Tips to Stay Cool on a Summer Disney Vacation

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stay cool on a Disney vacation

Updated for 2018!

It sure is hot in Orlando during the summer. With average temperatures in June, July, and August hovering around 92 degrees, that means when you factor in humidity, it’s going to feel like it’s about 100 degrees. That’s really hot, especially for those of you not used to high heat in the deep south.

So how can a Disney Princess stay cool in the parks and resorts when the temperature is turned up to broil? We have some tips…

Read: Should You Pull Kids Out of School for a Disney Vacation?

weather in Orlando for a Disney vacation.

Drink and Then Drink Some More recommends you drink a big glass of water about 60 minutes before you start to walk. They define big as 12 to 20 ounces of water. Drinking an hour before you leave allows you to start the day well-hydrated, and you will also have the chance to visit the potty before you head out the door.

Once you leave your room, drink 6 to 8 ounces of water every 20 to 30 minutes that you are doing serious walking. You won’t need that much water when you are waiting for Space Mountain, or seeing shows like Mickey’s Philharmagic, but walking through Epcot during the heat of the day will require more water consumption.

Several More Water Tips 

  • Dehydration is quite possible on summer vacations; a high pulse rate that remains high and dark yellow urine are signs of dehydration.
  • Athletes who are active in the heat are advised to “drink when thirsty,” so make sure you have access to water immediately when you need it. Bring it with you into the parks, purchase it, or order free cups of water at counter service restaurants.
  • Avoid drinks with a high sugar concentration, which can induce nausea when ingested in high temperatures, like sodas and lemonade/fruit juice type drinks. If you are walking and sweating for more than an hour, switch from water to a sports drink that replaces electrolytes. We suggest bringing your own Gatorade packets to avoid paying park retail prices.

Read: How to Pack the BEST Disney World Theme Park Bag Ever!

Most of the sidewalks around the resorts and theme parks are in direct sun.

Most of the sidewalks around the resorts and theme parks are in direct sun.

plan a Disney World vacation

Sun, sun, everywhere…

Be Out and About During the Coolest Parts of the Day

Mornings will be cooler than mid-day, and late afternoon headed into evening will have cooled off considerably. If you will be doing serious walking during your vacation, try to do it early morning and later evening. Many princesses feel the need to stay out all day long to get the best use of their expensive park tickets, but the heat will suck up all your energy, not to mention leave you with a sunburn if you skipped using sunscreen.

If you can spare the time for a nap after lunch, get out of the heat and sun and cool off. Children traveling with you also benefit from a mid-day break as well. We have an entire article on the benefits of napping:  Vacationing at Disney World? Then You’ll Need a Nap!

Don’t Over-Do It

If you’ve decided not to go back to the room for a break and you can’t avoid the heat, lower the intensity of your walking speed so your body generates less internal heat. Slow down, especially when going uphill. Save your higher intensity walking for cooler times of the day.

Read: What are the Best Shoes to Wear on a Disney World Vacation? We Asked the Fans…

Bay Lake Tower Resort

Can you spot the shady sidewalk at Bay Lake Tower Resort?

when to visit Disney World

Not only is it prettier at night, but the temperatures are way cooler as well.

Seek Shade

In many parts of the theme parks, it’s tough to find walking paths out of direct sun, but shade can definitely be your friend. Florida sun beating down on the asphalt or concrete can make you feel like you’re walking through an oven. noted that in an activity measuring the difference between sun and shade temperatures, variances ranged from a 14 degree difference on a lawn area to a 35 degree difference on a parking lot. They declared the average difference between shaded and unshaded surfaces was just over 27 degrees. After you’ve been walking for hours in the heat, shade will be a welcome sight, so go out of your way to find it.

Walk through gift shops or take a break inside to enjoy the air-conditioning, so you reap the benefits of both a lower temperature and a shady spot. Try to find overhangs or trees and stand underneath.

Read – Disney World Resort Pool Hopping: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

avoid heat stroke on vacation

Sometimes you find fantastic entertainment in the shade.

A ceiling fan and a shady chair can be found at the Boardwalk Resort

A ceiling fan and a shady chair can be found at the Boardwalk Resort

Create Shade

As I get older, I have reached a point where I will not walk into a theme park without a some type of hat, and this is especially true in the summer. I make it a specific point to grab my hat as I walk out the door.
Wear a hat with a visor or a desert-cap with flaps to shade your neck. Wearing sunscreen will help prevent sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles. Wear sunglasses that filter UVA and UVB to protect your eyes. Wearing light-colored clothing is also the best choice for park attire, because they will not absorb as much heat as dark colors.


If you become dizzy, nauseated, have dry skin or chills, you should immediately stop in the shade and find something to drink.  If you don’t start feeling better, ask a Cast Member to get medical help for you immediately.

WebMD reports that the first sign of trouble for most people in high temperatures is heat exhaustion, and there are two different types.

  • Water depletion: symptoms including excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness
  • Salt depletion: symptoms include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness

If you start to feel any of these symptoms, you should not take heat exhaustion lightly, because without treatment or intervention, your situation can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs and sometimes even cause death.

Read: The 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

how much walking will you do at the Magic Kingdom

waiting for a Disney Princess on vacation

Will you wait for Disney Character autographs? Prepare yourself for sun and heat.

Hold onto your hats, Disney Princesses, because heat stroke (also called sun stroke) is a serious medical emergency, which is certainly no fun on a vacation. WebMD indicates heat stroke can occur following heat cramps, heat syncope (this is fainting), and heat exhaustion. Unfortunately you can have a heat stroke with no prior symptoms; heat strokes result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, sometimes in combination with dehydration, and this leads the body’s temperature control system to fail.
Disney visitors who have a medical condition like heart or respiratory problems, or anyone who has had a prior heat stroke, should probably consult with your doctor about walking in high temperatures, just to be on the safe side.
So use these tips to make sure your fantastic vacation doesn’t take a turn for the worst when the sun reaches high over Cinderella Castle in the summer sky. You princesses should pass on this information to the pirates in your group as well, because they may be the last members in your traveling party to actually take a break.
Resort hopping or even walking around your resort can keep you out in the heat.

Resort hopping or even walking around your resort own can keep you out in the heat.

Shady spots are often in demand, especially at lunch time.

Shady spots are often in demand, especially at lunch time.

And remember there are fountains in many of the parks and Disney Springs where kids, and even hot adults, can cool off.

splash fountain at Disney World Epcot

Be careful you don’t get the dreaded “Disney Rash,” because that’s totally related to heat and walking, especially for older adults.

How to Beat the Disney Rash!

Need some more tips on walking at Disney? We have a some great suggestions…

Walking Miles & Miles at Disney Theme Parks: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you headed toward Magic Kingdom, wearing a hat and looking for some shade…

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Mike Ellis

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