Cold thins crowds at Orlando theme parks

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Vacationing theme-park fans persisted through Wednesday’s inclement weather, which included temperatures in the high 30s early in the day and intermittent rain from gloomy, gray skies.

Read more and see video from The Orlando Sentinel.

Jeff's avatar

Check out their video... what an extraordinary contrast to the shoulder-to-shoulder people around Christmas. Yesterday was just a miserable day.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

We are taking advantage of some Sea World tickets we have been sitting on for ages this weekend just to get some park time in the cool weather. And I may hit Universal int he next few days to walk around and ride a few things. Yesterday was miserable and made me feel like I was back in Cleveland. But Saturday will be sunshine and in the 50s. I'll feel like I am at Cedar Point in October. I'd much rather be in the parks this week than in July and August.

Tommytheduck's avatar

I ended up not visiting SeaWolrd on my work trip monday because of the weather. It was cold, rainy, and windy. I could see the park from my hotel room, and while I watched Kraken and Manta run, I never saw Mako, and that's my main reason for visiting.

I'll be back in a few weeks and hopefully try again.

Heading to Orlando on Saturday for a few days at Universal, SeaWorld, and LegoLand then heading to Royal Palm Beach to visit the in-laws. They warned me about the “cold”. Forecast is 50s & 60s in Orlando, 70s in Royal Palm Beach. I’ll be walking around in shorts and a T-shirt. I may stick with sneakers instead of sandals... Yesterday was the first day we saw temps over 20° here in Rochester in 2 weeks. Dropping back to single digits the next few days. Bring on the Florida “cold”!

But then again, what do I know?

Jeff's avatar

I'll be in Sandusky next week. I'm totally doing it wrong.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Not really. When you get back home that 50 degrees will seem like a welcome heat wave.

I've had my long sleeved shirts and hoodies on the last few days, but other than while at work I still haven't switched to long pants.

Jeff's avatar

The day I get back, it'll be 76. Can't wait for that.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

At least you are coming up for the warm-up. Tomorrow Detroit should break a record for 12 consecutive days without reaching 20 degrees. The phrase "Above freezing" never sounded so good.

The Kalahari is going to be down-right toasty and welcoming next week after this stretch.

TheAcrophobicEnthusiast's avatar

In other news, water is we...wait...

The best of all the jokers is clearly Mark Hamill.

Bobbie1951's avatar

What's happening in Sandusky next week? Is Steel Vengeance far enough long to merit a behind the scenes report?


99er's avatar

I think it was the cold rain/wind that kept people away on Wednesday because yesterday and today Magic Kingdom was packed despite the cold. They were parking people all the way back by the grass and World Drive was backed up north and south of the tollbooths.


Jeff's avatar

There's a software development conference in Sandusky next week. Because the rooms and conference space are cheap.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Saturday we were in jackets most of the day. I think the temperature never hit higher than 62 or so. Epcot was pretty dead in the morning. We got to the park after parking opening (about 9:20 or so) and walked right on Spaceship Earth. That is usually a good line first thing in the morning being right at the gate. We walked back to Frozen expecting to see a long line and we were going to skip it. The wait time said 40 minutes so we decided to go ahead. I'll bet that line was less than 20 minutes.

It was like that most of the day, in terms of the rides. World Showcase got busier in the afternoon as locals were showing up for the Festival of the Arts which is a mini Food and Wine. The food stands were particularly crowded.

MK was super busy until the 8pm fireworks and then the crowd just vanished. It did get cold and at that point we were glad we had our winter coats. The wait time signs at the MK were also grossly exaggerated. Most of the actual times were a good 10-20 minutes less than the posted times. I'm not sure why but we weren't complaining.

wahoo skipper said:

The wait time signs at the MK were also grossly exaggerated. Most of the actual times were a good 10-20 minutes less than the posted times. I'm not sure why but we weren't complaining.

I've noticed this more and more over the past few years. More times than not, I've experienced the same thing; that posted wait times tend to be way more than the actual wait times across the parks.

I wonder if this is just part of a guest service strategy or more trying to keep guests spending $$$ in the parks by discouraging some to wait on a (perceived long) standby line.

When I worked in WDW attractions, we would send the red cards through the standby line every 5 or 10 minutes, and those would update the wait time sign. For those who haven't been to WDW, a Cast Member will ask a guest entering the line if they would please hold onto a small red card with an RFID chip and then hand it to the Cast Member who boards them onto the ride. The greeter Cast Member scans it at the ride entrance and the grouper Cast Member scans it again when the guest boards the attraction and it would automatically update the wait time sign. At times, managers would call us and have us scan the cards but then wait 5-10 minutes before giving it to a guest so that when they scanned it would give an increased time. Then, as we approached the last 30 minutes of the day, a manager would usually manually go into the system and inflate the time so that even if we were a walkon, it would show a 30-40 minute wait to discourage guests from entering the line so that park clear would be as easy as possible.

We got one at Big Thunder last February. I think the Facebook post said “The Chosen Ones”.

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