Everyone knows it’s hot in Florida in the summer.
Like walking on the surface of the sun hot.
Or maybe walking INSIDE the sun, hot.
Side note, did you know that the leading cause of a meltdown is high heat?
Okay, I made that up. But, get it, meltdown due to …high heat. Melting…
(For those of you who are still with me, that’s pretty clever, eh?)
Seriously though, when the heat is high, people get crabby! Meltdowns for big and littles are bound to occur.
Okay, back on track…
If you don’t visit Florida on the regular or you’ve never been during the summer months, you are in for a surprise.
Yet, not as big of a surprise as you originally anticipated, because you’ve found this blog post. Hip-hip-hooray!!
While the heat might take your breath away when you first arrive at Disney, after reading this post you’re going to be able to make a plan for keeping yourself nice and cool while you visit Walt Disney World.
Without further ado, let’s learn how to beat the heat in Disney World!
1. Wear Dri-Fit and Sweat Wicking Clothing
There is something to be said about dri-fit and sweat-wicking clothing. As a runner, I never appreciate the clothing that is sweat-wicking more than I do in the summer. Being able to wear an article of clothing that pulls sweat from my body and simultaneously not become super heavy (due to the sweat content) is amazing!
Now, if you’re in denial that you are going to sweat and probably resemble a drowned rat (just me?) when you’re at Disney, it’s all good. We will just say you are going to ‘sparkle’.
However, trust me, even though you’re going to ‘sparkle’, you’re still going to want to wear clothing that keeps the sweat off of your body. Take a look below for a few of my favorite park going, sweat-wicking staples. Nike has always been a good brand for running and does the job for in the parks as well.
2. Stay in the Shaded Areas as Much as Possible
There is shade all over Walt Disney World, but some parks are more ‘equipped with the shade’ than others.
For example, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has plenty of shade thanks to all the different types of vegetation throughout the parks. The Magic Kingdom has pockets here and there (plus LOTS on Tom Sawyer Island).
Epcot has a decent amount unless you find yourself trapped between China and Germany. Then heaven helps you, this is where the air goes to no longer move and die. I wish I was joking about this, but I am not. The area in World Showcase by the Outpost is one of the hottest spots in all of Epcot. It’s like a micro sauna and a blazing inferno all rolled into one.
And, then there is Hollywood Studios. Which is hopelessly hot at all times without any shade at all. Okay, yes I am exaggerating, but it does feel like the hottest park at Disney World. With a tiny bit of shade near the Toy Story Land bathrooms. Maybe?
If you have a favorite spot for getting some shade in Hollywood Studios please, please do share!
One way to capitalize on the shade at all the parks is to go to the parks in the early morning or the late afternoon. If you avoid the parks at high noon you’ll be able to find some shade and beat the heat at Disney!
3. Utilize the Air Conditioned Rides, Restaurants and Shops
I’m the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of air conditioning.
I know, that’s the weirdest thing to not be a fan of, but it’s true. It has to do something with the fact that I spend so many months in my midwestern home state of Michigan wishing it was warm outside. I can never talk myself into turning on the air the three months of the year that it gets hot unless it is really bad. (And then I AM super fan of it, but those days are limited.)
When it comes to Florida, on the other hand, air conditioning is life.
If you don’t have AC, you’re in for a world of hurt. Disney World knows this and has it cranked full blast at all of its indoor attractions. Whether you head inside for a ride/attraction, getting a bite to eat or doing some shopping, be sure to enjoy the coolness!
If the heat is getting to you, take a step inside and kick your feet up to cool down!
4. Walk Through Areas that Have Air Conditioning
Let’s say time is a little more limited and you don’t have the luxury of taking a long break in an air-conditioned area of the parks.
One cool thing about Disney World is that many of the stores in certain parts of the parks are connected.
By walking through them you can get from one area of a park to another. This means if you are passing some stores and heading towards an attraction you can swing into the store and get the cooling effect of AC, while you keep walking towards your destination!
It might not be a full-blown AC break, but the brief encounter with the coolness might just take the edge off.
5. Plan Your Day to Beat the Heat
Staying at a hotel close to Disney World? Use it to your advantage and plan your day to include a mid-day break.
Why a midday break?
Well, the middle of the day in Florida is the hottest. It’s like the Sahara Desert decided to take a steamy shower for approximately 4 to 5 hours with no regard to the impact it would have on anyone else.
If you are housed at a hotel on property, or close to the property, you will be able to take a break in the middle of the day by heading back to the resort. Right when the day is the hottest!!
Start your day at the parks in the early morning when it is cool (I use that word loosely!) and finish up in the evening when things cool down and the sun begins to set.
6. Find Shaded Spots for the Parade
If you plan to view a parade at Disney World, a little planning is going to go a long way in regards to your enjoyment. The parades that occur at Walt Disney World aren’t super long, but if you find yourself sitting in full sun, they are going to feel like they are never-ending.
Instead of putting yourself through relentless heat, scope out a parade spot early. Pick up a time’s guide and a park map so you know the parade start time and the parade route. Then, early, scope out the route and look for a spot that is shaded. If you’ve been on the hunt for shade all day you’ll be able to easily find these spots.
Just be sure to snag your parade seats early, the good ones go quickly!
7. Water Rides and Splash Pad at Disney Parks
Almost every Disney park has some type of water ride or splash pad area for little ones to use. These water rides and water areas are lifesavers on a hot day.
Regardless of how you normally feel about water rides, when it’s 120 degrees Fahrenheit real-feel, you’re going to LOVE them. They might even become one of your favorite ways to beat the heat at Disney!
If you aren’t a fan of walking around in wet clothing, be sure to bring along a change of clothing. Both for you and your little ones. Don’t forget to bring a towel along as well!
Our all-time favorite splash pad is located inside the Magic Kingdom. Casey’s Splash ‘n’ Soak Station is truly like an oasis on a hot summer day inside of the Magic Kingdom.
Be sure to read this post here to learn how to have the best time at Casey’s Splash ‘n’ Soak Station.
8. Stay Hydrated in Disney World to Beat the Heat
Staying hydrated during the warm summer months can be a challenge.
Whether you are in Florida or not, the high heat combined with the excess sweat and pure sunshine can turn into a recipe for disaster.
Your goal: Drink lots of water! And then drink some more. As a rule of thumb about 2L of water a day is a good place to start. When it’s hot out be sure you’re drinking at least that much and more to compensate for sweat loss.
When in doubt, do a little pee color check. If your urine is bright yellow, you need more water. If it is a pale yellow, you’re doing good. Sorry for the visual, but you know you’ll think of it when you’re wondering if you’re hydrated enough or not.
9. Portable (Stroller) Fan (For or Not For Strollers!)
Whenever we head to Disney World, we swear by the use of a portable fan to help us beat the heat. Over the years we’ve tried several different fans, and while we are fans (get it ;)) of many, one has stood out and been amazing for us.
It clips easily to our stroller or is perfect being handheld. Plus, it did last all day in the parks.
The best part though? It made it through the ‘curious’ (and often rough) use of a toddler and a preschooler. Now that’s saying something, right?
It’s even included on our list of 12 Disney park essentials. Be sure to check out that list here!
10. Cooling Towels for Your Disney Park Days
The first time I was introduced to a cooling towel, I was skeptical. Don’t ask me why it’s just a towel and it probably didn’t deserve my skepticism. Yet, still the same it received it.
Then, after I followed the directions, I realized it was rather amazing. Just a little water and a twist or two, and whoa, you have a super cooling towel that keeps you comfortable all day long in the parks! It is a super easy and portable way to beat the heat at Disney.
There are so many varieties of cooling towels available, but my favorite has been the Mission Original Cooling Towel. My favorite part is how it doesn’t dry stiff. Depending on the day the towel can stay cool for a very long time.
Or, if a solid color cooling towel isn’t your jam, get a Disney cooling towel! That’s right, Mickey Mouse can help you to stay cool all summer long!
I mean, if this isn’t the world’s cutest cooling towel, I don’t know what is!
Alternate: Stay Cool Long-Sleeved Shirts
You probably will think I’m just plain crazy, but hear me out.
That amazing cooling towel I was telling you about above? Well, you can purchase a similar product in a long-sleeved shirt form!
I know, why would you want a ‘stay cool long-sleeved shirt’? Why the exact reason that the title proclaims! You want the stay cool long-sleeved shirt because it helps you to stay cool!
The shirt uses a unique technology to help keep you cool in the hottest of days in a very similar way to the cooling towels.
Plus, it has built-in SPF protection to help keep your skin from frying!
11. Ice Cream Treats
When all other plans fail, turn to the one plan that won’t fail: ICE CREAM.
Disney World is stocked full of different ice cream offerings throughout the parks. From quick Mickey Premium Ice Cream bars located at kiosks throughout the parks to decadent ice cream sundaes, there is no shortage of ice cream.
Plus, if it’s hot out, you’ve got a legitimate excuse of how you DO need ice cream. Right now.
Conclusion for Beating the Heat at Disney
There ya go! Our favorite ways to stay cool in Disney World. Before you head to the parks, be sure to come prepared with the gear needed to fight the heat. Also, be sure to practice dealing with high heat at home. No, I am not suggesting cranking the heat in your house to an unbearable temperature.
I am, however, encouraging you to get into a routine of practicing hydrating appropriately at home. Making sure you have the right clothing too, so you can determine which sweat-wicking clothing you like. Plus, make sure you are taking a midday break if needed!
What are some ways you practice ‘beating the heat’ when you are at home? How do you beat the heat at Disney?
Looking for more Disney park tips? Be sure to check out these articles on how to save time at Disney, saving money by bringing your own snacks and helpful tips for mastering the Disney buses.
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