Post Updated February 2016
It probably comes as no surprise to you that Florida is hot.
After all, they call it the sunshine state.
But what you may not have put together yet is that means that your magical vacation at Disney World will most likely be hot, very hot.
Tips for Hot Days at Disney WorldWe learned some of these tips for beating the heat at Disney during one of our trips.
It was September and they were having record heat of 104 F during the day. UGH!
For a family from the Midwest with 3 kids ages 4 and under that could have been a recipe for disaster. But instead we sought out ways to make the best of things and enjoy our vacation. And we did!
#1 - Hit long outdoor lines early or late in the dayThis may sound like a no brainer, but when the park opens and your kids want to run straight to their favorite ride it may take some convincing!
During the first 45 minutes after the park opens, maximize the lowest wait time of the day to hit new rides, favorites, and/or Fantasyland [because who wants to wait 45 minutes for a 90 second ride, right?
The remainder of your morning should be focused on rides that queue outdoors, where you will get HOT waiting in line:
Any attractions you haven’t gotten to by lunch time you should wait to enjoy until around 5pm when crowds go down and the heat lets up some.
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Peter Pan
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise
- Tomorrow land Speedway
- Tea Cups
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpets
- Treasures of the Seven Seas (Interactive Treasure Hunt)
- Tom Sawyer’s Island
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Astro Orbiter
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Swiss Family Tree House
#2 - Take a Disney SiestaI’m going to give you a free bit of trivia here. The word siesta is Spanish and it means to rest or nap. Growing up in Spain, everything shut down around lunch time for several hours. I’m talking schools closed, businesses shut down, etc. The whole country seemed to grind to a hault. Why? Just 20 years ago air-conditioning was unheard of in homes or the majority of buildings. Basically, it just got too hot to continue with the day. So they took a pause. Kids went home to eat a meal at home with Mom & Dad and rest. Then sometime around 3pm everyone went back and finished up their day.
When you are Disney World there are actually two big reasons to take a Disney Siesta.
- The crowds are the worst around 12-4pm
- The day is hottest in the afternoon from 12-3
So…. I suggest taking a break. If you have young kids you may consider napping and staying up later at night. But no matter your age or stamina, you’ll all enjoy getting away from the crowds and heat to rest, nap, or take a dip in your hotel pool.
#3 - Plan Sit Down Meals for LunchAs I stated in the previous point, the parks are all very crowded and hot during midday. Use your time wisely by planning [and reserving 180 days ahead of time] a meal at your favorite Disney World Table Service Restaurant.
You can relax in the air conditioning and enjoy a leisurely meal. We've found table service meals take anywhere from 60-90 minutes. While that may seem like a long time when you are trying to pack in all there is to see and do at Disney World, it is the perfect amount of time to relax and recharge when used around lunch time!
This is also a great chance to take in a character meal to still enjoy some Disney magic with your family.
#4 - Use Fastpass+ Wisely in the AfternoonIf your plans make it necessary for you to continue seeing all that you can see though the afternoon, do it wisely.
Plan your Fastpass+ for the busiest time of the day and you can just breeze right by the hot, crowded line!
#5 - Get a FREE Ice WaterDisney does not want you dehydrate.
So besides the water fountains found near every restroom at Disney World, you can get free ice water. Just walk up to any quick serve counter or snack that has a machine for fountain drinks and ask for a glass of ice water. They will happily give you a free cup loaded with ice and water. Got a family, get 2!
#6 - Take in a Disney WaterparkIf you are expecting a seriously off-the-charts warm day why not make it a water park day? They have 2 amazing water parks to pick from: Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Blizzard Beach Water Park.
#7 - Make Afternoons = ShowtimeAnother smart way to continue enjoying the attractions at Disney World without having to endure the heat and crowds is to make afternoons showtime.
Use the time from 11:30-3:30pm to take in some of Disney’s AMAZING shows. Here are the perfect afternoon attractions at the Magic Kingdom (with our favorites first):
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
- The Country Bear Jamboree
- The Enchanted Tikki Room
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant (indoor circus play area!)
- Carousel of Progress
- The Hall of President
- Meet Disney Characters indoors (Ariel’s Grotto, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Town Square Theatre)
These shows are all in air conditioning, are less popular than the rides making it easy to get right in, and are longer than rides so you will get to sit in air conditioning and be entertained for 15+ minutes!
#8 - Sunscreen, Hats, and Sunglasses are a MUST!Whether you take a break during the hottest part of the day or not, Florida is sunny! Protect your skin, eyes and scalp by gearing up. By the time you realize you are getting red, have a headache from squinting, or it hurts to brush your hair from a sunburned scalp – it’s too late!
So wear a HAT, protect your eyes with SUNGLASSES, and apply and reapply often SUNSCREEN!
#9 - Go on a Water Ride!Nothing feels as refreshing during a hot day as taking a plunge down splash mountain!
So plan your fastpass + to enjoy some water rides during midday! You’ll want to check out Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom and Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.
#10 - Yummy Frozen TreatsI’m always amazed at how quickly a frozen treat can cool me off and re-hydrate me.
Our favorites snacks for a hot day in the Magic Kingdom are Pineapple Floats in Adventure Land, Smoothies in Tomorrowland, and LeFou’s Brew in New Fantasyland, and of course, the classic Mickey bar!
More Disney World Vacation Tips
- Tips for Grandparents at Disney World
- How to Meet Anna and Elsa at Disney World
- 11 Reasons Families LOVE Disney Cruises Best
- Best Rides to Pick for Disney Fastpass+
- How to Set up Your Fastpass+
- 8 Best Snack Credits at the Magic Kingdom
- Printable Disney World Packing List (free!)
- 15 Ways to RUIN Your Trip to Disney World