People think we’re crazy, because we go to Walt Disney World in July and/or August every year. Yes, it feels like the surface of the sun, and I have sweat through my shirt within 37 seconds after walking outside, but it’s actually less crowded than almost any other time of year. It’s still crowded, yes, but not nearly as crowded as, say, October or May. So how do we beat the heat? Here are some of our tried and true “Disney in Summer” methods to help your family beat the heat!
- 1. STAY HYDRATED
First and foremost, you MUST stay hydrated. It is incredibly hot and the sun and heat and pavement will wipe you out quickly. Don’t waste your money on water in the parks. You could buy a whole case of water for the price of one bottle of water in the parks. And not only that, the “cheap” bottles of water are Dasani, and Dasani adds salt to their water, which then just dehydrates you. Yes, salt is necessary for the human body, but there was one vacation where I drank Dasani and came out of it incredibly thirsty and very swollen. The solution? Pack your own water bottles. You can fill up at the quick service refill stations in your hotel, order bottled water for your room, and get water at all quick service locations for free. If the Florida water isn’t something you like, get a water bottle with a filter (like Brita) or pack some drink flavoring. There are also water bottle filling stations at each park.
- Near the stand-by queue for Expedition Everest
- Near the stand-by queue for Flight of Passage
- Near the stand-by queue for Na’vi River Journey
- Near the restrooms near Starbucks in World Showcase
- At Epcot Experience
- Odyssey Events Center
- Near the stand-by queue for Slinky Dog Dash
- Near the exit of Smugglers Run
- Near the restrooms in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- At the Transportation Plaza (bus stops/Skyliner station) outside the park
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
***Water Refill stations in line queues may only be available to those waiting in line, so plan accordingly.
2. USE COOLING TOWELS
Cooling towels are your friend! These little beauties will lower your body temp significantly, especially if you use them on your head. We have towels that you can wrap around your head like a scarf or a headband, which are not only comfortable, but fashionable. And let me tell you, when you’re dripping with sweat, being fashionable is completely important. There are several versions of these available to purchase, but I suggest a version that folds up easily. I like things to be light, compact, and easy to carry, so that your back isn’t broken by all the stuff you lug around. Also, you don’t want to be “that guy” in the bag check line.
3. SPEND MORE TIME IN THE A/C
Make sure you’re also going into air conditioned spaces as much as humanly possible. DID YOU KNOW: you can enter the Emporium by Casey’s Corner, right off the Adventureland bridge, and walk the entire length of the store without walking on Main Street? A great way to avoid both crowds and heat. You can do the same thing on the other side of Main Street, but not the entire length.
4. GET UP EARLY/STAY OUT LATE
Are you not a morning person? Believe me, I understand, but one of the absolute best ways to beat the heat is to get up really early and head to the parks. We like to get up early, get a ton done in the parks before it gets too hot, head to brunch, then head back to the hotel to rest and/or swim, before heading back out in the evening when it starts to cool down again. PRO TIP: plan a longer trip in summer months so that you can take advantage or more down time and more time at your resort.
5. PURCHASE WATER PARK AND SPORTS TICKETS
Another great option for beating the heat is to take advantage of the water parks. Walt Disney World has 2 water parks, though Blizzard Beach is currently the only one open. You can purchase tickets that allow you to go to one park per day PLUS one water park or sports option per day. This is a great option for people that want to experience more than just theme parks.
6. PURCHASE YOUR OWN PONCHOS BEFORE ARRIVAL
Yes, they sell ponchos in the parks. Yes, they have Mickey Mouse on them. Yes, you could easily reuse them. OR you can spend the same amount of money on a box of 20 or more ponchos you can easily throw away when the rain stops as you would on one Mickey Mouse poncho. It’s summer in Central Florida. It’s going to rain. Most times, it will pass quickly, though there are those vacations when it just rains the entire week you’re there. Instead of carrying around a wet piece of plastic, throw it away and go about your business. Much easier, much nicer. You could also purchase a small, foldable umbrella or a raincoat to use instead of a poncho (I hate ponchos so much, so I get it).
7. EAT A LOT OF FROZEN TREATS
Disney World has A TON of frozen treats available! Ice cream, gelato, slushies, Club Cool. Take advantage of them and keep cool! Read more about My Top Ten Ice Cream Spots here.
8. STEP INTO THE AC AND WATCH THE SHOWS
Not a fan of going back to the room during the day? Or maybe you stay off property and it’s not convenient to leave and come back? Maybe your family is only staying 4 days and you need every minute of park time you can get. Whatever the reason, some people just feel the need to stay in the parks open to close. A great way to beat the heat on days like this is to spend the afternoon doing all the shows and indoor attractions. The shows are air conditioned and some of them offer a great place to grab a cat nap!
As I said, it will rain. It may be good to invest in a waterproof backpack. If you are like me, though, and you already have 20 backpacks dedicated to Disney trips (I’m probably embellishing a bit), just stick different size ziploc bags in your suitcase and stick them in your bag. This also comes in handy for electronics when you go on water rides. Some people also pack flip flops or sandals to wear in the rain, so their shoes don’t get trashed when the parks start filling up with water. PRO TIP: pack extra socks in your bag. As Lt Dan said, you want to keep your feet dry! Whether it be rain or sweat, sometimes just changing your socks midday can vastly improve your mood and the way your feet feel!
10. SUNSCREEN/MOLESKIN/BODY GLIDE/EXTRA DEODORANT
DO NOT skip sunscreen. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on a vacation to get scorched on day 1 and be miserable the rest of your trip. Use it often! Pack some moleskin. You will walk A LOT at WDW. People are surprised by how much walking there is. On our last trip, I think the lowest step count was about 20K in one day. Couple that with sweat and rain and wet socks, you might come away with blisters. Moleskin will help with that and protect your feet from infection AND pain. At the very least, make sure you have bandaids!
For those of us not blessed with a thigh gap, body glide is a life saver. BONUS PRO TIP: Gold Bond powder keeps lady bits and undercarriages of all types fresh and dry. Helps with the chafing and burning. Just trust me, you’re gonna want these things! I also pack a travel deodorant in my bag. I have smelled some stuff while in the parks in summer and let me tell you, it WILL NOT be me! BONUS BONUS PRO TIP: baby wipes or deodorant wipes to wipe the sweat off of you, makes you feel refreshed and clean.
So there you have it! My tried and true beat the heat tips! Contact me to book your vacation today!!