Summer at Walt Disney World means it’s hot outside! And, to be fair, Spring & Autumn can be almost just as hot as July & August on some days. When you plan a vacation to Walt Disney World, you should always remember to also plan for the weather. Winter in Florida is mainly “December, January & February”, just like most of the rest of the United States. If you visit in Winter, you have the best chance of staying cool…and most of the time what’s “cold” in Florida is like a warm spring day in most of the country. I’ve been in shorts & a t-shirt while visiting in January and need to take a break in the shade to cool off.
A lot of people don’t have a choice but to visit Walt Disney World in the warmer months…maybe you’re bound by work schedules, school schedules and just need to travel when it’s warm. So, I’m going to share some of my tips to stay as cool as possible while visiting the four theme parks at Walt Disney World. Because, let’s face it, Disney isn’t as magical when your hot, sweaty & cranky.
- Plan your day with the weather in mind! One of my favorite tips for anyone visiting Walt Disney World is to get there early (when the park opens); enjoy the lighter crowds AND the lower temperatures, leave the park for a pool break at your Disney Resort, then return to the park after the heat of the day has passed. Not only are you avoiding the hottest time of the day in the parks, but you and your family will appreciate time away from the crowds & lines of the afternoon. Take a nap (in your air-conditioned room) or swim the afternoon away at your resort’s themed pool.
- Make a dining reservation for a Table-Service restaurant for lunch. It’s a great way to not only enjoy a wonderful meal but a great way to also enjoy the blessed comfort of the air conditioner.
- Bring refillable water bottles with you. It’s very important to have lots of water to drink. You could even freeze regular water bottles to take in your backpack, and it’s a great way to keep cool for the person carrying the backpack!
- ONLY BRING WHAT YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED in your bag. No sense in carrying around a lot of extra stuff.
- Bring a cooling towel. They really work.
- Think about investing in a Misting Fan. You can purchase these in the park, or before you leave to save some money. Don’t forget the extra batteries!
- USE SUNSCREEN. The Florida sun is probably stronger than what you are used to. Pack it in your suitcase to avoid paying a higher price during your vacation.
- The Hall of Presidents. Go see it. Air-Conditioned comfort, while learning a bit about America.
- At almost every food-service location (not the kiosks that just serve ice cream, pretzels or churros) they will give you complimentary iced water. Take advantage of this, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink water constantly. Ask for ice water everywhere you go.
- Pay attention to where you are in the parks. There are many, many places to go inside and cool off for a bit. Gift Shops, quick-service restaurants, It’s A Small World, & Splash Mountain are all good choices.
- Wear light-weight, moisture-wicking, light-colored clothes if at all possible. Don’t wear jeans…you’ll wish you had shorts!
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face and keep the sun off of your neck and ears.
- Sunglasses. You’ll need them.
- Some rides have an almost entirely indoor queue. Space Mountain & Test Track are a wonderful examples.
- Save shaded or inside shows for the middle of the day. Do the outside rides in the early morning or after the sun has set!
- Don’t be upset at those afternoon thunderstorms…if it rains long enough, they’ll cool off the park.
There is a lot of pressure to make sure you enjoy EVERYTHING that Disney offers during your vacation to the point that you may disregard all of these tips about beating the heat at Disney World and think you can handle it. You may be able to, of course. But, you may also find yourself in a situation where you’re overheated, cranky or worse. Remember, it’s your vacation…time around the resort pool in the hottest part of the day will be a welcome respite to the crowds of summer in the parks. The Florida sun can truly be more intense than you are used to, so know your limits, and be honest with yourself and your family about how you’re feeling. ESPECIALLY if you’re traveling with a non-Disney fan…it’s not worth the hassle of everyone being grumpy! Remember, you can always come back for another visit!
I hope this tips are helpful to you, and that you have the absolute BEST time during your Walt Disney World vacation.