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6 Unexpectedly Cool Disney Attractions

3. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (Disneyland)

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Image: Jeremy Thompson, Flickr (license)

Air Conditioned: No

Shaded Queue: Yes

Good for Kids: Yes

A cross between the Mad Tea Party and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, this is currently the only FASTPASS-enabled dark ride in Disneyland. If you elect to try the standby line, you’ll be treated to a fully-indoor queue, albeit not one that’s blessed with air-conditioning—and with the body heat of a few hundred people crammed in the faux alleyways of Toontown, it can get a little warm. The ride itself lasts only four minutes, but as soon as you exit Mickey’s Toontown, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump over to the next indoor attraction (also FASTPASS-enabled, albeit with a long outdoor queue): “it’s a small world.”

4. Soarin’ Around the World (Disney California Adventure)

Soarin' Around the World

Image: Jeremy Thompson, Flickr (license)

Air Conditioned: Yes

Shaded Queue: Partially

Good for Kids: No (height requirement: 40 inches)

Even if you forget to book a FASTPASS for this 4.5-minute hang-gliding adventure, you’re still in luck: the hour+ wait times Soarin’ commands are made all the more bearable by a mostly-indoor queue lined with interesting historical photographs and memorabilia of famous pilots. The outdoor portion of the line is kept in partial shade, and on extra-hot days, mist is periodically sprayed from fans mounted above the queue. Like Indiana Jones Adventure, single rider is never a guaranteed option here, but it’s always worth asking the cast member at the front of the line… just in case.

5. Splash Mountain (Disneyland)

Splash Mountain

Image: HarshLight, Flickr (license)

Air Conditioned: No

Shaded Queue: Partially

Good for Kids: No (height requirement: 40 inches)

We would be remiss to leave off all mention of the park’s iconic water-based rides on this list, but it’s worth noting that these rides, as with most in the parks, have outdoor or unshaded queues that can make a crowded, hot day feel even more unbearable. Here, the key is to bypass both the standby and FASTPASS lines for Splash Mountain (both of which run similar routes through shaded and unshaded areas) and instead head back through the exit toward the single rider line. On Disneyland’s busiest days, this isn’t a crowd-beating tip as much as it is a sun-beating tip. The single rider line is fully shaded and often the shortest of the three. The only downside? Single riders are usually placed in the back of the ride canoes, so if you want to get really, truly soaked, your best bet is to get a FASTPASS and hope for seat no. 1.

5. Toy Story Midway Mania (Disney California Adventure)

Toy Story Midway ManiaImage: Jason Pratt, Flickr (license)

Air Conditioned: Yes

Shaded Queue: Partially

Good for Kids: Yes

More interactive than Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and more suitable for acrophobes than Soarin’ Around the World, Toy Story Midway Mania is one of Disney California Adventure’s best and most family-friendly options on a hot summer day. Most of the queue is in shade or indoors, and the ride itself lasts eight minutes without once spinning its riders out into the Southern California heat. Of course, this is also one of the park’s most popular attractions, so it’s well worth reserving a FASTPASS before the temperature reaches triple digits.

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What’s your go-to strategy to escape the heat at the Disney Parks? Do you prefer dark rides, roller coasters, or grabbing a Dole Whip and waiting for the sun to go down in the Enchanted Tiki Room?

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