Walt Disney World in the summer can be a fantastic place to visit…if you are prepared.
To help, we’ve gathered our best Disney World summer travel tips when heading to the most magical place on earth.
Here’s what we recommend:
Be prepared for rain
Summer in the Orlando area means 2 things: high temps and high humidity.
And, unfortunately, with the high temperatures comes increased chances for rain and thunderstorms.
During the Orlando summer, it will most likely rain and/or storm at least once a day. Sometimes the bad weather will last for a while, whereas other times it passes quickly.
And just because your weather app says rain isn’t in the forecast, that doesn’t mean a storm won’t sneak in. You should always be prepared! There is nothing worse than being stuck in the parks without an umbrella or poncho to protect you.
Make sure you have at least an umbrella and a poncho with you to be safe. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen. You can still get a wicked burn on cloudy days!
Have a game plan for staying cool
The weather at Disney World in the summer is H-O-T. The temperatures and humidity are no joke, and we guarantee that you’ll start sweating as soon as you step outside your hotel room.
But, even though it is hot, there are some easy things you can do to stay cool.
Here are some of our favorites:
Pools are the least busy in the mornings. The crowds at the pools start to pick up midday, and they will be quite busy towards the end of the day as people start returning from the parks.
There’s also a good chance park crowds won’t be as busy later in the day compared to in the mornings. Temperatures will also be cooler later on.
A great way to battle the heat is by going on an attraction or watching a show. Looking to cool off fast? Choose a ride or show that’s inside and doesn’t have an outdoor queue.
But, if you want to cool down quickly, you also have to consider wait times.
There are plenty of Disney World attractions with low wait times that are not only fun, but can help you cool off when you need it the most.
These are just a few of our favorites by park:
- Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Epcot: Living with the Land, Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, The Seas Pavilion
- Hollywood Studios: Mickey Shorts Theater, Walt Disney Presents
- Animal Kingdom: Animation Experience at Conservation Station, It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Taking a break in the middle of the day, aka when temperatures are the hottest, is a great option.
Whether you choose to take a nap, hang by the pool, or just chill, taking a midday break is sometimes the way to go. You don’t want to push yourself too much, especially on a hot day.
What better way to stay cool all day long than by sliding down on water slides?
During hotter days, water parks can get busy, so you should definitely plan in advance.
Keep in mind that sometimes both water parks aren’t open at the same time. Be sure to check the daily schedule.
Planners will have an advantage
Summer Disney World visitors are often different than those traveling at other times of year – they tend to be more laid back, spontaneous travelers as opposed to planners.
That means people who do choose to plan will have an advantage and can use the info to navigate the summer crowds.
Make Dining Reservations
During the busy summer months, Advanced Dining Reservations can be tricky to snag.
Most kids are out of school during those months, and that’s the only time when many families can go on vacation.
You can only book dining reservations up to 60 days in advance. Now more than ever it seems difficult to snag a Table Service reservation, so you definitely want to be on top of your game when it comes to booking meals.
We have a guide on how to get difficult reservations at Disney World, which will hopefully help!
Try to avoid being in the parks during the middle of the day
The middle of the day during summer will always be the hottest — and busiest. What does this mean? You should prioritize spending early mornings and late evenings in the parks.
This way, you’ll have cooler temperatures and hopefully less sun. There are also usually less crowds during these times of days, which can mean lower wait times for attractions.
As difficult as it might be getting ready to go early in the morning, it usually pays off. The goal is to get to the parks before opening.
Not only can those extra 30 minutes help cut down on wait times, but the earlier you can arrive during the summer means, the better because it will be less hot.
Also, did you know that you can stay after official park closing?
To be clear, you must be in line for an attraction before the park officially closes to be able to ride.
But, you can also hang out in the main park area, like Main Street, U.S.A., to take photos and shop. Speaking of the latter, some stores stay open at least an hour after park closing.
Plus, guests staying at a Disney Deluxe or Disney Deluxe Villas Resort (plus a couple other select hotels) have access to Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
These extended nighttime hours allow eligible guests to stay in Magic Kingdom or Epcot for 2 hours past official park closing. Not only does this mean lower wait times, but cooler temperatures!
Pack for the season
What to pack for any vacation can be difficult, but when it comes to packing for a summer visit to Disney World, you don’t want to forget the following:
- Multiple pairs of shoes in case they get wet thanks to rain and to help if you get blisters. Speaking of the latter, don’t forget band-aids!
- Lots of sunscreen! Make sure you buy sunscreen before your trip, because it is expensive at the parks and hotels.
- An umbrella for both rain and sun. You may want to use one to help block the sun on hot days.
- Something you might not think of — patience. If you’re not used to visiting Disney World, crowds, temperatures, schedules, and more can be overwhelming. So, you’ll definitely need a lot of patience at times.
Stay up-to-date on changes
Disney World is constantly tweaking things like Park Hours and Genie+.
And, if you did the majority of your planning months ago, there is a strong likelihood that there are some big changes between what you saw back then vs. how it looks and works now.
Genie+ changes can happen at any time
Although Genie+ has been around for awhile now, you never know when changes will occur.
That’s why it is very important that you double-check the latest news and updates before you head out on your trip.
Any little change can impact how you plan to tour a particular park.
We have lots of Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane resources – and we update them (including all graphics) whenever Disney makes any changes. If you did most of your research on Genie+ months ago, make sure you revisit everything ahead of your trip.
Park hours can change at any time
Park hours are constantly changing. And during the summer, park hours are often extended.
So, you’ll definitely want to track park hours to help plan your days.
Your best bet is to always make sure you double-check the park hours for the next day, before you go to sleep.
There’s a lot to remember when it comes to planning a trip to the most magical place on earth during the summer, but hopefully our best Disney World summer travel tips help guide you in the right direction!
VIDEO: Summer Travel Tips
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