Visiting Disney Parks in Summer? You MUST Read This First!
If you have kids in school (or if you are a teacher!), summer may be one of the only times you can take a vacation. This doesn’t change things much when your destination is a beach or a national park. When it comes to Disney theme park destinations, however, this can be a bit intimidating. You might have heard about the heat and the crowds, and while those are very real factors, you CAN have an amazing summer vacation with the right kind of plans and know how! Don’t let the fear stop you from finally taking that Disney family vacation!
First of all, let’s talk crowds. Yes, a lot of people go to Disney World or Disneyland in the summer. That’s because they’re just like you and this is the easiest time for them to travel with their kids. Not all summer weeks are created equal, though. Because some schools get out later than others and some schools start their school year earlier than others, the more crowded weeks lay in the middle. If you have the luck of a later starting school, the last two weeks of August typically bring lower crowds to the parks than the others. (And, as a bonus, these also often price out lower as well!)
Heat is another factor a lot of people worry about. Summer is, of course, the hottest time of year, but this doesn’t mean you need to just give up and plan to melt all day long. There are a couple of ways to help you stay cool:
- Plan on starting your day early.
- Arrive to the parks before they open so you can get a jump start on the fun while the temperatures are lowest.
- Bring along self-cooling towels or a misting fan to cool you down as the temperatures rise.
- Bring along plenty of sunblock – you won’t want to buy it in the parks! And a sunburn will really put a damper on your fun.
- Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water, these kid’s CamelBak backpacks are great!
- Plan to exit the parks after lunch to get out of the mid-day high heats and chill in your resort pool or take a quick nap in your air conditioned room. Then, head back into the parks as the sun starts to lower and the temperature starts to drop.
Along with that famous summer heat, if Disney World is your destination, afternoon thunder storms are common. This doesn’t have to detract from your plans. If you are heading back to your resort as discussed above, you’ll generally not be in the parks during these rain showers anyway. But if you get caught in a quick storm, being prepared means you get to go on having fun while everyone else scrambles for cover! Pack small, disposable ponchos with you! These ponchos, which can be found in the camping section in most stores, fold up incredible small so easily fit in a purse or backpack. If it starts to rain, throw it on and continue your day without batting an eye!
And what about lines? Yes, it’s true, the wait times can get very, very long on a summer day. Arriving early to beat the heat also places you at an advantage for lines, but only if you know how to use it. This takes planning ahead to figure out where to go when, to avoid arriving at rides at their peak wait times. You will want to consider how FastPasses work (different for Disneyland vs Disney World) and how best to take advantage of them. Having a well laid ride plan will drastically minimize your wait time. (Not sure how to do that? Hire a Disney expert to do that for you!)
If summer is your family vacation time, the Disney Parks are still a wonderful option for you! When you’ve got a fun plan to work with the heat, avoid the crowds as much as possible and navigate those lines, you’ll have the amazing adventure you’ve been hoping for!
Ready to learn more about any of these options? Visit our website to connect with us for more information!
This post was written by Sabrina Tinius, a specialist in planning Disney vacations for families who want less stress and more time making memories that last a lifetime.
Through her in depth destination knowledge, park touring strategies and incredibly detailed planning, Sabrina is here to help you have a more enjoyable Disney vacation — while saving you tons of time and stress. And when she’s not busy crafting amazing Disney vacations, you can find her hanging out with her two awesome kids, taking family vacations of her own, and occasionally baking up a storm in her Seattle area kitchen.
Want to learn more about Disney Vacation planning? Check out our past posts on the topic :