While many Americans currently suffering through sub-zero temperatures in northern parts of the country would love a few days of 50-degree weather, sun worshippers in Orlando are struggling with the cold.
With temperatures hitting a high of just 48 degrees Fahrenheit on January 3 and a freeze watch in effect overnight, the theme park capital of the world, like much of the rest of the country, is experiencing much lower than average temperatures for the rest of the week. The temps have dipped so low, in fact, that some of Orlando’s biggest theme parks are shutting their doors until the days grow warmer.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, frigid temps and even a few possibilities of flurries have caused closures of three major water parks in the Orlando area. Disney World will close Typhoon Lagoon until at least Thursday, January 4, while Disney’s other water park (the ironically named Blizzard Beach) already remains closed for refurbishments. Disney’s neighbor Universal Orlando will close its newest park, Volcano Bay, through Friday. SeaWorld will also close its water park, Aquatica, through at least Thursday.
While Orlando water parks will sometimes close early on cold days if attendance levels are far below normal, it's very uncommon that the parks would announce multiple days of closures in advance.
As of today, the other parks have not announced any further closings, and water rides within the parks (like Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom or the Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal) remain operational. For any guests willing to brave the cold temperatures for a thrill on one of these attractions, we can assure you the lines will be short.
Disney World’s main parks, including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, have never in their history closed due to cold weather alone. The parks have, however, closed four times due to hurricanes, including once earlier this year for Hurricane Irma.
Although the unusually cold temperatures this time around may not make for the most enjoyable park days, they might be the perfect setting for runners as we close in on Disney World’s marathon weekend. Athletes competing in the runDisney marathons, half marathons and 10ks can expect pleasant temperatures in the 50s and low 60s as they work up a sweat throughout the parks this weekend.