Menu
Credit: disneyrewards.com

Keep Your Cool: Beat the Heat at Disney

As someone who has always been quite heat sensitive, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out ways to stay cool on my trips. Because of my family’s schedule, we often find ourselves travelling to Walt Disney World during Summer vacation- and at the peak of Summer heat in Florida. We’ve found some strategies that legitimately make exploring the parks tolerable, even on the hottest of days. I hope these ideas will help other heat-haters keep their cool!

Travel in the Cooler Months

Disney In Winter

Disney In Winter

This is the most obvious way to beat the heat- travel during traditionally cooler months. Florida is almost always pretty warm, but the Summer months and through September are sweltering. October through February are more tolerable, and March, April, and May can be quite delightful. Of course, many Guests have to travel during those hotter months, so luckily we have more ideas on how to beat the heat.

Pack for the Weather

Another no-brainer: be sure to pack lightweight clothing that dries easily.  Having a daytime and an evening outfit for each day can help, too.  Changing out of sweaty clothes for dinner provides and instant refresh!  Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are all non-negotiable, too, and go a long way in keeping you comfortable.

Hit the Pool or a Water Park

A day off from touring the hot parks, can really be refreshing in the middle of a trip. Even an afternoon spent back at your resort can rejuvenate your party enough to head out fresh the next day. Take a few hours to enjoy the cool pool water or let your kids romp at the splash pad, if your resort has one. All of the Disney resort pools are fun and highly themed, and it’s not too hard to convince children to leave the parks for pool time!  Many off site hotels have great pools, too. If you’re not a fan of the heat, definitely factor the pool into your choice of accommodations!

Related: Our 6 Favorite Disney World Resort Pools

Blizzard Beach

Water parks are great, too. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are typically both open in the Summer.  But at times, one may be closed for refurbishment, so you’ll want to see which park or parks are open during your trip.

Water Rides

Kali

The water parks- Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach– both obviously have water rides and slides. But if you’re staying in one of the four main Disney parks, you might have fun enjoying a water ride in the middle of the day to cool down. For some reason, Disney‘s Animal Kingdom always feels like the surface of the Sun in the Summer weather. You’re in luck, though, because Animal Kingdom has Walt Disney World‘s most soaking ride: Kali River Rapids. At Epcot, you’ll get little more than a splash on Frozen Ever After, but the ride itself is cool and dark. At the Magic Kingdom, your best bet for a cool down is Splash Mountain.

Related: 8 Amazing Facts About Kali River Rapids

Mid-Day Dining

Lots of folks love to do a nice table service dinner each night, but I’m a huge fan of the mid-day lunch reservation. Having a slow-paced lunch in the air conditioning is sometimes just as good as a mid-day swim or nap. Just be careful not to overdo it; there’s nothing worse than trying to survive the heat when you’re way overstuffed.

Indoor Rides, Shows, & Attractions

There are of rides, shows, and attractions at each theme park that give Guests substantial time inside the air conditioning, so if you space them throughout your day you’ve actually built in mini-breaks throughout. You can’t help but be cooled when you step out of the sweltering heat into an attraction like dark and “chilling” halls of the Haunted Mansion.  Alternating an indoor attraction with a short time outside is one way to mitigate the Florida heat.

Related:  Disney’s Haunted Mansion: 999 (or less) Frightfully Fun Facts

Enchanted Tiki Room

Indoor shows are especially great for the mid-day heat because they don’t get huge lines. At the Magic Kingdom, spend the morning doing the headliners, and save things like Country Bear Jamboree, the Enchanted Tiki Room, Hall of Presidents, and Carousel of Progress for the hottest part of the day.

Crisp Queues

In addition to thinking about what attractions are indoors vs. outdoors, you’ll also want to consider the queues. Some rides have lengthy outdoor queues, especially in the days of physical distancing. You do not want to find yourself on a long line for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney‘s Hollywood Studios in the middle of the day. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom also has a notoriously hot queue that gets lots of mid-day sun. Rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, on the other hand, have lots of cool, dark indoor queue space. Other rides with refreshing queues include Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Space Mountain, the indoor space at Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and many more.  

Cool Tools

Have you ever thought about using an umbrella at Disney, not in a rain storm, but to shield yourself from the sun? Whether you try a UV repellent umbrella or a regular umbrella, you may be surprised at how much having your own personal, portable shade can help.  My other go-to is my trusty cooling towel.  Cooling towels are useful and not cumbersome to bring with you. To use one, you simply run the towel under room temperature water in a restroom or water fountain and wring it out. As moisture evaporates from the towel, it cools your skin. You’ll have to ask Dr. Bunsen Honeydew for a better, more scientific explanation, but I can vouch for them. They work!

A comfortable neck fan (like this one on Amazon) is another lifesaver on hot and humid days. Some fans also come with a spray bottle or misting fan, like the ones sold at Walt Disney World. Fans are easy to share among your group, so definitely think about bringing one or two. If you have a little one, the stroller fan is another great tool to have. They clip easily on strollers and can even help your sweetie take a nap comfortably.

Cool Treats

Lartis an de Glaces

What Disney park day is complete without a sweet treat? Any excuse for a Mickey Bar, Dole Whip, or Frozen Lemonade is a good one as far as I’m concerned. Taking a break in the shade to enjoy an ice cream or any frozen treat is a smart strategy for maintaining your stamina on a hot day. If you’re visiting Epcot, my favorite cool treat stop is  L’Artisan des Glaces, which serves delicious ice cream in the France pavilion.

Hydrate

You’ll have to drink extra water than you’re used to to stay hydrated on a hot day at the Walt Disney World Resort. Be sure to carry water with you. Whether you bring your own refillable water bottle (I love this filtering bottle from Brita ) or buy them in the parks, you need to make a point of taking breaks to drink. Don’t forget that you can get free water at quick service restaurants- just ask for a cup of ice water.

Does the heat interfere with your Walt Disney World vacation plans? I hope these tips help you beat the heat regardless of what time of year you choose to travel!

About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart who works as an elementary school counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and corgi. Meredith is a DVC member who loves music, podcasts, crafting, and "talking Disney" with anyone and everyone.