Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Post: Beating the Heat

Tips for staying cool in the parks 

Weather can be unpredictable in Florida. One thing is for certain, it will be hot and humid in Florida during the summer months. My #1 tip is to go to Disney World anytime other than holidays, spring break and summer. Having recently taken a family vacation in June, (clearly I didn’t follow my own #1 rule), here are some tips I’d like to pass on to you that hopefully will make the Florida heat a little more bearable.

~Wear cool clothing (shorts, tanks, dresses, skirts, comfortable open shoes). Sounds obvious, right? I was shocked at some of the attire people wore. Pants? Heels? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it was a surprise trip!

~You may want to bring a change of clothes or even a bathing suit for younger children if there is a spray area they enjoy cooling off in. I know I used to have to drag my son sopping wet out of these areas. I finally learned my lesson to be prepared. Most parks feature some sort of cooling mist area, water ride, or spray ground. Magic Kingdom will be getting a new spray ground when the new Fantasyland expansion opens but the two they had (Ariel’s Grotto and Donald Duck’s Boat) are no longer. There are the tikis that spit water in Adventureland, the Coca Cola’s Cool Scanner in Tomorrowland and of course there is Splash Mountain Falls. At Epcot, there is a small spray ground in between Future World and World Showcase and a cooling station “car wash” near Test Track. There is also the “jumping” water feature near Journey Into Your Imagination. At Hollywood Studios there is a large Coca Cola bottle that sprays water near Studio Backlot Tour as well as a water feature in Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Animal Kingdom has Kali River Rapids. There may be more but these are the ones that come to mind.

~When the heat gets to be too much, enjoy an indoor ride, show, or movie where it’s air conditioned. My favorite rides to chill out and cool off are It’s a Small World, Philharmagic, Pirate’s of the Caribbean, and the People Mover at Magic Kingdom. They are a little longer in duration and typically have lower wait times in comparison to other attractions. They provide air conditioning/nice outdoor breeze, allowing for a nice break. Living on the Land is also great at Epcot! My family has been known to ride it repeatedly to cool off and get a nice “breather” since there usually isn’t a long line.

~Take a train ride at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. There is also the river boat at Magic Kingdom. You can also take a boat ride at Epcot or even hop on a round trip on the monorail.

~Enjoy a nice frozen treat. Yummy raspberry lemonade slushes can be found throughout the parks (there are other flavors as well). There is the infamous Mickey ice cream bar (although grab napkins because they are messy), popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, dole whip (at Magic Kingdom Aloha Isle) and more!

~Stay hydrated! Another important tip: save money and bring bottled water with you!

~Get to the parks as soon as they open, leave for a break in the afternoon and then return for dinner. This will help with crowds and heat.

~Allow time in the day to play at your resort pool!

~I consider the squirt fan a necessity. It will instantly provide relief when you are hot, especially if you are able to get your hands on some ice to put inside the bottle with the water. We’ve always been able to find ours at Walmart near the garden section. We’ve also figured out that most associates have no clue what you’re talking about if you ask where they are so you may have to hunt for them.

~Find a shaded area and sit back for a bit if you need a bit of a break.

~You may want to add water park fun and more option. It is $55 per person but you can visit both water parks (as well as Disney Quest and more). You have the option to make a day out of the water parks or you can go to one and then visit a theme park or vice versa.

~Take it easy and go at your own pace. We quickly realized in mid 90 degree weather, we couldn’t go as we normally do in the fall/winter from morning till fireworks. You may need to take a couple of steps back and adjust your plan once there. If you get to the parks early, it’s amazing how you can knock out quite a bit. We quickly watched some rides go from 10 minutes in the morning to over an hour by noon. Weather and crowds are huge variables that can be difficult to predict. Try to remember you’re on vacation and you’re at Disney. There are endless things you can do. You more than likely won’t be able to do them all so don‘t get frustrated! If you find you can’t see everything on your list, you just may have to plan another trip to hit the things you‘re not able to see this go round!

Contributed by Corby C. of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a proud wife and mom to Banks and Henley, a Disney Destination Planner with Travel with the Magic and one of our Minnie Moms.

1 comment:

Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!