When we booked our first trip to Disney World way back in 2014, we did it at the beginning of the school holidays in July as we were restricted on when we could all collate our annual leave from work. Having never experienced the Florida heat before, I don’t think any of us knew quite what to expect.
We knew it was going to be hot and we had prepared ourselves for this in what we had packed etc, but I don’t think any of us expected the humidity that we were going to experience each day. We soon worked out ways we could beat the heat and stay cool at Disney World.
I clearly remember stepping out of the airport for the first time as we boarded the Magical Express. It was 10pm at night, pitch dark and the blast of hot air that hit me was intense.
I remember feeling so happy that we were going to have a hot holiday but I hadn’t factored in all the walking around theme parks which would make us hotter. This wasn’t going to be a holiday where we got to lay around the pool after all.
If you are travelling during June, July or August, the three hottest months in Florida, you are going to need to be prepared to be hot and sweaty, especially if you’re out in the middle of the day.
Take Or Buy A Spray Fan Bottle
The parks sell them for around $20 and we didn’t buy one during our first trip, but on the last day I decided that would have been the best $20 I could have spent. The cast members are great at spraying you as you walk past but to be able to spray yourself and cool down is priceless. A lesson learnt for me.
Invest In A Cooling Towel
We started our Walt Disney World adventures in the sun by taking a cold wet flannel into the parks. We packed it in a zip lock bag and used it though the day to cool off around our face and neck area. It worked a treat however we were always stopping to make it wet and cold again, so eventually we invested in a cooling towel and it was one of the best things we could have done.
We found it a good idea to plan Fastpasses for the rides that don’t give you any shade. We got stuck in a 40 minute queue for Peter Pan’s flight in July and a lot of that wasn’t in the shade. We learnt quickly to research which rides to leave for later in the day or at the beginning of the day if the queues were in the sun.
Plan Your Park Day Strategically
We aimed to get to the parks for opening time, spend a few hours and then retreat back to the resort before lunch avoid the hottest part of the day. We could rest and swim before going back to the parks in the evening.
It’s very easy to be distracted from this plan when you spot a parade time that you desperately need to see at 3pm however. If you find yourself staying to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade, then camp out on the left hand side of Main Street facing the castle as it’s the shady side in the afternoon.
Find The Splash Zones
There are splash zones in the parks such as the area near Storybook Circus in Magic Kingdom. This is a great area to rest for a little while and cool down as the kids run through the water. You can also plan some water rides such as Splash Mountain. Get wet and cool down in the heat. You’ll never be so pleased to get wet on a water ride believe me.
Plan Lunch In An Air Conditioned Restaurant
Spending an hour out of the heat at lunch time if you’re planning on spending the whole day in the park can revive you for the afternoon. A leisurely lunch in an air conditioned restaurant is a great way to do this.
Spend Some Time Circling Tomorrowland On The People Mover
The People Mover is a great way to see Tomorrowland. Not only does it give you respite from the heat but you can also rest your legs at the same time.
Plan Your Outfits Carefully
Obviously denim is a no no for the heat. You want to be comfortable in your clothes as well as your footwear. I was wearing loose Disney inspired t-shirts and shorts which seemed to work well for me. I decided against dresses as I didn’t want to embarrass myself on rides.
You will need to stay hydrated with plenty of water. You can ask for free iced water at any of the restaurants and quick service locations. We usually take advantage of the dining plans when we visit, so we use our refillable mug for breakfast and take the drink provided with our meal into the parks.
Use The Shops
All the shops are air conditioned so take some time away from the heat as you wander in and out of the shops. The Emporium in Magic Kingdom goes all the way along Main Street so you can stay inside the whole way up or down if you choose.
How do you stay cool at Disney World?