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Old 11-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
DenaRox
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help with early January weather, for a Canadian ;)

Hi,
I was wondering about the temperatures in January. I have searched and found the norms to be 72-50 for the time we are going. I am having a hard time planning what to pack as we only have one suitcase each due to flight restrictions. I mentioned being Canadian because where I live we are accustomed to cold! currently it is -23c ( -9F) which is a cold day but definitely not as cold as it will get. using a converter online i think the january norms of 21-10c will be like summer to us, or at least a nice spring day. Am i fooling myself?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenaRox View Post
Hi,
I was wondering about the temperatures in January. I have searched and found the norms to be 72-50 for the time we are going. I am having a hard time planning what to pack as we only have one suitcase each due to flight restrictions. I mentioned being Canadian because where I live we are accustomed to cold! currently it is -23c ( -9F) which is a cold day but definitely not as cold as it will get. using a converter online i think the january norms of 21-10c will be like summer to us, or at least a nice spring day. Am i fooling myself?
There is no simple answer that takes all situations into account.

"Layers" will be the most versatile clothing to bring.

Consider the difference in what you will be doing at
WDW compared to the way you spend your time outside
while at home.

At home, you might be used to walking from a car, up a
sidewalk a certain distance, and then, walking inside a heated building.

So, you don't usually simply stand still outside,
waiting in the same spot for 45-60 minutes at a time.

You will be doing that kind of thing at WDW, if you
want to hold a spot a bit early and then watch
IllumiNations or MSEP and/or Wishes.

My wife and I are naturally "warm-blooded" and hardly
ever wear a coat at home in the winter until the
temperature gets to be constantly below 30 degress...
but STANDING outside at night at WDW for the evening
events, if the temp is in the 40's or lower (plus it
can be damp and windy,) can chill you to the bone
after about 15 minutes.

We're from the midwest and have learned to EXPECT ANYTHING as the weather goes in off-season Orlando.
We always pack winter and summer-wear.
In Dec/Jan/Feb we have even worn LONG THERMAL UNDERWEAR (after sundown)... we now pack it for any off-season trip.

Typical day:

Cool outside at 7am.
Wear shorts and Tee's.
Over that add a thin nylon wind-breaker
We put our "chilly-wear" and RAIN ponchos in a back-pack.
(Rain ponchos are REALLY cheap in hunting section of discount retailers.
You can buy BIG THICK ones to allow covering large jackets... more later.)

"Chilly-wear" is a nylon cotton-lined warm-up suit with zipper legs and a cotton-lined windbreaker.
We buy OVER-sized in these so they can easily be put on OVER other clothing.
After standing in the sometimes chilly "early-entry" lines we can usually take off the wind-breakers.
We always rent a locker at the park(s) and leave our "chilly-wear" in the locker 'til sun-down.
If it looks like rain (in Florida? Who'da thunk?) we take the Ponchos.

Much later, if its a warm night, we're just fine in the shorts.
If it turns windy/cool... we can visit the locker and choose which level of "chilly" OVER-WEAR to add to our clothing.

If it turns really COLD (windy 30's-40's not unheard-of at certain times of the year) we can make a restroom trip and slide-on the long underwear... OR... we can even add the final outer-layer of the RAIN ponchos (with their HOODS)... OVER everything else.
That trick (along with ear-muffs and gloves) has allowed us to "comfortably" stay and enjoy Fantasmic! or IllumiNations when others (less-prepared) have been "frozen-out."

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
DenaRox
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Thanks so much for your reply Robo, lots of information. I guess my "dilemma" is more understanding what it means for us and what we are used to. For example, we take our yearly camping trip in August. Tenting for a week at a park. The temperatures this year in august had highs of 75F and evenings dropped to 55F. These temperatures are quite fine for us during the day to run about in shorts and tank tops ad flip flops and then at night when sun goes down its jeans and sweaters till crawling into bed. I assume the lows in Orlando will feel similar to that but maybe not. Is a cold and humid temperature a lot different than a cold and not humid one? Also, will the highs seem like end of summer to us?

I did go to WDW once like 20 years ago and all i can remember is swimming in the ocean at coco beach in the middle of january and locals stopping and staring at us like we were bonkers. sadly i don't remember if it was freezing cold but i do remember swimming for quite a while.

might be in our best interest to pack colder weather clothing and buy some war stuff there if needed? or maybe throw in one pair of shorts or something. sigh, thanks again for the reply, any and all help is always welcomed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenaRox View Post
1- Is a cold and humid temperature a lot different than a cold and not humid one?

2- Also, will the highs seem like end of summer to us?
1- Yes.
Cold and damp.

2- The real problems lie in just not being able to predict exactly what will be happening over the course of your trip, day and night.

I've stood for an hour straight in constant 25 mph winds (with gusts even higher) blowing across the Epcot World Showcase Lagoon waiting for and during IllumiNations. I have video footage of some palm trees bending low in the gusts.

At around 40 degrees F and high humidity, that wind can cut into you.

Will that happen to you?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But, if you have the layers to add/remove, you'll be OK.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenaRox View Post
Thanks so much for your reply Robo, lots of information. I guess my "dilemma" is more understanding what it means for us and what we are used to. For example, we take our yearly camping trip in August. Tenting for a week at a park. The temperatures this year in august had highs of 75F and evenings dropped to 55F. These temperatures are quite fine for us during the day to run about in shorts and tank tops ad flip flops and then at night when sun goes down its jeans and sweaters till crawling into bed. I assume the lows in Orlando will feel similar to that but maybe not. Is a cold and humid temperature a lot different than a cold and not humid one? Also, will the highs seem like end of summer to us?

I did go to WDW once like 20 years ago and all i can remember is swimming in the ocean at coco beach in the middle of january and locals stopping and staring at us like we were bonkers. sadly i don't remember if it was freezing cold but i do remember swimming for quite a while.

might be in our best interest to pack colder weather clothing and buy some war stuff there if needed? or maybe throw in one pair of shorts or something. sigh, thanks again for the reply, any and all help is always welcomed.
We go in Feb and face somewhat of a similar debacle. Robo has it right - layers!

What we found works (for us) is to wear jeans and a T-shirt or tank and bring a sweatshirt with us. We brought a small blanket for the kids to use while waiting for fireworks.

If you can do something similar I think you'll be fine. Jeans aren't going to change your comfort temperature over shorts and you can just toss on a sweatshirt when it gets cold We have a backpack to keep it in when we're not using it.

Don't overthink it! You'll be fine!
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Hi!

First I hate that you put Canada down instead of exactly where you are because so many Americans have this notion that it's all winter wonderland for a lot of the year. And many are totally unaware that we have so many different climates.

For instance, I have no snow here at all. Haven't had any. And it will be 50 by Monday (Toronto). And Southern Ontario lies SOUTH of quite a few states and parts of states.

Okay off my pet peeve soapbox.

Dena - pack everything under the sun. From summer to even some winter items. Truly. The cold in the south is a whole different ball game. Totally. It seeps into you like no other. I know a lot of people perceive that it's horrendous here - but the cold there is a whole other animal.

And December/January/February can be a crapshoot. Can be absolutely warm by your standards. Usually drops at night regardless of being warm in the day - so of course you'll wait for the forecast but still pack a hat or gloves just in case at night. I've had trips where I'm in summer wear every single day.

However, it can be achingly cold as well. And I needed a hat - mitts - coat (not winter - just fall) one time. 2010 Christmas was something. One day - in the day time - I was so cold that I would have done anything to wiggle my nose and get back inside. Two nights that time went below freezing. I think one was 29 degrees.

So you really need everything. I've been at that time of year many times. You never know. And like everyone has said - layers.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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you wont be able to plan for the weather untill the week before you go. and even that wont get accurate untill 3 days out.

Central florida weather patterns change frequently. some days weather comes from the east and the atlantic, some days from the west and the gulf. Others from the north.

from december to mid february, it can be as high as sunny and 85, and as low as sleet and low 30's. you never know untill 1-3 days out.

3 years ago in late january, it was highs of low 40;s with sleet at night. We still swam in the heated pools. got the dirtiest looks from the life gurads who were bundled up like they were about to do the Iditarod dog race.

unfortunately, you have to pack for summer, fall spring and winter weather. you will prolly see all 4 conditions at some point.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarcher86 View Post
Don't overthink it! You'll be fine!
'

Good advice - although I probably destroyed it.

It's just that 2010 was something. LOVED the vacation though.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
'

Good advice - although I probably destroyed it.

It's just that 2010 was something. LOVED the vacation though.
A piece of advice that's far easier said than done!

I'm great at giving it... following it, not so much
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
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A piece of advice that's far easier said than done!

I'm great at giving it... following it, not so much
So true. Me too!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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Hi Dena,

I'll give you a fellow Canadian's perspective (from Ottawa) as we have gone 2 years in a row now in January.

2 years ago when we went we found 6 of the 10 days we were there were cold in the morning, between -2 and +2 Celcius, going up to 14-16 in the afternoon. We had light mits and tukes on in the morning and by the afternoon down to t-shirts and shorts if it was sunny out (which it was most of the time). Only exception is when we went to Animal Kingdom where you are more sheltered and don't get the full on sun everywhere. As others said we simply had layers. Hoodies/sweaters over our shirts and a light lined coats that were all off by the aft. We got some odd looks to but I think we simply get accustomed to our current temperatures and a big increase has a more profound impact for us. Even at -2 we are talking about a 15-20 degree difference from home if not more. We had no qualms using the heated pools during the day, they were nice. I'll say that those afternoons for me were the perfect temp to be in an amusement park.

The remaining 4 days was around 10 degrees in the morning and mid-20s in the aft. Don't need the coats, mits and tukes but the extra sweater/hoodie in the morning is still warranted. The afternoons, in the sun, were bloody hot for me but better then shoveling snow back home .

For me, to compare it to camping would be doing a mid-June camping trip in Ontario. Cool nights/mornings and usually no lake swimming (at least in Ontario) but nice to be outdoors in the aft.

Having said all that, we will be there again in January this year!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
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A fellow Canadian here!!

I was there last January in the last week of Jan, and I had shorts on, I had a thin lulu sweater on as well in the mornings/evenings, but was totally good in shorts during the day times.

That being said I was there last week and was wearing capris and a sweater and was still chilly, BUT people were saying that they were having a super cold spell for that time of year.

Jan in Orlando is like April/May in the prairies, bring capris, and bring a sweater, but also be okay with tank tops and shorts!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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Fellow Canadian here (Toronto).

I have not been in January but have been in December and February. On our December 2008 trip we were in winter jackets on more than one occasion at night. It was cold! On our February 2010 trip, it was chilly but I was fine in jeans and a sweater with a light jacket at night. I don't think I ever wore shorts on either trip but was comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt during the day.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:02 PM   #14
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I am from up north I can see canada from my home !!! it is very cold here as well....that being said one year in Jan in Disney we froze you could see your breath all day it was a very good thing we drove and had our winter coats in the car with us EEK..... best advice bring a mixture of clothing and plan for the worst but hope for the best we use lockers at mk.............. layer layer layer you will have fun no matter what
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #15
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Hi Dena,

I was there last January, and will be back in less than 2 weeks.

I went with mostly capri's and tshirts. I brought a light hooded sweater to wear in the early mornings and a couple pairs of paints in case it got really cold. The cold doesn't bother me so much, and I even went swimming that trip. I plan on dressing much the same this trip.
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