For some, visiting Walt Disney World during the summer months may be the only opportunity you have to take a family vacation. I will warn you, if you have not visited Orlando in the summer months, it is stifling HOT! Actually, the heat begins in May (sometimes April), so plan accordingly! And whether you think you are used to it or not, the oppressive heat and humidity in Florida can be very hard to handle. I absolutely LOVE the heat, but during a recent visit, I will admit the heat and humidity combination had me questioning my decision to spend a weekend in Orlando in June!
There are however ways to manage and deal with the heat and humidity while vacationing at Walt Disney World.
Start Early & Leave In the Afternoon
The earlier your day starts, the cooler it will be. The temperatures rise very quickly in the summer months in Florida, so by 10:00 or 11:00am, the heat can already feel suffocating. If you plan well, you can manage to get several hours of park time early in the morning and be able to leave mid-day to cool off.
You may be tempted to stay… don’t. Head back to the hotel – go swimming, take a nap or shower, cool off in the hotel’s A/C. I have stayed in the park in oppressive heat all day and it’s not healthy. The heat will exhaust you and your body really needs to cool off.
Once the sun sets, you will feel rested and recharged and ready to head back out for the evening to enjoy the parks again!
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
I cannot stress this enough! If nothing else, you need to drink massive amounts of water to keep your body temperature down and replenish what you are sweating in the Florida heat. Be sure to drink a Powerade every now and then also to ensure you replenish electrolytes as well. Electrolytes will help your body recover faster.
Disney Parks sell Dasani and Smart Water, but you can also get FREE water from any Counter/Quick Service restaurant in the parks. Just ask for a cup of water, with or without ice. You are served tap water, but water is water. And if you are in desperate need of a drink, this will do!
TIP: I bring packets of Pedialyte powder with me and add it to bottled water. Like Powerade, Pedialyte is full of electrolytes and great for hydrating in the excessive heat.
TIP: If you enjoy an alcoholic beverage (or two) while on vacation, be mindful on days when it’s brutally hot. Alcohol dehydrates you quickly and too much of it paired with the piercing sun, it usually does not end well. Especially in the World Showcase in Epcot, where drinking a cold beer or two is common. There is very little shade in the World Showcase, so you are in the beating sun for much of a day. Be sure to drink lots of water to counter any alcohol you are drinking!
Bring a Fan or Umbrella
At the parks you will see many Guests using the misting fans. Those work really well! Disney does sell them, but you can get those and other portable fans at local retailers like Walmart or Amazon.
You can purchase clip on fans for strollers or wheelchairs, as well. Buy one that is rechargeable or has rechargeable batteries (like this one!) so you can use your battery pack (or Fuel Rod) to recharge when needed! If you purchase one with regular batteries, be sure to have plenty of hand. The batteries die pretty quickly, you don’t want to be without your fan!
Many of us pack umbrellas for the rain. It can also serve as protection from the sun and heat! Consider bringing it to the parks even on non-rainy days!
TIP: I like to bring cans of Evian water spray. You can purchase them at your local drug store or Sephora/Ulta. They are great to mist your face or body when it’s extremely hot!
Consider booking a dining reservation, shop for merchandise or hop on an indoor attraction. When the heat gets to be too much, the best thing you can do is head indoors to cool off and enjoy some A/C.
This would be a great time to enjoy a Table Service restaurant. Check the My Disney Experience app to see if there is any availability. This will provide you with at least an hour indoors, enough time to cool off.
How about doing some souvenir shopping? The gift shops throughout Walt Disney World are all air conditioned, head indoors and spend some money or just browse! Either way, it will feel good to get out of the burning sun.
Some of the attractions at Walt Disney World can be quite lengthy and take up some time. Under usual circumstances, you may not like that idea, but when it’s time to take a break, the longer the ride the better! Hop on Carousel of Progress or visit the Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom to cool off!
Wear the Proper Clothing
I admit, I have made this mistake more than once! I have either underestimated the heat OR have worn something for the sake of a photo and been stuck sweating all day because the clothes are inappropriate for the crazy heat! Either way I’ve learned my lesson. Less is more (but stay appropriate)! And make sure the clothing material is breathable. Moisture wicking clothing is always the best way to go!
Wear breathable shoes as well! Be sure your flip flops or sandals are broken in and can withstand a full day of walking around. Keep your feet as cool as the rest of your body!
And don’t forget your sunglasses and hat to protect you from the blistering sun!
This one may see obvious, but one many of us forget! I admit, I do. I am too busy making sure I have everything else I need for the day, and the sunscreen gets left behind. The sun burns! And it burns quickly. Many of the queues are outside, without shade, you will get a sunburn if you don’t protect yourself.
The worst thing in the world is getting a bad sunburn on Day 1 and having to deal with the pain for the remainder of the vacation! Don’t be that person! Remember to use sunscreen. And take it with you to reapply throughout the day!