I’ve been going to Disney World for 30 years. Here are 7 tips for surviving the parks in the summer heat.

I’ve been going to Disney World for 30 years. Here are 7 tips for surviving the parks in the summer heat.

megan posing for a photo in front of cinderella castle at disney world and a shot of typhoon lagoon water park at disney world

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After going to Disney World for 30 years, I know how to survive the heat.

Megan duBois



  • I’ve been going to Disney World for 30 years, so I know that summers in Orlando can be brutal. 
  • I’ve learned to bring a small handheld fan into the parks to beat the heat.
  • I also love to hit the water parks late in the afternoon instead of in the morning.
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Disney World is one of the most-visited theme parks in the world, and during the summer, the crowds and heat can both be high.

I love going to the parks to ride my favorite attractions and eat at some of the best restaurants, but the harsh Florida heat can greatly impact a trip.

After visiting Disney World for more than 30 years, I’ve learned how to survive the dog days of summer. Here are my top tips.

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I like to visit the water parks in the afternoon.

shot of typhoon lagoon water park in disney world in he evening on a cloudy night

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Cloud cover does wonders for cooling down a hot Florida day.

Megan duBois



One of my favorite things to do at Disney World is visit one of the two water parks, which alternate being open throughout the year. This summer, Typhoon Lagoon is open.

As the days get longer in June and July, there are certain nights when the water park is open until 8 p.m.

I love getting to the park around 5 p.m. when most people are packing up and the heat of the day is starting to cool down. It’s a great time to hit some big water slides and the lazy river for a few hours.

Additionally, Typhoon Lagoon hosts H2O Glow After Hours, a separately ticketed event during which the park is open until 11 p.m. on select summer nights.

This is a great way to spend time in the park without the blazing sun making the water feel too hot.

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A small handheld fan is a lifesaver while walking through the parks.

megan posing with a small handheld fan at disney world hollywood studios popsicle stick wall

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I always have a portable fan in my park bag.

Megan duBois



Summer temperatures in Florida can reach over 100 degrees, and that’s not even factoring in the high humidity.

One of my theme-park essentials is a handheld, rechargeable fan. I like ones that can fold to fit into a small fanny pack or purse, but neck fans are also popular around the parks.

I whip out the fan whenever I start feeling too hot. But I’ll also use it in air-conditioned queues since the fan can direct the cold air right to my face.

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Skip afternoons at the park and go in the evening to watch the fireworks.

cinderella castle lit up at night in magic kingdom at Disney world

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I like to catch a few rides and a fireworks show at the parks in the evening.

Megan duBois



Afternoons are going to be the hottest time at the theme parks. After doing a few things in the morning, I like to head back to my hotel for a few hours before returning to the parks in the evening.

Once the sun starts to go down, the air feels slightly cooler, which makes theme-park activities much more enjoyable.

My general rule of thumb is to get to the park by 5 p.m. to maximize my evening time. I usually hit a few rides and watch any nighttime shows, like Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom

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Finding longer shows or rides is a great way to cool down.

exterior shot of the haunted mansion at disney world magic kingdom

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Haunted Mansion is a nice, slow-moving indoor ride.

Megan duBois



If you plan on being at the parks in the morning or afternoon, I suggest prioritizing longer shows and indoor rides. Sitting for a while can be extremely satisfying on a hot day.

Some of my favorites are Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom, “Festival of the Lion King” at Animal Kingdom, and The American Adventure at Epcot.

I like to alternate between one indoor attraction or show and one outdoor activity to avoid getting too hot.

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Look for water rides and splash pads.

shot of fancy topiary at the moana journey of water attraction  in epcot at disney world

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Journey of Water is a newer walk-through attraction at Epcot.

Megan duBois



If you need an instant refresh, water rides are a great option. You may get wet, but the instant cool-off is worth a few wet splotches on a T-shirt. Plus, you’ll inevitably dry quickly in the sun.

A few of my favorite water attractions are Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom and Journey of Water at Epcot.

There are also some children’s splash pads around the parks, like the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station at Magic Kingdom.

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If you’re staying all day, consider making a table-service dining reservation.

exterior shot of yak and yeti restaurant in animal kingdom at disney world

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Yak & Yeti is a nice sit-down restaurant in Animal Kingdom.

Megan duBois



I don’t recommend staying in the parks all day in the summer, but if you must, consider making a sit-down reservation for lunch.

If you aim for any time between 1 and 2:30 p.m., you should get the opportunity to relax, cool off, and take a break from the crowds while avoiding the big lunch rush.

I’ve had an easy time grabbing last-minute reservations at places like The Plaza in Magic Kingdom, Via Napoli in Epcot, and Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom.

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Avoid driving to the parks, if you can.

shot of the monorail traveling from epcot at disney world

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The monorail is usually cooler and quicker than driving back to the Disney hotels.

Megan duBois



It may be tempting to drive to the theme park for the day, but if you’re staying at a Disney hotel, I think the complimentary transportation is a better option.

The parking lots can be exceptionally hot when the heat starts radiating off the tarmac, and you’re car will likely be scorching by the end of the day.

Instead, I prefer to hop on one of the Disney buses, the monorail, or a boat.

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This post was originally published on Insider

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