So you are coming to Disney World in the heat of the summer? The most important thing is to be prepared, and also prep the family. If you come here and are expecting easy breezy 80 degree days, you might be disappointed. Temperatures from May through September can be in the upper 90s with 90% humidity, so it makes for very hot days, and if you are not prepared, it could very well impact your “fun” levels on your Disney vacation. One thing I always tell my family is to be prepared to sweat! If you are prepared to sweat a little you will be just fine. Just consider that you are coming to Disney to cleanse your body of all it’s toxins, its a good thing!
Our list of ways to handle the heat during your magical summer vacation:
10. Water Rides: Water Rides are not only fun, but they provide amazing relief during the summer heat. There is only one park that has NO water rides and that is Hollywood Studios, the rest all do. At Magic Kingdom you can enjoy Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, at Epcot you can enjoy Frozen, and at Animal Kingdom you can enjoy Kali River Rapids which is just about the WETTEST ride you will find at all of the parks.
9. Swim in the late Afternoon: Right around 2:00-3:00 PM the heat really starts to hit you at Disney World during the summer, it seems like everyone starts to get cranky and tired and the day could not get any hotter. We have found this is the perfect time to take a dip in your amazing resort pool. No matter if you are staying at a Value Resort or Deluxe, all of Disney’s pools are so much fun to play in. There is nothing like breaking up the stress of a crowded park, hot and sweaty people with a nice cool dip in the pool. It just seems to make everyone happier.
8. Take Breaks: I have heard parents say this a million times. “We want to fit it all in. We will be at the parks from open until close”. Well this is fine if you are only visiting the parks for 1 day. If you are staying for any amount of time however, this is very hard to do without needing a break. Just try and remind yourself you don’t have to fit it all in. In fact, everyone will probably be happier if you just slow down, and enjoy it a little. Take a snack break and reflect on the fun stuff you have done up until that point. We always try and find a shady area away from the crowds and sit down and just relax for a few minutes, we all end up happier and ready to go after a little pause from the action. One of our favorite break spots is Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom, no matter how busy the park is, the island in the middle is calm.
7. Drink Water: This is probably the most important item on the list. As I stated before, you sweat here in the summer. Its so easy to get dehydrated during the summer heat. You think you are drinking enough water, and on any other normal day, you probably are, but at Disney, your normal amount is simply not enough. You have to drink LOTS of water, and the good news is, its free!!! Go to any quick service location and get a free glass of ice cold water just by asking for it. If you feel like you are getting a late afternoon headache, it might not be because you are tired and over stimulated, it might just be your body crying out for more water. So don’t forget to stop and drink your water often.
6. Go early/Stay Late: Disney World summers can be very busy, and well we already mentioned hot! So a fun tip is to go early, its the coolest part of the day, and the crowds are not as crazy first thing in the morning. On the other end of the spectrum, my son is older, so we enjoy staying late at the parks. Most of the little ones are snug in their beds at that point, and the crowds really thin out after the fireworks. There have even been times we can walk right onto some of the bigger roller coaster rides. Nighttime is our favorite time in the park!
5. Bring a Sweater: This may seem like a weird comment but totally needed. One of the crazy things about Disney is it is always super cool inside, especially after coming in from the heat and humidity. You will find that at first you feel refreshed, and then you are just cold. If we know we are sitting down to a table service meal, we always try and bring a light sweater and we are always so glad we do. The contrast from the heat really can make the indoors area seem cold. So this is a nice to have item.
4. Eat Ice Cream: Hey, who doesn’t love a nice cold snack on a hot day. There are all kinds of options from Mickey’s Ice Cream Bars to Frozen Lemonade Cups. Even sugar free options are available. So no reason not to stop and cool off with a fun snack.
3. Eat at a Table Service Restaurant: Our family considers ourselves foodies, so we love to try all the restaurants at the parks. One way we beat the summer heat is to take a break at a sit-down restaurant. Foodie or not, eating at the parks can be stressful, especially when you are trying to eat at quick service locations during the busy times, trying to find a table can put families over the top. One way we avoid that stress is trying to sit down once a day for a meal. It gets us out of the crowds and heat, and just lets us slow down for a few minutes and enjoy some delicious food. It really takes you out of a crowded stressful day and reminds you to relax. Bonus points if you are at a Character Dining location, because then you get awesome character pictures and don’t have to wait in any lines for it!!!
2. Be prepared to have a change of clothes everyday: This is a big one, have I mentioned during the summer you sweat?!? Well having a fresh change of clothes for the evening can really help you feel better, get out of the sweaty, smelly clothes you wore all day, and just be refreshed with something dry and clean. It really helps to keep you feeling better and not so worn down after a long day.
1. Wear Sunblock (on your face and toes too): Okay, so this is HUGE!!!! I would be a rich woman if I had a dollar for every sunburn I saw at Disney. Even on a cloudy day you can get a sunburn. So make sure you use lots of it, you can even get some at the first aid station in every park if you forget. Don’t forget your ears and toes, nothing worse then trying to walk around the park with sun burnt feet.
What is your top suggestion to beat the heat? What did we miss?
Pictures courtesy of The Pixie Dust Life