Hot & Humid Hacks During Summer at Walt Disney World
When out-of staters think about visiting Orlando theme parks in the summer, they might think about hurricanes. While that’s a factor in our discussion, the reality of summer is not so much your next hurricane but the daily grind of heat, humidity and thunderstorms. These factors more than any can affect the enjoyment of your next Central Florida vacation. We look at what months of the year it’s hot, and what months its worse than hot. We look at practical choices you can make to get through the day, and we look at your best options for fun in the sun. With nearly 30 years of Florida living, plus a one-time career in managing water parks, let me share with you the realities and practicalities of dealing with the heat, humidity and thunder storm craziness that is Central Florida.
Is it Hot Outside?
It almost seems there are two seasons in Florida–Wet and Dry. In truth it’s a little bit more nuanced than that. But you want to think smart about what times of the year are most practical, and when it’s practical to think realistically about what to do when it’s hot and humid.
Hot, dry temperatures may occur (90 degrees Fahrenheit or above) in late April, May and especially early June. They can return in September and October.
Hot, humid temperatures occur from June through early October. This is when you not only have high degrees of heat and humidity, but you have additional threats of thunderstorms.
Orlando–Lightning Capital of the World–Pretty Much
Disney Doesn’t Close for Rain–Disney Closes For Lightning.
It’s lightning that can be a terrible factor, as bad as rain can make your day. You can take shelter during a rain storm or simply put up with using an umbrella or rain poncho. Thunderstorms offer different challenges.
National Weather Service:
Thunder is the sound caused by a nearby flash of lightning and can be heard for a distance of only about 10 miles from the lightning strike. The sound of thunder should serve as a warning to anyone outside that they are within striking distance of the storm and need to get to a safe place immediately!
Since you see lightning immediately and it takes the sound of thunder about 5 seconds to travel a mile, you can calculate the distance between you and the lightning. If you count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by 5, you’ll get the distance in miles to the lightning: 5 seconds = 1 mile, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 0 seconds = very close.
Hot and Humid Hacks
Early In & Out at the Airport
The best time to avoid being shut down by thunder storms is to leave during morning hours before 11:00 am. After that, all bets are off, though same late night flights arriving might work (there are few late night flights departing at MCO)
What is the most single sold SKU at Walt Disney World? The Rain Poncho!
- Serious Sunblock
- Small Towel to Wipe Forehead
- Umbrella/Rain Poncho
- Water Bottle
Note that umbrellas will need to be taken out of your bag if you pass security.
Early In/Late Out Park Visits
- Early in the day allows you to visit attractions when the queue is lowest and crowds are still coming in.
- Late in the day after a storm is sometimes the best time to feel a cool breeze coming through. Rains usually lower warm temperatures.
- It’s really hard to enjoy the middle of the day from the middle of June through the middle of October unless you seek refuge.
- Future World is Your Friend
- Living Seas
- The Land
- Mission Space
- World Showcase is Your Enemy–Excepting American Adventure
#2 Magic Kingdom
- Carousel of Progress
- Mickey’s PhilarMagic
- Hall of Presidents
- Shopping on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Long Indoor Lines for Character Meet ‘n’ Greets like Mickey or Attractions Like Pirates.
#3 Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- One Man’s Dream–Museum Showcase, Film, Character Meet ‘n’ Greet
- Launch Bay
- Frozen Sing-Along
Stay away from Toy Story Land
#4 Disney’s Animal Kingdom
This is the worst park to be trapped in during a thunderstorm, given the immense size of the park and the limited number of indoor options. Dinosaur is okay–Maybe Conservation Station–Rafiki’s Planet Watch. But even indoor attractions and shows will dump you outside. Roller coasters don’t operate in thunderstorms.
Time to Dine!
This is the best time to get a table service restaurant and to take your time to really enjoy the meal. You may even want to go to an adjoining property outside the parks or back at your hotel.
When it’s hot, just dress for wet (and make sure you keep valuables dry!)
- Kali River Rapids
- Splash Mountain
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Frozen Ever After
Heat Shock Happens
Signs of Heat Shock:
- Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat.
- Heavy sweating.
- Weak, rapid pulse.
- Low blood pressure upon standing.
- Muscle cramps.
Also dehydration can occur–so drink fluids–and the right ones!
Re-Think Transportation, Hotel Pools, Water Parks, Beaches & Cruise Lines
- Transportation–Buses are your friend. Everything else can be problematic.
- Pools–Get in Early–or Go in Late–and Nap come Afternoon
- Water Parks–Get in Early–Or Go in late
- Beaches–Temperatures are Cooler, but Surroundings Leave You Vulnerable. Get In Early or Go in Late
- Cruise Lines–Consider the Risks
- Heat/Humidity–It’s not that great that time of year
- Hurricanes–You may be re-routed, or worst, cancelled
The Wayfinder Society: A Patreon Site for Disney Fans
We are offering a new program where you have the opportunity to enjoy exclusive offerings from Disney at Play and Disney at Work. Join us as we introduce our new Patreon program, the Wayfinder Society, intended to give you new insights to all things Disney, whether its work or play. I am truly excited to share this new opportunity with you and look forward to creating new experiences that you will enjoy whether at home or at the Disney parks. There are a variety of options for joining, depending on your interests:
When you join, you will be given access to unique, interactive apps that explores the parks in new ways, offering stories, photos, videos and more.
Here are some of the interactive apps we share with members of our society:
- Pandora: World of Avatar: This is an expansive and detailed look at every aspect of this land. You can’t find any source that has covered this entire land with its attractions, retail and dining more in depth.
- Pirates of the Caribbean Across the Globe: We not only compare this attraction in parks world-wide, but we deep dive into what makes each unique. Currently we’ve covered Tokyo Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. More to come!
- Coming Soon! S.E.A. Assembled! The Society of Adventurers and Explorers are coming to the Wayfinder Society. We’ll document their whereabouts and showcase their imprint on Disney attractions world-wide.
- Disney at Work Interactive Tour: Disneyland. For our upper tiers, we have an interactive business tour of Disneyland to include more than fifty attractions spread throughout the park. These are best-in-business ideas you can apply to your own organization.
- Coming Soon! Disney at Work Interactive Tour: Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. Looking at the heritage of Most Magical Place in the World, we draw best practices from over the years that you can again, apply to your organization.
As you see, we have so much to share. And when you donate, a portion of your contribution goes to Embrace Celebration, dedicated to helping Disney Cast Members and others in this area who are unemployed during this pandemic. To learn more, visit our site to discover our offerings and various tiers. Join us!