Another scorching hot summer is upon us here in the Mouse House. Summertime in Florida can get brutally hot, and that heat is amplified by our excessive humidity and typical lack of a breeze during the hottest months of the year. This year, August-like heat began in central Florida in May. At the time of writing this post, it is currently 97 degrees in Orlando. It has not been uncommon in recent weeks to see people in the parks who have required treatment for heat-related illness.
Many locals tend to avoid the theme parks altogether on the hottest days and during the hottest times of day. However, when on vacation with a limited amount of time to get in as much fun as possible, this isn’t an option.
To get the most out of your vacation while trying to beat the heat, we have compiled the ultimate list of great ways to have fun in the parks while taking a break from the heat. We will break down these options for you, by park and also by category.
Magic Kingdom Shows
The Hall of Presidents (Halie’s favorite place to take a nap.)
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (outdoor queue)
Country Bear Jamboree
Enchanted Tiki Room (outdoor queue)
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Magic Kingdom Attractions
Splash Mountain (This is an outdoor attraction, but it provides a quick cool down if you end up getting soaking wet while riding.)
Pirates of the Caribbean (1/2 outdoor queue)
Haunted Mansion (1/2 outdoor queue)
Peter Pan’s Flight (1/2 outdoor queue)
It’s a Small World (open air queue)
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (1/2 outdoor queue)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (outdoor queue)
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (indoor queue/play room)
Magic Kingdom Character Meet and Greets
Town Square Theater (Mickey, Minnie, Tinker Bell)
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Princess Fairytale Hall (Cinderella, Tiana, Elena, Rapunzel)
Pete’s Silly Side Show (Goofy, Donald, Daisy)
Magic Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
Columbia Harbour House
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
Pinocchio Village Haus
Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants
Tony’s Town Square
The Crystal Palace
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
Be Our Guest
The Diamond Horseshoe
Liberty Tree Tavern
Magic Kingdom Stores and Miscellaneous
Main Street Train Station
Main Street Chamber of Commerce
Main Street Confectionery
The Art of Disney
Frontier Trading Post
Merchant of Venus
Tomorrowland Light & Power Co.
Big Top Souvenirs
Bonjour! Village Gifts
Impressions de France
Reflections of China
The American Adventure
Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
Turtle Talk with Crush
Soarin’ Around the World
Frozen Ever After
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Living with the Land
The Land Pavilion
The Seas Pavilion
American Heritage Gallery
Stave Church Galley
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
House of the Whispering Willows Gallery
Epcot Character Meet and Greets
Epcot Character Spot (Various characters are available to greet guests in this location.)
Royal Sommerhus (Anna and Elsa)
Epcot Quick Service Restaurants
Epcot Table Service Restaurants
The Garden Grill
San Angel Inn
La Hacienda de San Angel
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Spice Road Table
Chefs de France
Rose & Crown Dining Room
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Epcot Stores and Miscellaneous
The Art of Disney
Club Cool (Guests can try FREE samples of sodas from around the world. Be sure to try Beverly, it’s the best!! Just kidding… it’s disgusting. haha)
La Cava del Tequila
Rose & Crown Pub
Around the World Showcase, each pavilion has gift shops featuring merchandise from the pavilion’s host country. Each of these locations offer a unique shopping experience while providing relief from the heat.
Hollywood Studios Shows
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Walt Disney Presents
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Muppet Vision 3D
Hollywood Studios Attractions
Toy Story Mania!
Star Tours-The Adventures Continue
Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (1/2 outdoor queue)
Tower of Terror (1/2 outdoor queue)
Hollywood Studios Character Meet and Greets
Star Wars Launch Bay
Hollywood Studios Quick Service Restaurants
The Trolley Car Cafe
Hollywood Studios Table Service Restaurants
The Hollywood Brown Derby
Hollywood & Vine
50’s Prime Time Cafe
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
PizzeRizzo (only open occasionally)
Hollywood Studios Stores and Miscellaneous
BaseLine Tap House
Frozen Fractal Gifts
Launch Bay Cargo
Disney Studio Store
Mickey’s of Hollywood Celebrity 5 & 10
Stage 1 Company Store
It’s A Wonderful Shop
Animal Kingdom Shows
Festival of the Lion King (Danny’s favorite WDW show).
Finding Nemo-The Musical
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Animal Kingdom Attractions
Na’vi River Journey
Flight of Passage
Kali River Rapids (This is another outdoor attraction that provides a quick cool down as riders get soaking wet throughout their ride.)
Animal Kingdom Character Meet and Greets
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants
Satu’li Canteen (Danny’s favorite WDW quick service restaurant)
Animal Kingdom Table Service Restaurants
Animal Kingdom Stores and Miscellaneous
Discovery Trading Company
The vast majority of Animal Kingdom’s quick service dining options, gift shops, character meet and greets, and bars/lounges are outside. While the park does offer many great options for those things, they aren’t necessarily good options for getting out of the heat.
You can see from the lists we’ve provided that the WDW parks offer a large number of options for things to do in the parks while getting out of the heat. The parks and the attractions, for the most part, were created with the Florida weather in mind. While you are exposed to the elements while enjoying some attractions, shows, dining options, shopping locations, character meet and greets, and bars/lounges, as many options as possible were created to provide guests, performers, and other cast members with protection from the outside elements.
As the heat starts to crank up in Florida, any amount of time that can be spent indoors and avoiding the heat will be beneficial to the overall enjoyment of your park day.
Using the hottest time of the day to check out any of the indoor merchandise locations to do your Disney shopping, or to sit down at a restaurant and enjoy a meal or a cold beverage in the air conditioning are efficient ways to be productive while taking a break from the outside elements.
We strongly encourage you to pay attention to what your body is telling you as you explore the parks. Be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks throughout your day, especially if you are consuming alcohol.
As tempting as it is to try to experience as much as possible every single day of your vacation, you don’t want to over-do it and end up getting sick from the heat. Most people don’t realize that it is very easy to end up walking well over 10 miles throughout the course of a typical day in the parks. This is a significant amount of walking compared to what many people are used to in their everyday life. Pushing your body beyond what it is used to, coupled with the excessive Florida heat and humidity, can quickly lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
We hope our tips for beating the heat help you to get the most out of your vacation during the hot Florida summer!
Do you have any go-to locations in the parks when you are trying to avoid the heat? Please feel free to comment and let us know your favorite places!
XOXO, Halie and Danny