Packing for your vacation can be one of the most stressful things, especially if you are packing during the winter months in Orlando (November through February). The weather during those months can be so unpredictable and can vary greatly day to day. Sometimes, you can start the day on the cool side in the 60s, the temps could soar into the 80s and then dip really low at night into the 50s, and that’s all in one day! So the key to packing during those months is to be as prepared as you can be. The last thing you want to happen is to pack t-shirt and shorts and hit a cold snap while you are there – you will be very cold and very unhappy! Keep in mind also that because it’s Florida, you aren’t going to find “winter” gear at the ready, so having your own is important, if needed! I learned this lesson quite a few years ago and I vowed I would never make the mistake again.
Here’s a screenshot of the weather prediction for December 2019. You can see the average temperature is mid-70s during the day, but the evenings get quite chilly.
Here are my recommendations on how to handle and what to pack for those unpredictable months:
Clothes You Can Layer
The mornings and evenings will probably be cool (it may be down right cold!), while you may see temperature rise during the day. By dressing in layers, it will be easier to take clothes off and store the in the locker at the parks. This way, when it gets cold later in the evening again, you have your sweater or sweatshirt with you. I can honestly say, being in the park while you are tired and cold is not fun! Having that extra layer of warmth will make all the difference in the world! And will save you $40-$50 on buying a sweatshirt in the store!
As mentioned above, when it does get cold, finding winter gear to wear may be difficult. The parks will put out gloves, hats, scarves, ear muffs, etc., but if you have that with you already, you are one step ahead of the game! Not only does the parks charge a lot of money for those items when it gets cold, but the lines get long in the stores to purchase them. Having a blanket with you or even your winter coat might be necessary. Again, you can always store these in a locker at the parks. Other Guests will be envious of you!
HotHands Hand Warmers
You may think this is overkill, but you just never know! I was visiting the parks many years ago, and the evening temperature dipped into the 30s. While in a normal situation I can handle that cold, when you are out in the parks for multiple hours in the evening, that starts to get hard to bear! Hand warmers that evening would have been a welcomed treat! They are compact and don’t take up much room. Throw a few in your purse or backpack for the day. If you don’t need them, that will be even better!
Pack for the Heat
Now this isn’t just a list about packing for the cold, it’s also about packing for the heat! Just as it might dip down into the 40s at night, it could get close to 90 during the day! You could hit a hot streak and be wearing your shorts, flip flops and tank tops the entire time! So you want to be prepared for excessive heat also. Pack your bathing suit also. If it gets that hot, you will want to take a dip in the pool at the resort.
Having a rain jacket, poncho or umbrella with you is important. Florida is known for the daily rains and you never know when it will come. I also recommend carrying some zip loc bags with you for your valuables or cell phones to ensure they don’t get wet either.
Remember, if the temperatures drop and it’s gets cold, you don’t want to be caught with flip flops on your feet. I don’t know about you, but when my feet are cold, everything is cold! Bring closed toe shoes (sneakers, tennis shoes, etc.) and wear those when it gets cold. Your feet will thank you for it! Extra tip: It’s always a good idea to change up your shoes throughout the trip anyway. Wearing the same shoes multiple days in a row for so many hours can cause blisters or make your feet hurt!
Check the Weather
And finally, continue the check the weather! It changes daily, sometimes it changes throughout the a day. But keep your eye on it so you know what to bring with you for a day at the park. If you are staying onsite, you can always go back to your hotel and get what you need, but being as prepared as possible before you get to the park is the best way to go. Make sure you have a good weather app downloaded on your phone so you can check it throughout the day.