One of the many perks of Disneyland being in California is that you have more good weather days than bad. Very few months of the year do you need to bundle up while at the park. Unfortunately, certain times of year it can be very warm with a lot of humidity. I’m from a State that is primarily desert, I can handle the heat. Summer days can reach the low 100’s for several weeks. What I’m not accustomed to is the humidity, we don’t experience a lot of that where I’m from. I was 6 months pregnant with my second daughter when we happened to plan a trip to Disneyland during a time when Anaheim was experiencing record heat and humidity. This Mama was miserable and learned very quickly where the best places to cool off were. Today, I want to share my Top 10 attractions for keeping cool at Disneyland. The list is in no particular order and may appeal more to certain members of your group than others based on age or interests.
1.It’s a Small World
This ride is one of my favorite places to cool off. It’s not your typical water ride with the splashing and getting soaked aspect. You take a slow, lazy ride down a river while touring different parts of the world. The amount of detail put into the ride is truly spectacular. You are greeted by bright colorful displays with animated dolls, animals and scenery. I always find something new each time I ride it. The song will be stuck in your head for hours. If you’re lucky enough to experience the ride when it is converted to It’s a Small World Holiday, the song becomes a mash-up between the traditional Small World song and Jingle Bells. As an added bonus there is rarely a long wait for this ride which is extremely helpful when you have a hot and tired child who is in desperate need of a distraction and a place to cool off.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
Sing it with me “Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me!”. Pirates of the Caribbean is another water ride which typically has a fairly short line or the line moves quickly. Once you enter the building you are greeted by air conditioning and a very talkative Parrot reminding you that “Dead men tell no tales”. This ride is considered a Dark Ride which means there is very little light during the ride. It may be too scary for little pirates for a few of reasons. In addition to the dark aspect, there are the namesake pirates, skeletons, loud noises and a scene where is looks like the village is on fire. There are also two small drops that you cannot see coming and there is some splash over into the boat from both.
3. Splash Mountain
If you’re looking to cool off and get soaked in the process, this is your go to ride in the Disneyland park. This ride is based on the Disney movie Song of the South. You may not be familiar with the movie, but I can guarantee you know one of the songs. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah plays during different parts of the ride while you follow the tale of Brer Rabbit as he tries to outwit Brer Fox and Brer Bear. The ride is both outside and inside with a few good splashes during transition areas. The big splash comes at the end of the ride when your hollowed-out log drops 50 feet down into the Briar Patch.
You are guaranteed to get wet. How much depends on factors such as your seat in the log. I’ve come off the ride ringing out my clothes and dumping water out of my shoes. It’s very common to see people wearing rain ponchos on the ride to fend off some of the water. This ride does have height requirements so check the Disneyland app before you go. Rider switch is available for this ride for families where not all members are big enough for the ride. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is very close to Splash Mountain and would be a good alternative for kids who don’t meet the height requirement.
4. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
This attraction is located on Main Street towards the front entrance. The air-conditioned exhibit showcases an animatronic Abraham Lincoln who first debuted as part of the 1964 World’s Fair. After a short film about his journey from his childhood home to the White House, President Lincoln makes an appearance to share his vision for the future and provide excerpts from his speeches. When the show is over, take a walk around the rest of the exhibit to see rare Disneyland memorabilia detailing Walt Disney’s vision for the Happiest Place on Earth. It’s not an attraction I would see on every trip however, it is worth experiencing. Run Diva tells us why there is more than meets the eye at Disneyland’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
5. Main Street Cinema
This attraction is a hidden gem on Main Street. The cinema plays some of Walt Disney’s first animated cartoons. Black and white classics featuring Oswald, Mickey, Minnie and Pete to name a few. Multiple cartoons are playing at the same time on different screens. One of the things that makes this attraction so charming is the mannequin in the ticket booth at the entrance of the building. Here name is Tilly and she’s from Marceline, Missouri according to her name tag. This is a homage to Walt Disney who spend many childhood years in Tilly’s hometown.
6. Enchanted Tiki Room
If you’re in the mood to go where the birds sing words and the flowers croon, check out the Enchanted Tiki room! Escape to a tropical paradise and watch a show filled with singing, animatronic birds and 225 other animatronic performers. Grab a Dole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar while you wait for the show to start or have a meal next door at the Tropical Hideaway after the performance. Soarin Diva did a review of the attraction at Walt Disney World and tells us why you should take time for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
7. Frozen at the Hyperion Theater
The Hyperion Theater in California Adventure is a wonderful place to cool off and relax while enjoying the Frozen Musical. Join Anna and Elsa in this theater adaptation of the movie featuring spectacular scenes and special effects. The show is about 55 minutes long and typically has five performances per day. Get in line early as seats are first come, first serve. If you’re interested in priority seating, there are options for Frozen Dining Packages at the Carthay Circle Restaurant.
8. Grizzly River Run
This wet and wild rafting adventure is sure to please on a hot day. Enjoy a ride down a whitewater river circling Grizzly Peak in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With plenty of bumps and splashes you’re guaranteed to get wet. Watch out for the waterfall! Depending on how the raft spins you could wind up directly under it as you pass! This ride does have height restrictions and offers rider switch. Littler kids will enjoy the Redwood Creek challenge play area directly across from the ride. You may encounter your favorite chipmunks or Dug and Russell from the movie Up.
9. Ariel’s under the Sea adventure
Take it from Sebastian, life is better down where it’s wetter. This indoor ride is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Hop into your very own clam shell and go under the sea, no mermaid tail required. Set to the music from the Little Mermaid, follow Ariel on her adventures in and out of the water. Scuttle greets you at the beginning of the ride to tell you how the story started. Sing and dance your way through the ride as you watch Sebastian perform the songs Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl. Ursula makes a larger than life appearance to sing about those Poor Unfortunate Souls while mixing the ingredients in her cauldron to turn Ariel into a human. The ride is fairly short compared to other rides, however the wait time is rarely more than 5 minutes, so you can ride it multiple times without a long line. My girls usually want to ride it two or three times in a row.
10. The Animation Building The Animation Building is a diamond in the rough located in the Hollywood Land section of the park. This building is where the Character Meet and Greet is for Anna and Elsa among many other wonderful things. Three other attractions are housed in this building as well; the Animation Academy, Sorcerers Workshop and Turtle Talk with Crush.
The Courtyard in the building is an attraction on it’s own. Large couches are positioned throughout the room where you can sit and watch scenes from various Disney movies on multiple screens. The scenes also include highlights of the animation process from original sketches to final products. The queue for the Frozen Character meet and greet is in the courtyard and my girls never mind waiting in this line with all the movies to watch.
At the Animation Academy you can meet Disney artists and see first hand how Disney characters are brought to life from the paper drawing to the on-screen animation. You can even learn from a professional artist how to draw Disney characters.
The Sorcerers Workshop is a walk-through attraction that lets you explore the workshop with hands on experiences. In the Magic Mirror realm, learn how a character becomes animated, draw and create your own animations. In a separate room you enter a library to find an enchanted book that will tell you which Disney character you resemble based on your personality.
Turtle Talk with Crush is an aDORYble show that lets kids have a live interaction with Crush from the Finding Nemo movies. Crush answers questions about his life, friends and any other subject kids want to discuss. The interactions are spontaneous based on the questions during that show, so no two shows are the same! Crush’s friends Dory, Nemo, Hank, Marlin and the cutest little turtle dude ever – Squirt are known to make appearances as well.
I hope these tips help you beat the heat at Disneyland. Check out Tinker Belle Diva’s favorite ways staying cool when it heats up at Disneyland for more ideas. Do you have a favorite spot to cool off at the Happiest Place on earth? Leave your tips in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
If you would like information on planning your first or 50th trip to Disneyland be sure to contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel for a free vacation quote.