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My Favorite Disney World Places to Cool Off Plus Tips to Beat the Heat!

by Liliane Opsomer on July 15, 2014

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.

Places to cool off - Disney's Art of Animation Big Blue Pool

Tips on how to enjoy the parks and beat the summer heat:

  • Rise early on the days you plan on visiting the theme parks.
  • Don’t eat breakfast at the parks; you will be wasting precious touring time, especially when the crowds are at their lowest and the parks are at their coolest.
  • Be at the gates at least 30 minutes prior to opening and experience the attractions that are on your "must-do" list.
  • Schedule shows for later in the day when it's hotter since they are held indoors.
  • Stay hydrated. Water fountains are available throughout the parks; refill your water bottles and make sure the kids drink enough.
  • Protect your family from the sun; bring an umbrella for the stroller and slap on sunscreen regularly.
  • Bring a rain poncho. The summertime downpours don’t last, but they are intense.
  • Take a break from the park by 2 p.m.; return to the hotel for a nap and some relaxing time at the pool. In the cooler evening hours, go back for some more fun, dinner, shows and fireworks.

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.

Disney World cool off - Casey Jr.

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Epcot splash pad

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Downtown Disney splash pad

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Disney's Art of Animation Big Blue Pool

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Disney's Caribbean Beach pool

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Disney's Coronado Springs pool

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.

Disney World places to cool off - Boardwalk Hotel pool

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.

Sort newest to oldest Sort oldest to newest
Moms & Munchkins Jul 21, 2014 at 4:33 a.m.

This is such a fabulous list - thank you! My son is obsessed with water parks and splash pads so I'm sure he'd love to stop at each one of these during our visit.

Liliane Opsomer Aug 15, 2014 at 3:04 a.m.

I am so glad you love the story. I love those splash pads too and have the best of time watching kids having pure fun.

Lisa Aug 13, 2014 at 1:22 a.m.

Do they still have the splash pads during December?

Liliane Opsomer Aug 15, 2014 at 3:06 a.m.

Hi Lisa: I have been to Disney during every single month of the year and the splash pads are up and running all the time. Exception would be if it is a really VERY cold day but yes, even in December and January I have seen them working. It is a bit like the water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). They are open year round but once in a while due to inclement weather Disney shuts them down or closes them early. Hope this helps.

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