Beat The Heat This Summer At WDW

by on June 1, 2011 18 Comments

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It’s that time of year again when millions of people from all over the world will flock to Orlando for their summer vacation.  Our crowd calendar rarely dips below a 6 during the summer months so we know some of our readers must be heading to WDW this summer.  With this in mind, I thought I’d take this week to provide some advice as to how to beat the heat during these busy months since, like our crowd predictions, the temperatures will soar.

Your preparations for remaining as comfortable as possible in the heat starts at home.  Make sure to pack all of the appropriate gear you’ll need!  Obviously, shorts and light colored clothes will be your best options to try to keep cool at WDW.  But an article of clothing you may not think to bring would be a hat.   A hat is a great way to keep yourself (and your kids) shielded from the sun’s rays.  Not only will this protect your skin, but you won’t believe how much cooler you’ll feel while you’re wearing one.  Another item always on my packing is always sunscreen.  I am sure to bring a full sized bottle as well as a travel sized bottle with me on every trip.  This way I can use the large bottle in the morning before heading out for my day of fun and only carry around a small one in the parks to reapply.  Reapplying is key to getting through a day without sunburn!

Reapplying sunscreen will be especially important if you take advantage of my next tip!  Disney’s water parks are great places to cool off and have a blast.  Last year some friends and I went to WDW in August when the heat index was often over 100 degrees.  We usually skip the water parks, but decided to give Typhoon Lagoon a shot since it was so hot.  We had a ball and really never felt uncomfortably warm since we spent so much time in the water.  Be sure to arrive early and claim a spot in the shade!  If the water parks aren’t your speed why not take a midday break to hit your resort’s pool?  Last week I discussed my favorite pools around WDW and what wonders an aquatic escape from the parks can do.

Staying hydrated will be the key to your comfort during summer touring.  Many people complain about the taste of tap water in the Orlando area, but if you can stomach it your best bet is to use a refillable water bottle.  If you just can’t take the water in WDW and you are lucky enough to live within driving distance to WDW I highly recommend bringing a case of water.  This way you won’t have to pay over $2 a bottle to stay hydrated.  Disney’s deluxe and moderate resorts have small refrigerators in their rooms, make it easy for guests to keep their drinks cold.  If you opt for one of the value resorts during your stay, just fill a cooler with ice to keep your bottles cool.  Folks who have flown to Orlando, but have rented a car and easily stop off to grab bottled water and other supplies at a grocery store or big box store en route to their resort.  However, if you’ve opted to take Disney’s Magical Express service, you may want to look into having groceries delivered to your room or taking a cab to get supplies.

Here at we also recommend arriving at your theme park of choice well before the gates open.  This way you can accomplish many attractions before the midday heat spike.  Using one of our Touring Plans will help you get to many more rides in the morning hours than if you just winged it.  This way you won’t feel as though you are wasting valuable park time with your mid-afternoon break.  Many stops on the Touring Plans will take you to air conditioned venues; take advantage of these!  Take in shows in air conditioned theaters, let your kids play in post show areas, linger in exhibits like One Man’s Dream and DHS.  Who knows you might enjoy yourself and cool off all at once!

If you do happen to over do it in the heat while you’re at one of the theme parks, cast members (CMs) will be happy to get you the help you need.  If you are seriously impaired, the closest CM will call for help.  However, if you can make it to first aid that may be your best bet.  Each park has a first aid office which can handle basic injuries and illnesses.  Last year a friend started to feel woozy while touring Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  She wound up in first aid and they took excellent care of her.  She was able to take a nap, get some fluids into her body, and get instructions on how to care for her condition the remainder of the day.

So if you’ve armed yourself with the proper equipment and a plan you should be just fine visiting Disney’s theme parks in the hot summer months.  I hope all of you who are heading down to WDW this summer have a great time and stay hydrated!  Do you have more tips for beating the heat?  I’d love to hear them in the comments!



Posted on June 1, 2011

18 Responses to “Beat The Heat This Summer At WDW”

  • by Rob Crawford on June 1, 2011, at 12:17 pm EST

    If you can find them, there are single-serving pouches of sports drink mixes you can add to your bottle of water. You may not be exercising, but if you’re sweating, you’re losing minerals, and a sports drink can help replace them.

  • When we went to WDW in April I brought Brita water bottles that had a built-in filter. They cost about $10 (Target and Amazon carry them) and we saved a lot on bottles of water. Fill with ice and water before you leave your hotel in the morning and then refill as needed in the park. Everyone carried them in their own bag and it worked great.

  • I swear by moisture-wicking clothes-you can get them at Target or Old Navy.

  • One of my best purchases made at WDW was a fan from China at Epcot. Not only did it help to keep me cool, but it also folds up nicely so it hardly takes up any room (it fit inside my fanny pack)! Who needs battery powered fans when you can get something that is practical, pretty, and a great souveneir?

  • The best thing to do is use a combination fan/water squirt bottle. They’re about $17 in the parks, but nearby drugstores sell them as well. They’re great for staying cool and refreshed!

  • Rather than a hat, I carry a bandanna with me. The water from the fountains may taste awful, but it’s nice and cold. I wet the bandanna and either put it on my neck or tie it over my head, pirate-style. May not be the most fashionable, but keeps me cool.

    Another solution to the bottled water problem if you’re flying is to order a case or two from costco. We did this in 2009 for $7, including shipping direct to our resort. It was waiting when we arrived. And you don’t have to be a costco member to order from the website.

    • Cool! I like hats for keeping the sun off my face, but I can see how a bandanna would be beneficial too especially if you got it wet. That’s a great tip about ordering from Costco! $7 well spent. Thanks, Mark!

  • Another great article Kristen! Like a madwoman, I’m headed down mid July this year with the family- I say mad because I’m prone to heat exhaustion and have gotten pretty sick in the past from it. I’ve always worn a big hat and am religious about my water intatke etc. However, the last 3 visits (have to go in the summer) I’ve had a special reusable neck wrap from Tilley Endurables (you can also find these in sports stores I think). You soak them in water for an hour or so, and the beads inside expand and really keep the wrap cool all day. Since I’ve been using it I haven’t had any of the problems in the heat that I used to. I highly reccomend it to anyone who’s sensitive to the sun.

    • Thanks, Katherine! I’m glad the neck wraps have been helping you! I often wilt like a flower when its super hot too so I totally understand. I hope they continue to help you on your July trip and thanks for letting us know about them!

  • Next to being there early, we find the most important thing is to get out of the parks for an afternoon break. We pretty much draw the line at 12:30–we’re out so we can get back to the resort and out of the sun by 1. Then we have dinner and are back in the parks by 7 or so.

    If you decide not to leave for an afternoon break, doing a long attraction indoors is a decent Plan B. If nothing else, Ellen’s Energy Adventure is 45 minutes of cool, dark A/C. 🙂 Some other good ones are Hall of Presidents, One Man’s Dream and the indoor shows at AK.

    Re: water–it’s good to start hydrating before you leave on your trip. If you’re even a little dehydrated when you arrive, it’s tough to catch up. And remember that you can get free ice water from CS restaurants and most snack shops that have a fountain drink machine.

    We also try to eat all of our meals indoors in restaurants with air-conditioning.

    And there is something magically refreshing about the Dole Whip at Aloha Isle in MK. It has restorative properties! 🙂

    • Yes an afternoon break can do wonders! And thanks for the tip about staying well hydrated before even leaving for WDW. It is very true that its tough to catch up once you’re even a little dehydrated. I definitely aim for air conditioned restaurants too. Dole whip has restorative properties no matter what the temperature! Thanks for the tips!

  • It seems silly, but think about what color you’re all wearing. Is July in Orlando really the time to wear everyone’s favorite black shirt? No! Wear white or a light color- it really does make a difference. And I can’t second the hat enough. Aside from the heat, the glare of the sun can really do a number on you and your children. And please don’t forget the children- I don’t know how many families I see with the adults wearing hats and sunglasses and the 2, 3 or 5 year old in the stroller beet red and squinting with no hat or sunglasses.

    • Thanks, Tiffany! You’re right about light colors, but I avoid white in the Disney parks just in case I get wet on a ride or there’s one of those afternoon thunderstorms. Yes! Don’t forget the kids! I don’t have any yet so it is easy for me to forget to include advice on them, but absolutely make sure your kids are comfortable and well hydrated!