Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World Orlando have all shut down their respective water parks until further notice, as a cold snap grips Central Florida and the rest of the Sunshine State, USA Today reports.
A cold front has snuck into the Florida peninsula the past two days, bringing with it unseasonably cold temperatures — at least, by Florida standards. On Tuesday, the high temperature in Orlando barely cracked 50, and on Wednesday, the forecast was little better, as the mercury is expected to top out at around 59 degrees. Overnight Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, however, temperatures dropped into the mid 30s.
Because of these cold temperatures, Central Florida‘s major tourist attractions have closed their water parks. Universal Orlando has shut down Volcano Bay through Wednesday at the very least, while Sea World has shuttered Aquatica until further notice. Walt Disney World has closed Blizzard Beach until further notice as well. Disney World’s companion water park, Typhoon Lagoon, is currently not operating due to scheduled maintenance.
According to a companion USA Today report, travelers who headed into the Orlando area hoping for thinner January crowds have also discovered that January can be cold as well, causing some disappointment for travelers.
“Wanted to take the kids to Disney world today, but it’s 30 degrees….” one Twitter user wrote.
Meanwhile, an Instagram user noted that landscapers at Sea World Aquatica are covering up the plants in anticipation of the low temperatures.
Similarly, Disney blog and planning website Touring Plans suggested that a cold day such as today might better be spent on the links rather than shivering in the theme parks.
It's really, really cold at Walt Disney World today, but is it ever too cold for a round of golf at Disney? pic.twitter.com/ltIO8erIr9— TouringPlans (@TouringPlans) January 22, 2020
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Orlando, according to the city’s WESH-TV, was 19 degrees, which occurred on December 28, 1894.
The cold seems to be short-lived, however. The weather forecast for Thursday has more seasonable temperatures in the 70s predicted. Universal Orlando seems to have acknowledged that, responding to a user on Twitter that Volcano Bay is expected to re-open Thursday, as long as the predicted warm up actually occurs.
“Volcano Bay is expected to be open [Thursday] (subject to change due to weather),” the resort’s Twitter account posted.
Although Tuesday and Wednesday’s temperatures may have caused some bad moods among travelers, it has — in actuality — been a warmer-than-average winter season in the Southeast. While the Orlando area typically sees some cold weather in January, 2020 has brought temperatures consistently in the 70s.