Summer has arrived, you’ve done all your research, booked the park tickets, gotten the hotel rooms, mapped out your must-do rides and attractions and are ready for a magical Disney vacation the kids will never forget. But along with the excitement, you might also be dreading standing in ride lines under the hot sun or wondering if there’s a place to sneak away from the crowds, get a cool blast of AC and recharge before diving into the next adventure.
Fortunately, the Disney Parks Moms Panel is on the case with insider tips and tricks to beat the heat during your summer Disney vacation. The 32 moms, dads, grandparents and in-the-know family members on the panel have been through many summer trips themselves, and they’ve collected a treasure trove of wisdom for making a summer Disney Vacation all it can be.
Plan Your Day Right
“While I normally recommend arriving at the Parks early in the morning, if you have teens who like to sleep late, the later park hours of Summer can work to your benefit. Often parks are open until midnight or even later with Extra Magic Hours. Sleep in, enjoy a nice brunch or lunch, and some time relaxing by the pool. Plan to arrive at the parks in the late afternoon or early evening and enjoy air-conditioned attractions such as Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, The American Adventure, Festival of the Lion King, or The Land or The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions until the sun goes down. Then stay until park close. You’ll find much lighter crowds and shorter lines late at night or the wee hours of the morning.” – Anne Marie
“We beat the heat by planning our days so that indoor air conditioned attractions are sprinkled throughout. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, First Time in Forever- A Frozen Sing-A-Long, Finding Nemo- The Musical are all great ways to cool down.” – Anne
‘In the scorching summer heat of central Florida, my girls and I strategically schedule indoor, air conditioned shows/attractions like The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom Park or American Adventure at Epcot throughout our day of park touring. Not only are these venues awesome attractions, but the AC pumps full blast and allows for a seated, lengthy (shows run about 15-20 minutes) break.” – Chris
Scope Out Cool Attractions
“While at Epcot, I like to spend some time visiting each of the pavilions within the World Showcase. The American Adventure runs throughout the day and uses 35 Audio-Animatronics figures and digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen to share an awe-inspiring presentation of how America’s story unfolds. Prior to experiencing The American Adventure, you can spend time touring the American Heritage Gallery. If possible, try to visit The American Adventure Pavilion when the Voices of Liberty are scheduled to perform. Amazingly talented singers perform a capella melodies beneath an acoustically perfect dome. The entire experience is so moving (and indoors where it’s cool)! You will find other galleries throughout the World Showcase Pavilions. They are perfect because you will love the experience and can spend as much or as little time as you would like in each one. Impressions de France is another great option! Here, you will enjoy an 18-minute film that will take you throughout France. It’s a beautiful film and you will exit into one of my favorite areas of Epcot. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie is amazing! It’s a traditional French bakery with oodles of sweet and savory delicacies to tempt any taste bud. There are tables and chairs next to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie where you can sit inside and enjoy your snack. Plus – there is oodles of wonderful shopping in the French Pavilion. While you will have to walk from attraction to attraction while at Epcot. The majority of the attractions are all inside so you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourselves in climate controlled areas.” – Kari
“To cool down quickly, many people think to turn to a nice water ride. Attractions like Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run will thrill as much as they chill. But a leisurely cruise aboard “it’s a small world” is often just the thing to cool down and relax without getting wet. For a somewhat more adventurous cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean takes you through the swashbuckling world of Captain Jack Sparrow. Better yet, order a nice, cool Mint Julep in the Blue Bayou Restaurant. Enjoy “nighttime in N’awlins” and delicious Cajun-inspired cuisine as you watch the boats of the Pirates of the Caribbean float by this unique restaurant located inside the attraction.” – Tony (Disneyland)
“Righteous! Righteous! Duuude! Check out Turtle Talk with Crush in the Disney Animation Building in Disney California Adventure Park. It’s the perfect place to chill out and spend some quality time with the totally tubular sea turtle Crush and his friends from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. You little dudes will totally dig it! On the other end of the Disney Animation Building, learn to draw some of the coolest Disney characters in the Animation Academy. Classes start every 30 minutes. So you can keep coming back, again and again, to learn under the tutelage of talented Disney animators.” – Tony (Disneyland)
Make Time for a Show
Photo by Steven Diaz
“After spending a day walking in the summer sun, it’s essential to grab some shade and relax. A wonderful place to do just that is at the newest attraction in Disney California Adventure Park, Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This 4-D movie musical is fun for the whole family as Donald Duck revisits many classicDisney songs and films. Plus, the theater is comfortable and cool!” – Jennifer L.
“We love the Broadway-style shows at Disney theme parks as a way to cool down and relax in the mid-afternoon sun. On the West Coast at DisneyCalifornia Adventure Park, you can escape the heat and “chill out” during Frozen-Live at the Hyperion while on the East Coast in Orlando at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, take the summer heat and “Let It Go” at For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.” – Jason
Don’t Forget About the Water Rides
“I can’t say this enough: I think that the Water Parks are the hidden gems of Walt Disney World Resort. If we’re visiting during the hot summer months, we’ll always try to spend at least a day (or more!) splashing the day away at either Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (my pick for kids who are older or more experienced swimmers) or at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park (which I prefer for little ones and kids who aren’t very strong swimmers).” – Lynne
“Taking a break from that summer heat when you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort can actually be a lot of fun! My family likes to pick up some sweet treats at places like Big Top Souvenirs or Main Street Confectionery at the Magic Kingdom Park, to enjoy poolside at our Disney Resort hotel. Splashing around the beautifully themed pools cools the kids down and keeps the fun going. It’s just another added benefit of staying within the magic!” – Veronica
Stop for a Refreshing Bite to Eat
“My favorite way to beat the heat at the Disneyland Resort is by having some cool treats. In Cars Land of Disney California Adventure Park, you can now refuel with a rainbow of ice cold beverages at Ramone’s Serv-Ice Station. This location offers multiple slush flavors with some extra fun toppings for a treat that is almost too cute to eat. Over in Disneyland Park, I suggest a New Orleans Mint Julep at the Mint Julep Bar for a non-alcoholic take on this refreshing and classic beverage.” – Jennifer L.
“A summer tradition for my family is getting Dole Whips at Aloha Isle and watching ‘the birds sing words’ at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room as we enjoy them. Such a classic Walt Disney World experience, and the cold, refreshing pineapple of the Dole Whip mixed with the dark, air-conditioned theater is the perfect mid-day break at Magic Kingdom Park.” – Robyn
“One of my favorite ways to beat the heat while in the theme parks is to reserve a dining reservation for around 2:00 in the afternoon. At that time, the restaurants are typically less crowded. Plus – you can enjoy a leisurely lunch in the cool air conditioning. It’s the perfect way to cool down and recharge before enjoying the theme park for the afternoon and evening!” – Kari
“Sometimes the Summer temperatures call for exceptional meal choices. Our family often indulges in a tradition of having ice cream for lunch on one of our days in the parks of the Disneyland Resort. Whether we are sharing The Kitchen Sink from Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street or a classic sundae from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street, U.S.A., a smooth, cool treat is perfect for Summertime. This year, we look forward to expanding our experiences with delectable dairy delights in the Downtown Disney District, especially now that the CrazyShakes of the recently-opened Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes are available!” – Tony (Disneyland)
Bring the Right Equipment
“If you’ve scoped out the perfect parade viewing spot, but the parade doesn’t begin for a half an hour, I have the perfect tip to make waiting in the hot afternoon sun bearable. A misting fan not only feels like a toy or game for my kiddos, but keeps us all chilled out – in more ways than one! With Mickey and friends on it, this mama of five is pretty convinced that a misting fan is magical. Pair it with some Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, and even the waiting feels fun!” – Missy