you might just want to check out. As long as the weather is as warm as it usually is, swimming in these heated pools is totally doable and is an absolute blast for little ones.
3. Bring the Sunscreen
No matter what the temperature is during your visit, you will want to wear sunscreen. The sun is nearly always shining in Florida (hence the “Sunshine State” nickname) and this can lead to some pretty serious sunburns even when the weather is a bit cooler. For this reason, it’s important not to let the winter season fool you into skipping the sun protection.
4. Know It Does Cool Off
While the 70s are typical during Orlando winters, the city does see some cooler days—and even on the warm days, the nights can get pretty chilly. Therefore, a good jacket is necessary for ensuring you feel comfortable throughout your trip. A jacket that includes a fleece layer and a windbreaker layer that can be zipped together is definitely ideal, as it helps you stay warm in all types of weather. Be sure to carry this to the park in the morning in case you don’t make it back to the hotel before the cool weather hits, and consider throwing a hat into the mix as well for extra measure. After all, it’s better to take too many layers than too few.
5. Prepare for Rain
While winter definitely isn’t rainy season in Florida, rain can still happen, and it can sneak up on you. Because being soaking wet in the parks is no fun, and because it is even worse when the cooler nighttime temperatures move in, taking a poncho into the parks each day is a great way to be prepared. Sure, it isn’t likely that you’ll get rain, but if you do, you’ll sure be glad you have that poncho!
6. Think about Your Feet
Walking around Disney World is tiring and can really do a number on your feet. During the summer, many people recommend wearing super comfy sandals in order to keep your feet cool and help them handle the frequent rain. However, the winter months are a bit different in that there is much less rain and there are much lower temps. For this reason, your winter Disney shoes should probably be some super comfy walking shoes that’ll keep your feet cool during the day but protected in the chilly evening, while also offering support for all the walking you’ll be doing. Choosing the right shoes is crucial, so be sure to keep these things in mind while packing, and consider packing a few pairs in case one doesn’t work out as well as you had imagined.