Are you planning a trip to Orlando this year and wondering about ways to beat the heat at Disney World? If you are visiting Disney parks during the summer months, you are certain to encounter a hot day or two! Florida heat is a guarantee on most days, so being prepared is essential.
As a travel advisor and a frequent traveler to theme parks, I have a few top tips on the best ways to enjoy the parks in the summer heat. I hope these help you enjoy your Disney World vacation, during a summer trip or any time of the year!
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1. Wear breathable fabrics
In the most magical place on Earth, you may be tempted to wear some of those adorable matching shirts during your Disney vacation. However, those cotton shirts may not be your best options in the extreme heat of Orlando. Save those for a family picture session and consider clothing from moisture-wicking clothing that can also provide some sun protection.
My personal favorites are from Columbia. I like the SunTrek Tank and the Anytime Casual Short. These both provide UV protection and the Omni-Shield repels moisture and allows you to dry quickly! Light colors are always the best for staying cool.
2. Choose indoor rides and attractions
One of the best things to remember in the heat of the day is to choose indoor rides and indoor attractions with covered queues. Here are some of my favorite options in each park during the hottest part of the day.
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Hall of Presidents
- Carousel of Progress
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (a big portion of this line is outdoors so check the wait time before you join the queue)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- It’s a Small World
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Haunted Mansion (a big portion of this line is outdoors, so check the wait time before you join the queue)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Avatar: Flight of Passage (some of the line is outdoors)
- Conservation Station, Rafiki’s Planet Watch
- It’s Tough to be a Bug
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurer’s Outpost
- Na’Vi River Journey
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (outdoor queue for a large portion)
- Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Toy Story Mania
- Tower of Terror
- Frozen Ever After (can have a line outside)
- Gran Fiesta Tour
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Living with the Land
- Mission Space
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (can have a line outside)
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Spaceship Earth (can have a line outside)
- Test Track
3. Start out early and take a break in the afternoon
A great way to avoid the heat is to leave the parks in the middle of the day. Plan to get to the parks early, before the official entry time. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, take advantage of Early Entry hours! Lines will be shorter at the rope drop and you can avoid the hot temperatures of the afternoon.
We usually plan to get to the parks early, taking our breakfast onto the buses, Skyliner, or the monorail. A good option is to plan a sit-down lunch, either at the table service meal restaurants or quick-service restaurants to get out of the hot weather. Then, we take an afternoon break back at the resort, returning in the late afternoon or early evening for the nighttime show and more rides! This way, we avoid the heat of the summer and the most crowded time of the day.
4. See a show
Another good option when you want to get out of the Florida sun is to see a show! It is the best place to be to get out of the high humidity and stay entertained! Our favorite indoor shows include the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo at Animal Kingdom, the Frozen Sing A Long show at Hollywood Studios, Voices of Liberty at Epcot’s America Pavilion, and the Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom.
5. Stay hydrated
One of the top tips on how to beat the heat at Disney World is to stay hydrated! Be sure to avoid heat stroke by drinking water starting early and often. Pack a refillable water bottle and take advantage of free ice water at quick service locations in each park.
You can also pick up bottled water from the grocery or include water bottles in your grocery pick-up order. Ask any cast member for the closest water fountains in the parks.
6. Use cooling towels and fans
Cooling towels and neck fans are some of the best ways to stay cool in the parks. A cooling towel can be easily stored in your park bag. Keep them wrapped in a plastic zip bag with some ice to retain their cool temperature.
Neck fans can also keep you cool in the hottest part of the day. Just keep them in your backpack and pull them out in the heat of the day to cool off, a portable fan that is hands-free.
7. Go shopping in air-conditioned stores.
Need a break from the sun in Orlando? Duck into a store! Whether it’s on Main Street USA, Hollywood Studios, the World Showcase, or Animal Kingdom, there are plenty of well-air-conditioned stores throughout the parks. Use them as a break to get away from the sun!
8. Eat indoors.
If you need to break up a long day in the heat, consider picking a place to eat indoors. Take advantage of the air conditioning and get off your feet for a while. If our kids are dragging, an indoor dining break often rejuvenates them. Our favorite options include Satuli Canteen in Animal Kingdom, Pecos Bill in Magic Kingdom, Via Napoli in Epcot, and ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios.
8. Go to a resort for a break.
If it is your first time at Disney World, it may seem counterintuitive to leave the parks mid-day for a break. However, pacing yourself and taking short breaks in the heat of the day can really help during the summer months. If you are staying off-property or if your resort is a bus ride from the parks, consider checking out a closeby deluxe resort for a break.
On our last trip, our three-year-old needed a nap but the rest of my crew wanted to stay in the Magic Kingdom. I took her out of the park and pushed her onto the monorail in her stroller. She fell asleep with the movement of the monorail and then I walked her through the Grand Floridian lobby. I even had some time to sit on a lovely couch with live piano music in the background. It was the perfect way to recharge and meet up back in the park for dinner and fireworks!
9. Visit the water parks.
Remember the water parks, especially during the heat of summer in Orlando. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are great way to spend a hot day! Consider adding the water parks onto your theme park tickets to give you even more options at Disney World! Be sure to check their websites for the latest hours, as they are seasonally closed for updates and cleaning.
10. Go to the pool.
Be sure to plan some pool time during your Disney vacation. If your kids don’t need to nap mid-day but still benefit from a break from the parks, some time at the pool can perk everyone up! We love ordering pizza from the quick service at the resort and eating by the pool. Towels are provided at each Disney resort pool, just remember your sunscreen and goggles!
11. Play in the water.
The Disney parks provide some great splash pads and water play areas for your little ones to cool off. This is one of the most popular ways to beat the heat at Disney World with small children. You can find them in Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland near Dumbo and the Barnstormer. This splash pad is called Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station. There is a bathroom nearby for changing, and you can even find water play gear and bathing suits in the gift shop, Big Top Souvenirs, right next door.
Epcot and Disney Springs also have water play areas. Epcot has a small splash pad area near Mission Space. Disney Springs has a small splash pad near the toy store, Once Upon a Toy.
12. Find the water rides.
Remember to find water rides if you need ways to beat the heat at Disney World in the summer! This is our favorite way to cool off in the hot afternoons. Check out Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom – we love this one!
You may get a little wet on Pirates of the Caribbean or squirted by the camel at the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. If you are in the World Showcase in Epcot, you might get a little damp on the Frozen Ever After attraction.
13. Find the ice cream!
While you are in Disney World, you have to grab some ice cream! Whether it’s a Mickey bar, Mickey ice cream sandwich, or Dole Whip, a cool treat is the perfect way to cool off!
14. Look for the shade.
Looking for the best ways to beat the heat at Disney World? Always look for shade in Disney parks! Lining up for the afternoon parade? Find a spot in the shade.
Walk under the shadow of the buildings. Instead of strolling down Main Street, USA, duck into the Emporium stores and make your way into the air conditioning. Consider taking an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun’s rays.
I hope this post helps you beat the heat at Disney World this year! Best wishes for a magical vacation. Keep reading for more great travel and mom life tips. Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter below!