This is your complete guide on what to wear to Universal Orlando.
Have you ever been uncomfortable at a theme park?
Perhaps you remember waiting in a never-ending line as kid in the blistering Florida sun?
Or maybe you found yourself sopping wet and chilled after a big plunge on a water ride?
We are here to help!
What to Wear by Season
The biggest factor for what to wear at Universal Orlando is the season.
The weather in Florida can vary dramatically based on the time of year of your visit.
Your clothing choices can range from tank tops and shorts in the summer to jackets and pants in the winter.
Check out the details here broken down by season.
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In the spring, temperatures in Orlando begin to rise from the winter “freeze”.
The average March mornings are 57 degrees with highs below 80 degrees. This is a bit cool to plan for t-shirts and shorts, especially if it rains.
Long sleeves and a light jacket may be necessary in March.
By May the temperatures warm up significantly and average lows are close to 70. Average highs are just under 90 degrees and a t-shirt and shorts may be comfortable. There is also more of a chance for rain in May with about 12 rainy days on average.
In the spring a long-sleeve sun-shirt that wicks water may be a good choice paired with loose hiking pants in the morning in March and comfortable shorts in May.
You could also wear a light jacket in the morning and zip off pants….and use a locker to store the extras in the afternoon as many rides at Universal Orlando Resort don’t allow extras to be carried on. (More on that later)
The late spring can be the best time to visit Universal where summer crowds have not picked up yet, the full rainy season hasn’t set in, and the hot summer days are still on the horizon.
In the summer months, the temperature and the rain increases. Overnight lows raise into a comfortable mid-70s and daytime highs are over 90 most days.
Along with this come the afternoon thunderstorms that Orlando summers are famous for.
Sometimes the rainy weather is a quick drench and the sun comes back out and dries things out and other times it settles in and rains into the evening.
From June through September over half the days will rain peaking in July and August.
July to September is also peak hurricane season so be sure to watch the forecast leading up to your trip. With high temperatures and lots of rain, you’ll want to choose clothes that keep you cool and dry off quickly.
Fabrics with moisture wicking and water shoes or comfortable sandals are great to keep you comfortable and in the parks after a drenching.
Keeping a poncho in your fanny pack is also a good way to stay drier.
This especially true on unseasonably cool days.
Even with a poncho, though, plan to wear good shoes that will shed water and be comfortable for lots of walking.
Temperatures in the fall begin to cool off considerably with highs averaging in the mid-80s in October and mid-70s in November.
These cooler months bring overnight lows in the upper 60s in October and upper 50s in November.
The rain also lets up in the fall.
A lot like spring, you may need to plan for both cool temperatures and warm temperatures on your trip.
October is the beginning of a relatively dry period where both the frequency and amount of precipitation is less.
Long-sleeved shirts may be a necessity in the morning and you may be able to remove those in the afternoon.
You generally won’t see the extreme heat in the fall season.
Starting at Thanksgiving, temperatures are generally cool.
In the winter months, high temperatures average in the low 70s and overnight lows in the 50s.
Most people will be comfortable in pants and long sleeves. You might find that you’ll want a sweatshirt or jacket as well.
Be sure to watch for rain in the forecast. It’s not common during this season, but it could be extra chilly.
On days with cool mornings and warm afternoons, you may want to utilize one of Universal’s many lockers to store your jacket.
Great footwear is a must.
You definitely want comfortable shoes for a lot of walking.
Additionally during the summer months, having footwear that sheds water is valuable as well.
We have articles on footwear recommendations for adults here.
Plus you can find the best shoes for theme parks for kids here.
Park and Ride Considerations
Universal Orlando has two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.
All three water rides are at Islands of Adventure, so when planning your visit, keep this is mind with your clothing choices.
If your plan is to visit Islands of Adventure, you can plan on getting wet on these three rides:
- Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (a round raft ride)
- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (a flume style water coaster)
- Jurassic Park River Adventure (a water adventure with a large plunging drop)
- Islands of Adventure also has splash pads in the Toon Lagoon which will allow your kids to get cooled off in the summer.
Here are a few tips to make sure the wet doesn’t interrupt the fun:
- Wear quick drying clothes and consider wearing water shoes as a great alternative.
- Pack a change of clothes and store them in one of Universal’s many lockers
- Pack a rain poncho. This will help keep you dry and avoid buying an expensive poncho in the parks.
- Bring plastic bags to keep your cell phone phone dry.
- Do all the water rides at once so you get wet once and can dry off once. Lines for water rides explode in the afternoon so consider doing them in the morning and changing.
- The Water rides do have single-use lockers available for a fee.
Universal Orlando has a wide variety of roller coasters and the park bags that you wear become very important on these.
Some of the most intense roller coasters have a forced locker policy where all bags need to be placed in a locker.
The moderate roller coasters only allow a small bag that fits snugly around the waist. This means that a lot of people visiting Universal wear fanny packs.
One question that comes up often is whether “over the shoulder” bags are acceptable. It really depends on what you plan to ride, but in general, they are not allowed on many rides.
There are all-day lockers available for rent at the entrance of both major theme parks if you need to store larger items like backpacks.
Also, many roller coasters free lockers available. These are small single use lockers, but there are larger ones available for a fee.
Carrying a backpack, even a small backpack, around universal can be expensive and time consuming with all the lockers required and fees for those lockers.
Universal Orlando doesn’t have an specific dress code policy and they do note a few items on their policies page about prohibited items:
- Clothing likely to create danger, incite a disturbance or displaying offensive language or content is not allowed.
- Clothing or accessories that represent someone as emergency personnel or that may create a false impression of employment by Universal is not allowed.
Here are the details on these restrictions.
They also have some guidelines about costumes as well.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter brings a whole new experience. While you are exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade it’s fun to dress the part.
Here are some ideas for ways to incorporate your fandom into the live experience:
- Dress like your favorite character
- Wear your favorite house colors
- Dress in Quidditch Attire – robes, replica Quidditch pieces
- Wizarding attire – robes, hats, wands
- Bring accessories like time-turners, wands, hats
- Themed t-shirts
Again, check out the guidelines here on costumes.
For those that make the investment in a Universal Express pass, lanyards are a great idea.
This keeps your pass handy for scanning in at each attraction.
A good lanyard will also protect the pass from damage from water. Check out our article on lanyards here.
Differences From Disney World
If you’ve taken an Orlando vacation before, you may be familiar with guidelines and procedures that apply to the Disney Parks and attractions.
Universal Orlando has a few key differences:
- Universal discourages backpacks and larger bags
- Many key rides do not allow a backpack so you will be required to put in a locker for many attractions.
- Even smaller bags may be rejected on Universal rides
- Universal has specific guidelines around the size of flexible cooler that you can bring in
- Costumes are allowed at Universal Orlando with these restrictions.
As you get ready for your visit and plan what to wear to Universal Orlando be sure to think about these key things:
- What season is your visit?
- Are you planning on riding water rides?
- Do you want to wear a costume?
- Do you have the right park bag and footwear for your visit?
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