So we just returned from a short trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort to make sure all our Disney tips and tricks work in the heat and during some of the heaviest traffic time. Check out our new pictures. In the next few weeks I will be blogging on some of these points in more detail, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are my top ten pointers on surviving the heat.
1. Fans. The ones with the water bottle attached so you can spray yourself and fan yourself all in one. These sell at the parks for $17 and were the hottest ticket in the park this week where temps were at 102 before the heat index! Plan ahead and purchase them at places like CVS and Wal-mart. Remember to bring extra batteries!
2. Utilize the air conditioning in stores. Many stores up and down the Main Street U.S.A.® Area in the Magic Kingdom® Park and Hollywood Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood StudiosTM are connected, so you can traverse this street through stores. This will take some planning ahead of time if you have kids so they know this is only a way to keep cool and not to shop. It works with my 10 and 5 year olds.
3. Take a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom® Park to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, or others that are using the smaller, open-air wooden boats. These provide a great breeze and a break from the parks. I believe the boats from Epcot® to the Epcot® area hotels also have AC.
4. As I am sure all of you have heard, get in early and get out early. Get there at park opening, out by lunch, hit the pool, take a nap, and then head back to the parks late afternoon into evening. We went to the Magic Kingdom® Park late afternoon when we arrived on Saturday and the crowds were very manageable!
5. If you are eating in the Epcot® World Showcase and wanting counter service, the options that keep you cool are minimal. Most options are open-air and are covered with ceiling fans, but have no AC. These places were not cool enough for us this week. However, Japan’s Yakitori House and Morocco’s Tangierine Cafe have AC. However, in Morocco, only the small room off to the left of the counter where you order stays cool since all of the doors are left open. If neither of these appeal to you, there is always ‘Season’ in the Land Pavillion back in Future World. There they have soups, sandwiches, salads, wood-fired specialties, and desserts.
6. Take a break in Epcot’s® Innoventions, both East and West. This can certainly be hours of entertainment and a huge break from the heat! We had a great time in here.
7. The Animation area in Disney’s Hollywood StudiosTM is again, a place you can spend an hour or more. You can even learn how to draw your favorite Disney character at the Animation Academy. I will definitely be doing a blog on this soon.
8. Avoid Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park during the hottest parts of the day. Get there at opening and out by 11 or noon at the latest. This park seems to absorb the heat the most and offers few ways to get into some AC and take a break.
9. One of our first ever tips and a favorite we used just yesterday is the Town Square Exposition Hall in the Magic Kingdom® Park. This is just inside the main gate on the right side, where the Photo Pass Center is located for this park. If you go all the way to the back and to the right, there is a little theater where you can watch old cartoons, take pictures, and even see the timeline of Disney’s cartoon history. It is quiet and cool. There are even cafe tables back there to sit and let kids have a snack, do a little drawing, or take time to decompress. This is also one of our suggested areas for kids with Autism and/or sensory disabilities. We use this area to have the family take a break while one of us gets a spot for the parade. This way, not everyone has to stand outside and wait.
10. Last but definitely not least, wear a hat and sunscreen. Everyone needs a hat and suncscreen. We ended up buying hats there as souvenirs as both our kids had outgrown theirs. And since they picked them out themselves and they were from Disney, they wore them the whole time. If you are only wearing a visor, don’t forget suncreen along the part in your hair.
With a little planning, some strategic AC stops sporadically throughout your day, and PLENTY OF WATER and sunscreen, you too can hang with Mickey in the heat.
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