When summer temperatures are soaring and the humidity is high, it’s nearly impossible to escape the heat while you’re outside in Orlando. Even beyond the summer months, the warm weather sticks around, thanks to Florida’s subtropical climate which keeps temps toasty year-round. After all, what would you expect from a place called the Sunshine State? Frogtunately, you’ll find a variety of ways to stay cool at Universal Orlando Resort, no matter when you visit! Follow our froggy tips, and you’ll be able to say that you beat the Florida heat.
Overview of Florida’s Climate
Florida’s subtropical climate is split evenly into a dry season and wet season. The dry season typically happens over the winter and spring months, which see mild to warm temperatures that average mid-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes there will be an occasional cold front that slides in after a rainy day, dropping temperatures into the low 50s.
Once June arrives, the rainy season begins. It brings high temperatures that steadily reach the low- to mid-90s and frequent afternoon thunderstorms (we’ve got another post dedicated to making the most out of rainy days at Universal Orlando!). Humidity levels are also high during this time, only adding to the heat. You can expect the weather outlook to remain this way until October when temps finally start to lower.
Since many frog families travel to Orlando over the summer, you’ll want to be prepared with sunscreen galore! But even during winter, you could probably anticipate warmer temperatures than what you’re used to.
Packing for the Heat
If you’re a bit unsure about what to pack for hot and humid weather, we’ve got you covered! This is a list of our Frog Family essentials that help us stay cool at Universal Orlando.
Sunscreen is our no. 1 item that we never froget to pack. We’re not aiming to look as red as Spider-Man. Trust us, you do not want sunburn to ruin any fun! To save money, we definitely recommend bringing a tube or spray bottle with you or buying at a convenience store once you’re in Orlando. However, if you find yourself running low, you can easily find sunscreen at the parks and resorts. Apply in the morning before you hit the parks, but bring it in your bag so you can slather up throughout the day.
Hats and Sunglasses
Protect your face and eyes from the harsh sunlight. All you need is a simple baseball cap or visor. You don’t want to risk losing your sunglasses on a ride (I’ve been there!), so keep your favorite pair at home and opt for cheap ones for this trip.
Lightweight, Quick-Dry Clothing
Because of the high humidity, you’ll want to pick out lightweight, quick-dry clothing such as tank tops and athletic shorts. Thick fabrics — think denim and cotton — won’t allow your skin to breathe as easily. Avoid dark-colored clothes too!
Refillable Water Bottles
You’ll want to drink water often in order to stay cool at Universal Orlando. Staying hydrated, which we'll cover later in this post, is super important.
Portable Misting Fan or a Cooling Towel
These aren’t absolute necessities, but if you already have them, bring ‘em! Whenever Tad and Lily complain about the heat, I’ll spray one of them down and put the cooling towel on the other’s neck. During these days of social distancing and face coverings, we've spotted a new trend in the parks: neck cooling fans!
How to Stay Cool at Universal Orlando
1. Stay hydrated.
Remember those refillable water bottles you packed? They’re the key to staying hydrated! Dehydration and other heat-related illnesses are one of the most common ailments at theme parks. By bringing your own bottles, you’ll save money (and help the environment!) because you won’t have to buy pricey bottled water. Eyeing an ice-cold soda or frozen margarita? It’s OK to indulge, but just be sure you’re still drinking water, at least an equal amount or more. Sugary and alcoholic drinks can potentially leave you even more dehydrated than before you started sipping.
2. Grab a Butterbeer.
But of course, you can't miss an opportunity to cool down with a refreshing swig of Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (found in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). You can also try Butterbeer in the form of ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. For the less-informed muggles, Butterbeer is the iconic drink straight from the "Harry Potter" books. It essentially has butterscotch and shortbread flavors, and it’s toadally safe for the tadpoles because there isn’t any actual beer in it. We taste-tested every single Butterbeer item, and we all agree the frozen version is THE best for a hot summer day!
3. Take frequent breaks.
We toadally understand being so excited with planning your trip that you try to squeeze in as much as possible. Even if you’re on a time crunch, it doesn’t hurt to take mini breaks throughout the day. Because face coverings are required, it's more important now than ever to stop and pause every so often. You can remove your masks at the U-Rest areas inside the parks.
If you have crowd anxiety or a sensory processing disorder, we have our favorite spots where you can take a sensory break (note: many of these are still located outside, although some have cooling fans).
4. Eat a late lunch.
Typically, the hottest part of the day is during the afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. If you wait to eat a late lunch around this time, you can escape the heat and take your time at a table-service restaurant. Islands of Adventure has Mythos Restaurant and Confisco's Grille, while at Universal Studios Florida, you can find Lombard’s Seafood Grille and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill. Universal CityWalk also boasts some amazing restaurants, such as Bigfire and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Since it’s an unusual hour for dining, you shouldn’t have any problems with crowds.
5. Hit the water rides, or hang out at splash pads.
There’s no faster way to cool off at the theme parks than by getting soaked on a water ride or splashed at a water playground. Islands of Adventure has all three water rides: Jurassic Park River Adventure, Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. Tadpoles (and the tadpoles at heart) can play at the kiddie water playgrounds, Curious George Goes to Town at Universal Studios Florida and If I Ran the Zoo at Islands of Adventure (these play areas are currently unavailable). Toon Lagoon also has a few water elements to keep an eye out for. Pay a visit to the mischievous Mystic Fountain in the Lost Continent.
6. Swim at Universal's Volcano Bay or your resort’s pool.
In need of an island getaway? Volcano Bay offers a watery paradise for when you just want to chill out on a lazy river or speed down a thrilling water coaster. From Tot Tiki Reef to Ko’kiri Body Plunge, the water park has something for every member of the family.
You can also opt to take advantage of your resort's pool. Hotel guests are allowed to pool hop among the Prime Value, Preferred and Premier hotels only. (Thus, guests of the brand-new Value resort, Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites, cannot currently pool hop, but we suspect they will be able to share the pool at its sister hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites, once it opens.)
7. Seek air conditioning whenever possible.
Frogtunately, many of the attractions at Universal Studios Florida are indoors, including the queues. So you'll just have to brave the heat when hopping from ride to ride. While Islands of Adventure has more outdoor rides, there are still quite a few rides that provide relief from the sun. Scope out shows, restaurants or gift shops, too!
Best Universal Orlando Attractions for Staying Cool
Universal Studios Florida
- Revenge of the Mummy
- E.T. Adventure
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- The Simpsons Ride
- Transformers: The Ride-3D
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon
- Shrek 4-D
- Fast and Furious Supercharged (currently closed)
- The Bourne Stuntacular
- Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show
- Curious George Goes to Town play area (currently closed)
- Hogwarts Express (if you have a Park-to-Park ticket)
Universal's Islands of Adventure
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
- Storm Force Acceleration
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Poseidon’s Fury (currently closed)
- Mystic Fountain
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- The Cat in the Hat
- If I Ran the Zoo play area (currently closed)
- Jurassic Discovery Center (currently closed)
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
- Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
- Hogwarts Express (if you have a Park-to-Park ticket)
Whether you stick to the water rides or chug down a Butterbeer (and LOTS of water), a game plan is necessary to avoid heat fatigue. Stay cool!
Did we miss any tips on how to stay cool at Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.