Disney World Summer Tips: Keeping Cool in the Kingdom

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BoardWalk sunrise Disney World

As the sun rises over Walt Disney World, prepare yourself to beat the heat

Though it’s no secret that Florida summers can be hotter than the surface of the sun, it’s also one of Walt Disney World’s busiest seasons. There’s no way to avoid the high temperatures, but there are some things you can do to plan for hot fun in the summertime. As a follow up to TouringPlan’s previous Disney World summer tips, here are some additional ideas to keep you cool in the kingdom!

 

Pace Yourself

It’s tempting to dive into your Disney vacation full force, but consider your trip a marathon and not a sprint. While you may expect to feel tired after a day touring Walt Disney World, little can prepare you for the exhaustion of doing it in 90 degree weather with high humidity.

Take advantage of early mornings and late evenings. While this can be difficult, especially with younger kids on sleep schedules, touring is much more comfortable than in the middle of the day. Keep in mind that Florida thunderstorms frequently roll through in the late afternoon, giving you another good reason to take a break.

Hydrate

With the prices of bottled water, soda and other beverages constantly on the rise, it’s easy to convince yourself to hold off on quenching your thirst until it’s a “need” rather than a “want”. Don’t wait. A cold soda, sports drink, or, especially, a slug of water could be the difference between a happy traveling group and the apocalyptic meltdown that’s just an hour away.

Cool Down

Of course, Disney attractions can give you a quick cool down as well. Disney World offers two terrific water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, and attractions like Kali River Rapids and Splash Mountain are perfect for a hot summer day. Whether it’s the refuge of air conditioning or the splash of a wet ride, you don’t always have to stop playing to cool down. Here are some of our (dry) overlooked favorites.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover: A favorite of our family, the Peoplemover rarely has a line and puts a cool breeze in our hair.
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic/Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress: Even on the busiest days, you won’t typically wait long to enjoy the air conditioning in either of these attractions. As a bonus, the running time of both shows is long enough to give you a sufficient cool down.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad: You won’t find air conditioning on this one, and the wind never really picks up on the journey, but it’s a great way to save yourself long walks between lands. Use it for transportation to get where you’re going, avoiding crowded walk ways in the blazing sun.

Epcot:

  • Future World: With so many interactive elements, several of the Future World pavilions offer cool areas to explore without waiting in long attraction lines. Innoventions and The Seas offer relatively uncrowded hands-on exhibits and, while some spots are busier than others, it’s also possible to find quiet corners where a napping child can sleep while a sibling plays.
  • Sunshine Seasons: Most guests visit The Land on their way to Soarin’, but its good for more than just the flight. Fresh food offerings make it a great spot to grab a snack or even a meal.
  • Voices of Liberty: Over in World Showcase, most countries have an indoor attraction as well as shops to visit, but Voices of Liberty in the rotunda of the American Adventure is a must see performance.

    A nice tribute and great escape from the heat

    A nice tribute and cool escape

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream: This mini-museum of Disney history deserves attention anyway, but it’s an especially nice place to visit to escape the heat. Because you move at your leisure, you can spend as much (or little) time as you need to take a break.
  • Magic of Disney Animation: Like Future World in Epcot, the hands-on features in the animation building make it a fun place to play. There is a film, the Animation Academy, and character meets, but if you’d prefer to just catch your breath? You can do that too.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug: Animal Kingdom typically feels the hottest of the parks, possibly because so few of the attractions are indoors. It’s Tough To Be A Bug is one of those few, and since you’ll rarely time it perfectly, chances are you’ll wait beneath the Tree of Life for the next show. It’s not a bad thing – situate yourself near a wall to lean on, and relax until those doors automagically open.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: A short train ride transports you to the air conditioned learning center. The live veterinarian demonstrations can keep animal lovers occupied for hours, and the petting zoo is terrific for younger kids.

The Other Water

adventureland

Adventureland statues offer a quick cool down

Disney World is full of fountains, misters, and play areas to cool guests down in the parks. If you’ve got kids, it’s a good idea to pack a change of clothes, including shoes, unless they’re wearing sandals that won’t hold water.

The most extensive water play area is the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N Soak Station at Magic Kingdom, but Epcot’s jumping fountains, and the Coca-Cola mister in Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be just as refreshing (and a lot more comfortable if you’re not looking to get soaked!).

Just remember – not ALL fountains are meant to be played in. If it looks like a water feature and not a playground, chances are it wasn’t intended to be a pool.

Like anywhere else, the heat in Disney World does not have to be unbearable, as long as you plan to give yourself plenty of rest and water.

Another alternative? You could always ask Elsa to conjure up your own personal flurry!

How does your family beat the heat? Share your best Disney World summer tips!

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Posted on July 23, 2014

10 Responses to “Disney World Summer Tips: Keeping Cool in the Kingdom”

  • Not a fan of Florida water? We use water bottles with filters. Fill them with ice at breakfast, and replenish throughout the day. A lot cheaper than buying bottled water.

    • by Kylene Hamulak on July 23, 2014, at 9:19 pm EST

      Great tip! And a bonus to taking in your own water is that carrying it can cool you down as much as drinking it will! We usually put it in a Ziploc bag with a cloth around it so that it doesn’t sweat all over EVERYTHING in the bag, so it’s like toting around a cool pack as well!

  • In addition to the great tips in the article, some tips we use:

    –We get out and do daily walks before we get there. It helps us get used to summertime temps, and also get used to the large amount of walking one can do at WDW;

    –Ice water is free at any WDW restaurant where they have a soda machine. You can stop in and get an ice water to cool off. Also, even if we get a soft drink at a meal, we’ll get an ice water, too;

    –Starting early and getting out of the parks by midday helps get a lot done before the hottest part of the day;

    –If we’re going to be in the parks in the afternoon, we’ll try to do as many indoor attractions as we can. For example, if we’re at Epcot in the afternoon we’ll save the movies and indoor shopping for that time;

    –Frog Toggs and other similar towels are designed to keep you cool by soaking in water and hanging around your neck. The evaporation helps cool you.

    • by Kylene Hamulak on July 23, 2014, at 9:21 pm EST

      Love the idea of training for Disney with walks, Brian. As for the free water (which we always take advantage of!), I found last week that many of the CMs at counter service actually encouraged us to get water with our meal – we didn’t even have to ask, they already had it on our trays!

  • We’re two DLR vets who did WDW last May over Memorial Day weekend. Pace Yourself is probably the #1 tip!!! If you’re used to the west coast parks, you’re just not going to get nearly as much done in the east coast parks, or you’ll end up wanting to crawl into an air-conditioned hollow log and die the way that we wanted to last year. With everything so much more spread out in the individual parks and the weather from some humid circle of hell, to enjoy WDW you have to resign yourself to covering less ground and taking more breaks than you may be used to taking. Especially (especially!) a midday break back to your hotel, and ideally its pool.

    If you don’t, and instead try to cover the kind of ground that you’re used to in Anaheim, you’ll enjoy nothing and just end up a big sweaty mess. Respect Orlando’s summer weather and remember you’re not in SoCal anymore, and you’ll have a much better time!

    • by Kylene Hamulak on July 23, 2014, at 9:23 pm EST

      Thanks, Michael – the difference between DLR and WDW weather can be shocking! We rarely reach for jeans or a jacket during our summers in Florida, but in California, we’ve got to layer up when the sun goes down!

  • by Dean Finder on July 23, 2014, at 8:35 pm EST

    I second the suggestion of filter bottles. The water fountains, especially the brass/copper ones add odd flavors to the water.

    Also, grab salt packets from a cart. You lose salt when you sweat. adding a bit to water replaces it, without all the sugar of sports drinks.

  • by Kylene Hamulak on July 23, 2014, at 9:23 pm EST

    Thanks for the salt tip, Dean! ;)

  • by Disney_Robb on July 25, 2014, at 9:51 am EST

    Love all the tips; as a family with triplets (now age 12), we’ve really had to be mindful on many of our trips as it relates to the wicked Florida heat. Most of our tips and/or tricks were covered, but here are a few extra for the good of the cause:
    ~ Make sure that you stop in a Club Cool (Epcot). A great time for kids and a needed respite for adults (does anyone remember when the ‘ice tunnel’ used to lead into the Club?? AHHHH)
    ~ Also at Epcot, we love to grab some ice cream and hang out around the fountain – during the show you can get a beautiful blast of cool mist (and the “show” is awesome!)
    ~ Lastly, grab some of the outdoor seats just to the left of the Tortuga Tavern exit (if facing the building) … the A/C curls out and envelopes you with tendrils of “cool-air love” as you people watch and/or eat.

    Kungaloosh

  • Frozen water bottles! We freeze several bottles each night, and carry them around in the backpack. Having big chunks of ice in the bag makes carrying the bag, well, COOL!! When standing in line, take one out, and hold it on your neck, where all the blood flows. You will almost instantly feel refreshed. As it melts, obviously, you have ice cold water to drink.