Walt Disney World (FL)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

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With this cold snap running through most of the country, but most specifically Central Florida, I thought I’d take the opportunity to suggest some activities throughout Walt Disney World to seek some refuge from the frigid temperatures.  The most important thing to remember is to dress properly; layers are key when the temperature drops.  Hats, mittens, and other wintry garments will make you more comfortable while you stroll around the parks.  So where would I head on a freezing Florida day?

First of all, you’re on vacation; why not sleep-in one day?  Get some rest and relax for a change.  It will do wonders for your tired and achy body after all the walking around you did the day before.  You could also have a leisurely breakfast at your resort or hope to another one and try one of their restaurants.  One of my favorites for breakfast is Kona Cafe, where you can get nice, warm Tonga Toast (as well as several other yummy options) and a cup of real coffee to perk you up in the nasty weather.  Most table service eateries who serve breakfast without characters can accommodate walk up patrons.  After enjoying your breakfast, why not check out some resorts?  If you dine at a resort on the Monorail it’s easy to hop on and off of it to explore the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary.  The coziest resort on a cold morning is probably the Wilderness Lodge where guests can hang out by the fireplace.

If you’d rather head out into the parks I think Epcot would be your best chilly option.  There are many indoor attractions and pavilions to explore when the weather isn’t cooperating.  Most of the Future World Pavilions offer fun activities in addition to their main attractions.  Linger at the huge fish tank at the Seas with Nemo and Friends or try some of the games after exiting Spaceship Earth.  Have you been inside Innoventions lately?  There are some really fun activities for folks of all ages to try inside these two areas.  I’ve taken some time to check out some of these attractions on my last few trips and they are a great, low key way to enjoy Epcot (you might even learn something).  Be sure experience Disney’s newest attraction, Sum of All Thrills, in Innoventions East. Over on the west side, guests can ride Segways for free! When you’ve had your fill of Future World, mosey on over to World Showcase.  Why not stop into see one of the films in China, France, or Canada you may not have taken the time to see before?  I also highly recommend heading to Morocco to indulge in a coffee spiked with flavored liqueur.  These tasty drinks will warm you right up!

There are several indoor attractions and activities at the other three parks as well.  Are you like me and don’t often take the time to see the shows?  On a cold day why not head into a nice warm theater to take in the Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom or the Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  3-D films are shown in all of the parks and offer a fun way to seek shelter too.  My favorites are Mickey’s Philharmagic at the Magic Kingdom and Muppet Vision 3-D at DHS.  Just remember the longer the attraction runs, the longer you’ll be inside all snug.

Maybe you’d prefer to shop when the thermometer drops below average?  Downtown Disney will be hopping with guests trying to find an extra sweatshirt and maybe a warm meal.  You could join them or maybe hit some of the parks’ shops.  My friends and I could roam around Mouse Gear at Epcot for hours looking for gifts to bring home and fun souvenirs.  Most of the shops on Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Boulevard at DHS are connected so shoppers never need to face the winter air to bounce from one to the other.  I’m sure you’ll find something great to bring home to remember your chilly trip to WDW.

I hope those visiting Disney World this week are having a great time despite the chill in the air!  Make the best of it, bundle up, and consider some overlooked attractions.  What are some of your favorite things to do around the parks when the weather isn’t cooperating?

Next week I’ll discuss one of Disney’s newest culinary offerings…

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Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is khelmstetter05@yahoo.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

6 thoughts on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

  • Hello, I want to create something like your weblog. You express your thoughts quite nicely.

  • This is great advice, and exactly what we did during the first week of January when there were record cold temps. Of course, we left from Minnesota, so I guess cold is relative, but when you’re outside for 8-10 hours, 45 degrees is cold!
    We found Epcot, with all the concrete, was warmer than, say, Animal Kingdom which was really shady. We did lots of indoor shows and just dressed warmly. Yes, we didn’t get to lounge by the pool or rent a boat, but heck….it’s something to save for next time!

    • Thanks, Kris! Thats funny about your observation on warmth in Epcot vs. Animal Kingdom since when its hot most people think AK is the most miserable park to trek around. I hope you had a great trip!

  • Phillip, better bring shorts. Forcast for next week is mid to upper 70’s!. Lucky you.

    My daughter did the college program last year. One word of advice. Don’t over pack! My daughter and her roommates did not use/wear half the things they brought. A good resource is Disney College Program Alumni on LinkedIn. Very helpful when I had questions. Just go to LinkedIn and search on Disney College Program. If you want you can also contact me via twitter, bobaloo000. Good luck to you and your daughter she is about to have (key music) The Time of Her Life….

  • Heya Phillip! Thanks for reading and for the kind words. I try to keep a positive outlook on things. Who wants to be cranky and miserable at Disney? I hope you stay warm! And good luck to your daughter at the College Program!

  • What wonderful ideas presented in an upbeat style. Thanks, Kristen! It’s so easy to slip into a woeful attitude when things aren’t cooperating (such as this cold snap). We’re heading down next week to drop off my daughter for the college program and it will be the first time we’ve been there with winter coats during a cold snap. (…and we have the WDW sweatshit collection to prove it!) Our hearts go out to all the Floridians who are simply not accustomed to this kind of weather for this long. Brrrrrr…..


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