Home » Here’s How to Beat the Heat Without Leaving the Parks at Walt Disney World

    Here’s How to Beat the Heat Without Leaving the Parks at Walt Disney World

    Water from Casey's

    For guests who are not used to Florida’s wild summer weather, the heat and humidity at Walt Disney World can be startling. Additionally, it causes more stress as guests become much more frustrated when their bodies are not comfortable. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and while hitting the pool instead of the parks is the obvious choice, there are plenty of ways to stay cool without sacrificing time in the theme parks.

    Stay hydrated

    Water from Casey's

    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    It may feel like we’re pointing out the obvious here, but many of us are not conscious enough about our water intake in our day-to-day lives, never mind while we’re out visiting a Florida theme park in the summer. Ideally you should be drinking water almost constantly while touring the parks in the summer. If you find yourself starting to feel really uncomfortable because of the heat, having a couple of sips of cold water can make a world of difference.

    Water in a Disney park does not need to be expensive (or a burden to carry) either. Many guests who end up feeling dehydrated, or just frustrated from the oppressive temperatures are not drinking as much water as they should because they put off continually paying $3+/bottle. Without purchasing or carrying bottles around, you can always ask for a cup of water from any Disney quick service location (or kiosk that has a soda machine) for free. Doing so regularly throughout the day will help you stay hydrated and beat the heat.

    Indoor shows

    Carousel of Progress

    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    Planning on visiting show attractions during the middle of the day is always a handy game plan to have. In the afternoon, when the parks are often the most crowded, seeing some shows gives you a chance to experience attractions that will not have long lines to wait in, while being indoors with the beautiful Florida air conditioning for what will likely be the hottest part of the day.

    Relaxing with some good old AC during a show not only lets you cool off, but it also allows you to squeeze in some time for a few of the park’s most overlooked attractions that you have otherwise skipped, like the American Adventure in Epcot’s World Showcase of the Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom. 

    (Long) shaded rides


    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    Outdoor rides that go by quickly may not provide much relief, however rides that last for a longer time and are either shaded or have movement that creates enough of a breeze can be a fun way to relax and cool off.  When visiting the Magic Kingdom for instance, a spin on the PeopleMover or around the park via the Walt Disney World Railroad can make all the difference.


    Mouse Gear

    Image: Disney

    As you would imagine, most shops are located indoors, and in Florida wherever there are closed walls you will find air conditioning. Even if you really have no interest in shopping, stores can also offer air conditioned short cuts that can help cool you off when you need it most. Many of these shortcuts can be found in the large stores near the front of each park, like the Emporium at the Magic Kingdom or Mouse Gear in Epcot.

    Eat (wisely)

    Sat'uli Canteen

    Image: Disney

    It may seem obvious, but having a late lunch or an early dinner can help you cool down more than you realize. And spending some time off your feet doesn’t hurt either. Quick service, table service, it doesn’t matter—anywhere you can sit inside with a cold drink will help! Sitting down for a meal during the middle of the afternoon can also help you work around crowds. The middle of the day is typically the most crowded, so by eating during this time you’ll miss the long lines for attractions.

    If the heat is really getting to you, be sure to choose what you eat wisely. Comfort foods like macaroni and baked potatoes may be great pick-me ups in the winter time, but heavier meals like this will not make you feel better in the summer. Instead, stick to sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and anything light that will not leave you feeling bloated and even hotter as you walk through the parks

    Use a fan or cooling towels


    Image: Disney

    Whether you bring a handheld fan from home, or purchase a spray fan from the parks, having a fan ready to go in your bag and be a lifesaver while you’re waiting in a hot line or for the afternoon parade to start. While the spray fans are very popular, if you are in the market for a fan in the parks consider how much you’ll want to carry them around. If you’re looking for something smaller, check out some of the shops in World Showcase, at China or the Outpost between China and Germany as you can usually purchase smaller (non-electric) fans from either location.

    Occasionally you’ll see cooling towels sold in the parks during the summer months, but they are not necessarily sold everywhere like rain ponchos would be, so if you must have one during your trip you may be better off buying one before your trip. Cooling towels work well, as they are activated and become cool when they are wet—many guests simply wrap them around a cold drink to activate the coolness with the condensation. The only downside to cooling towels is that they may not be the most budget-friendly option, as once you wash them they become regular towels.

     Water rides

    Splash Mountain

    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    Despite all of the water rides having long lines in the summer, you’d be surprised how many guests skip them as a result of the line. During your Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom days, be sure to book FastPasses for Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids in the afternoon. You’ll be able to cool down during the hottest part of the day, and although wet clothes may not be the most comfortable you’ll find some relief from the heat until you dry.

    Move slower (and later)


    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    It is tempting to rush from ride to ride while visiting the parks, especially if part of your motivation for rushing around is to find shade. The downside to this however is that you’re going to work up a sweat quicker than you would briskly walking with the weather you likely have at home. Plan on taking it easy, and walking around the parks slowly on those hot days. You will not lose that much time by slowing down your pace, and you’ll find yourself a bit less-sweatier.

    If you do not mind missing the first part of the day in the parks, you could always spend the morning and early afternoon by the pool, and head out to the parks later as the sun goes down. Although it will still be hot, waiting for the sun to go down will make your visit that much easier and more comfortable. Of course, you probably do not want to only be in the parks at night during every day of your trip, but if one day turns out to be hotter than the rest, this may be the way to go.