If you’re headed to Walt Disney World during the summer months, you will definitely want to take extra precautions to beat the heat. Florida summers swelter to 100+ degrees and can have an even higher heat index. Mix in heavy humidity and Walt Disney World can turn into the Hottest Place on Earth. As Florida residents and annual passholders, I’m sharing my tips for how to stay cool at Disney World.
Tips to Beat the Heat at Disney World
Disney World provides cups of ice water free of charge at any restaurant or stand that sells fountain beverages. There are also water bottle refill stations around the parks, which are becoming more common. We also bring an insulated metal cup with us and keep it filled with ice water throughout the day. Our general rule of thumb is to drink a cup of water with every snack and meal. If you stop to eat, hydrate too. At some restaurants, they have self service fountain drinks. Typically they serve Blue Powerade as an option. It doesn’t hurt to drink a little Powerade in addition to water to replenish electrolytes lost throughout the day.
Use Sun Protection
Sunscreen is essential year round in Florida, but especially during the summer months. Apply in the morning and reapply several times throughout the day. The last thing you want is a sunburn ruining your Disney vacation. In addition, I recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect your face. My husband insists on having one of these cooling towels too to keep the sun off of his neck. We always use a clip on fan during the warmer months to keep a cool breeze going through the stroller. These water bottle and mister combos are another fun way to stay cool at Disney World during the summer months.
Dress for the Heat
My girls ALWAYS want to wear princess dresses (check out our favorite brand!) but in 100 degree Florida weather, it just isn’t practical. Don’t dress your kids in full costumes, it will be WAY too hot for them. Try a princess themed tee shirt instead or one of these cotton dresses. Sometimes my girls will wear their princess dresses just to meet their favorite princess but then change into shorts and a tee shirt shortly after. For adults, I recommend wearing shorts and a tee shirt or tank top. Moisture wicking fabrics are best. During the summer months there is no need for extra layers since it is hot even at night.
Take Breaks + The Best Places to Cool off in Disney World
Between 12-4pm is the hottest part of the day. This is the perfect time to sit down for an extended lunch break in the AC. Seeing a show or waiting indoors for an attraction are other easy ways to stay cool during the hotter time. Here are are a few of my favorite areas to cool off. These are shows, attractions or play areas that generally have easy access and short wait times in AC. Here are the best places to cool off in Disney World.
- MAGIC KINGDOM
- Dumbo playground in the line queue at Magic Kingdom
- Casey Jr, Splash ‘N’ Soak Station (be sure to have a bathing suit or change of clothes for kids)
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Play Area at Exit of Mission Space
- Aquariums at The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros inside Mexico
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment (lots of interactive fun at the exit)
- Living with the Land
- HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
- Disney Junior Dance Party (check out our review!)
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney Presents (a Disney museum, character meet and greet and movie preview all in one!)
- ANIMAL KINGDOM
- Finding Nemo: The Musical
- It’s Tough to be a Bug
- Festival of the Lion King
- Raffiki’s Planet Watch
It’s easy to skip meals when it’s hot out, but keeping your body fueled is just as important as proper hydration. Be sure to stop for nourishing meals and snacks throughout the day, weather you purchase in the park or bring them yourself. We love to bring trail mix, fruit, pretzels, granola bars and peanut butter crackers in with us to eat throughout the day.
Head to the Pool
If you’re staying at a Disney World Resort, jumping into the pool is a great way to cool off mid day. During the summer months, I recommend heading to the parks right at park opening. Be there for rope drop (when they first open attractions for guests to enjoy). Try to get as many things done as possible and then head back to the resort around 11 to grab lunch and spend time in the pool. We always take naps and then head back to the parks around 4/5pm. It’s a great way to feel refreshed and gives you the energy to make it to fireworks. If you can take advantage of Magic Hours, whether at night or in the morning, be sure to do it! Less crowds at a time that is guaranteed to be less hot.
Visit Disney Water Parks
Disney magic extends much further than the four main theme parks. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach both offer a full day of water fun. If you want to cool off and take a break in between the other parks, be sure to plan a day at one of the Disney water parks. Read my review Blizzard Beach with Little Kids here.
Surviving Disney World in the Summer
I’ve had several people ask me about visiting Disney World during the summer months. I personally always recommend going to Walt Disney World during January because the weather is nice and the crowds are really low. But for families who plan around school being out, summer can also be fun if you prepare accordingly. How bad is Disney World in July? It’s typically really HOT and really busy during July, especially around the July 4th holiday weekend. If you plan to go during July, strive for the end of the month. What about August? August tends to still be pretty hot, no fall vibes in Florida until October, but the crowds tend to die down a bit, especially toward the end of the month and closer to Labor Day. If you want Disney World in August tips, be sure to read through everything I mentioned about.