With summer here, many are heading to Disney for their family summer vacation. However many of us who are traveling down are not quite ready for the heat that we face upon arrival. Even coming from somewhere warm, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida seems to have it own kind of heat in and of itself. But have no fear my friends, I’m about to supply you with some tips and tricks for staying cool in the summer sun, short of asking Elsa to bring on the snow.
Magic Kingdom is a huge park, which usually attracts huge crowds in the summer. Huge crowds mean long lines, and long lines in the sun can lead to cranky kids and parents. To ensure a pleasant visit to the happiest place on earth you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep your cool.
Start off by applying sunscreen, because starting your trip with a sunburn is never fun, trust me I speak from experience. Pack the sunscreen in your park bag as well so you can be sure to reapply. The night before you go into the park freeze your water bottle. Not only will you have cold water the next day but you will have cold water most of the day instead of just the first five minutes. On top of that, a cold water bottle on the back of your neck and resting between your wrists will cool your body temperature.
Also, take advantage of indoor rides. Mickey’s Philharmagic, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean…. the Magic Kingdom has tons of them! Take the time to go to them: not only do many of them have lines in the shade or inside but they also have air conditioning! After a few hours in the sun and heat, air conditioning is an amazing feeling. And you may not hate waiting in an air conditioned line for a change.
In the New Fantasyland by Dumbo there is a water play area where kids and adults alike can cool down by getting a little wet. Another option is either riding or standing right on the bridge to Splash Mountain. You will get soaked.
Another option is shopping. Did you know you can travel up and down Main Street from start to finish through the Emporium? All of the shops on that side are connected and air conditioned. Casey’s even has seats and Disney shorts are playing in the air conditioning if you need a break.
Epcot can be a hot park, a very hot park with a lot of walking and outside entertainment. But have you noticed a lot of water features? There are water play areas by Test Track, and on your way to the World Showcase. They’re not just for kids, so have a run through yourself. You may get wet but with the heat it wont last long. Luckily Epcot has A/C as well, usually more so in shops and restaurants. Be careful when waiting for Mission Space, as half of the line can be outside, whereas Test Track, the Land, and the Living Seas are all indoor lines. There is also the Club Cool where you can test out some different samples of Coke while keeping cool. Or the other option is to buy lots of frozen drinks to enjoy.
Hollywood Studios has a number of places with long lines and many are outside. This is the time to take advantage of indoor rides and shopping. Star Wars Launch Bay is a great place to spend time cooling off, while meeting a few of your favorite Star Wars characters.
Animal Kingdom has one of the best rides for when you feel you can’t take the heat any longer, Kali River Rapids. It’s not whether or not you will get soaked, it’s just how much. You will stay pretty soaked for a good amount of time after that ride but it will cool you down. Spread out throughout the park you can find misting stations, as well as very shaded pathways. Many of the lines in Animal Kingdom have fans blowing if not in the shade. Dinosaur, It’s Tough to be a Bug, and the shows are all air conditioned as well.
While at Walt Disney World there are also two water parks that should be taken advantage of, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. With slides, pools, play areas, and lazy rivers they are both great areas to keep your cool in the hot Florida sun.
Another great tip especially in the summer when it’s so busy is to actually leave the park in the middle of the day, it’s when the park is the most crowded anyway so you’re just saving yourself for waiting in some more long lines. Instead go back to the hotel and hop in the pool, or take a nap in the A/C. That way you’ll be fresh and ready for an evening in the park when it’s cooler and less crowded. Also take a wash cloth from your hotel and a zipblock bag. You can go to any of the bathrooms in the park and soak the wash cloth in cold water and keep it on the back of your neck to keep cool.
There are plenty of tricks to keeping cool in the hot summer sun at the parks. Disney does have many ways to help you keep cool if you know where to find them. You could always ask a Cast Member what they suggest as well. Until next time my friends, have faith and trust, and cross your fingers that pixie dust has a cooling effect.
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!