Universal Orlando Resort

Touring Universal Orlando in Cold Weather

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Baby, it’s cold outside, but go to the parks anyway! Most rides will remain operational, crowds will be lower, and wait times will be shorter. Make sure your touring is successful with our tips and tricks for touring Universal Orlando in the cold weather.

Winter Weather at Universal Orlando

Orlando, Florida is nearly synonymous with heat, humidity, and sun – but cold fronts frequently sent the region’s temperatures below freezing. TouringPlans already recommends checking the weather forecast a week before your trip to finalize touring plans, this is doubly important during the winter months. If you are visiting between December to April you could see daily low temperatures in the 30s° F (-1.1° C)or lower, so pack accordingly.

Themed sweatshirts available at resort gift shops.

Dress for Success

Orlando temperatures swing from the 30s° F to the 80s° F (-1.1° C – 26.6° C) during the winter. After reviewing the weather before your trip pick our your wardrobe. We have found the key to success is to pack multiple light layers for warmth. For example, wearing a light jacket, sweatshirt, and t-shirt to the parks and removing the jacket and sweatshirt as the weather warms up. The layers approach saves packing space and keeps you comfortable in the parks.

All-day lockers at Universal Studios Florida.


Rentable lockers are available at the front of each theme park (Blog: Universal Lockers). The smallest lockers are good for several jackets and sweatshirts, rent the largest lockers if you have any bags. These lockers are accessible all day, unlike the one-time-use lockers at attractions.

(photo by Michael Carelli)

Where to Warm Up

Cold is cold, even for Florida. The following spaces are great for warming up:

  • Universal Studios Store (Multiple Locations)
  • Revenge of the Mummy Gift Shop & Arcade (USF) – Large shop and video game arcade space.
  • Knockturn Alley (USF) – Themed indoor space where it is perpetually night. Air-conditioned and heated based on the season.
  • Fast Food Boulevard (USF) – Large counter service dining location with ample seating.
  • Tribute Store (USF) – Themed walkthrough shopping experience.
  • Island Trader Company (IOA) – Large shop at the front of the park.
  • Jurassic Park Discovery Center (IOA) – Shop, counter service dining location, and interactive exhibits about dinosaurs.
  • Circus McGurkis Cafe Stoopendus (IOA) – Large counter service dining location with ample seating.

Warm beverages such as coffee and tea are available at all counter service and full service locations, but these are our favorites:

  • Starbucks (resorts, parks, and CityWalk)
  • Today Cafe (USF)
  • Leaky Cauldron (USF)
  • Fountain of Fair Fortune (USF)
  • Backwater Bar (IOA)
  • Hogshead Pub (IOA)
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit shot from 30 Rock.

Attractions That Close in Cold Weather

Several attractions have a minimum operating temperature and will not open till it is warm enough. For some attractions like water rides, this is for the guests’ comfort, while many outdoor rollercoasters have minimum operating temperatures to prevent the trains from stalling on the track.

Universal Studios Florida

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – 45-50° F  (7.2-10° C)
    • Opening temperatures depend on wind speed

Islands of Adventure

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster – 50° F (10° C)
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – 50° F (10° C)
  • Dudley Do-Rights Rip Saw Falls – 50° F (10° C)
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster – 35° F (10° C)
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure – 40° F (4.4° C)
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Single Rider Line

Attractions To Visit During Cold Weather

The good news though, attractions that operate in those afternoon Orlando thunderstorms are also great for cold weather. These attractions have a majority of their queues indoors, an indoor experience, and an attraction gift shop or exit area to stay warm in.

Universal Stuidos Florida

  • Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon – the queue includes a lounge space you can spend as much time as you want inside.
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Transformers The Ride
  • Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show
  • The Bourne Stuntacular

Islands of Adventure

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • The Cat in the Hat
Volcano Bay. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Volcano Bay During Cold Weather

Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park and will not open in temperatures below 50-55° F ( 10-12.7° C). A week before your trip review the weather and watch for any days with lows in the 50s° F (10° c). Watch Universal’s website, app, or social media 72 to 24 hours before for late openings or park closures.

Volcano Bay heats its pools, lazy rivers, and water attractions to a lovely 80° F (26.6° C) but some slides might remain closed in colder temperatures.

Photograph copyright Universal Orlando 2020

TouringPlans Touring Tips

  • Cold weather is in the forecast? Go to Universal Studios Florida, it has more indoor attractions, fewer attractions that close due to cold weather, and you spend more time inside a heated building than at Islands of Adventure.
  • Plan to dress in layers and store away coats and jackets when it becomes warmer.
  • Indoor theater shows and themed spaces are great places to warm up without going on a ride.
  • Experience outdoor attractions in the afternoon after the weather warms up.

What do you do during cold weather at the parks? Leave your touring tips in the comments below!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

One thought on “Touring Universal Orlando in Cold Weather

  • I was at IOA few years ago when Hagrid’s Motorbike was closed for weather reasons. The TMs outside mentioned that the ride cannot operate when the temperature is below some level, can’t remember what they said, but I think it was 50-something degrees. Later, as I was hanging around wondering if the ride would ever open….it suddenly opened. The ropes parted and I walked right in. Then it turned out I could *barely* fit onto a ride vehicle, but it all worked out. (The latest rides seem to have become more demanding in that regard.) But yeah, generally speaking, I would focus on the indoor attractions earlier in the day and then with any luck the exterior rides will be more appealing later on.


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