(Lincoln absolutely LOVES taking a dip in the Disney Pools! - we'll be doing a separate Top 5 on pools soon as it just didn't feel right sticking them in here)!
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World in Florida (and we’re assuming most if not all of you have) than you know just how warm it gets! Sure there are a few times in the middle of winter when it might actually be considered cool down there, but the majority of the year see temps in the 80s and 90s…and that humidity only makes it even more uncomfortable. Now, this is coming from a guy who loves the cold and lives up in NJ, but even my perpetually cold wife admits that it can get a bit steamy when we visit, especially since we typically visit in August when we’re not teaching.
That’s why we’ve decided to share our Top 5 Ways to Cool Down in WDW. Now, since there are technically two of us doing this, we’ll both be sharing our top 5 which means you’ll probably be getting closer to 10 in total. However, some of them are bound to overlap. We’ll be doing these Top 5 lists in a new series called His & Hers: Top 5, so be sure to keep an eye out for future installments! And as always, we want to hear from YOU! So after reading our list, head over to the Facebook group to continue the conversation and share your thoughts!
HIS & HERS (Matt/Krystle)
5. Matt -Go in Jan/Feb – If you’re lucky enough to have a job or schedule that allows you to vacation at any time of the year, the best way to avoid the heat in central Florida is to go when it’s typically cooler to begin with. As teachers, we usually have to visit during our school breaks (Spring Break and Summer) which unfortunately takes place during warmer times of the year. We have been lucky enough in the past to visit in both November and January (for our honeymoon and prior to being teachers respectively) and I thoroughly enjoyed the cooler temps. I would even say at times it was almost cold and required jeans and a long sleeve tee at night, but was still warm enough during the day to wear a short sleeve (for me at least…Krystle wouldn’t agree lol). This is probably the most obvious answer, but also the most difficult to make happen for many people.
5. Krystle - Fans- I highly recommend if you have a stroller to bring fans1 2 if possible 1 for the child and 1 for the person pushing. As I push the stroller I like to have that fan on full blast. I didn’t really think about having an extra fan until after our 4th trip with the stroller. I wasn’t feeling well on that trip and pushing the stroller wasn’t helping. I personally prefer to have a fan that attaches to the stroller and not a neck one, (my hair constantly got stuck in it in my neck fan, although Matt enjoyed). Regardless of the fan (stroller or personal) make sure you invest in one that is rechargeable, chances are you or your child are going to forget to turn it off and the battery will run out. (This totally just happened in April, Lincoln was playing with the fan and I didn’t double check. Luckily, I was able to charge it a bit while we were on a ride)
4. Matt - Cooling Towels – These things are a lifesaver for me when we visit in mid August and the temps are in the upper 90s with 1000% humidity! There are tons of different brands, but they all essentially work the same way. Wet with cold water, ring out, snap, and then place around your neck. Pretty simple and the fact that you can essentially reuse them all day is great. I usually start each day with a “frozen” towel that I had placed in the freezer back in our hotel the night before and then rewet in a nearby restroom as needed. I do suggest bringing a ziplock bag with you to place the damp towel in when not using though.
4. Krystle - Wipes- There is nothing I hate more than the sticky feeling left on my arms after sweating in the park. I also don’t like to feel “cold” when I walk into a show or a ride because of sweat. While Matt might enjoy the cooling towel, I just can’t get into them. For this I like to carry face wipes or even a dry towel that I can wipe my arms and face with. I personally like to use water wipes which can be found in the baby aisle in most stores. These wipes leave you feeling refreshed and don’t leave a soapy sticky residue that other wipes can.
3. Matt - Avoid Parks in the Afternoon – Just like anywhere else, FL reaches its highest temps in the afternoons when the sun is at its full power! If you’re ok with slightly bigger crowds, hit the parks in the morning before the temps rise, but if you’re looking for a little lighter crowd size and cooler temps, your best bet is to hit a park in the evening (say 5ish). Many people are starting to leave for the day or to grab dinner and the temps will slowly start to inch back down. Now in mid-August it won’t be much of a drop, but at least it’s something. I can’t honestly say we do this too often as we tend to be “go-go-go” when we visit, but since we started bringing Lincoln we have been taking more “breaks'' from the parks in the afternoon to head back to the resort for a nap or to hit the pool (could be a choice on it’s own, but we’ll include it here) for a few hours before dinner and a night time park. BONUS: I would HIGHLY suggest doing this for Hollywood Studios! The park is notorious for its lack of shade and we always feel warmest when there in the afternoon!
3. Krystle - Plan late lunches- If you want to spend all day in the park or aren’t staying local this might be the best option for you. One of the worst parks to be in on a hot summer day is Hollywood Studios or the concrete jungle as many refer to it as. To combat the heat at this park I like to plan late lunches for around 1-3pm. This gives a much needed break when the sun is hottest and often unavoidable due to the lack of shade in the park. It's an adorable park that just gets hot. This is not a time to have lunch at Woody’s Lunch Box as there is barely any shade, difficult to find a seat, and NOT AIR CONDITIONED. I would instead recommend going over to the ABC Commissary, if you want quick service, which in my opinion is underrated. (Our very picky eater enjoyed the grilled cheese, which if you know picky eaters this is a win!)
2. Matt - Drink LOTS of water – this is probably the simplest way to help keep you cool, but also to help prevent health concerns like heat stroke from popping up (something we spot almost EVERY time we visit WDW in the summer). Just like with the cooling towel, we usually freeze a couple bottles of water the night before and bring with us to the parks to start our day. We also have a pretty awesome stainless steel water bottle that keeps ice frozen almost all day (not lying it has surprised us numerous times) that we fill with ice and water. Also remember that while a bottle of Dasani water might cost you $4 in the parks, you can walk into any QS location and ask for a cup of ice water for FREE! Simply put…HYDRATE!
2. Krystle - Frozen Drinks- While water is definitely important and I agree with everything Matt said about the topic, sometimes water just doesn’t quench that thirst. I am always up for a frozen drink! Luckily, Disney has plenty to offer in both the alcoholic and nonalcoholic category. Take the Night Blossom, it is a Non-Alcoholic Specialty Beverage described as layers of Apple and Desert Pear Limeade topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls, add Bacardi Superior Rum it becomes the Rum Blossom. Mmmm! I’m dreaming of this drink now!
1. Matt - The Carousel of Progress (or any long, indoor attraction). I LOVE the Carousel of Progress. As a History teacher, it’s an awesome look back at the American dream, it’s got a catchy song, AND it is the PERFECT place to cool off in the middle of a park day! What could be better than sitting in a comfy chair, in a darkened theater, with the AC pumping after walking 5 miles in 95 degree weather and sweating non-stop? Honestly, it’s not just CoP, but really any indoor attraction that has a little length to it. Think Philarmagic, Universe of Energy (RIP), The Finding Nemo Musical, and so many others. We always try to plan our park days with these cool down type attractions mixed in during the afternoons to give us a much needed break from the heat. This has especially become more important since having Lincoln. BONUS, these darker, cool attractions might even help your little one (*cough* me *cough*) grab a nap!
1. Krystle - Explore the Resorts One of the best ways to cool down is to head in doors but what if you're not hungry, don’t want to shop and have ridden the rides? This is when I like to walk around the resorts. For Example, If you're at Hollywood or Epcot take the skyliner or walk to Yacht/Beach club or Boardwalk. These resorts are stunning and offer plenty of seating to just take in some cool air for a bit. Many of the resorts “dress up” for the holidays; you might find gingerbread houses or Christmas trees in winter or Easter eggs in the spring. I love resort hopping around lunch time. On our last trip we walked from MK to the contemporary. We had dinner plans at California Grill but we were just looking to relax and we didn’t want to go all the way to our hotel. We found some lounge chairs overlooking the water and sat while Lincoln ran around or had some tablet time. AND…POOLS! What better way to cool down than to head back to your resort to check out their pool (Stormalong Bay anyone)?
LINCOLN’S TIP: ICE CREAM!!!!! Don’t know if he means a Mickey Bar or Dole Whip, but since he said “BOTH” when we asked him, we’ll go with that…calories don’t count in WDW anyway right?!
Well, there ya go, our FIRST His & Hers: Top 5! Thanks again for taking the time to be part of our adventures and we really can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say! Head over to our FB group and let us know what you think and if you have any other suggestions to beat the heat while at WDW! See Ya Real Soon,
-Matt and Krystle (and Lincoln)