The calendar still says spring, but you might need some help beating the Florida heat this month; May at Disney World feels more like full summer. Expect some busy days, though nowhere near the crowds of mid-June through early August. Also, be ready for busy weekends at Epcot as the park hosts one of its most popular events this month.
Most U.S. schools don't let out for the summer until very late May at the earliest, so while you should be prepared for an uptick in the number of people in the parks on any given day, you shouldn't have to wait in hours-long lines for any of the rides or attractions.
The Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks start to open consistently in May, but crowds generally remain small until after Memorial Day, which many people consider the start of swimming season. It's a perfect time to splash away a warm day and enjoy the water rides without waiting in long lines.
The spring break crowds will have moved on, so you won't have to wait quite so long to enjoy your favorite attractions in the theme parks. Use FastPass+ and the single rider line on attractions such as Test Track to further reduce your wait time.
Disney World Weather in May
In most of the country, April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. But in Orlando, it usually rains more in May. Though it's still before hurricane season, storms can increase in intensity this month, with thunder and lightning common in the afternoons.
- Average high temperature: 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31.1 degrees Celsius)
- Average low temperature: 69 degrees Fahrenheit (20.6 degrees Celsius)
The days get progressively longer in May, stretching to nearly 14 hours of daylight at the end of the month. Temperatures can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit and above, but the humidity generally remains lower than what you would find in June, July, and August.
What to Pack
May weather in Orlando can be variable, so it's best to prepare for the extremes. You'll get the most mileage out of versatile clothing that you can wear in layers. You may need a light sweater or jacket for an unseasonably cool evening or to ward off a chill from air conditioning. Bring shorts and T-shirts for the theme parks, and a bathing suit and water shoes for the water parks. Bring at least one pair of long pants and a nice outfit for dining out at dinner. You'll need both a rain jacket or poncho and plenty of sunscreen.
You may also want to pack a sun hat or baseball cap for days in the parks.
May Events at Disney World
With spring break crowds gone and summer crowds not yet lined up, Disney World doesn't have a ton of special events or festivals in May, but the rides are always a reason to visit the Magic Kingdom.
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival: This popular and enduring event concludes at the end of the month, so look for special exhibits, events, and shopping locations before then. And don't miss the free workshops and concerts highlights on the weekends.
May Travel Tips
- If you are traveling with small children, don't miss the fun themed playgrounds scattered around Future World, the butterfly hatchery, and the family-friendly activities at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
- Use the Extra Magic Hours program to get the most out of your trip; select parks open early or stay open late on designated days for Walt Disney World Resort overnight guests.
- Bring your bathing suit and plenty of sunblock; it will definitely be warm enough to swim in your resort pool this month.
- Afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence at this time of year, so pack a poncho or travel umbrella and be prepared to get a little wet.
- Or, make plans ahead of the rain to visit Epcot and enjoy the Land Pavilion. You can stay high and dry as you ride Soarin' and grab a bite at the Sunshine Seasons food court.
- Use FastPass+ wisely. You may find you don't need them for attractions such as Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin or the Maelstrom at this time of year. Save them for the big headlining rides such as Splash Mountain and Soarin'.
To learn more about the pros and cons of visiting Disney World during May, check out our guide on the best time to visit.
Edited by Dawn Henthorn, Florida Travel Expert since June 2000