1. Mid-day is the perfect time for a dip in the resort pool or a nap in the AC. But, it’s also a time when Mother Nature provides unlimited FastPasses. Rainstorms are prevalent in the Florida and you’ll need to plan your time accordingly. If there is no lightening, rides will still be operational and lines will be short as most everyone else will run for cover, typically choosing to call it a day. But if you’ve already had enough of the crowds, go to the pool or take a nap. By all means. You can go out again as the evening temps fall and the crowds thin.
2. Speaking of rain, leave the umbrellas at home. Yes, you read that right. Umbrellas are cumbersome and can be lethal weapons in the right (read: oblivious) hands. Instead, pull out the dollar store ponchos you bought before the trip. You can move easily through the throngs of people emptying the parks, leaving shorter lines for you. They’re portable and take up little room in your backpack. If you’re at Disney World in the summer, you’ll need these at least once.
3. And while you’re at the big box or dollar store, pick up some spray mister fans. If your little one absolutely has to have a Mickey mister, set aside some souvenir money. But for the rest of the family? A simple, miniature one will do.
4. Bring bottled water from home. Or, if you’re flying, have water sent to your resort. A few bottles per person is fine. Counter service restaurants will give you free cups of ice water to refill your personal bottle. Stay hydrated!
5. Plan your day accordingly. Get up early. Get to the park of your choice at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Ride, see and do as much as you can in the first 2-3 hours. Then slow down, have lunch, enjoy a show. Go back to the resort for a swim or nap. Head back out to the parks for the cooler, evening hours. Refreshed.
6. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen.
7. And more sunscreen.
8. Avoid Animal Kingdom park. Very few attractions are indoors and there are few shady areas to find any relief. If you have no choice, go early! Take advantage of extra magic hours and then leave before it gets too unbearable. Oh, and enjoy Kali River Rapids as your last attraction. You will get wet. Soaking wet.
9. Because we pace ourselves during this time of year, we don’t rely heavily on sneakers. Sneakers are too, well, heavy. And they don’t allow your feet to breathe. If you have a great pair that does all this, feel free, bring them. But a couple broken-in sandals may be more comfortable and will dry quicker after exiting water rides and walking through the large misting fans/areas. Just bring a few pairs of whatever you decide so you can switch out a wet or uncomfortable set.
10. If you’re not going back to the resort mid-day this is the time for long shows or attractions with queues in air-conditioned areas. Space Mountain, Hall of Presidents, Great Movie Ride, Soarin’, any of the movies in World Showcase, Dinosaur and It’s Tough To Be A Bug – just to name a few.
11. Wear light colors. And bring sunglasses, hats and cooling towels like the Frogg Toggs towel.
12. When leaving Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can walk through the stores along the main drag. Whether you’re browsing or leaving the park, the AC will be a welcome relief.
13. Don’t limit yourself to the four main parks. Try Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. All the great Disney theming in the form of a water park. Or Disney Quest, an indoor, interactive video/3D virtual-world park at Downtown Disney.
14. Take the time to look at the ducks, or smell the roses, if you prefer. You Type-A personalities out there are going to have to take the lead from the Type-Bs. I know, it’s not in your nature. But the Florida summer heat is no time to be a hero. Relax. Slow down. And enjoy the view. Pushing through the crowds is never fun. And can be dangerous. Take a breath. Have a Mickey bar. And enjoy the moment. Your family will love you for it.