Theme Park Survival Tips: Make the Most of a Super Hot Day

There’s a chance that it will be hot in Florida no matter what time of year you travel, but sometimes the heat is almost unbearable; especially if you’re used to a cooler climate. The summers are the most difficult, because the air temperature is high and the humidity makes it feel even hotter. It is not unusual for the heat index to soar well over 100 degrees in the Orlando area during the summer. Add the heat from the sun, and you might wonder if it’s the perfect vacation destination after all. Walt Disney World is doable in the summer, even with the extreme heat. You just need to be prepared. Here are some tips for cooling off and having a great time on your Disney vacation, even when it’s super hot.

9. Use a Cooling Towel

You may have seen athletes and runners wearing strange-looking towels around their necks on hot days. It turns out that cooling towels are great for a hot day in a theme park as well. The towels are lightweight, and they don’t take up much room. You’ll wet the towel, wring out most of the water, and then snap it. You’ll be amazed by how much cooler you feel once you put it around your neck. You’ll still be hot, but it will make a difference.

8. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Central Florida in the summer is no place for skinny jeans and long sleeved shirts. Wear clothes that will protect you from the sun, but are loose enough so that they won’t stick to your skin if you start to sweat. Light colors are cooler than dark because they won’t absorb the sun as much. You’ll also want to wear a hat with a brim to keep the sun off of your face. Whether or not that hat has Goofy ears hanging down on the sides is totally up to you.

7. Get Wet!

Misting stations spray a small amount of water on guests so that they can cool off without getting soaked. They will help to keep your temperature down. If you don’t mind getting wetter than that, head to a water play area. You can have just as much fun as your kids at Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. Water rides are also a great way to cool off on a hot day, but chances are you’ll have to wait in line, since other guests will have come up with the same idea. You might also want to leave the park for a dip in the hotel pool. You can return again once the sun has gone down. Of course the best way to get wet at Walt Disney World is to hit one of the two water parks. They sometimes reach capacity on hot days, so arrive early.

6. Take a Break

The heat will drain you physically, so take a break during the hottest part of the day. Enjoy a slow meal in an air conditioned restaurant. Take a spin on an indoor ride or two. Watch an indoor movie. Disney has recently added in-park “relaxation centers”. They are places where you can sit down for a few minutes to recharge your phone and your body. Possibly the best is D-Zone, which is located in Epcot inside Innoventions West. You can get out of the heat for a little while and even enjoy a snack in the new area.

5. Watch a Midday Show

Live shows give you a chance to sit down for a while, but you’ll still be doing something. If you want to cram in as much as possible during your day, catching a show during the hottest part of the day might be a good idea. Not all shows are indoors, and even if the seats are covered the sun may still hit you, so pick where you plan to sit carefully if you need to escape the heat for a little while.\

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4. Use Sunscreen

While sunscreen won’t cool you off, it will save you a lot of pain later on. It might seem like a hassle to reapply it several times throughout the day, but it will be worth it in the long run. Even if you don’t normally burn you should still protect your skin. Too many people receive their first-ever sunburn at Walt Disney World because they assumed that they didn’t need sunscreen. A sunburn will make you hot and miserable, and there could be serious consequences later in life. Don’t take any chances, use sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Make sure that everyone else in your family uses it as well. If you wear sandals, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet.

3. Eat Ice Cream

What better way is there to cool off in a hurry than enjoying a Mickey Bar? You can find soft serve and hand scooped ice cream in several places in the theme parks. On hot days Disney will also roll out portable stands and have them near some long lines, so that you can have a delicious ice cream bar while you wait. A quick treat will cool you off and take care of your hunger pangs at the same time.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Sweat is your body’s way to cool off naturally on a hot day. You will need to replenish the lost fluid, and the best way to do that is to drink plenty of water. You can buy bottled water around almost every corner on a hot day at Walt Disney World. You can also bring your own non-glass bottle into the park with you and refill it at the water fountains, there are plenty of them. Most counter service restaurants will give you a free cup of ice water if you ask for it, so there is no reason to get dehydrated. Water is best, you will not get what your body needs from soda, coffee, or alcohol.

1. Pay Attention

The most important thing that you can do to survive a hot day at Walt Disney World is to pay attention to your body. If you feel lightheaded or nauseous, take a break. Sit down for a little while and drink some water. If you feel really sick, head to First Aid. Don’t push yourself too far. Pay attention to your children as well. Make sure that they drink their water, and if they start to complain about being dizzy or not feeling well, take them seriously. It’s better to miss a FastPass+ reservation than it is to end up ill because of the heat.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.