May at Disney World: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival
Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

The calendar still says spring, but you might need some help beating the Florida heat this month since May at Disney World can feel 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.

Spring Considerations

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

Florida is warm all year round, and May is the last chance to enjoy the weather before it becomes oppressively hot and muggy in the summer. Temperatures can still rise to uncomfortable levels, but the humidity—which most people would agree is the worst part of Florida's weather—generally remains lower than what you would find in June, July, and August.

  • Average High Temperature: 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius)
  • Average Low Temperature: 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)

In most of the country, April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. But in Orlando, the closer you get to summer, the rainier it gets. May is the bridge between the dry season and the rainy season in Florida, and the chance of stormy weather goes up drastically throughout the month. If you're visiting at the beginning of May, you're much more likely to encounter clear skies. But by the middle of the month, rain becomes more and more probable.

Though it's still before hurricane season, storms can increase in intensity this month, with thunder and lightning common in the afternoons.

What to Pack

The only sure thing about May weather in Orlando is that it's unpredictable, 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. Bring shorts and T-shirts for the theme parks, and a bathing suit and water shoes for the water parks. You may also need a light sweater or jacket for an unseasonably cool evening or—more likely—to ward off the chill from air conditioning. 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 uses May to get the park ready for the upcoming summer season. However, there's always something happening at Disney World and springtime does see one of the park's most beloved events, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Even if you don't think your kids will be into seeing flowers, they might be swayed when they see lifesize versions of their favorite Disney characters made up entirely of flowers, leaves, vines, and other shrubs.

As with all things that Disney does, you can expect full Disney magic at this seasonal festival. In addition to the floral sculptures, the festival includes concerts and special events focused on international cuisine, beer, and wine. The spring festival usually starts in March and continues on through the end of June.

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.
  • If you're staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, an extra perk to take advantage of is the Extra Magic Hours where select parks open early or stay open late for resort guests.
  • Bring your bathing suit and plenty of sunscreen since 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.
  • 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.

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