Essential Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World in the Summer

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Planning a Disney vacation for the summer? Don’t let the forecasts of highs in the 90s and a rain chance every day dissuade you—that’s just typical Florida summer weather! The heat and humidity you experience in Orlando between May and September can take you by surprise if you’re unprepared. With some planning, though, you can have a great time at Disney no matter when you visit! Here are our top tips for staying cool when visiting Walt Disney World in the summer:

Pack the Right Gear

Be prepared to be hot, sweaty, and rained on. If you’re prepared, you won’t be surprised when it happens. Here are some of the essentials you should consider packing: 


Florida’s summer weather pattern includes almost daily afternoon thunderstorms. While these storms can be intense, they don’t last long (usually less than an hour). Don’t let a little rain make you return to the hotel. Keep plastic ponchos in your backpack (they’re a favorite among park guests) so you can keep going, even in the rain. 

Portable Fans 

Who says stroller fans are just for infants? These small fans clip and twist easily to a variety of surfaces, instantly providing a cool breeze anywhere you stop. Grab lunch while waiting for the 12 pm parade at Magic Kingdom and set one or two fans up at your parade viewing location. You’ll enjoy a cool breeze that will give you a break from the heat even when sitting outside. Misting fans and neck fans are also popular choices for kids and adults. 

Cooling Towels

You can find these at several merchandise locations throughout the parks, or you can bring your own. These towels are worn around your neck and shoulders (or other areas exposed to direct sunlight). To use them, soak the towel in water, wring it out, then place it around your neck. As the water evaporates, the towel produces a cooling effect.

Refillable Water Bottles

These are essential! You’ll need to constantly drink water at the parks to stay adequately hydrated and prevent heat-related conditions like heat stroke. You can get free cups of iced water at any quick-service restaurant at Disney. Use this to your advantage and get cups to fill your water bottles whenever you leave a quick service location. You’ll always have water anytime you need it. 


Other essentials that will keep you cool include: 

  • Light colored clothing 
  • Hats with UV protection 
  • Makeup with UV protection (so you can look cute for pictures and protect your face)
  • Breathable socks and shoes 
  • Sunscreen—and lots of it! 

Eat Healthy

Many people don’t realize how much physical activity you endure during a day at Disney. It’s easy to walk more than five miles in a single day! Sun exposure, standing for long periods of time, and dealing with humidity can also take a toll on your body. While you may have been dreaming of eating all the Dole Whips your heart desires and filling up your popcorn bucket at least three times a day, make a point to eat some meals, take snack breaks, and drink lots of water. 

Visit Indoor Play Areas

The heat is most intense between 10 am and 4 pm each day. Plan indoor activities during that time to cool off in the AC. Luckily, there are several places to do this throughout Walt Disney World. These play areas will allow the kids to enjoy some fun activities while taking a break from the intense Florida heat:

  • Project Tomorrow Game Center (exit of Spaceship Earth) —EPCOT 
  • ImageWorks “What If” Labs (exit of Journey into Imagination with Figment) —EPCOT
  • SeaBase indoor aquarium (exit of The Seas with Nemo and Friends)—EPCOT 
  • Advanced Training Lab & SpaceBase (exit of Mission: Space)—EPCOT
  • Playground inside the queue for Dumbo the Flying Elephant—Magic Kingdom 

Note: you don’t need to ride these attractions to enter the play areas. They all have separate entrances. 

Cool Off at Indoor Attractions & Shows 

Here are some attractions and shows that are mostly indoors (you may just have to stand outside for a few minutes in the initial line):

  • It’s Tough to be a Bug —Animal Kingdom
  • Festival of the Lion King—Animal Kingdom
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! — Animal Kingdom 
  • PhilharMagic —Magic Kingdom 
  • Carousel of Progress—Magic Kingdom
  • Space Mountain—Magic Kingdom   
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle—Magic Kingdom
  • The Hall of Presidents—Magic Kingdom
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor—Magic Kingdom
  • For The First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-Along— Hollywood Studios
  • Toy Story Mania—Hollywood Studios
  • Muppets 3D—Hollywood Studios
  • Disney Jr. Play & Dance — Hollywood Studios 
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway—Hollywood Studios 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind—EPCOT
  • Soarin’ Around the World—EPCOT
  • Spaceship Earth—EPCOT
  • Reflections of China—EPCOT
  • American Adventure—EPCOT
  • Frozen Ever After—EPCOT
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure—EPCOT 
  • Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision—EPCOT
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along—EPCOT

There are also places to cool off inside the buildings of these attractions, like the two-story colonial mansion and museum at American Adventure. Don’t miss a performance by the Voices of Liberty, who perform in the lobby throughout the day!

Character Meet and Greets

Most character meet and greets that you can reserve through Genie+ are inside. This includes meeting Mickey at the Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom, Princesses at Fairytale Hall (also at Magic Kingdom), and Pixar Characters at Hollywood Studios. Take advantage of this and schedule times to visit characters in the middle of the day to cool off. 

Make a Table Service Lunch Reservation 

One way to ensure you get a midday break is to make a lunch reservation. This will likely give you more than an hour out of the sun and allow your family to take on the afternoon feeling refreshed, full, and ready for more magic! If you don’t want the service of a sit-down meal in the middle of the day, take an extended lunch break at a quick service location with ample indoor seating, like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe or Harbour House at Magic Kingdom. 

Enjoy a Water Ride 

It goes without saying that an easy way to cool down at Disney in the summer is to go on a water ride. Here are the water rides available at Walt Disney World:

Kali River Rapids—Animal Kingdom 

Get drenched at this family raft ride. Crash over rapids, twist through waterfalls, get splashed by geysers, and experience a 20-foot drop into a river. Bring a change of clothes for this one! 

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure— Magic Kingdom *Opening This Summer*

Formerly Splash Mountain, this reimagined attraction will have you “Goin’ Down the Bayou” with Princess Tiana and her friends. It’s the wettest ride at Magic Kingdom! This attraction opens on June 28th. It will have a virtual queue and be included with Genie+ when it opens. 

Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station—Magic Kingdom 

Tucked into the far corner of Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, this circus-themed splash pad features fountains and falls that are perfect for little ones to cool off. 

Visit a Water Park

Another must-do to cool off in the summer at Disney is to spend the day at a waterpark. There are two water parks at Walt Disney World: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Since COVID, however, only one usually is open at any given time. Check with your Wishing On A Star Travel® agent to add on a water park experience during your trip.

Go Back to the Hotel 

One of the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort is that you can quickly and easily return to your hotel for a midday break. This is one of the best ways to travel to Disney with littles. Then, come back energized and refreshed in the evening!

Skip the Parks and Go on a Disney Cruise

If dealing with heat and humidity isn’t your thing, but you want to vacation in the summer, skip the Orlando theme parks altogether and go on a Disney cruise instead! Experience the magic of Disney storytelling, service, and experiences without the heat and humidity in the parks. There’s always a breeze on a cruise ship! Plus, you can explore several tropical locations and experience new places. There are so many ways to enjoy Disney characters and attractions onboard, so there is plenty to do. Check out these experiences that make Disney cruises unique

We Help Your Vacation Wishes Come True 

Let our talented agents at Wishing On A Star Travel help you plan the next vacation of your dreams. With over 50 agents, we have experience traveling to theme parks throughout the year, including the summer. Your Wishing On A Star travel agent will give you insider tips and strategies to help you beat the heat and cool down while at Walt Disney World. The best part? Most of our services are free to you!

Get a free quote for your vacation, or call us at 1-888-678 TRIP to get started. Want more vacation planning resources? Sign up for our newsletter!