I grew up in New Jersey and spent my winters in the snow and my summers on the beach. I always thought it was TOO hot, then I moved to Florida and learned what a real summer heat is. I’ve been here for about 10 years now and I still hate the heat. From May to November I spent 98% of my time inside, that 2% when I am outside is when I’m in the parks. So how do you survive Florida heat and still enjoy Walt Disney World? Here’s a few tips to have the best day ever and not pass out because of heat stroke.
This is an obvious one but some people don’t hydrate correctly. You should start drinking lots of water a few days before your trip, if you start drinking it the first day in the parks it may too late and you can become dehydrated. Trust me, passing out in line for the Lion King show in Animal Kingdom is not fun, people will trample you. Sticking with water in the parks is your safest bet. Lemonade will only increase your thirst, Cokes and sodas are loaded with sugar and will make you tired. You can even bring in your own water bottles (I suggest a Tervis water bottle) and ask for free water cups from any fountain soda kiosk or quick service restaurant including triple filtered Starbucks water.
2. Bring an umbrella.
Any Florida resident has an umbrella in their car because it rains here every day. But umbrellas do much more than keep you dry while in the parks, they provide your own personal shade bubble. This will protect your skin from sun burn and make you feel a little cooler in the middle of the day. At first, you may feel awkward for carrying an umbrella around when there’s not a cloud in the sky but it’ll be worth it in the end. And you can always just tell people you’re channeling your inner Mary Poppins.
3. Dress appropriately.
Tank tops, shorts, sneakers/comfortable shoes, hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. I was recently in the park and saw women in long black leggings and men in jeans and I did not understand how they did it. My personal preference is my mickey cone tank top from d3tees. Wear lose clothing and always bring an extra shirt. If you’re going with children, changing their sweaty, dirty shirt to a fresh clean one may prevent a tantrum.
4. Bring a towel.
I think this is the greatest tip I can offer you. I always travel with a little hand towel when I go to the parks. It comes in handy when you’re waiting for Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire to start and you are drenched in sweat. Disney recently started selling cooling towels, as well. This nifty piece of fabric is meant to keep you cool by applying it to certain parts on your body, i.e., back of your neck or the inside of your elbow.
5. Remember to rest.
Don’t push yourself. If you’ve read other blogs about planning trips then you’ll be able to get everything done that you want. Just get to the parks early, take a nap in the middle/hottest time of the day, and enjoy the rest of the parks at night. There are plenty of places to sit and relax if you don’t have a hotel, consider resort hopping or enjoying a nice meal (inside or outside the parks). When I don’t have a hotel I like to pop into The Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, or any indoor show to cool off and regroup a little.
I’ve been in the parks when it is 30 degrees and I’ve been there when it is 108 degrees. It’s still possible to have the best day ever when your shoes are melting into Main Street, just plan and prepare. The magic and love will overpower everything.
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Courtney Franklin grew up in New Jersey and moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2006. She moved to Orlando in August 2015 to work in marketing for the architecture/construction/engineering industry. She has been a WDW Annual Passholder for 4 years and even has a Mickey Mouse tattoo. Follow Courtney on her Disney adventure on Instagram, @disneyvoyage, and on Twitter, @CourtneyLynne_.