Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Top Seven Tips For Summer Touring At Walt Disney World

We are officially in the midst of Summer Vacation season! I just took mine (unfortunately not to Walt Disney World this time, but a Disney trip is always on the horizon!)  While Summertime is warm throughout the country, and it's sometimes even hotter in your neck of the woods than it is in Florida, the sticky Florida humidity mixed with being outdoors for a good portion of the day can cause big problems for those not used to the constant barrage on our bodies.

For years, I would vow, I would never go to Disney in the summer.  I knew it was going to be busier than my favorite time of the year (September/October) and the heat was going to be so brutal. But circumstances have made it so that I've been to Walt Disney World the past three summers in a row. While the parks are crowded and hot, knowing how to manage in the heat did wonders for making it a little more manageable. (Dare I say, just as enjoyable?)  

So, today, we're going to talk about the things you should keep in mind when taking your Summer trips to the land of fun in the sun. While most are things that are common sense, sometimes you just need the reminder because it is so easy to forget when you're in the parks. These are all things I've utilized heavily the past three years. Here are the top seven things I think you need to keep in mind while touring:

  1. Make sure to go early. I know it's hard to suggest. You are on vacation, you want to sleep in.  While getting to the parks for rope drop is optimal, getting to the parks within the first hour will afford you the opportunity to see some of the lowest wait times of the day. Plus, the air is much cooler than later in the early afternoon. I may not like to get up early on vacation, but in the summer, I have learned that getting to the parks early is going to be key to not overheating later, while still getting attractions done that I want to see. 
  2. Drink water. While I know this is a huge no-brainer, this one is so key.  Even I'm guilty of not practicing what I'm preaching.  Seriously, you should have a bottle of water (or something along those lines) in your possession at all times and you should be drinking it like crazy, refilling it if you have to. We bring our own bottles to the park, but sometimes it's better to buy a cold bottle from Disney. You can also get glasses of water from any counter service restaurant for free. Just drink as much as you can because you don't realize how hot it really is out there until it's too late. 
  3. Apply  sunscreen. I'll be honest.  I hate sunscreen.  I hardly ever wear it.  It's so gloppy.  However, when I'm in Disney, you can bet your butt I'm wearing sunscreen.  The sun is just so much brighter in Florida and when you're in the parks, it radiates off the pavement, which is all around you. Sunburns happen so easily here!  All I can say is thank god for spray sunscreen.  It's the only way for me.
  4. Dress coolly. I always am so surprised when I see people walking around Walt Disney World in clothes I would wear in the winter. It's SO hot out...I'm dying and I'm dressed so coolly, so I know you have to be.  So, wear things that are cotton and lighter colors. Steer clear of black, if you can. As for me, you'll almost always see me in a dress.  So much cooler.
    Brian did not listen...he wore black.  I was much cooler with my dress.
  5. Take a break. I learned about the joys of this one last July. Brian and I got to Animal Kingdom early, and it got super hot out at around 1 pm, (plus we'd done everything he'd wanted to do) so we decided to go back to the hotel for a swim in the pool. It was honestly the best idea ever. The pool was so refreshing and the relaxation was absolutely necessary. I was always someone who once I got to the parks, I stayed at the parks, but taking that little break in the middle of the afternoon has opened up the possibility to me that it is something I should consider, especially when it's sweltering out.
    Pool break
  6. Head for shade.  Say you don't want to take that break I just talked about.  At the very least make sure you head towards something that's indoors.  See shows or schedule a meal.  Take breaks in the shade and my tip...bring an umbrella. Yes, you look a little silly, but the umbrella keeps the harsh rays of the sun from beating on your body.  It really is a huge help. (PS: that umbrella will help with the daily afternoon thunderstorm rolls through.)
  7. Take on a water ride. Of course, one of the best ways to keep cool is to ride something that involves water.  Surprisingly, there aren't too many though that get you wet enough to cool you down.  Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids are the only two, however, there are a few splash zones you can run through located throughout some of the parks that you can run through. (Large pet peeve: please don't sit in the fountains around the parks...the fountains are not for playing in...they are not pools.  They are for decoration.)
Honorable mention:  eat a cool treat.  Ice cream is always a winning idea when it's so hot outside and there is plenty of places to stop throughout the park.  Or grab a slush, which can be found in many restaurants on property. Even a frozen banana can be delightful.
Yummy ice cream sammy

Those are my tips for enjoying Walt Disney World when it feels like it's a thousand degrees out, but what tip do you have for surviving the heat?  Let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page.

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