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How to manage Disney World in the Summer

How to prepare for your visit to the surface of the sun.

Just kidding.


By Heather Malo

After Disney announced it was closing for two weeks this Spring and its subsequent announcement those closures would continue, a lot of folks have been rescheduling their carefully planned Spring Disney vacations to the summer months.

I know, I know… Florida in the summer?

But you can totally manage this. Just hear me out.

Now that summer is the new off-season at Disney World, crowds will inevitably follow. Because as we all know, low crowds mean high promotions (see our article about Disney Tells).

And while those low crowds mean shorter wait times for stand-by lines, access to hot ticket Fast Passes and the ability to more easily score reservations to the best Character Dining experiences… there is one huge problem with summer:


I lived in Florida for four years, so I understand the sauna-esque life that is summer in the Sunshine State.

Florida is hot.

Florida in the summer? Well, that’s standing on the sun hot.

OK, maybe not quite that bad, but still… pretty hot.

There are ways to manage the heat at Disney World in the summer months. I mean, people have been living (and continue to move to Florida) despite the heat for years. If they can do it, you can too. Especially if you employ a few of these tips!

Start Early

Yeah, I know it’s vacation. I understand wanting to sleep in, but sleeping in is for Winter at Disney World. Not Summer. To beat the heat, you need to get yourself and your entourage up early. That means setting an alarm, baths the night before, laying out the days’ clothes ahead of time and generally acting like a drill sergeant. Hopefully the excitement of a day at Walt Disney World will be enough to entice even the grumpiest of early risers!


Sure, you run the risk of hitting that souvenir budget early, but twenty minutes inside a store on Main Street USA will cool everyone’s tempers. Instead of walking down Main Street to your next ride, check out the amazing shops to find the perfect take home gifts. Your shopping spree will make those sun baking spurts more manageable and treating these stores as part of the overall experience can help you savor your day… and save your sweat glands.

Get yourself back to the Hotel

This one may be easier for those staying on property, but Disney resorts are renowned for their pools. Take advantage of being close enough for a solid mid-day break and head back to the hotel for a cooling swim, lunch and (fingers crossed) a nap. Giving your body plenty of time to cool off will make going back to the parks later much easier. Consider returning after 5 pm, when many guests will have had it with the heat and be leaving for the day.

Table Service Lunches

A lot of families save those table service meals for dinner or breakfast, but during the hottest part of the year, taking an hour for lunch in an air-conditioned environment is a down right treat. Save the quick service for your early and late meals and dive into crisp AC for a lunch time break. The reprieve will be refreshing and well-enjoyed… and you can tack on a few more minutes of chill by ordering a sweet treat from the dessert menu.

Plan, plan and plan some more

This one will take some thought and planning but could be well worth it if it’s a scorcher. Most rides, not all, but a good many, are either fully enclosed in a building or have standby lines that weave through an air-conditioned waiting maze. Plan your day out so every other ride is chock full of AC. Take the Magic Kingdom, for example: hit up Jungle Cruise (all outside) then follow it up with Pirates of the Caribbean (all inside) then ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin (all outside) and stroll over to Haunted Mansion (half outside/half inside).

The Give Ins

Past all these tricks, there’s a host of other things to do like drinking lots of water (Disney provides free filtered ice water at any location that has sodas), wearable misting devices (kids LOVE these), wicking fabric clothes, hats, personal fans and cooling neck wraps.

Most likely your best solution will be a combination of all these tricks. There’s no right answer for everyone. The point is, Summer trips to Disney, if you truly want a low crowd visit, are entirely manageable if you plan accordingly.

Have more questions on how to beat the heat or book your Summer Disney World trip? Just drop me a note at

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