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Surviving the Summer Heat at Disney World

With children out of school, summer can be the perfect (and only) time for families to visit Walt Disney World. However, the Florida heat and humidity can be more intense than most people are used to. I've visited in the summer, and plan to go again this July. With good planning, you can have a great summer trip to Walt Disney World. Here are some tips for summer trips.

1. Plan to get to the parks EARLY!

Yes, I know it's vacation and you may want to sleep in. But, you will miss the coolest part of the day lying in bed. Instead, get up early and get to the parks at opening time. Now, this may be tough, especially if you are traveling with teenagers like I am. During our trip, Hollywood Studios opens at 7:00 a.m. to onsite guests who have access to Extra Magic Hours, to accommodate the crowds who will be there to experience Toy Story Land (opening June 30, 2018). We know it will be worth the early start because we can ride everything we want before lunchtime. Then we will go take a break at our resort when the heat and crowds become too much.

This leads to my next tip:

2. Take midday breaks.

Either head back to your resort (another terrific reason to stay on-site), or schedule a lunchtime sit down meal. You will be so happy to get out of the sun and heat for an hour or so. Anther bonus: lunchtime reservations are sometimes much easier to get than breakfast or dinner. My teenagers like to take a nap or just chill out in our resort hotel room. A little downtime helps everyone feel refreshed!

3. Stay Late

If you absolutely cannot get to the parks early, consider staying late. In summertime, the parks can be open quite late. Again, Hollywood Studios will have extended hours this summer to handle the crowds for Toy Story Land. Young children will need to leave the parks earlier so if you have night owls in your travel party, take advantage of that and tour after sunset.

4. Drink PLENTY of water!

You can get a cup of ice water from any Disney Quick Service location for free! Just ask. I like to take a refillable water bottle with me. I can fill it with ice and then add water from the fountains around the parks. Take flavoring packets with you if that helps you drink.

5. Scope out the shade. My family calls it "Disney walking" when we stay in the shade as much as possible. The Florida sun is intense! You can also cut through shops like The Emporium on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, or browse for awhile in Mouse Gear in EPCOT for a little break. Wear sunscreen too!!

6. Plan some time for your resort pool.

Every resort at Walt Disney World has at least one pool. Many have multiple pools or awesome splash grounds for kids. Make sure you set aside time during your trip (a little each day or even an entire day) to enjoy it. Kids love the water and it's a great break from all the hustle bustle of the parks.

Port Orleans French Quarter

7. Dress for the weather

Personally, I like to wear running shorts or skorts and breathable tanks or tee shirts. These are lightweight, breathable and pull moisture away from your skin.

8. Plan for wet rides or splash areas

In Magic Kingdom, you can ride Splash Mountain or let the kids play in the Casey Junior spray area near Dumbo. In EPCOT, there is a cooling station near Test Track and a splash area on the bridge from Future World to World Showcase. At Animal Kingdom, those looking to get thoroughly soaked can ride Kali River Rapids located in Asia.

How about you? Have you visited in summer and how do you stay cool?

Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She loves helping her clients plan memorable vacations to Disney World, Disneyland, aboard Disney Cruise line and beyond. Contact her at mgraham@coastersandcastlestravel.com.

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