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WDW in the summer
This is part one of how I would deal with touring Walt Disney World during the summer peak season. I would like to hear your thoughts as well. I will post part two next week.
The summer peak seasons ranges from June through Mid August. This is usually the time again when school is out, and it allows parents to take their kids on vacation. This timeframe though is a bit less crowded than Spring Break or Winter Holidays. Why you ask? Well first off, itís HOT! Hades would be quite comfortable in the parks. Temperatures usually will hit the upper 90ís with the Heat Index breaking 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For some it is just too hot to walk around the parks on vacation. Couple that with a high crowd count, and it can make for a less than thrilling vacation.
Secondly, many kids have activities in the summer like Little League and softball so some families will opt to vacation during Spring Break or winter and by-pass summer. This way they do not disrupt the activities of their kids. Plus during the summer it is easier to go to a local swimming pool to stay refreshed.
Now a few points need to be made if you have to vacation during the summer. With it being so hot, there are some safety precautions you need to follow. First, stay hydrated. The Florida heat can get to the best of us, so drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your day at the parks. It is a good idea to drink a bottle of water before you go, take that bottle into the parks with you and fill it up all day long. This will save you money, and you can even get ice for free from an outdoor stand that has ice. You can pay $2.00 per bottle of water throughout the day. Either way you need to continuously drink fluids. Donít wait until you are thirsty. That is the biggest mistake people make during the summer.
Next make sure you have plenty of sunscreen. Apply it every hour or so. The sun will be beating down on you and you do not want a sun burn to ruin your trip. A misting fan of some sort is also valuable. Just a quick spray or two may be enough to help you get through that long queue at Expedition Everest.
When you tour the parks in the summer again the idea is to beat the heat. To do this you will want to get to parks early and leave by afternoon when it becomes the hottest part of the day. Trust me, it will be unbearable in the afternoon. When all the late sleepers start arriving, you can wave goodbye to them as you leave the park and head back to your resort. Use the afternoon time to either relax in the room, or go take a dip in the pool. Keep in mind though that in the summer it tends to rain most afternoons around 3-6 PM so plan swimming accordingly. The rain will move on and as the sun begins to fade, you can return to the parks a bit fresher than everyone else and a lot less frustrated. You will realize how rejuvenated you truly are when you watch others getting off the bus tired, sweaty, cranky, and generally not feeling especially magical.
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Another way to beat the heat is to cut through the retail locations when walking through the parks. This is especially true on Main Street USA in the MK. You can walk the entire way down the left side of the street (upon entering) and end up near the Crystal Palace when you exit the Air Conditioning. There are other locations in different parks where you can do this.
The sunscreen and hydration instructions are important. It's also a good idea to use some type of lip balm, too, as the sun is very damaging and people generally don't think of that area of the face.
Heat isn't the only thing common to Florida weather... It's those dreaded 5 minute "out-of-nowhere" downpours! definitely pack some ponchos just in case!
unc23 & wdw4us2 have the sunscreen and hydration things 100% correct, our family doesn't pack too much sunscreen because having some Italian blood helps a lot! But I did get burnt last time and it was uncomfortable!
Any others pointers?
Normally I don't give this particular advice, but it is helpful during the high heat/humidity months:
Originally Posted by britney05
Don't walk when you can ride!
This is true in the MK and Epcot, especially. I know, you wake up rarin' to go and you think you don't need to take that tram, train or boat ride. Wrong! You'll feel much more refreshed if you opt to use the transportation instead of walking.
Some examples: You're in Frontierland in the MK and decide to head over to Tomorrowland. Instead of walking across the hub, take the train from Frontierland to ToonTown and walk around the back walkway to Tomorrowland (it's to your left after you exit the train). Not only will you avoid the crowds, your feet will get a little rest.
In Epcot, you are tired of Future World and want to check out World Showcase. You think the best thing to do is start at Mexico or Canada and work your way around. Instead of this approach, take one of the boats from Showcase Plaza which will bring you to either Germany or Morocco. Start your tour from there and work your way back - the opposite way the crowds are going.
At AK, your parking space doesn't really look that far from the entrance. Appearances can be deceiving! Take the tram to the security area. This way you can enter the park without having your shirt drenched in perspiration.
Another pointer - plan to do the indoor shows in the late morning/early afternoon if you're not heading back to your resort. Hall of the Presidents, Mickey's Philharmagic, Country Bear Jamboree, American Adventure, Impressions de France, One Man's Dream, Finding Nemo - The Musical are all great spots to sit and be air conditioned for 20 minutes or longer. This is a great respite from the heat when it's at its strongest.
Do not eat a big meal at lunchtime! Eating a lot in the heat will slow you down and sometimes make you feel sick. Have your larger meal at dinner time.
Edit: Some of these observations come not only from theme park touring, but from almost 36 years of living in the Florida heat!!!
Oh, thank you so much for these tips, everyone! I'm going in July, and it's the first time I've ever been during the summer, so I wasn't sure what to expect (other than, y'know, HEAT!!).
We're planning on getting the water bottles with the Brita filters in them so that we don't have to keep buying water. And it's probably a good idea to get some of those misting fans...
One thing I always do is carry a parasol. I know, it looks dorky/old-fashioned, but it keeps me in the shade and cooler. I also burn like nobody's business, so the parasol + sunscreen combination is ideal for not looking like a lobster by the end of the day!
I look forward to any more tips and ideas anyone might have!
look, there she goes - that girl is strange, no question.
dazed and distracted, can't you tell?
never part of any crowd,
'cause her head's up on some cloud.
no denying she's a funny girl, that Belle.
I think this is some great advice. Likr unc23 said, hydration is KEY! People should be consuming at least 8 glasses of water a day in the Florida summer when outside. Take frequent rest periods in the AC or in shady or breezy areas if AC isn't at the particular location. Find places in the parks with "misters" like Tomorrowland or over by Test Track in Epcot. Kids and Adults can appreciate these things!
I'm about as All-American as they come!
Must get a new trip on the books! I'm dyin' here!
all great advice with what to pack and what to use, and how to stay cool and hydrated. But in my opinion after taking care of all those things, is to have a good attitude. Summer at Disney is going to be very hot and thats all there is to it. so just accept that your gonna be sweaty, everyone else is too!!! so just keep on smiling and having a magical time and dont let the heat get you down
I'm the only one!!!! Summer 1989---Offsite May 2005----Boardwalk July 2006----PORS Aug. 2008----Coronado Springs (Engaged!) Dec. 2009----POFC (Honeymoon!!) June 2010----PORS