Water and the Winter

The snow might be fake, but is it warm enough to swim? 

Winter is quickly approaching, which means cold temperatures in most parts of the country, but comfortable weather in Florida. One question that people often ask is “will it be warm enough to swim during the winter at Walt Disney World?”. The answer usually is yes.

I’ll start with the two Walt Disney World Water Parks. Since they aren’t in as high demand during the fall and winter, Disney takes advantage of the lower crowds. One of the water parks closes each October, and it will be closed for several weeks. Once it reopens, the other park will close for several more weeks. The whole process takes about five months, and it helps to assure that both parks will be up and running once the busy summer season rolls back around. The parks rotate which will close first. If you come the same week two years in a row you will be able to visit both parks.

When the temperature is expected to dip low enough, the one open water park will close. The water in the water parks is heated, but it can be pretty cold to go from one slide to the next. I’ve been to a near empty Disney water park when the temperature was barely high enough for it to stay open. There were more Cast Members there than guests, it did not make good financial sense for it to be open.

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World hotel you also do not have to wonder if the water will be warm enough to swim. The resort hotel pools are heated as well. It’s rare for the pools to close, but I have seen it happen. On a cold evening the lifeguards will usually be bundled up, and often there is an eerie layer of fog on top of the water.

Orlando is located an hour or two away from some of the best beaches in the country. Swimming in the ocean is a different story than swimming at Walt Disney World! Some people will still brave it, and they don’t think that it is all that cold. Others will just wade or stay out of the ocean all together. A lot of it depends on what you are used to. If you head to a beach during the winter months, keep in mind that many of them do not have lifeguards during the off season.

My advice if cold weather is forecast during your vacation is to pack your bathing suit. It’s better to have it and not need it than to not have it and wish that you did. It won’t take up a lot of room in your suitcase. Just don’t forget to use the sunscreen. No matter what the temperature is, you need to protect your skin.