Beat the Heat at WDW

Well, its February in SC, which means it was 82 today and will be 61 tomorrow. Yea, our weather is bipolar. Since it was so warm this weekend, it got me thinking about the upcoming Summer. Last Summer, we went to WDW every month – the beginning of May, end of June, middle of July, and end of August. Want to know what all of those trips had in common – as my grandmother would say, “it was hotter than a whore in church.” It is not uncommon for Orlando, Florida to be hotter than the surface of the sun in August and more humid than the Amazon Rainforest. I am only half joking.

I have lived in the South all my life. I like to think I am fairly used to the heat. Heat at a theme park is completely different though. YOU have to come prepared or you will be miserable. So, these are my best tips for surviving the heat of WDW in the Summer.

  1. Freeze Water Bottles – we will freeze water bottles at the hotel the night before. Fill the bottle up about 3/4ths of the way before you freeze it; that way, you can add a little water to the ice in the morning. These bottles are great for a couple of reasons – ice cold water to drink OR an ice cold bottle to rub on your neck when you get super hot! Ha.
  2. If you have a small kiddo, buy a stroller fan. You can find some decent ones on Amazon. Strollers are great, but they can block out the breeze, especially when the sun visor part is down. A stroller fan gives your kiddo a nice breeze, and trust me, there is nothing WORSE than a hot kiddo meltdown. They are ugly, sweaty, masses of tears! The fan will help.
  3. Take frequent air-conditioned breaks. Thankfully, many of the WDW queues  and attractions are indoors, but not all. Take advantage of the ones that offer air-conditioning. Some of our favorite cool-down attractions at the Magic Kingdome are: the Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Carousel of Progress, Space Mountain, Mickey’s Philharmagic, the Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, and meeting Mickey, Tinkerbell, Ariel, or any of the princesses at Fairytale Hall. At Epcot, Test Track, Soarin, Living with the Land, the Grand Fiesta Tour meeting Elsa and Anna in Norway, meeting Mulan in China, meeting Jasmine in Morocco, the Voices of Liberty and the American Adventure, Character Spot, the whole Imagination Pavilion, Frozen Ever After, Reflections of China, Impressions de France, and Oh, Canada. At Hollywood Studios (the least shady and hottest park in my opinion), the Frozen Sing-a-long, Disney Jr. Live, Star Tours, and Toy Story Mania. At Animal Kingdom, we love to cool down with Festival of the Lion King, Nemo the Musical, and most of the Flight of Passage line.
  4. Go back to the hotel for a mid-afternoon break. Even if you don’t have small kids who need a nap, a mid-afternoon break gives everyone time to chill for a bit. It can be a great time to take a dip in the pool, grab some lunch, or catch a few zzzz’s before heading back to the heat of the park. The heat and sun of the parks really takes it toll on you physically, and taking a break mid-day will allow your family to go back to the park refreshed and ready to experience the magic of Disney at night!
  5. Snag a reservation for a table service restaurant. This can be especially helpful if you don’t want to leave the parks for a mid-afternoon break. I am a fan of at least one table service restaurant reservation per day for many reasons, but one of those reasons is that everyone needs a break. Sitting down for a nice meal, in the air conditioning, can change everyone’s mood. Plus, my family gets hangry when we don’t eat! Its a win-win for us.

Some honorable mention tips would be 1) cool towels. Yes, they work. Yes, they will soak your shirt, but so will sweat! 2) Find the water-play areas in the parks. For Magic Kingdom, there is a huge splash pad areas based off the Casey, Jr. Train from Dumbo, in Epcot there is a little water pad area between Future World and World Showcase, at Animal Kingdom, there is an amazing water play area near Kali River Rapids’ lockers. There is not really a water play area at Hollywood Studios, but we let our kiddo splash a little in the fountain at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. 3) Avoid alcohol. I know, I know. That’s no fun, but the sickest I have ever been at WDW was after enjoying some tequila in the Mexico Pavilion on an exceptionally hot September day at Epcot. Trust me, it was miserable! Alcohol and heat is a good combination if you want to be completely dehydrated.

Do you have some cool tips for staying cool at Disney in the Summer. Tells us about them in the comments below.

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