By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







Weather at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

(A slightly different version of this first appeared in WDW Magazine.)

Disney World Weather from yourfirstvisit.netPeople who haven’t been to Walt Disney World or Central Florida sometimes think that it is consistently sunny and comfortably warm year-round.

Well, it isn’t. Summer days are typically stiflingly hot and humid. But while winter rarely sees snow, or (more common, but still rare) temperatures below freezing, there’s so much variability in winter temperatures that a visit then may be loaded with perfect days or full of shivers.

Officially there’s just two seasons in Orlando, the dry season from October through mid-May, and the wet season the rest of the year.

But below, I divide the year into four seasons, based on common and consisted weather patterns.

For convenience, they have the traditional labels—but because they are about Orlando, they don’t match the astronomical date of the season! For example, “Fall” below is not September 22 to December 21—it’s the latter three weeks of October!

WINTER AT DISNEY WORLD: November through March

Orlando is dryer—with less rain and less humidity—these months. Temperatures on average are cooler, but are also highly variable.

Typical highs are in the 70s, but highs in the 30s are not uncommon, and record lows are below 20. December, January and February are the coolest and most variable of these months.

  • Best for: those seeking to avoid the heat and humidity of summer.
  • Worst for: those for whom extended time at the pools and waterparks is an essential part of their trip—there’s too much variability to be sure of lots of great warm days.

SUMMER AT DISNEY WORLD: Mid-May through September

During this time of year Orlando is hot, wet, and humid.

High temperatures are typically around 90, and show little variably year to year. High humidity makes the heat tougher to bear, as it limits the ability of sweat to cool the body by evaporating. June through August is the worst. You’ll see more comfortable days before and after–particularly in May but also sometimes in later September.

Brief late-afternoon thunderstorms are common, happening almost every day, and multi-day storms are possible.

The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, but it has a clear peak from late August to early October.

When the heat and humidity are at the upper end of their typical ranges, it can be so uncomfortable that you don’t want to leave your room. The common approach to summer is to hit the parks early and late, and stay out of the mid-day heat.

  • Best for: Those for whom extended time at the pools and waterparks is an essential part of their trip; those willing to risk hurricane-related disruptions to take advantage of late August and September low crowds and prices
  • Worst for: those made miserably by heat and humidity, or those not willing to risk hurricane-related travel disturbances

SPRING AT DISNEY WORLD: April and early May

April and early May bring the best mix of warm, dry, but not too hot or humid days. (The summer rainy season can start as early as the first week of May but much more typically begins late in the month.)

In years with an early Easter—pushing spring break crowds into March and early April—the second half of April is one of the absolute best times to go to Orlando, from the combined perspective of crowds and weather. The late Easter in 2014 makes these dates unwise.

  • Best for: Visitors seeking to balance comfort both in and out of the pools
  • Worst for: Visitors who prefer much cooler or much warmer days

FALL AT DISNEY WORLD: October except the first week

The peak of the hurricane season ends in early October, and after that October weather is almost as nice as in the spring.

Later October is a little warmer and wetter than April, with some continuing small risk of hurricanes, but still a favorite of many.

  • Best for: Visitors seeking to balance comfort both in and out of the pools
  • Worst for: Visitors who prefer much cooler or much warmer days

MORE ON DISNEY WORLD WEATHER

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2 comments

1 Tom { 03.06.14 at 1:48 pm }

Dave, having been in February, May and June, I must concur with you that early May may be the best I’ve seen. Crowds are manageable with, little or no rain. Late May (starwars weekend for instance) and early June are hotter with a higher chance of late afternoon showers.
February had bright days but also showed us high thermical difference. It’d happened to us to arrive without winter garment in Orlando and waking up with 35F, making it difficult to go to the parks until noon. However, 3 days later, thermometer had climbed up to mid 80’s. Impredictable

2 Dave { 03.06.14 at 5:32 pm }

Thanks, Tom!!

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