Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort during summer can be a real challenge. It’s hot, it’s humid and it's crowded. Daily temperatures are in the mid-90s and visitors not used to the Floridian weather can easily run out of steam by early afternoon. Fortunately, there are ways to cool down. Here are some tips for beating the heat plus my favorite Disney World places to cool off.
At the Magic Kingdom, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’Soak Station in the Storybook Circus is amazing. Be warned, though, once your child is frolicking in the splash pad it will be hard to get them back to touring the park. The area is rather large and you too will get wet trying to retrieve your reluctant toddler.
In Epcot there are two splash pads that provide relief from the summer heat. One is located by Mission: SPACE and Test Track in Future World and one is found near the Innoventions Pavillion. Bring a change of clothes, and most of all make sure to keep the sneakers dry. Touring the parks in wet sneakers is a recipe for blisters.
Even when shopping at Downtown Disney you can have the kids cool off at two splash zones. Both are at Market Place, one near the Once Upon A Toy store and a smaller fountain next to The Days of Christmas store. Plenty of benches are available for the parents and there are bathrooms nearby to change the kids into dry clothes.
If you plan on staying at a Disney Resort here are some of my favorite pools:
First on my list is the Big Blue pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, where underwater speakers play surf music and character voices from the film "Finding Nemo" whisper in your ears. And should your little one want to discover more water fun, check out "The Little Mermaid" and "Cars" themed pools. There are no quiet pools at this resort.
Young buccaneers will love the Fuentes del Morro pool of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Located at Old Port Royale, it is themed to resemble an old Spanish-style Caribbean fort and comes complete with pirates’ cannons. At the splash area right next to it, the water comes in drenching downpours from a barrel on top of a crow’s nest and nobody stays dry. In addition to the main pool, there are six leisure pools, one for each area of the resort.
Check out Disney’s Coronado Spring Resort. The Lost City of Cibola pool has an impressive 50-foot pyramid with a 123-foot-long waterslide, and it is beautiful when lit at night. Next to the pool is an archeological-themed playground. The Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas areas of the resort offer three leisure pools.
At Disney’s Boardwalk, a deluxe resort, the 190,000-gallon main Luna Park pool is reminiscent of the 1920’s amusement parks. The 200-foot slide called Keister Coaster is built like a wooden roller coaster and an absolute must for every daring guest. Once your kids have discovered the pool, getting them back to the parks might become an unexpected challenge. But there is a great consolation prize for weary parents as the Leaping Horse Libations pool bar is conveniently located next to the pool for drinks. It's shaped like a giant carousel - you can't miss it.
Getting your kids out of the pool will be a challenge no matter what resort you stay at. Kids simply love splashing around, and the many pool activities such as Disney triva games, bingo and dance parties are very hard to resist. All resorts offer pool activities. Make sure you ask for a daily schedule upon arrival at your resort.
Liliane Opsomer is a freelance writer and the co-author of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids” a guidebook that provides planning and touring tips for a family vacation.
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