Select Page

-By Darlin’ Diva

The Sunshine State is appropriately named!  If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, it’s a good idea to keep in mind just how hot and sunny the weather may be while you’re there.  During the summer months, especially July and August, some basic precautions can make a huge difference in the enjoyment level of your vacation experience.  Being hot, sweaty, and sunburned is no fun at all and can actually make you more tired than you’d normally be – even if you weren’t walking up to 10 miles per day touring Disney World’s parks.  I am here to help!  I’m not a doctor or a summer survival specialist, just a mom with 25 years of Disney vacations under my belt.  I’ll tell you what I’ve learned and maybe it’ll help you too.IMG_1066

Walt Disney World – Summer Sun Survival

1. Start every morning with a huge glass or bottle of water!  You can drink coffee or tea too, but not instead of water.  This is good for the entire family – starting the day well-hydrated makes staying that way easier on the go.  I know it’s sometimes hard to get little ones to drink water, but it is very important.  Say it’s “what we have to do at Disney World” if you need to, but once everyone is awake, make downing the H2O a priority.  Bring stickers or other small treats as rewards for finishing a drink of water – do whatever it takes and make it fun at the same time.

2. Slather on the sunscreen!  At least 30 minutes before you go outside, apply a generous helping of sunblock and take along extra for re-application during the day (about every two hours).  Instructions for properly applying sunscreen from the American Academy of Dermatology can be found here.  Don’t forget ears, the tops of feet (if exposed), backs of necks, and any exposed scalp.

3. Bring your own shade!  Be sure to pack those hats, caps and sunglasses!  Another tip is to tie a white (or light-colored) linen shirt around your waist.  Sound odd?  You’ll thank me when you throw it on anytime you find yourself stuck waiting in the sun…like maybe standing in line for a Dole Whip in Adventure Land, a churro in Frontierland, or a Mickey pretzel in Tomorrowland!  White reflects the sun’s rays and linen is cool and breathes well.  Back in the shade, just tie it back around your waist.  A long-sleeved shirt also comes in handy if you get a little chilly in a restaurant.IMG_5175

4. Drink more water.  I cannot stress this enough!  Dehydration is a real threat in the Florida heat.  Ask for free cups of ice water at counter-service restaurants in the parks or carry your own bottles of water.  Sip often, all day long.  If you love World Showcase and want to enjoy an adult beverage, it’s even MORE important to drink water.  Staying well-hydrated makes a huge difference in how you and your family will feel in the heat.IMG_7133

5. Take advantage of indoor attractions.  Many rides and attractions have indoor queues.  It’s Tough to Be a Bug in Animal Kingdom is cool and dark.  Spaceship Earth, Ellen’s Energy Adventure (good napping spot), and The Seas With Nemo and Friends are great places to cool off in Epcot.  RM-Country-Bears-HenryIn Magic Kingdom, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Haunted Mansion and Country Bear Jamboree are our favorite cool spots.  While the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has an outdoor queue, it’s shady and often has misters and fans going.

6. Use mid-day breaks wisely.  Staying on property?  Take about 4 hours during the hottest part of the day to go back to your resort, hang out by the pool, shower, change, and be refreshed and ready to get back to the parks for those incredible nighttime spectaculars!  Staying off property?  No need to leave – build in some time to resort hop on the monorail loop if you’re at Epcot or Magic Kingdom.IMG_1008If you’re at the Studios, take a boat to the Boardwalk area.  If you’re at Animal Kingdom, take the short bus ride over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and go exploring!  Resort hopping gives you the opportunity to cool off, browse some shops, grab a snack or quick bite and see what different resorts look and feel like.  Another idea is to make an ADR (Advance Dining Reservation) at the table service restaurant of your choice for the latest lunch you can get.  We call this eating “Lupper” (combo of Lunch and Supper) and find that it’s a great way to not only beat the heat, but we can sometimes save money as well.  Often lunches are less expensive than a restaurant’s dinner menu.  Later, if we get hungry again, we just grab something on the go.RM-Studios-Boat-to-Swan

7. Be Prepared!  Along with the summer heat in Florida, also often comes the afternoon thunderstorm.  We always have our rain ponchos handy so we can keep right on having fun, even in the rain.  Proper shoes are also important, but I’ll save those tips for another day.

What are your best summer sun survival tips?

Until Next time….Darlin’ Diva