Sarah has lived in the Orlando area for 5 years and has experienced every season in Orlando.
Walt Disney World attracts thousands of tourists daily to each of its four theme parks: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. Every day is very busy but in summer is the worst. Summer is when everyone takes vacations around the world and many people make Walt Disney World their go-to for vacation every year. The theme parks can get so busy that you barely have space to walk around the lines for attractions are insane.
For example, most attractions can be anywhere from 30 mins to two hours of waiting time. It's pretty rare that any attraction will be less than 30 mins of waiting time and if you want to ride the most popular attractions, you could be waiting even longer than two hours. Therefore, you will spend the entire day just waiting in long lines rather than enjoying your time at the theme parks.
The lines for food are also very long during summer. The theme parks now have mobile food ordering that you can do via the app but you still have to wait around for your food. Sometimes the mobile orders can get so backed up that you should consider ordering food via the app half an hour to an hour before you'd like to eat. The crowds make for an awful experience at Walt Disney World because you won't get to do much during your time at the theme parks and will feel like you've seen very little.
Also, hurricane season is from May until November which means in the summer months, there can be hurricanes or tropical storms passing through. It's hard to predict when bad weather will come to Orlando and weather forecasters only know about the exact path a few days or a week before so when planning your trip, you don't know if you will get hit with bad weather on your vacation. Plane tickets and hotels get very expensive if you wait until the last minute especially during summer so it's wise to plan at least a couple of months before your visit. However, when planning to visit during summer, you're taking a chance that your visit won't be interrupted by bad weather.
Every day during the months of June until August, the humidity in Orlando is so strong that it causes thunderstorms every day. Even if it's not a hurricane or tropical storm, there are still severe weather cases in Central Florida almost daily in summer. It's almost 100% guaranteed that between 2-6 pm, there will be heavy rainstorms, thunder, and lightning. Unfortunately, this really disrupts your experience at Walt Disney World because everything is outside. Central Florida only has outdoor experiences and you can't be outside during a thunderstorm because it isn't safe.
Oftentimes, the thunder and lightning can be so close that it strikes the building next to you or the pavement a few hundred feet away. Even when there's no thunder and lightning, the rain is so heavy that it will soak your clothes in less than five minutes. This also makes for an awful experience at Walt Disney World.
Nothing to Do
Since everything is outside at Walt Disney World except for a select few attractions, there is nothing to do while waiting for a thunderstorm to stop. You can go inside a shop or you can stay at your hotel while waiting but there's not much else you can do. Also, the Walt Disney World property is huge so if you do go to your hotel to wait it out, you will also take a long time to travel back to the theme park later. Sometimes the rain doesn't stop though so you would be wasting your whole day. Most of the time, it only rains in the afternoon and early evening but it can also rain starting at 3 pm and not stop until 10 pm so pretty much the entire day is gone.
When there is a hurricane or tropical storm passing through the Orlando area, this can cause the theme parks to close as well due to safety reasons. Therefore, if you planned to visit the theme parks, you'll be unable to go and most of the time, you won't be able to receive a refund either on your tickets or your hotel stay. Even when it's not a hurricane or tropical storm level wind and rain, the awful weather does cause many outdoor attractions to close for a few hours due to the close proximity of the thunder and lightning. Therefore, if you had your heart set on riding that attraction, you'll have to wait around for it to reopen and if the weather is really bad, it might not reopen at all that day.
During summer, you chance missing out on certain outdoor attractions, and also shows like fireworks and parades could get canceled too. Since fireworks are dependent on the level of wind in the area, they can easily get canceled if the weather is really bad like in the event of a storm. Also, for the safety of the performers, parades get canceled too when there's bad weather outside. Therefore, if you only have one day to see the parade and fireworks, you might end up being very disappointed if you visit in summer.
© 2022 Sarah Wong