How to Beat the Heat at Disney

Walt Disney World

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Summer and early Fall at Disney World in Florida can be a hot and miserable experience.  With the sun beating down and the humidity high, the middle of the day can be the worst time to head to the parks.  So, how do you still enjoy your vacation while avoiding the parks during the hottest part of the day?  Here are my five favorite ways to stay cool and enjoy your vacation.

How to Beat the Heat at Disney

Get to the parks early

The best time of the day to get to the parks is as soon as they open.  Why?  Because the sun isn’t at its highest point in the sky which means the temperature isn’t at its highest point for the day yet.  You’ll be able to enjoy some of your favorite rides and attractions without dealing with the heat.

Bonus for getting to the parks early?  Opening ceremonies!  Definitely go see the one at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be glad you did.

Leave the parks around lunch

The hottest part of the day, midday, is also the most crowded at Disney.  Not only will the heat start to get to you, but so will the long lines and pushy people (because let’s face it, even at Disney you run into not so nice people!).  The best way to bypass this is to head back to your resort for a few hours!  You can catch lunch at a quick service place or make a reservation at one of the delicious restaurants at one of the Deluxe Resorts (Whispering Canyon at The Wilderness Lodge is a great place to eat!).  Then you can relax by the pool, take a nap, and recharge before you head back out for the evening.

Chris' favorite show is at the American Pavilion.  He knows all the songs, and will sing them for days on end after seeing this show.
Chris’ favorite show is the American Adventure. He knows all the songs, and will sing them for days on end after seeing this show.

Watch some of the indoor shows

The best place to watch indoor shows out of the heat is at Epcot.  All around World Showcase they have shows in large air-conditioned rooms where you can learn about each country’s culture, see gorgeous pictures of the landscapes, and relax for a little bit.  These shows may not be that fun for your little ones (I wasn’t a huge fan of them when I was a child), but if you’re looking for a way to get out of the hot sun this is a great alternative.  Some of the shows do not have seating areas (Canada’s show comes to mind…), so just be warned of that before you go in there.

Make it a water park day

I haven’t been to the water parks since I was a young child, but this is another great way to beat the heat.  They may be crowded during the day since it’s a popular place to go when it’s hot but your kids will love it and have a blast.

How to beat the heat at disney3

Take advantage of extra magic hours

This is our favorite way to beat the heat at the parks.  On certain days, each individual park is open earlier or later just to those who are staying on property.  On days when parks are open late Chris and I tend to sleep in and head out to the parks after things have cooled off.  Sleeping in allows us to stay at the park until it closes without being exhausted and it also means that we don’t have to fight the crowds to get on our favorite rides.

If the parks have early morning extra magic hours, you’ll be able to share the parks with others who are staying on-property and won’t have to deal with the locals for an hour or so.  It’s the perfect time to hop on your favorite rides, see your favorite shows, and just enjoy the park.

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Other ways to stay cool

  1. One of our favorite things to do on hot days is to find a nice cool place inside the parks to relax.  Most of the time it’s just a shaded area, but those five or ten minutes out of the sun leave us completely rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the day!
  2. Have you seen those battery-powered squirt bottles that have fans attached to them?  They sell them everywhere at Disney, and are honestly a lifesaver during those hot days.  Chris bought one back in 2012 and he is obsessed with it.  It’s a great way to cool yourself off quickly when it’s hot out.
  3. FREE WATER.  If you go to any quick service counter at Disney World and ask for a cup of ice water, they will give it to you free of charge.  It’s awesome!  Most of the time you’ll receive small cups, so ask for two of them if you’re really thirsty.  We do this all the time, and never buy bottled water while at the parks.  It’s a great alternative.
  4. Frogg Togg Chilly Pad Cooling Towel.  This is a must-have for any theme park during those hot summer months!  Chilly pads, after getting wet and being rung out, become cooler than the outside air and provide cool relief without getting you wet.  After a while it will stop cooling you off, and all you have to do is re-wet the towel and ring it out again.
  5. Head over to the People Mover in Tommorowland at the Magic Kingdom.  I don’t know what it is, but there is something so wonderful about that breeze as you people watch from above the crowds.
  6. This may be a no-brainer but….walk through a splash pad or a mister at any of the parks.  They instantly cool you off!

What do you think?

What is your favorite way to beat the heat?

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links that I earn a small commission off of if you buy the product.  I did not receive any items in this post to review and am only recommending products that I truly love and use myself.  

4 Comments

  1. Definitely some good tips!! I just went to Disney last month. August is the absolute WORST month to go, of course, but we had a friend’s wedding in Orlando so we had to. lol Luckily at the wedding they gave us these FABULOUS wicker fans and OMG were they useful at Disney! Talk about heavy duty. Those fans were amazing and kept us cool! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alexis! I hear you, August is horrible! We got engaged in 2011 at the end of August there, and it was miserably hot. I’m so glad you got to go though! And wicker fans, I never would of thought to bring those to the parks. That’s genius to give out at a wedding in FL, and so useful for theme parks! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jenna! 🙂 I have so many great memories from when I was young as well! You should definitely go again, so much has changed! You will love it!

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