9 Ways to Beat the Heat at Disney Parks


Image: Aloha75 on Flickr

It is totally unfair that summer is the hottest time of the year. It’s also unfair that my favorite vacation destinations—Disneyland and Walt Disney World—are located in two of the sweatiest summer zones. But a little heat and humidity can’t stop me from hanging out with my favorite mouse, so I have learned to adapt to bright sun and 90+ degree temperatures. If you are planning a trip to a Disney Park this summer, take note of the following tips to get the most
out of your vacation and beat the heat at Disneyland or Disney World.

  1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. This is one of those “duh” tips, but it can’t be stressed enough! Be sure to bring sunscreen in your purse, diaper bag, or backpack. Spray sunscreen and stick sunscreen are the easiest to apply to wiggly kids. Be sure to reapply every two hours. If you run out, you can buy sunscreen at any of the large souvenir shops inside the parks or at any hotel gift shop, but brand and availability may be limited. It’s always better to pack more than you think you will need rather than to run out!
  2. Wake up early and go to the parks right when they open. Not only will you experience less crowds and shorter queues in the morning, but the weather will be cooler than the afternoon hours. (Note I said “cooler”…whether you are in California or Florida, it will still be hot at 9:00 a.m.)
  3. Go back to the hotel during the peak sun hours. If you are staying at a Disney hotel at Walt Disney World, the monorail system and shuttle buses make it very easy to go back and forth from one of the parks to your hotel. At Disneyland, the Disney hotels are all within walking distance. When temperatures peak around 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m., go back to your hotel for naps or some pool time until around 4:00 p.m., then go back into the park for the rest of the night. If you’re looking to save a little money on your trip, plan to eat your lunches back at the hotel during those peak sun hours, too.
  4. Plan inside attractions during the hottest hours. Enclosed attractions and queues provide refreshing air conditioning and a break from the sun, so schedule these for the afternoon hours when the sun is at its highest and you need a break. These include (but are not limited to) Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, It’s Tough to Be a Bug and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure, Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, and It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom, Soarin’ and Test Track at Epcot, Muppets 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Water rides, such as Splash Mountain, are great for any time of the day, but sometimes the long queues involve waiting outside in the direct sun, so get them out of the way earlier in the day.
  5. Drink #allthewater. If you’re staying in a hotel, you can bring a case of water bottles or have a case delivered to your room. Load up the bottom of the stroller or a backpack with at least one bottle per person before you head out for a day in the parks. You can refill the bottles at water fountains, or you can ask any quick-serve food location for a free cup of water. (Specifically ask for a large cup or by default you will get a child size water.) Of course, you can always buy bottles of water if needed, but at $3 a bottle the cost adds up fast. However, no matter the cost involved, you and your family need to be constantly drinking water.
  6. Limit your sugar intake. Gasp, probably the toughest item on this list. I know gorging on yummy treats is half the fun of visiting Disney. Sugar causes your body to dehydrate, and you don’t need any extra help in that department. Limit your soda and caffeine intake (caffeine also causes dehydration—sorry), and pick one sugary treat for the day to eat while in a comfortable, air conditioned environment.
  7. Wear a hat or visor. I am not a fan of how they look in pictures, but during my first trip to Walt Disney World I learned after day one that hats are a necessity. I actually discovered that my running visor, with the little sweat-absorbing forehead padding, was the most comfortable option.
  8. Purchase a mister fan. In the Florida heat, those suckers are worth every penny. But to save a couple bucks, order one from Amazon or Target before you leave for your trip.
  9. Take advantage of the Baby Care Centers at each park. If your child gets overheated, take them to the Baby Care Center. Everyone can cool down in the air conditioning, and the staff can check on body temperatures and provide assistance as needed.

What are your tips for staying cool while visiting a Disney Park?


Image: MRF on Flickr

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