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Home / Blog / Theme Park Tips & Planning / Our Favorite Ways to Stay Cool at Universal Orlando

Our Favorite Ways to Stay Cool at Universal Orlando

by Mommy Frog on May 6, 2024
Orlando

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When summer temperatures are soaring and the humidity is high, it’s nearly impossible to escape the heat while you’re outside in Orlando. Even beyond the summer months, the warm weather sticks around, thanks to Florida’s subtropical climate which keeps temps toasty year-round. After all, what would you expect from a place called the Sunshine State? Frogtunately, you’ll find a variety of ways to stay cool at Universal Orlando Resort, no matter when you visit! Follow our froggy tips, and you’ll be able to say that you beat the Florida heat.

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Volcano Bay

Overview of Florida’s Climate

Florida’s subtropical climate is split evenly into a dry season and wet season. The dry season typically happens over the winter and spring months, which see mild to warm temperatures that average mid-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes there will be an occasional cold front that slides in after a rainy day, dropping temperatures into the low 50s.

Once June arrives, the rainy season begins. It brings high temperatures that steadily reach the low- to mid-90s and frequent afternoon thunderstorms (we’ve got another post dedicated to making the most out of rainy days at Universal Orlando!). Humidity levels are also high during this time, only adding to the heat. You can expect the weather outlook to remain this way until October when temps finally start to lower.

Since many frog families travel to Orlando over the summer, you’ll want to be prepared with sunscreen galore! But even during winter, you could probably anticipate warmer temperatures than what you’re used to.

Packing for the Heat

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Bring Your Own Refillable Water Bottle

If you’re a bit unsure about what to pack for hot and humid weather, we’ve got you covered! This is a list of our Frog Family essentials that help us stay cool at Universal Orlando.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is our no. 1 item that we never froget to pack. We’re not aiming to look as red as Spider-Man. Trust us, you do not want sunburn to ruin any fun! To save money, we definitely recommend bringing a tube or spray bottle with you or buying at a convenience store once you’re in Orlando. However, if you find yourself running low, you can easily find sunscreen at the parks and resorts. Apply in the morning before you hit the parks, but bring it in your bag so you can slather up throughout the day.

Hats and Sunglasses

Protect your face and eyes from the harsh sunlight. All you need is a simple baseball cap or visor. You don’t want to risk losing your sunglasses on a ride (I’ve been there — my pair is probably still somewhere by Fluffy on Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure!), so keep your favorite pair at home and opt for cheap ones for this trip. As an alternative, pack eyewear straps so your sunglasses stay securely on your head (highly recommend for anyone who wears regular glasses and needs them to see but doesn't want a blurry ride!).

Lightweight, Quick-Dry Clothing

Because of the high humidity, you’ll want to pick out lightweight, quick-dry clothing such as tank tops and athletic shorts. Thick fabrics — think denim and cotton — won’t allow your skin to breathe as easily. Avoid dark-colored clothes too!

Refillable Water Bottles

You’ll want to drink water often in order to stay cool at Universal Orlando. Staying hydrated, which we'll cover later in this post, is super important.

Portable Misting Fan or Other Cooling Accessories

These aren’t absolute necessities, but if you already have them, bring ‘em! Whenever Tad and Lily complain about the heat, I’ll spray one of them down and put the cooling towel on the other’s neck. Neck cooling fans have also become a popular accessory.

How to Stay Cool at Universal Orlando

1. Stay Hydrated

Remember those refillable water bottles you packed? They’re the key to staying hydrated! Dehydration and other heat-related illnesses are one of the most common ailments at theme parks. By bringing your own bottles, you’ll save money (and help the environment!) because you won’t have to buy pricey bottled water. Eyeing an ice-cold soda or a frozen margarita? It’s OK to indulge, but just be sure you’re still drinking water, at least an equal amount or more. Sugary and alcoholic drinks can potentially leave you even more dehydrated than before you started sipping.

2. Grab a Butterbeer or Cold Treat

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Butterbeer Ice Cream

But of course, you can't miss an opportunity to cool down with a refreshing swig of Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (found in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). You can also try Butterbeer in the form of ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. (Florean Fortescue's also has other unique flavors, such as chocolate chili.) For the less-informed muggles, Butterbeer is the iconic drink straight from the "Harry Potter" books. It essentially has butterscotch and shortbread flavors, and it’s toadally safe for the tadpoles because there isn’t any actual beer in it. We taste-tested every single Butterbeer item, and we all agree the frozen version is THE best for a hot summer day!

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Toothsome Milkshake

Not a Butterbeer fan? That's a-OK — indulge in other cool treats, such as Toothsome's gigantic milkshakes! Lard Lad Donuts also offers a sundae with ice cream packed in between Homer's famous pink-frosted donuts.

3. Take Frequent Breaks

We toadally understand being so excited with planning your trip that you try to squeeze in as much as possible. Even if you’re on a time crunch, it doesn’t hurt to take mini-breaks throughout the day.

If you have crowd anxiety or a sensory processing disorder, we have our favorite spots where you can take a sensory break (note: many of these are still located outside, although some have cooling fans).

4. Eat a Late Lunch

Typically, the hottest part of the day is during the afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. If you wait to eat a late lunch around this time, you can escape the heat and take your time at a table-service restaurant. Islands of Adventure has Mythos Restaurant and Confisco Grille, while at Universal Studios Florida, you can find Lombard’s Seafood Grille and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill. Universal CityWalk also boasts some amazing restaurants, such as Bigfire and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Since it’s an unusual hour for dining, you shouldn’t have any problems with crowds (unless you're visiting during a peak time — then you may want to make a dining reservation).

5. Hit the Water Rides, or Hang Out at Splash Pads

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Mist Sprinklers

There’s no faster way to cool off at the theme parks than by getting soaked on a water ride or splashed at a water playground. Islands of Adventure has all three water rides: Jurassic Park River Adventure, Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. Tadpoles (and the tadpoles at heart) can play at the kiddie water playgrounds, If I Ran the Zoo and Camp Jurassic at Islands of Adventure and Po's Kung Fu Training Camp at Universal Studios (opening June 14, 2024). Toon Lagoon also has a few water elements to keep an eye out for. Additionally, pay a visit to the mischievous Mystic Fountain in the Lost Continent for a wet and wild good time! And, of course, we can't froget to mention the mist sprinklers outside Animal Actors on Location!

6. Swim at Universal Volcano Bay or Your Resort’s Pool

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Kopiko Way Winding River

In need of an island getaway? Volcano Bay offers a watery paradise for when you just want to chill out on a lazy river or speed down a thrilling water coaster. From Tot Tiki Reef to Ko’kiri Body Plunge, the water park has something for every member of the family.

You can also opt to take advantage of your resort's pool. Hotel guests are allowed to pool hop among the Prime Value, Preferred and Premier hotels only. However, guests of Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites can share the pool at its sister hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites.

7. Seek Air Conditioning Whenever Possible

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Frogtunately, many of the attractions at Universal Studios Florida are indoors, including the queues. So you'll just have to brave the heat when hopping from ride to ride. While Islands of Adventure has more outdoor rides, there are still quite a few rides that provide relief from the sun. Scope out shows, restaurants or gift shops too!

Best Universal Orlando Attractions for Staying Cool

Here are the best attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure to hop to when temps start to get too high.

Universal Studios Florida

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Minion Mayhem

Universal Islands of Adventure

Stay Cool at Universal Orlando - Ripsaw Falls

Whether you stick to the water rides or chug down a Butterbeer (and LOTS of water), a game plan is necessary to avoid heat fatigue. Stay cool!

Did we miss any tips on how to stay cool at Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments below. 

Related: What to Do on a Rainy Day at Universal Orlando

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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