Usually journalists do not tend to type “cold weather” and “Florida” in the same sentence, but this week it has, in fact, been happening. Following a cold streak that led Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon to shut down just shortly after it opened, Universal Orlando followed suit with its own water park, Volcano Bay. Over the weekend, the city saw somewhat lower-than-normal temperatures in the usually balmy state and the park shut down for a spell. Of course, the theme park had a great response to the maybe not-so-great news.
Volcano Bay was shut down by Universal Orlando over the weekend, and it was for more than a one-day closure. The popular water park destination was confirmed to be shutting down through at least Tuesday, January 18 at the time the theme park made the announcement. This decision was distinctly due to the cold spell that hit the area over the weekend. When I looked yesterday, the low overnight was in the mid-forties, and while that was in the middle of the night, the high in the fifties wouldn’t exactly have been water park weather either.
Universal Orlando Resort followed up the news of the Volcano Bay closure with a typically amusing Twitter post, noting of the weather:
Florida did not get the Endless Summer memo today. ❄️ 🥶January 17, 2022
For those not in the know, Endless Summer is a resort that happens to be a Loews collaboration with Universal Orlando that offers big value to families -- it's not just a mindset for a park in the great state of Florida. I see what you did there, Universal.
While temps were low recently, the temperature on Tuesday was a little balmier at 62 – certainly nothing to complain about at least – but it perhaps was not warm enough to compel very many guests to jump on myriad water rides offered at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, though one guest responded in the comments to say their son pretty much rides the water rides no matter the temp! Brave soul.
😂😂 my son will still ride that no matter what the temperature is. 🥶🥶January 18, 2022
One of the hrough the winter Volcano Bay will be on limited operating hours anyway, closing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So if the park were to reopen tomorrow, it would be shutting down again at least a day a day later, marking a similar trajectory to the ping-ponging Typhoon Lagoon has done since it reopened earlier this month on Disney World property. In fact, it is worth noting that Typhoon Lagoon also did not brave the cold spell, shutting down over the weekend. Blizzard Beach had already shut down (again) before the cold spell, though now I'm thinking about all the chilly puns that would have resulted had that park been the one to close for weather instead of Typhoon Lagoon....
At the end of the day, given temperatures elsewhere are legitimately freezing and there is snow on the ground in parts of the country, it can be easy to get snarky about Floridians and how they handle temperatures such as these. However, the parks are often full of tourists who are none the wiser about these cold spells, either. Simply packing correctly can be a big help.
I actually once visited Disney World and Universal in January and the forecast looked great, low sixties – “not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket” – or so I thought. My husband and I even eschewed packing our coats, opting to save space for other gear. Would I live to rue that choice! Instead while a couple of days were in the low sixties, an unexpected temperature shift meant it was in the low forties nearly the whole time we were there. Still better than where I lived, sure, but not actually better given I hadn’t packed a coat.
On of the great Florida theme park myths is that the weather is usually pretty perfect. Sometimes in Florida, the weather is simply not what you’re expecting. Thus, to those of you who did brave cold-ish temps to hop on some water rides, I salute you.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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