With Summer on our doorsteps its time for many of us to head down to Disney just in time of the Orlando heat. But don’t let your plans be foiled by the scorching sun and a 100° heat index. Each of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World are filled with places where guests can seek refuge from the hot afternoon temperatures. We’ll give you our list of top 3-places to cool off at each park. Be sure to incorporate at least one of these into your touring plans each day to help you stay comfortable.
1. Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – (pictured) I may be over 40, but that doesn’t stop me from splashing around with the best of them in this Fantasyland water-based play area. Its the perfect place, to relax, unwind, and cool off when temperatures and tempers start to get the best of you. Its location next to Pete’s Silly Sideshow means that the crowds typically aren’t that bad. There are also restrooms for those that need to freshen up afterwards, Big Top Souvenirs is just next door serving up Icees and you have the railroad right there to whisk you off to Main Street or Frontierland.
2. Adventureland Totems – Nestled between the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and the Jungle Cruise you’ll find a wonderful nook featuring 6 carved totems that serve as a nice misting station for this side of the park. Its a great place for the kids (and grown-ups) to stop and cool off before popping around the bend to Aloha Isle to grab yourself Dole Whip. The mischievous and playful faces of the figures makes it a popular spot with the little ones. Be on the lookout for them next time you’re strolling through Adventureland.
3. Columbia Harbour House – This Liberty Square quick service eatery constantly tops the lists as one of Magic Kingdom’s hidden gems. On first inspection, it may just look like your bog standard Disney fast-food eatery but a quick trip up that stairs and you’ll see. The upper floor is usually a sea of calm and provides the perfect break time location during your busy Magic Kingdom day. The upper floor is usually, cool and dark and seating is readily available. The restrooms here are a nice change from the busier theme park locations and there are nice views for those who manage to get a window seat. This eatery can be so laid-back that its hard to believe that there are countless visitors pounding the pavement just outside.
1. Kali River Rapids – When it comes to which theme parks tend to feel the hottest during those Orlando Summer days, Animal Kingdom consistently tops the list. Luckily for visitors, out of the four theme parks, it also has the one ride likely to get you the wettest. Though an occasional visitor may walk away from this ride unscathed most people get very wet hence the ponchos on-sale near the entrance. However, for those brave enough to go it poncho free it’s definitely the perfect way to cool off as the temperatures soar. In the Florida heat, you’d also be amazed at how quick you dry off. But, for those not wanting to walk around all day in soggy shoes, you may want to save this attraction until the end of the day.
2. Its Tough to Be a Bug!- If you’re at that point during your Animal Kingdom visit where a cool dark place sounds like magic then head on over to the foot of the Tree of Life for this 3-D show about our tiny little insect friends. I find this to be the perfect attraction for a quick cool off as the lines are usually minimal and showtimes are regular. The theater is nice and dark and allows you to get out of the sun even it is only for 10 minutes. Just a quick note of caution though, the insects can be scary to tiny guests so if you have little ones that are a bit squeamish you may want to give it a miss.
3. Na’vi River Journey – What would a trip to Animal Kingdom be without a visit to the new Pandora- World of Avatar expansion opening on May 27, 2017. You’ll want to spend a fair chunk of time taking in the unique flora and fauna of this out-of-this-world habitat complete with floating islands in the sky. However when it comes time to cool off head on over to the Na’vi River Journey where you’ll not only be treated to a delightful recreation of many of the elements that made Avatar such a smash hit but you can also cool of in this slow dark and soothing attraction. You may need it after waiting in what is bound to be a rather long line!
1. Club Cool – (pictured) For those wanting to cool off but maybe aren’t yet ready to sit down for a meal, Club Cool is the perfect spot. Here guests can sample some fantastic fizzy drinks from around the world. Many are wonderful and some (ahem Beverly) may just surprise you. Whatever your tastes you are bound to find something you love. Best of all you can sample as many as you like for FREE. It certainly beats a trip to the nearest water fountain.
2. Epcot Splash Pad – Similar to Casey Jr.’s this is the perfect afternoon location for kids to frolic in the water and cool off. You’ll find this playful leaping fountain on the main path from Future World to the World Showcase. It’s across from the kiosks for Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. But be prepared moms and dads. If you’re going to let your little ones spend some time here they will get soaked so make sure to have a change of clothes in your park bag!
3. The Land – When the parks and temperatures start to get high, my family always makes a beeline for this pavilion. Not only will you find the fantastic Sunshine Seasons quick service restaurant but can enjoy the Living with the Land ride as well as Soarin’ and all from within the air-conditioned loveliness of this building. Schedule your Soarin’ Fastpasses for a time that will allow you to escape the afternoon crowds and the heat.
1. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along – (pictured) Even if you’re not a massive Frozen fan, this is the perfect place to cool off when things get hot. The amazing cast leads guests through a karaoke version of their favorite Frozen songs in a theater that tends to be as cool as Elsa’s ice palace. There’s also a snowy surprise at the end that will make you forget that temperatures are sweltering outside. With a runtime of around 20 minutes, it is also the perfect length of time to rest those weary feet.
2.The Great Movie Ride – This walk down motion picture memory lane is another nice way to cool off during the Summer. The majority of the ride queue is housed inside Grauman’s Chinese Theater which is always cool, dark and well air-conditioned. The ride itself which takes you through great moments in cinema history comes in at whopping 22 minutes meaning you’ll have lots of time to cool off before heading back out into the fray.
3. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant – Not only is this a terrific place to cool down but it has to be one of the most unique restaurants on Disney property. Here you’ll be able to indulge in a milkshake, hotdog or hamburger while seated behind the wheel of a classic car. This restaurant resembles more of a soundstage which is cunningly designed to make you feel like your at a nighttime drive-in movie. Think dimly lit, cool, entertaining and with great food. What’s not to love. Advanced dining reservations are essential and can be made at 407.WDW.DINE or via My Disney Experience. Prices will set you back $15 – $34.99 per adult or 1 Table Service Credit.
When the Florida heat starts to rise, its important to make sure that you look after yourself by staying cool and hydrated. Hopefully, our list has filled you with ideas on how you can beat the June, July and August heat while traversing the parks.
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