Top Tips to Help Keep Your Kids Cool At Disney World
Central Florida is HOT, especially in the summer months, but with work and school schedules, this is a very popular time for families to travel to Walt Disney World. The following tips are how I have kept my 5 kids cool during our numerous trips to The Most Magical Place on Earth during the summer months!!
Get an Early Start!
Starting your day at the parks at Rope Drop or a little before is the best time to arrive! Temperatures are typically cooler, the sun is not quite as strong, and the crowds are a bit lower. Getting in as many rides as you can during this time, especially outdoor rides where lines offer little to no shade or air conditioning, is super helpful. By late morning/ early afternoon, as the temperatures begin to creep up, is a perfect time to grab some lunch and cool off, or enjoy some indoor shows or rides in the air conditioning. By mid-day I suggest heading out to your resort for a nap or refreshing dip in your resort pool!! After you have had a nice break from the sun, plan on venturing back into the parks after 5 when the temperatures have dipped. The temperatures should continue to get cooler as the night progresses- allowing you and your kids to enjoy more outdoor rides and the nighttime shows!
Dress for the Weather!
Dressing your kids in light, cool, breathable clothing will make a difference when it comes to heat and temperature while walking around the park. Older kids can especially benefit from wearing a hat to offer shade and keep them cool. A wide brim hat with spf protection is especially helpful for infants and toddlers while waiting in lines outdoors in the sun.
Stock your Stroller!
A large sun shade is a must-have for any stroller during the hot summer months. A collapsible umbrella or other large sun shade is often needed to give your little one the shade they need. A clip-on portable stroller fan (or 2) is a must in order to keep your infant or toddler cool, especially while they are napping in the stroller. Misting fans are a favorite for my kids- they offer a cool, refreshing mist and can be easily refilled at any water fountain or sink. They are also sometimes a great distraction for little ones. Disney sells these onsite at many shops and carts throughout the parks, or you can pick one up before leaving home. Cooling towels for the whole family are another easy thing to take along that will offer tremendous relief from the heat. These can be easily wet throughout the parks and stored in a small soft sided cooler or bag in the storage compartment of the stroller.
It’s quite easy to get so excited and focused on all the fun, rides, and excitement that we forget to drink enough to compensate for the heat of the Florida sunshine. Complimentary ice water can be obtained at any quick service dining location. You may have to wait in line, or there may be a designated line or self service area to get the ice water. Insulated water bottles are a great way to keep water cool and easily available. I tend to bring an insulated sippy cup for my youngest so we always water available to her (of course she prefers the Disney cups). You can also bring water bottles into the parks if you wish- again, they can easily be stored in a soft sided cooler stowed in the storage compartment of the stroller.
During the heat of the day, a spin on Kali River Rapids or ride on Splash Mountain is a great way to cool off and have fun doing it. There are also misting areas and water features throughout the parks that are a great way for kids to cool off and have a blast. Be prepared that your little one may get soaked, very quickly, so be sure to pack extra clothes for after they have enjoyed the water playgrounds. These are a great area for little ones to get out some energy and cool off while older siblings are enjoying some bigger rides. Just don’t forget the sunscreen while they are playing and reapply after!
Enjoy Cool Treats!
Not that we ever need an excuse to enjoy a frozen treat, but a refreshing frozen lemonade or fruit slush is a perfect way to cool down on an especially hot day! A go-to for my kids is a delicious Mickey bar or other ice cream treat from the many vendors located throughout the parks. There are also an abundance of specialty drink and ice cream options for kids and adults, located throughout the parks. Our favorites are the Night Blossom in Pandora (Animal Kingdom), LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom), Froot Loop Shake from the festival food booths (Epcot), and Tatooine Sunset in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Hollywood Studios). There are so many options and it is such a fun and delicious way to keep cool and keep kids happy!!
Summer can be an especially warm time to visit but it can be such a wonderfully fun time to visit Walt Disney World. Most importantly, be mindful of how both you and your kids are feeling, take breaks when needed, take advantage of air conditioning, keep cool and enjoy making magical memories with your children!
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About the Author
Theresa Dougherty is a founding member of the Parent Panel. She has 4 sons and a daughter, and specializes in Disney vacations for tweens, teens and older children.