Despite what Punxsutawney Phil may have said, winter is long gone here in Central Florida. Highs are reaching the low 80′s nearly every day and that’s just the beginning. We can expect temperatures to get nearly twenty degrees hotter in the sweltering summer months. I get asked all the time how I endure such brutal weather. With that in mind I thought I’d share some of my top tips for beating the heat.
Sun protection might be the most important thing you put on all day. It’s important to apply sunscreen anywhere your skin might be exposed as your clothing moves, especially around the neck. Remember, for sunscreen to work properly it should be applied approximately 30 minutes before you leave your room. You should also plan to reapply several times throughout the day. I know that can be difficult with squirmy kids (or husbands!) but it’s absolutely essential in the Florida sun.
Light weight and light color clothing will also be your best bet to repel sun. Darker colors absorb the heat and get noticeably hotter to the touch in harsh sunlight. Cotton, linen, and light wool fabrics do a great job of breathing in the heat. The cut of shirts also makes a big difference. A more flowing top that has extra breathing room, especially under the arms, will help you stay cooler. I’m a big believer in using clothes for additional sun protection. Even in the hottest months I’ll often wear light capris and 3/4 sleeve tops. In the right fabric I’m still comfortable and I don’t have to worry about putting on extra sunscreen.
Beware the jean shorts. I thought this one was important enough to list all by itself! I see young women come to the parks all the time in very short jean shorts. These are terrible for touring the parks because they don’t breath at all and take forever to dry if you happen to get them wet. By the end of the day you can spot even the tiniest girls hobbling through the parks because their shorts have chafed their legs so badly. I’m sure there are plenty of women who wear these with no problems but I see the painful outcome enough that I thought it was worth a warning. Wear at your own risk!
Wearing a hat will not only keep the sun out of your eyes but protect your face from sunburn. I’m more of a baseball cap kind of girl, myself, but I see some very fashionable sun hats in the parks. If you don’t want to mess up your hair I’m seeing more and more people in the parks carry an umbrella to provide their own personal shade. While this does look a little peculiar, you can’t argue with the results. Plus once it gets hot you can bet on it raining just about every day and you’ll be ready!
Staying hydrated seems obvious but it can be tough to do when food and drink aren’t allowed on many attractions. Most people know that you’re able to get free ice water from any counter service restaurant in the parks. That’s a great option but on busier days can be pretty time consuming. If I know I’m going to be in a park most of the day I use a CamelBack to keep water with me at all times. If you don’t want to purchase a specialty backpack you can freeze water bottles to bring with you. These double as ice packs to keep you cool while you wait for them to melt. Just be sure to keep them in a ziploc bag as the bottles sweat and can become a wet mess in your bag.
Planning your day around the heat will also make a huge difference. Make sure that you save rides with indoor queues and indoor shows for the hotter times of the day. If your schedule allows, skip the heat of the day all together. This is a great time to head back to the hotel for a nap or a dip in the pool (or both). The summer nights are incredibly pleasant and late night hours are consistently offered at Walt Disney World. Why fight the heat if you don’t have to?
So what do you do if you get overheated at the parks? Well, personally I find a nice, frosty citrus swirl will fix that for you! But seriously, there are first aid stations located in each park. If you find you find yourself dizzy or light headed it’s best to get help. Any cast member in the parks will be able to direct you or assist if you need more urgent attention. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help!
So what are your best tips for beating the heat? Do you have a story about dealing with the heat in the parks? I’d love to hear about the experiences you’ve had in the comments below! As always thanks for reading.