Summer is on its way to Orlando and that means Disney World is on its way to sizzling temperatures. Often the best way to beat the heat is to give it a good soaking (or at least a mild spritz). If you want to tame the searing sun by getting wet, here’s how to make that happen.
YOUR HOTEL POOL
Every Walt Disney World resort has outdoor pools for guest use. Some of these are basic rectangular puddles, while others include elaborate themeing, slides, waterfalls, or interactive play zones. If you’re visiting Walt Disney World in the winter, you may find that you can skip pool time completely. But even the most stalwart aquaphobe will want to at least dip their toes during a summer visit.
For the complete scoop, take a look at our four part series covering every aspect of the Disney pool situation.
- Get to Know the Disney Pools: General Overview
- Get to Know the Disney Pools: Value Resort Pools. Covers the pools at the All Star Movies, All Star Music, All Star Sports, Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts.
- Get to Know the Disney Pools: Moderate Resort Pools. Covers the pools at the Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Fort Wilderness, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Port Orleans Riverside resorts.
- Get to Know the Disney Pools: Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort Pools. Covers the pools at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Contemporary (and Bay Lake Tower), Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club resorts.
When planning your summer WDW visit, remember that most Disney World resorts do not allow “pool hopping” which means that all your swimming will take place at your own hotel. If special water features are important to you, choose your lodging accordingly.
No, Disney World is not located on the ocean, there is no way to get into the sea without driving for an hour or so. However, several of the Disney resort hotels do have sandy lakefront areas which provide a decidedly beachy vibe. You can’t go for a swim in the lake (seriously, don’t try it), but you can generally wade in up to your ankles or sit at the water’s edge and build a sand castle without anyone bothering you. Sometimes just this little splash of water is enough to cool you off.
The resorts with beach areas include:
- Beach Club
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Coronado Springs
- Fort Wilderness
- Grand Floridian
- Wilderness Lodge
- Yacht Club
If you do end up walking on the sand with wet feet, remember to rinse them off at the poolside showers before heading back to your room. Your mousekeeper will thank you.
THE WATER PARKS: TYPHOON LAGOON and BLIZZARD BEACH
Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are the perfect place to have fun while getting soaked. Activities range from floating in a lazy river to plummeting down a near-vertical 12-story-tall water slide. There are dedicated areas for preschoolers and elementary age children, quick service dining, and even luxe cabana rentals.
Here are a few tips to help you get the best water park experience:
- The pavement at the water parks can get extremely hot during the summer. Water shoes or slippers are a must.
- MagicBands are fully waterproof. There’s no need to take yours off while you’re enjoying the fun.
- Beach towels are available for purchase. Bath-size towels can be rented.
- You cannot bring glass containers or alcohol into the water parks. (Alcohol is available for purchase there.) Other outside food/beverages are permitted. Keep your hydration costs down by bringing your own bottled water with you.
- To maximize your time on the attractions, consult one of our Water Park Touring Plans. But remember that’s it’s perfectly OK to chillax in the wave pool for an hour or three.
- Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen! And since you will be getting wet, make sure to get a version made for swim or sport. Sunscreen is sold at the gift shops at the Disney resorts and at the water parks, but it will almost certainly be cheaper if you buy it elsewhere.
RIDES and ATTRACTIONS
Several theme park attractions have a water element that can help cool you off. These include:
- Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom. If you’re sitting in the first few rows of the flume, you’re likely to get a good soaking. Guests seated further back may avoid the full shower, but you’re unlikely to emerge completely dry.
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Magic Kingdom. The camel near the ride’s main sign spits water periodically. While you’re on the ride, another camel spits at the flying carpets. You can mostly avoid this by steering your carpet up and down.
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Magic Kingdom. A quick spritz during the movie.
- Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Kingdom. Guests seated near the front of the boat may get slightly damp from the one minor drop. Everyone else will remain dry.
- Stitch’s Great Escape, Magic Kingdom. A quick spritz during the performance.
- Kali River Rapids, Animal Kingdom. Getting wet is pretty much the main attraction here. EVERYONE will get wet (not damp, wet) and at least two or three guests in every boat will become fully drenched.
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug, Animal Kingdom. A quick spritz during the movie.
- Fantasmic, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests seated in the first few rows will get damp from the fountain screen spray. The more windy the weather, the damper they’ll be.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A very light rain happens in the theater. Everyone gets ever so slightly damp.
- Muppet Vision 3D, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A quick spritz during the performance.
FOUNTAINS, SPRAYERS, and COOLING STATIONS
- Liquid Layer, Epcot. Located on the walkway between Future World and World Showcase. During hot weather, small kids will BEG to run through the spray. Expect them to get soaked.
- Cool Zone, Epcot. Located near Test Track. When the weather is hot, this Coca-Cola sales location turns on large misting fans that provide a cool, damp breeze.
- Casey Junior Splash n’ Soak Station, Magic Kingdom. Located near the big top in New Fantasyland, this interactive water play area will get small kids soaked to the skin.
- Tiki Statues, Magic Kingdom. Located near the Jungle Cruise entrance, giant Tiki totems spray passersby.
- Cool Zone, Magic Kingdom. Located in Tomorrowland, this Coca-Cola sales location turns on large misting fans that provide a cool, damp breeze.
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This playground attraction has a minor water feature where kids can get wet.
- Cool Zone, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Located near the entrance to the Backlot Tour, this Coca-Cola sales location turns on large misting fans that provide a cool, damp breeze.
- Play Fountain, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Located near the Hanes Build-A-Tee store. As you get off the buses at the Marketplace stop, there is an interactive water feature where kids can splash.
Please note that many of these wet zones are turned off when the weather is cold. If you’re touring in the winter you might not know they’re there, but during the summer they can be a godsend.
Several resorts offer water sports that will get you wet. Some of your options include:
- Sea Raycer rentals (sometimes affectionately called “mouse boats”). These two-man boats aren’t designed for water play, but if you drive yours in the wake of a larger vessel, it’s easy to create a nice spray feature for yourself. Currently Sea Rayers are available at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts. Please note that Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, and Port Orleans are no longer offer water craft rentals.
- Water skiing. Offered by the Sammy Duvall Watersports Center at the Contemporary. You’re not allowed to swim in the Disney lakes, but I can say that I was fully immersed in Bay Lake when I tried this activity. Wakeboarding and tubing may also be available.
- Personal watercraft rentals. Also available at the Contemporary. This is Disney’s version of a JetSki.
YOUR ROOM SHOWER
We’ve said many times that most Disney vacations benefit from a mid-day nap break. When the temperatures are brutal, a mid-day shower can be as refreshing as a nap. Sometimes getting cleaned up is the best thing you can do to improve your mood (and the mood of your family members). Don’t forget the kiddos in your plan – throw them in the bath and you’ll all be much more relaxed.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
During the summer months, it’s all but certain to rain at some point during the afternoon. These brief heavy showers send most guests scrambling for cover under sticky plastic ponchos. Ewwwww.
As an alternative, you can decide to embrace the rain and go out there to get soaked. Splash in the puddles, waddle with the ducks, or sing “Singing in the Rain.” Whatever you do, you’re likely to have wide areas of the park to yourself as everyone else runs for cover. Think of the fun photo opportunities!
Of course if you decide to do this, you’ll be much more comfortable afterwards if you’ve got a change of clothing stashed in a locker, or if you’re headed back to the room to change anyway.
Did I forget anything? Are there more places to get soaked at Disney World? What are your strategies? Let us know in the comments below.