Vote of the Week: What's the coldest day you've spent in a theme park?
ORLANDO — Today's forecast high temperature for the theme park area in Orlando is just 52 degrees. The hourly forecast temperatures for most of the day will be in the 40s. By Florida standards, it's gonna be a chilly one in Orlando today.
Disney fans in Tokyo bundle up on a cold morning at Tokyo DisneySea
Most fans associate theme parks with warm, summer temperatures. And for most of the year, warm temperatures persist at the Orlando and Southern California temperatures, where daily high temperatures tend to remain at least in the low 70s even during the winter months, allowing those parks to remain open throughout the year. But cold snaps happen. Heck, I worked at Walt Disney World one day when it snowed.
Cold temperatures, even snowfall, are no strangers at Disney's theme parks in Tokyo and Paris. But theme park fans traveling to Florida don't expect to have to use heavy coats and sweaters when they visit the parks.
What's the coldest daily high temperature you've experienced during a theme park visit? If you spend most of your visits going to regional parks, which are open only during the summer, you might not have spent much time in a cold theme park. Nor if you've been fortunate enough to avoid the occasional cold snaps on visits to the Orlando or Los Angeles areas.
But if you're a regular at the Florida or California theme parks, or you've traveled outside the United States, you might have had quite a few cold days in theme parks. Let's make this our Vote of the Week. For the vote, consider the lowest daily high temperature during one of your park visits. In other words, don't count nighttime lows here. Even on sunny 80-degree days in Anaheim, the temperature often dips as low at the 50s at night. Let's not count that for this vote. We're only looking for what's the lowest "high" you've experienced in a park. And since we're a US-based website, we're talking Fahrenheit here, not the Celsius scale used pretty much everywhere else in the world.
In the comments, please tell us one of your favorite cold-weather theme park stories. And if you're in Orlando today, bundle up and have a great day in the parks!
Cold.... I live in England and have been to theme parks here. Says it all really :-)
Went to Disneyland Paris in 2006 between Chrostmas and new year. The temperature was well below freezing and our party (10 adults and 4 children) were kitted out like we were headed out on a polar expedition! Temperature really wasn't a problem except when we were waiting for parades, we joked that it was an endurance test! Theme parks are fab in any weather as long as you dress appropriately.
We were at Tivoli (Copenhagen, Denmark) 2 years ago on their last operating day of the year (December 30), and it dropped down into the 20's.
My coldest day was a Busch Gardens Williamsburg Pass Member Preview Day. I was riding Alpengeist in the front row as it started to snow. I still remember the snow's sting on my face as we raced down the first hill.
I've been to Great Adventure, Dorney, and HersheyPark quite a few times in sub-32 degree temps.
I live in NJ and usually take a few short trips to FL in the winter to warm up. But in 2005 we were in Orlando and it was 37! What was really bad...it was 65 in NJ!!! But usually, FL is almost always better than NJ...it is 17 here today!
Christmastown Buschgardens Williamsburg 2012-Nacht Tower was a bad idea at those temperatures.
I remember walking back to our room at pop century with snow flakes falling (not many, but hey, it's florida).
The coldest day my family has experienced was on February 17, 2013. the high in Orlando was 54 degrees. At the security check going into Epcot the lady asked my son and I if we were "Yankees" as we were wearing shorts, we explained that the high temp for that day at home in Regina, Saskatchewan was forecast to be 24 degrees. 54 degrees may have seemed cold to the locals in Orlando but it was still 30 degrees warmer then at home, no snow was a bonus.
I only spent one day at a park that could be considered "cool" way back in the early 90's at SFGA. It was low 60's and windy. It sucked....
We went to Walt Disney World in December 2010 when an unexpected cold front moved in. The day we were at Animal Kingdom, the low was 28 F. They had heaters out for many of the plants. At least the lines were short and there were a lot of characters wandering into the park looking for guests.
I had the good / mis fortune of being on the Nemesis at Alton Towers during a sudden snow blizzard some years ago. The joy of experiencing a known ride without the visual cues was thrilling, albeit it remarkably painful!
When I went to Disney for the first time since a kid, it was in the low 40s in the morning but did warm up to a litt past 60 degrees for a high temperature in the afternoon.
Once did the Hershey during their Christmas days. We were to go on Sat but it snowed so we went the next day.
Disneyland always seems a bit warmer than what the weather forecast says. Maybe all those bodies generating some extra heat. I've only actually been really cold at Disneyland once. The ambient temperature was in the high 40s or low 50s, but there were very heavy, cold winds and the wind chill dropped the perceived temperature into the low 30s. That just happened to be the day we had tickets to see Fantasmic with the reserved seats and dessert package. This was back when those seats were on the Disney Gallery balcony, so we had elevated, mostly sheltered seats with heat lamps, food, and hot beverages well away from the water. Timing on that could not have been better.
My family was at Disney World in March of 1993 when a massive winter storm was hitting the entire East Coast, so temperatures were in the low 40's. We laughed about how it showed who was from Florida and who from up North by how many people were about in heavy winter gear of gloves, hats and scarves and such. A good trip despite that although I would NOT recommend Splash Mountain in such weather.
We hit a cold snap doing Christmas at Dollywood one year. 4 days, high temp was barely in the 40s. One day the high was 25. One coaster never ran the 4 days we were there, and on the 25-degree day almost nothing was working except the lights. And the performers, who I felt horribly bad for since they were outside playing string instruments.
We had a wonderful day at Magic Kingdom several Januaries ago - am temps in the low 30s. As I recall, rope drop had about 10 people! I have a picture taken in Fantasyland where the only people that you can see are the two of us. Best part - no lines for any rides. A couple hours later it warmed up a bit and people started to arrive.
In the 70's I visited the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas Holiday. The temp got to 28 degrees. Being from Michigan I didn't mind it at all.The park wasn't busy which was great since those were the days they closed Disney World at time due to overcrowding. We were lucky in Orlando, Cypress Gardens got 2 inches of snow.
Some of my favorite days at Disneyland are the cold & rainy ones in January and February.
Like 220.127.116.11 at 11:38 AM, I ran in 2010, but I did the Princess Half and thought I'd dodged the record below-freezing Marathon weekend weather after the temps warmed up to normal, but then the cold came back! The week before the Half, I had been in Tampa and it was colder than at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where they were crying for cold and snow.
I worked at EPCOT in early February 2013 and don't recall the high temperature, but when I woke up, the temperature was 31 degrees, and I had to be there at 8:30am. I just remember feeling really bad for those people who'd saved up for years in some cases, only to visit Orlando on a day where they feel as if they're still in their hometown.
In December of 1983 I was a Magic Kingdom cast member in Main Street/Adventureland Operations -- working as a conductor on the Walt Disney World Steam Railroad. I had moved to Orlando to find my fortune. I had no car. I would mooch a ride to work with a friend.
Well... I went to Universal Studios & Islands of adventure in January 2012. Don't remember the exact date. But it was nice and warm and it was very sunny the whole time I was at Universal (I did two parks on one day). Then I got to Islands of adventure and it was still nice and warm. I went to Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges and got out completely soaked. An hour later I was in line for the Harry Potter wand shop and it started raining, sun nowhere to be seen. My entire outfit was still soaked and I spend the rest of the day freezing my butt off :/
Winterfest at King's Island in December 2004. They had ice skating on the fountain pond between the front gate and the Eiffel Tower, the train ran through a snow-covered forest lined with billboard-size antiqued Christmas cards from the 1940's, a Christmas light-show was shown across from a lake where Diamondback is now located, lots of other wonderful experiences. Light snow, very cold, but lots of fun for our kids. It was their first Christmas season in this country after we adopted them- unfortunately it was the last year for Winterfest since CP bought KI and stopped having it. Still, a great time and wonderful memories.
we went to Epcot on a really cold day.... the hardest part of the day was the incredibly cold tram ride in from the parking lot. After that it was not so bad. Thankfully Epcot has a lot of indoor attractions, a nice hot chocolate booth near the front, and it warmed up some as the day went on!
Dollywood about 3 years ago last day it was open high of 21 low of 4.
In December 1998, I was working at Mickey's of Hollywood at Disney-MGM Studios as part of the College Program. Mickey's is what I call, "the big store on the left," as Disney has the main gift shop (Emporium, Centorium, etc.) on the left as you enter so that it's with the crowd on the right as you leave.
Disneyland Paris definitely! Went in December a few years ago and it was. Baltic
got to ride Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland back in may on a 37 deg day, don't think i have ever felt so cold on a roller coaster
The day I arrived in Orlando at the last week of February 2013, it was hot enough to wear shorts and go swimming. Sunburn came easily. Everyday after that however was a little colder until March 2 arrived. Living in eastern Canada, we are always prepared for the cold. We had on thermal underwear, t-shirts, hoodies and a jacket. Hat and light mittens. It was so cold in the parks, you couldn't lean on a railing or your butt froze. The lineups to get on rides were crazy as long as they were indoors (like Test Track). The rest of Epcot was a ghost town! Kids were crying as their legs and arms were left bare in shorts and shirts. It was not a nice day for most people.
December 2010 WDW it was in the 20's my brother called from MA (home) and said on his ride to work they said it is 28 outside but don't feel bad it is 26 in Orlando. We had breakfast reservations at Tusker house that morning and we still went. You know it is cold when Disney was giving away free hot chocolate
"Winter" Efteling (Netherlands) at -8°C (= 18 F) and much snow, which is explicitely, perfectly and wonderfully themed at Efteling. The sculpted or animatronic fairy tale characters in the park, even have winter dresses ..
My wife and I ran our first Marathon at Walt Disney World on January 10th, 2010. It was one of the coldest days in Orlando for decades. Though officially the low was 29 in downtown Orlando, temperatures gauges at the race start in the Epcot parking lot were saying 25 (it was also dark as it was 4:30 in the morning!) It was so cold there was ice on the ground at the water stations along the route (runners would throw their half-empty cups of water down after drinking)and people were slipping and sliding in these areas. It never got over the mid-30's for a high during the day, and the breeze also picked up in the later morning adding a wind chill factor. Of course you don't want to over-dress for a 26 mile race so we had on only long sleeves and wind breakers, which people threw off all along the route. The amount of clothing that went to charity was huge. We finished race but was suffering from hypothermia by end of it! Later heard from our kids that the theme parks themselves were almost disserted as no one wanted to brave the chill but they loved it as there were no lines for anything. Had to soak for hours in the Wilderness Lodge hot tubs by the pool to get warm again!
I was in Orlando end of 2010 for business. Some co-workers and myself decided to head over to Universal and spent the afternoon in the mid-30s. Since we were all from Chicago it wasn't that hard of an adjustment. We felt bad for those who didn't know how to dress in the chillier temps. We were able to walk right on The Forbidden Journey though. :)
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