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Three ways to enjoy Walt Disney World in the cold weather

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Florida isn't escaping the cold snap that's hitting the rest of the country, although it's being spare the most extreme temperatures. Still, with freezing temperatures overnight and chilly days, the weather can get in the way of your Walt Disney World vacation. Here are three ways to lessen its impact:

1) Choose indoor activities in the morning and evening. Afternoons are the warmest time of day. The temperatures drop overnight and take a while to rise again in the morning. The Disney parks have plenty of indoor activities to do early and late in the day.

For example, at Epcot you can spend a lot of time visiting manatees, meeting Crush, riding the Nemo ride, and more in the Seas With Nemo, and Innoventions East and West both have plenty of hands-on activities and even a build-your-own-virtual-roller-coaster experience, Sum of all Thrills. The Magic Kingdom has shows like the Country Bears and the Hall of Presidents and long indoor rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World.

2) Dress up warm to see the evening shows outside. You'll probably want to catch the fireworks, parades, Fantasmic, and/or Illuminations during your trip. For outdoor shows that take place at night, you'll need to dress warmly. Wear layers so you can take off your outer wear during the day and carry it or store it in a locker. Put it back on when the sun goes down so the cold won't distract you from the shows.

3) Make a sit-down dining reservation. It's nice to warm up over a leisurely meal in one of the sit-down restaurants. It's hard to get a table as a walk-up, so be sure to make a reservation before you get to the park or right after you arrive. Your Disney hotel concierge or guest services at the parks can tell you what's available and make the booking for you, or you can call 407-WDW-DINE.

If all the restaurants in the park are full, see if you can book something at a nearby hotel. For example, if you're at the Magic Kingdom, try the restaurants at the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. You can easily get to them via monorail or boat. For Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, check the eateries at Boardwalk, which is just a walk or boat ride away.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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