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10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Summer At Walt Disney World

1. Stay at a Disney resort

Staying on Disney property can be helpful in the summer but perhaps not for the reasons you would think. Summer at Walt Disney World can be a blast, but as you’re probably aware summers in an Orlando theme park also mean lots of heat and humidity and crowds. If you’re looking to take a break from the parks it is so much easier to get to and from a Disney resort as opposed to getting all the way off property—and when you’ve been fighting the heat and the crowds all day, you probably don’t want anything else to stand in the way of you getting in the pool back at your resort.

2. Get to the parks early

Since summers are obviously very hot in Central Florida, it can really be helpful to try to do the theme parks when the heat is most mild. These times would be early in the morning and late at night after the sun has gone down. Arriving at the parks in the morning not only means that the weather will be more manageable, but the crowds will too. And if you are looking to take a break in the middle of the day, you’d be missing the time in the parks when the crowds are at their heaviest.

3. Break for the pool in the middle of the day

Lots of guests visit the Walt Disney World Resort and skip the pool entirely—this isn’t necessarily a bad idea if you have a pool at home and are more concerned about getting to the parks, but in the summer you may want to rethink this strategy. Even if you prefer to vacation on the go and the thought of lounging at a pool sounds boring, it can be worth it even if only for an hour or two here and there to help cool off.

4. Use FastPasses for water attractions

Rides like Kali River Rapids and Splash Mountain can draw some of the longest waits in the park in the summer because everyone is waiting to cool off. If you know you’d love to cool off with a splash in the middle of the day too, it is never a bad idea to make a FastPass for a water attraction. This will help shorten your wait time and cool you off sooner so you can comfortably (at least despite the wet clothes!) continue going about your day.

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5. Always bring an umbrella or a poncho

Florida is the sunshine state, but that isn’t to say you won’t find yourself in the middle of some torrential downpours if you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the summer. It typically rains about once per day in the summer months, usually in the middle of the day and it only lasts for about an hour or so. Many guests leave the parks at the first site of rain, but if you can stick it out with an umbrella or poncho it will be totally worth it!

6. Remember to stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is always important, but the heat in the summer months can make it even easier to become dehydrated so your water intake is definitely something you’ll want to be aware of. You can ask a cast member for a cup of water (for free!) from any quick service restaurant if you are looking to stay hydrated without spending the extra money on water bottles throughout your trip. And if you happen to be drinking lots of alcohol, remember that you should be drinking about as much water as you are alcohol in order to stay hydrated.

7. Don’t over-do it

There is no shame in slowing it down or taking a break. The easiest way to deal with Florida’s heat and humidity if you’re not used to it is simply to move at a slower pace. You’d be surprised how much rushing around can make you sweat! Even if you do not want to take a break back at the resort, you can always sit down on a shady brunch or relax with a cup of water in a quick service restaurant.

8. Plan for the crowds

As you’d expect, summers can be pretty busy in the theme parks because kids are all off from school so this is when many people are taking family vacations. The crowds can be a lot to deal with, but if you plan your days in advance or at least resolve to modify your days based on crowds you shouldn’t have much of a problem with them.

9. Go to the parks after dark

The sun going down makes a world of difference in terms of the heat you’ll feel when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the summer. Even if you are not the kind of person who likes to break in the middle of the day, it can be a good idea to do so in the summer so you can save your energy for some late nights as the parks are typically open much later and the weather is more comfortable.

10. Dine on the lighter side

One of the easiest ways to make yourself feel more uncomfortable with the heat is to eat a big meal. Sometimes it’s unavoidable at Walt Disney World (‘Ohana…) but in general feeling full in the heat is not something you probably want to experience. Lighter lunches and dinners won’t leave you with any extra bloat that will feel worse in the heat, and you’ll still be able to snack on all kinds of tasty Disney treats!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.