It’s no secret that Orlando is hot most of the year, and incredibly hot in the summer months. Since the busiest times of year fall during the summer holidays, the days are not only hot, but crowded. So, how do you enjoy yourself in 90+ degree weather, 95% humidity and packed parks. Here are my top 12 trips and tricks to not only survive the heat, but have a great time doing it!
As you all know, the days start out cool and get hotter. So, get to the parks at rope drop (20 minutes before they open). You will not only be at the park when the day is cooler, but you will also be there when they are less crowded. If you pick the park with the morning EMH this will help as well.
‘When the sun hits it’s highest point, around 1:00PM-2:00PM, get out of the park. Go back to the hotel, enjoy a nice swim, take a nap in air conditioning, etc. Essentially the mid afternoon hours bring the most crowds and the most intense heat. Don’t suffer through them.
Don’t Fear the
Rain in Orlando, and most of the south, is really just mother nature crying because it’s too hot and even she can’t take it. After she has her little meltdown, it cools way down. It never lasts more than an hour or two and if you have a poncho they are a great time to be in the park. Everyone else thinks “Oh no, the day is ruined, let’s go back to the hotel” You on the other hand know better and ride all the rides with shorter lines. Yes, you have wet socks, but that’s ok, you packed extra anyway cuz you’re smart like that. Oh and if you are on a budget, you bring your own poncho from home. It will also save you waiting in lines to buy said poncho.
Ride the Water Rides
This is the perfect time to ride Kali River Rapids. Make your FastPass+ for noon or 1:00PM. Do pack an extra set of clothes though. It can be as simple as leggings and a tank top or a bathing suit you change into before the ride. At the very least, pack extra socks and a pair of flip flops. You do not wanna walk around in the humidity and heat in wet clothes.
Take Advantage of Evening EMH
When the sun sets, the temperatures drop and the parks become less crowded. During most of the summer the parks have Extra Magic Hours at night, some as late as 2:00AM or 3:00AM. This is the PERFECT time to be in the parks if you can swing it. You beat crowds and heat. Plus it’s a great excuse to stay up late and “party”.
Take advantage of Air Conditioning
This is not the time to have lunch at an outdoor location. Believe it or not, a lot of Disney World restaurants do not have indoor seating in the parks. Make sure you snag a table at a restaurant with air conditioning. Also, if you’ve had enough of the heat but still want a bit more time in the park, take a break and do a bit of shopping, window or other wise.
In a similar vein as the tip above eating light can really help keep you cool. There is a lot of temptation at Walt Disney World. The pictures of the cupcakes alone will make you want to forget your healthy eating and throw yourself into a full sugar coma. And let’s not even talk about the burgers and ice cream and mac and cheese and… well you get it. Still, when it’s hot, eating a lot only make you hotter. So save your huge meal for when you are not in the park (dinner?) and enjoy lighter fare throughout the day.
Pack Frozen Water Bottles
No, not the kind with Anna and Elsa hugging Olaf on the front, I mean disposable water bottles which have been put in your freezer. They thaw throughout the day and you always have cold water.
I know I just spoke about packing frozen water bottles, but hey, water is important, so I bring it up twice. If you do not have a freezer in your room to freeze your water bottles and don’t like room temperature (aka hot water in the Florida summer) do not dispair. All Disney quick service restaurants are required to give you FREE glasses of iced water. Let me repeat that, they will give you FREE glasses of Iced Water whenever you ask. Yes the water is tap water and yeah, you may think that tastes funny, but it will hydrate you and again, it’s free. You can buy bottled water if you are picky about your water (I’m looking at my husband here). However you get your water, get lots of it.
These little towels* are amazing, you wet them and they cool you down. You just dampen it with some of that free water, it need not be cold water, and you put it on your neck. If you’re stuck in an outdoor line, these are fantastic.
People will tell you to wear tank tops and super short shorts, and sure, that works if your 15 and in killer shape, but let’s be real, most of us are not comfortable in booty shorts and bikini tops (I know I am not). I have found that loose, light colored tops with thin fabric shorts or capris are just as cool as running around in a bathing suit cover up. Thin dresses with cropped leggings or biker shorts are also very cool and allow for free movement when getting on and off rides. At the end of the day, the trick is loose and thin.
I saved the most important for last. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the sun in Florida is no joke. You will get burned, easily. So, you will need sunscreen, lots of it. It’s ridiculously expensive on property. So, bring some and apply it often. In our family we have a lot of sensitive skin issues and after trying a bunch of different ones, the one that worked for us on all fronts was this one.*
So that’s it, those are my top 12 tips on how to stay cool in the Florida heat and still enjoy your vacation.
Oh and for those of you who sent concerned comments, don’t worry, the baby wasn’t in direct sunlight all day. We had a big hat for her and a stroller with one of those huge sun shades. She was also slathered in sun screen and only in the park for a few hours a day.
*I do not make any money off of these links. I only post them because I use these products and like them.