Disneyland Parks & Resorts Planning Tips Tips and Tricks

Beating The Heat – How To Stay Cool At Disneyland

Ice cream melting in Disneyland

California is heating up! The sun is out and it’s time to take your vacation to Disneyland! The average temperature in Anaheim in the summer months are in the mid to upper 80s. Perfect! But there are always exceptions to the average! In July of 2018 temps got up to 115 degrees! Now that is extreme, but I have visited several times when the temperatures reached the upper 90s to 100!

Disney lovers of all ages can get a little cranky when the weather reaches those highs! Don’t let the heat get in the way of your magical Disneyland vacation; the hot days have been some of our best days at Disneyland! You just need to know how to beat the heat!

First, we’ll cover rides, attractions and dining places to beat the heat, then how to stay hydrated and cool, and last my top items to pack to beat the heat in Disneyland!

My Top 10 Rides and Attractions to Beat in the Heat

Disneyland Park

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: This is my number 1 because the ride feels 10° cooler because you are close to the water and it’s a dark ride. You don’t actually go underground; it just feels like it. We love it because first, you get to sit and relax. Second, you only get slightly wet which is nice if you have little kids that don’t like to get wet.
  2. Splash Mountain (You do get wet!)
  3. “it’s a small world”
  4. The Enchanted Tiki Room 
  5. The ball water fountain outside Space Mountain

Ball water fountain in front of Space mountain

Disney California Adventure

  1. Disney Animation Building (Turtle Talk with Crush, Anna, Elsa, and Olaf Meet & Greet, art lessons at Animation Academy, the Sorcerer’s Workshop, or just sit on a couch and watch the movie clips.)
  2. Grizzly River Run (you can get really wet!)
  3. Frozen – Live at the Hyperion 
  4. The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  5. Soarin’ Around the World

Other Rides, Attractions, and Dining to Beat the Heat

Most indoor locations are air-conditioned throughout the park. So these are all great places to beat the heat.

Disneyland Park

  • Main Street, U.S.A.: The Opera House which is home to The Disneyland Story, Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Disney Gallery.
  • Most of the shops that line Main Street, U.S.A connect allowing you to walk inside from one end to the other
  • Indoor restaurants: Plaza Inn and the Carnation Café


  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Pixar Shorts Film Festival at Tomorrowland Theater
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Indoor restaurant: Alien Pizza Planet


  • Fantasy Faire (Live stage show. It is outdoors, but covered)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey all have covers over most of the ques and the rides are indoors, but not air-conditioned
  • Indoor restaurant: Red Rose Tavern

Mickey’s Toontown:

  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Minnie’s House
  • Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
  • Goofy’s Playhouse (has a fun little water feature and lots of shade)

Goofy's Playhouse water feature


  • Golden Horseshoe Saloon (performance)
  • Indoor restaurant: Golden Horseshoe

New Orleans Square:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, both of the queues for these rides are outside, but they move fast and the rides are all inside
  • Indoor restaurants: Blue Bayou (make sure to get a reservation) and Café Orleans

Critter Country:

  • Splash Mountain


  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

California Adventure Park

Buena Vista Street:

  • All of the shops down Buena Vista Street (most connect)
  • Indoor restaurants: Carthay Circle Restaurant, Fiddler and Fifer & Practical Café (stop in and get your iced Starbucks)

Hollywood Land:

  • Monsters, Inc. – Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Disney Animation (Animation Academy, Sorcerer’s Workshops, Turtle Talk with Crush)
  • Frozen – Live at the Hyperion

Cars Land:

  • Indoor restaurant: Flo’s V8 Cafe

Pacific Wharf:

  • The Bakery Tour, hosted by Boudin Bakery
  • Mendocino Terrace (Outdoor eating area and wine bar. Great shady area, just be careful mixing alcohol and the heat!)

Enjoying lunch and drinks at Mendocino Terrace

Pixar Pier:

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Indoor restaurant: Lamplight Lounge

Paradise Gardens Park:

  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Grizzle Peak:

  • Grizzle River Run (you will get wet)
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Indoor restaurant: Smokejumpers Grill

How to stay Hydrated and Cool in Disneyland

Water Filling Stations

Bring in a reusable water bottle for each person in your family. I actually suggest a plastic one versus a hydro flask because they are lighter to carry, but a hydro flask will keep your water colder longer. There are water bottle filling stations located outside the Mint Julip Bar (make sure to grab a beignet while you’re there) behind the French Market Restaurant as well as one at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. This water is chilled and free!

Other ways to stay hydrated are to ask for a free water cup at any restaurant and fill up at a drink station, as well as there are numerous water fountains located throughout the park.

Midday Break

If you are planning on going to the parks for a couple of days, take an afternoon off from the parks and head back to your hotel to relax and/or swim. All of the Hotels in the Disneyland Resort have fantastic pools with waterslides.

Pool at Grand California Resort and Spa
Pool at Grand California Resort and Spa
Pool at Paradise Pier Hotel
Pool at Paradise Pier Hotel

Cold Treats

Another way to beat the heat is to indulge in an ice cream treat, Dole Whip, frozen lemonades, fresh fruit, and icy drinks in the parks.

This photo was taken in September and it was hot enough to melt the ice cream, but my son loved every bit of it! Just don’t forget the wet wipes!

Melting Ice Cream in California Adventure

My Top 6 Items to Pack for Disneyland to Beat the Heat

Pack hats for the heat

  1. Hat – For little ones, I suggest hats with a brim all the way around so it shades their face and neck
  2. Sunglasses – Some kids will wear them, just make sure you have a pair for you
  3. Sunscreen – Your skin will thank you!
  4. Water bottles that have fans on them as well as fans that clip onto your stroller. We love ones with foam blades that are safe for kids to touch.
  5. Cool towels (these are towels you wet and then shake out and they stay cold for a while)
  6. Last but not least, make sure to pack a positive attitude! You can and will have the most magical Disneyland vacation even in the heat.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” — Jack Sparrow

You and your family will have a fantastic vacation even enjoy the heat with just a little planning!

Happy Travels!

Lynette Signature

Let’s book your magical vacation today!   As an agent with Key to the World Travel, I can help you with everything from Disney Destinations, a cruise, a beach getaway or even a trip to Europe. Contact me today for your free, no-obligation quote at l.brown@keytotheworldtravel.com  and follow me on Facebook to hear about the latest Disney updates and travel tips! Or, you can fill out and submit the form below.  I look forward to helping you plan the most magical vacation for you and your family.

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