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Congratulations! You're going to Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth! Now what? Do you have a plan? Do you know what to expect? Are you determined to 'see it all' - or die trying? Lesley Sawhook has been there, done that so many times that in her sleep she counts marching Mickeys, not leaping sheep. Her years of experience as a Disney mom, a Disney planner, and now a Disney Certified Travel Agent uniquely qualify her to dispense the Happiest Tips on Earth. Learn from Lesley how to have the Happiest Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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FROM: Happiest Tips on Earth Published Fridays

How to Beat the Heat at Disney World

It's coming. Hot weather. And in Florida, really hot weather. Other than cold weather, nothing takes the fun out of a day at Disney World than stinkin' hot, humid weather. Fortunately, we have Lesley Sawhook to cool it down with some happiest tips.

If you are planning a trip to Disney World this summer, when you get there it will be HOT HOT HOT! I am here to help you keep the heat from melting your fun!

Happiest Tip: Protect Yourself!

It is so important to make sure that you and your kids constantly drink water. Dehydration can sneak up on you in the intense Orlando heat, so be sure to take frequent water breaks. My favorite thing to do is put bottles of water in the freezer section of our hotel fridge and take about four of them (divided between the bag I'm carrying and the bags that the kids are carrying) with us into the parks. Then, when it's time for a drink, the water has melted to the perfect cold temperature.

Another thing to remember is SUNSCREEN! We pack 4-5 cans of sunscreen per Disney vacation, and go through all of them each trip. We apply sunscreen before we leave for the parks each day. If you have little ones, be sure to put a little hat on their heads to protect them from the sun. And don't forget the sunglasses - for everyone! I couldn't imagine the parks in the summer without my shades.

Happiest Tip: Spray Fans and Misters are Your Friends!

In the summer heat, we are always sure to fill our spray fans with ice water in the hotel before we head out for the day. Disney sells their own version of spray fans for around $20.00, but we purchase ours ahead of time from Walmart for $4.99. Be sure to take a pack or two of AA batteries, because these fans burn through them quickly. Our kids love spraying each other in the lines, and often folks nearby will beg for a mist. That makes hot lines seem to move quickly!

click an image to expand:


The Perfect Way to Cool Down - And Have Fun Doing It!


Go 'Head - I DARE You!


Dole Whip Floats

Each Disney park has misting stations and water play areas. We stop at almost every single one, and they aren't just for kids! When we are melting in the sun, a little water on the head and a misting fan in the face can instantly cool off your body temperature and put you in the mood to trudge onward! Your kids may want to spend a LOT of time cooling down in the water areas, especially those located in Epcot, so bring a change of clothes or a swimsuit that they can put on quickly in a restroom.

Happiest Tip: Plan Your Water Rides!

Our favorite thing to do after a long hot day at Animal Kingdom is to ride Kali River Rapids and get SOAKED! We get a FastPass at around 10:00-11:00 AM and then, after enjoying the park for the rest of the morning and eating a good lunch, we jump into the Kali River FastPass line and luxuriate in a thorough soaking which makes our hot trek back to the bus extremely enjoyable.

If we're at the Magic Kingdom, we do the same thing, substituting Splash Mountain for Kali.

Happiest Tip: Enjoy the Air Conditioning!

When the heat has got you down, enjoy a nice air conditioned show or ride.

  • In Epcot, head to Club Cool for free soda samples, or enjoy the attractions inside Innoventions East or West. The World Showcase can be unrelenting in the heat, so be sure to dash into the air conditioned stores to cool off from time to time.
  • At Magic Kingdom, enjoy some time in the Carousel of Progress, the Hall of Presidents, or Pirates of the Caribbean - they are our favorite places to cool down on a hot day.
  • At Hollywood Studios, all of the shows are outside (Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones are under a tent, providing at least some shaded), so be sure to bring plenty of water to drink as you sit. Enjoy the Animation Studios attraction and take a free animation drawing class on a hot day at Hollywood Studios, or jump in line for the Great Movie Ride or American Idol - all inside air conditioned buildings.
  • At Animal Kingdom, cooling down is a bit tougher, because it's such a large hot park. Our favorite places to escape the heat are at the Lion King and Finding Nemo Shows, and we plan them accordingly later in the day.

Happiest Tip: Realize the Power of an Afternoon Break!

I realize it's your vacation and you want to get the most out of your time in the parks, but dealing with dehydrated, hot family members will just make everyone grouchy. I recommend getting to the parks at rope drop, staying until after lunch, and then heading back to your resort for a break in the pool. The Orlando heat feels great when you are sitting in your resort pool. It's my favorite way to spend an afternoon.

If you don't want to leave the parks, you can also cool down with a favorite beverage, such as my favorite, the Dole Whip Float at Magic Kingdom.

Yes, it will be hot when going to Disney World in the summer, but when you follow the happiest tips, rest assured you will have a Magical Memorable Disney vacation with your family - no matter what time of year!

Lesley's Exclusive Food & Wine Festival Vacation Deal

The Happiest Tips on Earth can only get you partway to the Happiest Place on Earth. For the rest, you need Destination Magic. Drop Lesley a line and see what magic she can make for you when you're planning your next Disney trip!

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