How to Beat the Heat at Disney World

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Humidity. Long lines. Scorching sun. Welcome to Disney in the summer!

On any given day in Orlando, you may encounter one or all of these. But, there are some ways you can beat the heat at Disney.

Read on to discover 5 tips so the heat doesn’t get the best of you.

Quick Tips:

  • Cooling towels and portable fans are my top two items for staying cool in the Florida sun at Disney World.
  • Hit the parks early, take an afternoon break back at your hotel, and then head out again after dinner allows you to cool off in the mid-day heat.
  • Trust me, Dole Whip, Smoothies and ice cream will be your best friends!

1. Cooling towels

My number one recommendation is to purchase a few cooling wraps before your vacation. Yes, you can buy them at the parks, but it’s definitely more expensive.

I purchased these colorful cooling towels on Amazon whereas Disney charges about the same for only one towel (albeit they do have Mickey ears on them). Walmart, also, sells Disney towels, but at a marked up price.

They are simple to use. Wet them, wring them out and then snap them to activate the chilling response.

We wore these around our necks most days. Some days, we each wore two. Of course, Little K always had to match her outfit to one!

They are soft towels and not scratchy. Additionally, they did a good job of keeping us cool.

After a few hours, they dried out at which point we headed to the restroom to re-activate them with water.

Wet. Wring. Snap. Repeat.

You can also wash them over and over and not hinder their cooling abilities.

Little girl drinking a blue icee and wearing a dark pink cooling towel around her neck; with gray shirt and a Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse pin
She thinks she is stylish with her pink cooling towel around her neck.

2. Portable fan

Yes, they do help! Two years ago, we purchased a misting fan at The Magic Kingdom and we have taken it every time we have been back at Disney. We didn’t plan for the heat in October.

You can pre-purchase one like this portable misting fan on Amazon. It has a mist function as well as the fan so you can enjoy both at the same time. We pulled this out anytime we needed a breeze.

Girl holding a blue portable misting fan towards her with a cooling towel around her neck.
Beating the heat with a portable fan and cooling towel!

3. Mickey bars, Dole Whip and Slushies

Need I say more? LOL.

On our most recent trip summer to Disney, we over-indulged on all things cold. It was our way to beat the heat at Disney!


Mickey bars are the quintessential snack. However, they are on a stick and easily melt in the heat.

Dole Whip, on the other hand, is served in a cup with or without pineapple juice. Perfect to eat while walking around the park or watching a parade. Did you know that Dole Whip is dairy-free?

Besides being served at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom (behind The Magic Carpets of Aladdin), we found Dole Whip at Disney Springs and The Polynesian Resort.

➜ Click here to discover Where to Get Dole Whip in Magic Kingdom

The Wonderland Slush was one of our favorite finds at The Cheshire Café near The Magic Tea Cups in the Magic Kingdom.

First, it’s a beautiful drink to look at. It is multi-colored made with frozen Minute Maid Raspberry Lemonade and Fanta Grape. It is served with a candy-coated straw as a cool decoration. However, a paper straw lies underneath that candy coating, so it does get soggy once you have eaten that candy off.

Dole Whip piled high in a plastic container sitting on a wooden table
Can’t get enough dairy-free Dole Whip!
LIttle girl in gray shirt and pink cooling towel around neck holding a purple and pink slushie with a candy coated straw
The Wonderland Slush is as good as it looks! YUM!

4. Inside attractions

Walt Disney must have realized that Orlando weather isn’t without its limitations. Not everyone likes walking around in 95-degree weather, plus humidity. If you are one of those people, look for an indoor attraction to provide some relief from the heat.

Magic Kingdom

– Carousel of Progress (Tomorrowland)
– Mickey’s Philharmagic (Fantasyland)
– Country Bear Jamboree (Frontierland)
– Tiki Birds (Adventureland)
– The Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square)

Wood and stone building with a sign reading Country Bear Jamboree
Stay cool inside listening to those bears!


Future World has many attractions that you can easily spend 20 minutes or more in. These include The Seas with Nemo and The Land. In fact, the Land has two rides under its roof (Soarin’ and Living with the Land), plus a large food court and the Garden Grill sit down restaurant.

In addition, shopping in World Showcase brings plenty of air conditioning. While you are outside walking from one country to another, once you come to one you want to explore, you can easily spend 30-60 minutes indoors either eating, shopping or catching a show.

The Mexican pavilion is one I overlooked the first few times I went to Epcot. Now, it’s a must-see.

Enter the pyramid and be amazed at everything inside. From Mexican shops and quick food spots to a spectacular (and romantic) sit-down restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, you need to check this out. There is also an entertaining boat ride, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, featuring Donald Duck.

Note: It is always twilight in here, so if your kids don’t like darkness, it may not be the best place to take them.

Futuristic space ship looking building in the background with people walking into it; In front a large sign reading 'The Land'
Find plenty to do inside at The Land in Epcot

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is the best park to visit to get out of the Orlando heat.

Shows are one of the main attractions here (besides Star Wars, of course).

Take in Beauty and Beast, Frozen or Voyage of The Little Mermaid. Catch Muppet*Vision 3D or Star Tours.

Animal Kingdom

Disney World’s least heat-friendly park. With most the animals outdoors, you face walking around in the sun most of the day.

However, find one of Disney’s best-ever shows here at The Festival of the Lion King. This show is spectacular for all ages. This is a definite must-do anytime.

If you loved the movie Finding Nemo, you need to see Finding Nemo-The Musical. This 40-minute show is sure to captivate your attention (and beat the heat) with its singing and puppets.

5. Go with a plan

If you are a regular to my blog, you know my take on having a plan before you get to the parks.

15 Disney World Mistakes Not to Make
Disney World FastPass+ The Ultimate Guide
How to have an (almost) stress-free Disney Trip

Please do not show up to Disney World without a plan, especially in the heat. You can get away with it at Disneyland, but due to FastPass+ at Disney World, you need to have a plan.

What type of plan do I mean?

You can go all out and look at They have generic plans as well as paid, custom plans.

A book I always recommend, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, also has generic plans at the back. In addition, you can get a discount on with a secret word from this book!

Or, a plan can be simpler such as knowing the park layout and having your FastPasses secured either at 60 or 30 days out, depending on if you are staying on-site or offsite.

See the following posts for help planning FastPasses:

Epcot FastPass+ Strategy
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ rides

You do not want to be walking around Disney World in the heat wondering which lines to wait in because, at that point, kids (and adults) will be cranky and hot.

Have a plan.

These links direct you to more information about each park. Read up on the rides and attractions so you know what you want to see and do before you get there.

Can you beat the heat at Disney World?

Definitely. My daughter and I went to both The Magic Kingdom and Epcot mid-July. We wore our cooling towels, carried our fan and knew what we wanted to see and do before we arrived.

It actually was one of the best times we had at Disney.

Follow the above guidelines and your family, too, will have a vacation to remember. You can beat the heat at Disney and have a spectacular time doing it.

Let me know in the comments if you have any more tips!

Need help planning your Disney World experience? Read the Disney Planning Guide and then download my free Disney organizer and planner here! It outlines the best time to make reservations whether that be for character meals or FastPasses and also includes a printable where you can keep track of all your reservations.

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