No matter when you visit Orlando, it’s likely to be hot. The summer months bring the hottest temperatures and the biggest crowds because July and August coincide with most school vacations.
Sure, Disney has some great activities outside of the parks to stay cool including fabulous resort pools, two incredible water parks, and air-conditioned shopping, but you’ve paid good money to visit the parks.
If summer is the most convenient time for you to visit Disney, though, don’t despair.
Here are five great suggestions to keep you in the parks even on the hottest days.
5. Stay hydrated and nourished.
It’s important that you take precautions when it comes to the Florida heat and be proactive rather than reactive. Once you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Bring a water bottle with you and fill it up regularly throughout the day. I’ve found that the ice from the hotel’s ice machines offers the best tasting water (once the ice is melted), but all of the parks have water fountains to refill your bottle. What’s more, every quick-service location in the parks provides free ice water; all you have to do is ask. Be sure to limit sugary drinks that can dehydrate you.
Eating well is important too. Fruits and vegetables not only provide nourishment, but they are packed with water to keep you hydrated. Since Disney guests can walk as many as 10 miles a day, you’ll be burning more calories than normal; eating small meals throughout the day and supplementing with healthy snacks can keep you energized and having fun all day. Disney also offers some great frozen treats like the frozen banana and the frozen strawberry bar. Don’t be afraid to indulge in a Mickey ice cream bar either!
4. Schedule your touring plans wisely.
If you know you’re visiting during the hot summer months, schedule your touring plans accordingly. Even on the hottest days, mornings and nights will be more bearable, and afternoon rains can cool things down.
When you’re considering your FastPass+ reservations, plan outdoor attractions for the cooler times of day like morning and evening and schedule indoor attractions, which are also air-conditioned, for the hottest afternoon hours.
Unscheduled touring should also take air-conditioned areas into consideration. Epcot‘s Innoventions Pavilions are great places to hang out in the afternoon, and each country pavilion in World Showcase has movies, shops, and indoor attractions. Magic Kingdom‘s Carousel of Progress, Space Mountain, and others are also great air-conditioned attractions. Hollywood Studios has Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Animal Kingdom can be a hard place to find air-conditioning, but there are plenty of shaded areas. Theaters like Finding Nemo, It’s Tough to be a Bug, and Festival of the Lion King are all air-conditioned, and areas like Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the Pangani Forest have nice, shaded areas that can keep you out of the direct sunlight.
3. Take advantage of the Baby Care Centers.
Every park has a Baby Care Center, but many people don’t even know they exist at all! The Baby Care Centers are air-conditioned and offer many free amenities like self-serve water coolers, changing tables, restrooms, sitting areas with Disney movies playing all day, tables and chairs for eating snacks and meals, books, and toys. Nursing moms can take advantage of private nursing rooms with a rocking chair, and parents with older kids will find the highchairs and kitchen with microwave, oven, and sink very useful.
There are also many items available for purchase including juice, baby food, diapers, wipes, over-the-counter medicines, snacks, sippy cups, and bottles to name a few.
If you have a young child, you should definitely take advantage of these areas. Young children can overheat quickly without parents even realizing it, and these areas are geared specifically for children and families. The kids will be entertained, and you’ll have the opportunity to feed and care for them in a low-crowd area.
In Magic Kingdom, the Baby Care Center is next to Crystal Palace. Hollywood Studios’ Center is located at Guest Relations, and Animal Kingdom has a Center before the bridge to Africa. Epcot’s Baby Care Center is in the Odyssey Pavilion next to Mexico.
2. Get help when you need it.
Many Disney Cast Members are certified in CPR and First-Aid, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If you’re feeling dehydrated, over-heated, or sick, ask a Cast Member, and they will get you help.
You should also know that there are first-aid centers in every park next to the Baby Care Centers (locations listed above). These areas are staffed by licensed nurses who can offer over-the-counter medicines free of charge. There are also “exam” rooms with medical office beds where the nurses can assess a situation. In most cases, they can handle the illness right in the park. However, if you require additional medical assistance, they can get a doctor’s help or transfer you to a local hospital.
1. Use a washcloth or hand towel to cool down.
A washcloth or hand towel can be a lifesaver on the hottest days. Throw it in your Disney day bag, and wet it with cool water throughout the day. When you’re feeling warm, wiping your head, face, and neck can be surprisingly refreshing. It’s also good for wringing cold water over your kid’s head to cool them down.
If you want something extra refreshing, wet your washcloth in your hotel room at night, put it in a Ziploc bag, then put it in your hotel’s fridge or freezer. Pack it in your bag, and by the time you get hot in the park, it will be thawed out enough to wipe down with. You can also put ice water in the Ziploc bag with the washcloth to keep it cold throughout the day.