With tadpoles out of school, many frog families tend to plan Disney trips during their summer vacations. Orlando is located in the middle of Florida, which has a warm, subtropical climate year-round. Although the heat is at its highest over the summer months, it can get hot year-round. Never fear, you can beat the heat at Disney World if you plan and strategize accordingly. We’ve gathered all our knowledge about Florida’s higher temperatures and humidity in this post, so you can stay cool at Disney World!
Overview of Florida’s Climate
Florida’s nickname is the Sunshine State, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that it can get HOT out under the sun. As mentioned, the weather is consistently warm year-round, even during the winter months. During the winter season, high temperatures average around mid-70 degrees Fahrenheit with occasional cold snaps. Meanwhile over the summer season, high temperatures steadily reach the low- to mid-90 degrees. On top of the heat, there are also high humidity levels, which makes it feel even hotter! So you definitely want to prepare!
How to Pack for the Heat
Packing for a warm, humid climate can be tricky, particularly if you don’t quite know what to expect. But rest assured, if you keep these items in mind, you’ll be able to handle the Florida heat and stay cool at Disney World!
SUNSCREEN IS A MUST. The sun can be brutal, and you don’t want to regret not wearing sunscreen later. While you may look funny turning as red as Sebastian the crab, sunburn is no laughing matter. It hurts and can easily ruin a trip. We highly recommend bringing a tube or spray bottle with you instead of buying on Disney World property. But you shouldn’t have any trouble finding sunscreen at the parks and resorts if you run out or froget. Apply in the morning and slather up throughout the day.
Hats and Sunglasses
Protect your face and eyes from the bright rays. A simple baseball cap or visor will do just fine with keeping the sun off your face. Keep your favorite pair of fancy sunglasses home, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. You can always find a cheap pair at a local store.
Lightweight, Quick-Dry Clothing
You’ll want to stick to lightweight, quick-dry clothing because of the high humidity. This applies to masks as well, which are required at all Orlando theme parks. Thick fabrics such as cotton or denim won’t let your skin breathe as easily as moisture-wicking material will. Light colors are better than wearing black or darker-colored clothing. It may not be as fashionable, but we’d choose comfort over style when it comes to picking park outfits. Looking for tips for wearing a mask? We have a whole post with suggestions on wearing masks in the parks.
Portable Misting Fan
It may seem like more of a luxury item than a necessity, but honestly, you won’t be disappointed if you bring one. When Tad and Lily (and even Leap) complain about being too hot, I just spray them down to help them stay cool. Recently, we've noticed a new trend of neck cooling fans while wearing the mandatory face coverings.
One of our best tips is soaking a cooling towel with cold water at the start of the day and wearing it around your neck. (You bet one of our favorites is the Chilly Pad from frogg toggs.)
Tips to Beat the Heat at Disney World
1. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is our most important tip for surviving the heat at Disney World. Dehydration and other heat-related illnesses are common ailments that visitors face while they’re at the parks. It’s tempting to quench your thirst with an ice-cold soda or a frozen margarita, but sugary and alcoholic drinks can leave you further dehydrated. So, if you do indulge in these types of drinks, make sure you’re still drinking at least an equal amount (preferably more!) of water. Pack reusable water bottles for every frog in the family, so you can fill up throughout the day instead of constantly buying pricey bottled water. Quick-service restaurants also provide free cups of water if you simply ask.
2. Take frequent breaks.
It’s easy to get caught up in planning your trip, as you attempt to squeeze in as much as possible. Be sure to schedule short but frequent periods of downtime during the day, or be flexible enough to stop while you’re at the parks, to allow everyone to take a breather. If you want to take off your masks, there are two to three Relaxation Stations in each park. You know what those wise old frogs say, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
3. Visit the parks in the mornings and evenings.
Rise and shine, morning frogs! We like using this strategy occasionally when the hot temperatures become too much in the afternoon. Arrive at the parks early in the morning, and make time a longer break later in the day. Not only you’ll miss the hottest part of the day, but you’ll beat the crowds and possibly miss a thunderstorm. Florida is known for its quick afternoon summer showers during its rainy season. Take the time to get some rest back at your hotel and recharge. Then you’ll be ready for dinner and continuing the fun through the night.
We wouldn't recommend this strategy when the parks close earlier at night. (Take full advantage and maximize your time in the parks!)
4. Eat cool snacks.
When we say eat cool snacks, we mean it both literally and figuratively. Seize the photo op for your Instagram-worthy treats and let them cool you down after you snap that perfect shot. Our froggy favorites include the classic Dole Whip and Mickey ice cream bars. Also, Disney constantly comes up with creative ice cream desserts, specially around times of celebrations for holidays or new movie releases. It’s the perfect excuse to eat ice cream!
5. Go on water rides, or hang out at splash pads.
Hopping on water rides is our favorite way to cool down! You don’t have to sacrifice any ride time, and you can escape the heat as you get splashed (or soaked). The ride with the highest chance of getting wet is the river raft ride, Kali River Rapids, in Animal Kingdom. You can’t miss Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom either. As you walk around the parks, you may come across misting stations or splash pads (however, these may be temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19). Chill out for a few minutes before you continue on your way.
6. Swim at your resort’s pool.
Don't froget to plan some park downtime to take advantage of the hotel pool that’s right downstairs! All of the Disney resorts have fabulous pool areas with at least one large, themed feature pool. Some resorts have pools specifically meant for relaxing, quiet time, while other resorts are so big that there are multiple pools for convenience. We’ve even ranked our favorites.
Right now, the water parks are closed, but once they reopen, you can catch waves at Typhoon Lagoon's wave pool or plummet down Blizzard Beach's speed slide. Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon each have a uniquely themed set of attractions that cater to all members of the family.
7. Seek air conditioning whenever possible.
Fortunately, many of the rides, restaurants, shows and shops are indoors and #blessed with air conditioning. It’s nice hopping from one spot to another knowing that you’ll get some relief from the heat. Another strategy is to book a dining reservation during the hottest parts of the day and eat leisurely. This always gives us time to reflect positively on the day so far and plan out what to do next. Spend some time souvenir shopping as well. Many gift shops near the front of each park are interconnected, so you don’t even have to step outside as you move from store to store.
Best Disney World Attractions and Shows to Beat the Heat
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Enchanted Tales with Belle (currently closed)
- The Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion
- "it's a small world"
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor (currently closed)
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Carousel of Progress
- Enchanted Tiki Room
Disney's Hollywood Studios
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along (currently closed)
- Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Star Tours
- Star Wars Launch Bay (currently being used as a Mask Relaxation area)
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Toy Story Mania!
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid (currently closed)
- The American Adventure
- Awesome Planet
- Canada Far and Wide
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along and/or Impressions de France
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE
- Reflections of China
- The Sea with Nemo & Friends
- Soarin' Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Festival of the Lion King (currently closed)
- Finding Nemo — The Musical (currently closed)
- It's Tough to be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Na'vi River Journey
Don't let the summer heat keep you from having fun. Have you figured out any other ways to beat the heat at Disney World? Share in the comments below!