I have recently returned from a fantastic trip to Disney World with my mom. We have been avoiding the summer months in recent years but decided to brave the July heat of Orlando. Let me preface this by saying I do not do well in the heat, and I absolutely despise humidity. I walked around incredibly jealous of people that looked like the real feel of 104 with no breeze was like a mild spring day. Why weren’t they sweating like me? Why was every hair still in place of their head while I experienced a frizzy mess? Come on people, no likes a show off. Anyway, this post is to give my honest feedback of how I dealt with the heat and tips to help you for your future summer Disney vacation.
Become an A.C. addict:
So I get a little annoyed when the door of my bedroom cracks open and precious air conditioned air is slipping out into the hot hallway. Disney, on the other hand thinks that cool air is something that should be shared with the world, inside and outside. OK, not really, but they have no problem leaving doors open of buildings that are cranking out some powerful A.C. without feeling wasteful. On this particular trip, indoor attractions were my friend. Anything I would have had to wait outside for and didn’t have a fastpass for, I was just not going to wait. Anything that would have me outside without any chance of cooling down (ex, the shows at Hollywood Studios) I skipped. As much as I love Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones, the thought of sitting outside close to people without the chance to cool down for 30-40 minutes sounded like torture. The key to getting around the park and staying cool is utilizing restaurants, bathrooms, and gift shops (All air conditioned). Sometimes my mom and I just sat at a quick service restaurant for 15 minutes to cool our bodies down before we braved the heat again. You and everyone else in your party will feel better after a refreshing break.
Bring a misting fan:
I bought one cheap from Wal Mart and was so incredibly thankful I had it. It made some of the longer walks or longer waits bearable.
Try a zero calorie snack:
If you purchase the refillable mug or just bought a soda and a quick service restaurant, don’t throw away the ice. Keep it with you as you walk around the park. This zero calorie snack is a great way to cool yourself down.
Become a vampire during the hottest part of the day:
For this particular trip, our plan of attack was fastpasses early in the day so we were back at our hotel during the hottest/most crowded part of the day, then back to the parks at dusk. If you go into the trip knowing that you might not get to everything in the park, but it will be worth it because you won’t be mentally, emotionally, and physically drained then you will feel good about your decision to cut out early and come back later.
Do you want to build a snowman? How about ice skate?
If you are fortunate enough to visit Disney World while Frozen has taken over Hollywood Studios, make sure to visit the Wandering Oaken Fun Zone. To give you some indication of how cool it is in there, the staff members are wearing winter sweaters and pants. Inside this winter wonderland is a huge pile of snow kids (and adult kids) can make snow castles and dig in actual snow. Or for $10, you glide along in the indoor ice rink. My mom and I just sat in this building for a while. Not to mention this is where you can get some delicious Frozen themed treats. Definitely a must see if you’re there this summer.
Some things to consider:
With all this talk of unforgivable heat, it might seem counterintuitive for me to tell you to pack a light jacket, but here is my rationale for it. If you are a sweater or are now wet thanks to an attraction with water and you enter into a deliciously air conditioned room (for example the hall of presidents for a 40 minute show), evaporation will cool you down. And at times, it might make you even chilly. Having a super lightweight jacket can come in handy.
The pools were not exactly refreshing. Now I can’t attest to every pool in the Walt Disney World Resort, but I can say the pool I had at my hotel was like bath water. This is something that feels amazing on a chilly November day, but when you are just looking to cool down and you think pool is the trick only to be met with 85-90 degree water, you realize it would be more refreshing to take a cold shower. This was a bit of a letdown to me, but in the intense sun, I understand how the shallow pools heat up so fast. Swimming in the morning would be your best chance at a refreshing experience.
My other tip to you would be to take advantage of the late extra magic hours if you can. My mom and I stayed for the Magic Kingdom extra magic hours from 11-1am. We made it to around 12:30 but the lines were so short and it was much cooler than during the day.
Overall this was a very good trip. It might be awhile until I go back in the summer, but this is because I am spoiled by Disney World in January (parks are empty). As always, be smart about being in the heat. Stay hydrated and don’t forget the sunscreen. Just enjoy your time there without overdoing it and you will feel calm, cool, and collected throughout your trip.