Friday, May 17, 2013

Keeping Cool at Disney

Keeping Cool at Disney

Welcome to those of you joining me from A World View and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.  Enjoy the ride as we share with you our favorite ways to keep cool during the hot summer months in Disney.

"It's not the heat, it's the humidity!"  Truer words have never been said for Disney World in the summer months.  Sweltering heating dominates the southern states from June through August, and the heat index becomes all too important.  I grew up in the southern states and am used to the heat and humidity, although, as I get older my tolerance for it has increased.  And tolerance is the issue -- we all can handle heat and humidity to a point; but I don't think people realize how much they are out in it during vacations at Disney World.  Factors such age and health also decrease a person's tolerance.  Babies and seniors are more so affected by the heat than healthy adults.  But, there are ways to mitigate some of heat risk involved in a summer vacation at The World.  Here are a few suggestions I have to keep cool during those hot summer months.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Can't stress this enough.  Nothing zaps your energy faster than dehydration, and, despite the humidity, you can get dehydrated quicker than you think.  This is one reason I adore Disney's policy of allowing outside food and drinks (no alcohol or glass containers please) into the park.  You shouldn't have to pay to keep yourself hydrated.  Bring a refillable water bottle.  Refill at the fountains, or better yet, ask for a cup of ice water (free at all counter service locations).  If you don't like Florida tap water (it is a little funky), bring instant water flavoring packets available everywhere now days.  
  • Take a break mid-day.  Go back to your resort, go to a shady spot, or get inside.  Anything to cool down.  If your hotel or resort has pool, take advantage of it!  The pool is a welcome respite from the hot summer sun.
Take a break to enjoy the pool!
  • Wait for a passing shower.  It's Florida and it's summer, there will inevitably be a passing shower.  These storms are typically quick moving, although sometime severe, and bring lower temperatures for a little while.  Don't forget a rain poncho.  If the storms aren't violent, touring the parks in the rain is great.  That is, if you don't mind being a little wet.  Less crowds and cool temperatures.  I've ridden Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the rain.  SO MUCH FUN!
  • Take a lesson in evaporative cooling - a process in which the heat is removed from an object by the evaporation of a liquid coolant.  I found a product many years ago called an Aqua Towel (it's labeled many things -- Frogg Toggs, Aqua Towel, Cool Towel, etc.) that is a lifesaver in the heat.  It's basically a reusable chamois that when wet is cool due to evaporative cooling.  Dip in water, ring out and lay on the back of the neck, on the face, on the shoulders, or behind the knees (my favorite spot).  It's welcome relief from the heat.  Plus, it's made with extremely absorbent material so it doesn't drip and cause a big mess.
My scarf is not a fashion statement.  It's
my Aqua Towel!
  • If you have young ones, utilize the Baby Care Centers.  Every park has one and it's marked on the park guide map.  These are traditionally design as a place to feed, change and nurse little ones in privacy, but are also a great place to get the little ones out of the heat for a while.  
  • Put a lid on it.  Caps are a great way to provide shade to head and face.  
  • Take advantage of indoor attractions, gift shops, and rides.  There's no shortage of air-condition at Disney World.  Sometimes it's cool enough inside the attractions that I light jacket is needed.  I always pack one, just in case.
  • Don't forget the sunscreen even in the non-summer months.  Although sunscreen isn't going to keep you cool, it definitely goes hand-in-hand with the heat.  Sunburns are no joke and sneak up on you quicker than you think.  Bring your sunscreen with you else be forced to pay $15 for a bottle that would cost $8 at Walgreens.  Live and learn!  
Watch out for over-exposure
in the sun.
  • And finally, know you and your family's tolerances.  This is a huge suggestion.  No one wants to experience heat stress, much less heat stress on a vacation.  If you need to leave the park before your Fast Pass time because one member of your party is feeling light-headed from the heat, then do it.  Better that than have someone fall out in the middle of a queue.  Disney World medical personnel are great, but they would rather not have to come and peel you off the floor.
    When little ones get red in
    the face, it's time to take a

    These are just a few of my personnel suggestions.  Do you have any?  I'd love to hear them.  I will be heading to the World in July this year.  I've done June and August several times, but never July.  I plan to be prepared!

    Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back Friday, June 21st with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories.  If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

    Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

    1st Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney
    2nd Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
    3rd Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
    4th Stop ~ A World View
    Final Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad


    1. Great ideas! I never wear a hat at the parks, got to remember that next time. :)

    2. Wow - lovely job, and may excellent suggestions here! The aqua towel sounds like it would be well worth bringing along, even heard of such a thing. When my kids get older and are more tied to school obligations, I'm thinking warmer Disney visits are in our future... I'll keep these helpful tips in mind!

    3. Really good article; I've already shared your comprehensive review and recommendations with a friend planning a summer visit. But I think you last comment was really on the mark. Know your family. No reason to overdue the exposure. "More" will not lead to enjoyment; satisfaction and happiness do.

    4. Thanks! I enjoyed joining the red line this month! Great and useful topic!