If you are like most people, you want to take a trip to Walt Disney World when the kids aren’t in school. This means going during a holiday or over the summer. It’s just as hot there as it is any other place in the south in the summer and even going into the fall! I swear it was hotter last October than it was last July. However, there are ways you can stay cool. Here is a list of places and ways that are great for cooling off at Walt Disney World.
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Plan Your Park Day Around The Heat
One of the easiest ways to beat the heat at Walt Disney World is to plan your day around it. This means not going out in the hottest part of the day usually Noon – 3-4 pm. Our family starts early when the parks open, we then take a break around noon, head back to our resort for lunch and a rest in our room. We head back to the park around 4-5 pm and stay until closing . This keeps us out of the heat during the worst park of the day.
If you can't go back to your hotel mid day, then take this time to watch some indoor shows, ride indoor attractions and do a little shopping.
One way to beat the heat is to be prepared. I would bring most of the following:
We bring fill our water bottles with ice cold water in our hotel room before we start our day and then refill them through out the day at water filling stations and quick service restaurants. You can get FREE water through out the day at all Quick Service locations, all you have to do is go to the counter and ask.
Disney sells their own cooling mister fans where you can add water, my kids love them and use them all day long.
There are a lot of places in Walt Disney World where you can spend time inside. From restaurants to shopping, to indoor attractions and shows. This is one of the best ways to stay cool through out the day.
Disney World Shops
Most of the shops around the Disney Parks and at Disney Springs are inside. We purposely walk through shops on our way through the parks just to take advantage of the air conditioning for a few minutes. It's the perfect way to just cool off for a few moments.
Walt Disney World Restaurants
One way to cool off is to have a bite to eat at many of the Walt Disney World Restaurants. Since most are inside they make the perfect place to sit and chill and relax away from the heat of the day. You may want to keep the food on the light side though and save your heavy eating for at night. Heavy food and heat don't mix well usually.
Indoor Shows and Rides at Walt Disney World
This is the best way to beat the heat. Plan your day so that you are enjoying the rides and shows that are inside during the hottest part of the day. Some of these shows and rides can last up to 20-30 minutes, giving you a chance to cool off while enjoying the parks. This may be one time you don't want to skip the line. Some of our favorite places to cool off in the parks are:
- Dumbo – while the ride is outside, inside the queue area is an indoor playground for the kids.
- Meet Mickey and Tinkerbell in Town Square – the line and the meet and greets are inside, enough said
- Journey Under the Sea with the Little Mermaid – the line is partly outside but always seems coolish, the ride is inside.
- It's A Small World – the line is outside but not usually long, the ride is 15-20 minutes of air conditioning. However you may sing the song all day long.
- Carousel of Progress – the kids may think it's lame but it's 20 minutes in the cool air.
- Mickey's Philharmagic – the queue is inside and the show, while it needs a few updates, is adorable. This is one of our favorite places to beat the heat
Epcot has a ton of places to hang out inside. A TON
- Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase – not only in the pavilion itself all indoors, but the little boat ride is adorable and perfect for cooling off.
- Test Track – after riding Test Track there is an area where kids can play and explore that is inside. This is also a great place to wait with smaller kids who can't ride.
- Mission Space – again there is an indoor area full of fun and things to explore where the ride exits.
- Spaceship Earth – the line is never that long and it's 20 minutes in the AC, do you need any other reason?
- The Land – home to Soarin' Around the World and Living with the Land which are all inside.
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends – not only will you find the Nemo Ride, but there is also Turtle Talk with Crush and an aquarium in here. My kids could spend hours here, which is fine because it's air conditioned.
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment – there is never a wait for this ride, the queue is inside and when you exit there is the Imagination Lab perfect for exploring.
- Shows at Epcot – Epcot is home to many indoor shows including the Pixar Short Film Festival, O Canada, Impressions of France, The American Adventure and Reflections of China. Some are better than others but like I tell my kids, it's 20 minutes in the AC!
- Finding Nemo the Musical
- Festival of the Lion King
- Kali River Rapids – not inside but you are almost guaranteed to get wet which will cool you off
- Frozen Sing Along – you may want to “let it go” but this 30 minute show inside will have you sining along with everyone around you.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – relive the story of Ariel and cool off at the same time.
- Walt Disney Presents – explore the history of the Disney company and Walt Disney himself with this museum right int he middle of the action. You'll also get a sneak peek of one of the upcoming Disney movies.
- Toy Story Mania – while most of Toy Story Land is outside and not shaded, this attraction is indoors and has an indoor queue area full of fun.
- Star Tours – little wait times and a fun indoor attraction
Don't forget your FastPasses so you can do more of these awesome attractions during your day.
Water Fun Around Walt Disney World Resort
One great way to cool off at Walt Disney World is with water. And Disney has plenty of ways to do JUST that.
Splash Areas around Walt Disney World Parks
Did you know there are a few splash areas inside some of the Walt Disney World Parks? These are perfect for little ones to cool off through out the day.
In Magic Kingdom you can find Casey's Circus Train splash around right across from Dumbo.
In Epcot are a few small splash pads – one by Test Track and one on the bridge between Future World and the World Showcase (not sure how long this one is going to be open with all the renovations happening in Epcot).
There are also a few splash areas in Disney Springs, one being right outside the Christmas Shop.
Also most of the resorts have splash areas for resort guest under 48 inches.
Please note: in either area kids should have shoes and proper clothing Walt Disney World doesn’t allow babies to run around with only diapers on. Toddlers and other kids should wear shirt/shorts or swimsuits. These rules are strictly for the safety of everyone.
I also suggest bringing a change of clothing as no one wants to run around soaking wet the rest of the day.
There are also misters through out the parks to help you cool down too.
Pools at Walt Disney World Resort
All of the resorts at Walt Disney World have pools for the guest staying at those resorts. Some have multiple pools and some have pools with waterslides and fun activities provided by the Disney activity staff.
Walt Disney provides life jackets for guests you aren't good swimmers and towels poolside. Walt Disney World pools are for resort guest only and there is no pool hopping allowed outside of certain conditions.
Walt Disney World Water parks
Walt Disney World is home to do water parks – Typhon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Both parks have lazy rivers, water slides and fun water attractions for kids of all ages.
To enter the water parks you either need to add the Park Hopper Plus open to your Walt Disney World tickets or purchase separate water park tickets.
Walt Disney World Transportation
Another way to cool off is to hop on board of one of the many Walt Disney Transportation services. You can take the monorail from the transportation and ticket center to the Magic Kingdom or to Epcot.
My kids consider this a ride by itself. Or you can hop on one of many buses that will transport you around Walt Disney property.
Cool Off With Frozen Treats
Walt Disney World Resort is home to a ton of delicious frozen treats perfect on a hot day. From ice cream, to the famous Dole Whip, there is always something cool and refreshing to find.
A few of our favorites include:
- The frozen strawberry bars and Mickey bars you can get at the carts through out Walt Disney World.
- The macaroon ice cream sandwich in France at Epcot. Adults you need to try the Grey Goose Lemon Slushy here, it's perfectly refreshing.
- Shaved Ice in Japan at Epcot
- Chocolate Covered Pineapple in Germany at Epcot (not exactly frozen but it's always chilled to perfection)
- the ever famous Dole Whip
Do some Resort Hopping
Another great way to cool off is hope one some Disney transportation and check out other resorts. Each of the Disney resorts has something cool to offer and are worth checking out for their lobbies alone.
So resort hop all over the world and cool off at the same time.
What are your tips for cooling off at Walt Disney World?
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