**Notice Alert** This posting contains common sense, but not common practice.
OK, now that I have provided adequate warning that some things here may seem needless to post, just keep in mind that most guests don’t practice the points, so here we go.
Disney Imagineers can do the seemingly impossible, including recreating mountains, making bears talk and ghosts socialize; but they seem to be at a loss for finding a way to keep the sweltering heat from being a factor through July and August. So, it is up to the guests to take necessary precautions to keep cool while in the parks.
Fortunately, Disney actually has setup the parks in a way that should help. The majority of attractions in the Magic Kingdom are enclosed and air-conditioned. The distance between the attractions is relatively short, and even the queue areas are usually shaded at least. In addition, Main Street stores often provide a moment of relief from the hot sun. There are also refreshment carts or areas located in strategic locations.
EPCOT may be the most difficult area in which to keep cool. Though Future World (the front half of the park) is comprised mainly of enclosed, interior attractions that are air conditioned, the World Showcase offers much less opportunity for shade and air-cooled comfort.
Likewise, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom offer the same problems. So, what do you do?
1. Take advantage of the park layout. Are you walking from one side of Future World to the other? Walk through buildings such as Mouse Gears to keep cool instead of walking in the outside heat.
2. Plan your day so you are outside during the cooler parts of the day. Since the World Showcase usually opens around 11am, wait until late afternoon to explore the area. This will keep you out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Between the hours of 11:30 am – 3 pm, plan to visit the indoor, air-cooled attractions.
3. Take advantage of cooling stations. There are some cooling stations located in certain parks. The most notable is located next to Test Track in EPCOT. The water misting fans will feel great when you need it most.
4. Water misting fans are also for sale throughout the parks. However, I recommend purchasing one from WalMart. These are just as good and cost much less. Likewise, a regular battery powered fan is a good and inexpensive buy too.
5. Bring water. Drink early, sip often. Disney will allow you to bring items into the park. We usually fill a backpack with water and have taken small, cooler style jugs of water into the parks. This will help tremendously.
7. Dress appropriately. I like to wear a sun hat or a cap, but the sun hat provides a little additional shade to keep me cool. If it gets too hot, you can wet the sun hat and it will provide a greater cooling.
8. Wear wicking shirts (Dry-Fit) may be better than normal T-shirts or polo style shirts of cotton material. They are light-weight, move heat and moisture away from skin and allow air to flow through the fabric. Also, lighter colors are better because they don’t attract or absorb heat.
9. I have actually worn shorts with loose fitting, long sleeve shirts. This can actually provide comfort through shading your arms. The looser fitting material is also usually thinner than most normal cotton, polo style shirts. Believe it or not, long sleeves can be cooler.
10. Eat spicy food. Yep, you read right. Spicy food increases sweat which keeps you cool.
11. Eat a frozen treat. Frozen Lemonade from the Yak & Yetti counter service restaurant, or an Itzakadoozie Popsicle from any ice cream cart can not only hit the spot, but can cool you down nicely.
12. Rest occasionally throughout the day. Don’t feel the need to rush around all the time. Take a moment to sit in a shaded area; there are plenty of those in the parks.
The most important thing to remember is to be prepared for the heat. Disney parks don’t have to be unbearable in June, July and August, if you are ready to fight it wisely.
How do you fight the heat in Disney? Add comments or tips in the section below. Have you tried any of these, let us hear how they worked for you!