Keeping Cool at Walt Disney World
There's hot and then there's Florida in the summer where the humidity and the temperature can reach triple digits.
Naturally, these hotter months are when school is out, which means that many will head to Walt Disney World. Heat and crowds are not a great combo, but it can be manageable if you prepare for it.
Staying at a Disney Resort is a good start. You can get to the parks in air-conditioned comfort via complimentary bus, monorail or water transportation. It sure beats shlepping to a car that's been baking in the sun for hours on end.
Another incentive for staying at a Disney Resort is being able to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hour. Knowing that you have extra time to enjoy the parks, you can take an afternoon break for a swim or a nap. Some of the resorts have water activities that are perfect on a hot day. Other resorts offer free tours and all of them have dining venues that are much less crowded midday.
One of the most important things you should do while in the parks is stay hydrated. Consider bringing your own water bottle* that you can refill at the water fountains. You'll even save some money!
Bring sunscreen. Yes you can get it at a resort gift shop, but why pay a premium price? Don't make the mistake of thinking that if you're not in a bathing suit, you won't need it. The last thing you want is to get sunburned and it can happen just by walking around the parks.
Likewise, pack a water-misting fan*. Most Wal-Marts, Targets, etc. sell them or you can get them from Amazon here*. If you wait until you're at Walt Disney World, you'll be paying at least $20 for one. If you have kids, you know that they'll be fighting over it so be smart, get them cheaply and pack extra batteries.
Think those Goofy hats look silly? When your head's been baking in the sun and you start to feel the effects of it, you'll see that wearing a hat is not a bad idea.
If you have little ones, consider the view from their perspective. While you're looking at castles and characters, they're in a hot stroller looking at, well, to put it nicely, posteriors. They're bound to get cranky considering the heat and what's at eye level. An ice cream break or simply stopping in an air conditioned store for a few moments can help. Best tip of all, let them set the pace. If the tots want to watch a duck (and I don't mean Donald), let them. Enjoy what you do see, and don't worry about what you might be missing.
With kids, the fountains at Epcot or at Downtown Disney Marketplace are places that they'll love. Plan accordingly. Either have their bathing suit on under their clothes or bring a change of clothing with you. Getting soaked is fun, being stuck in wet socks and sneakers afterwards isn't.
The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios have plenty of attractions that are indoors. This is not the case at the Animal Kingdom. For the most part, at this park you're going to be outdoors. Again, if you're staying at a Disney resort, take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. If not, get to the Animal Kingdom early and plan on leaving before it gets ridiculously hot and busy.
If you underestimate the heat and start to feel the effects of it, get to the First Aid Station. Each Disney theme park has one. Here you can rest and get cooled off before venturing back outdoors. The American Red Cross has good advice regarding treatment of heat related illness and the symptoms to watch for.
With the heat and humidity come sudden thunderstorms. That's not special effects, that's real lightning. Get inside a building. These storms usually pass quickly and it's best to stay safe.
As you can imagine, the Disney Water Parks are very popular during the summer months. Arrive early, stake out your spot and enjoy the day. Another alternate venue to consider is Disney Quest where you can spend the entire day in air conditioned comfort.
By now, you've figured out the strategy. Don't arrive with the "we're going to Disney World and will spend every waking moment in the parks" mentality. You'll be miserable by the end of the trip. Swim, make dining arrangements in an air conditioned restaurant, schedule a spa treatment (you know you want one), research park hours and think "outside the parks." You'll be glad you did.
Disney World Summer Touring Tips and Strategies
It’s summer in Orlando, and here’s a news flash; it’s hot and crowded in the theme parks! Temperatures can easily climb into the 90s with a heat index into the 100s. Crowd levels at the theme parks can build throughout the day. For many theme park veterans this is not surprising, but for the first-time visitor...read more
*As an Amazon Affiliate, the DIS receives a small percentage of any purchases made through these links.
- 2015 Magic Your Way Disney World packages released! - A Walt Disney World package is a resort room and theme park admission. The Disney Dining Plan may also be added.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
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- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine