Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups: Summer Survival Tips

IMG_0467Summer is one of the most popular times of year to visit Walt Disney World, and while I often recommend that adults schedule their visit when school is in session, not all adults have that option when planning their trip. If you are visiting Walt Disney World during the summer with all adults, here are a few tips to still have a great time on your vacation.

First of all, if you can be flexible with your dates within the summer, do so – try for early June or mid-August for generally fewer crowds than the rest of the summer. Walt Disney World has special entertainment for the Fourth of July, but if you don’t want to visit during the height of the heat and crowds, visit near the beginning or end of the summer.

Next, be prepared for the sun and the heat. Bring sunscreen, a hat, water bottles, and maybe one of those mister fans (they’re cheaper to buy at home). Part of dealing with the heat also means planning some cool-down time. Find some indoor, air-conditioned attractions (such as the Hall of Presidents, MuppetVision 3D, Impressions de France, or Finding Nemo: The Musical) to take a break when it really starts to get hot in the afternoon. Or, leave the parks in the early afternoon for a break back at your resort.

Also realize that naps aren’t just for kids. Adults can get just as cranky after walking around in hot weather and heavy crowds, so plan some time to rest. It may seem like a great idea to keep going from morning until night, after paying to be there and not having to stay on kids’ schedules, but don’t overdo it. Take a break in the afternoon – you’re only missing the hottest and most crowded part of the day.

Since you’re making your own schedule and taking a mid-day break, take advantage of late hours. Because summer is a popular time to visit, hours at Walt Disney World can often run until midnight or later, especially at the Magic Kingdom. Take advantage of this time to explore the parks at night when it’s cooler, and quite beautiful to boot. Often you’ll also be able to ride quite a few attractions with little wait as many families with children head back to the resorts.

Lastly, I always stress the importance of planning ahead, but it can be especially important during the busy summer months. Make dining and FastPass reservations ahead of time to cut down on time spent waiting. Plan for a few popular rides to visit when the park first opens for short waits. Be aware that there will be unavoidable waits, such as for transportation or the bag check line, and give yourself time to get where you’re going.

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for having a fun, relaxing vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she is dedicating her planning skills to helping other families create vacation memories as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.

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