Visiting Disney World In Summer - Tips For Families With Children

Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas, summer is the most popular time to visit Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The holiday of a lifetime that the whole family has been looking forward to all year can quickly turn to disaster if the travelling family is not prepared for the Floridian heat and humidity and the crowds that Disney World is famous for, especially during school holiday periods. By familiarizing yourself with the parks, especially The Magic Kingdom and Epcot, following proven park touring guides and by adhering to the following simple tips you will ensure yourself the perfect summer Disney get away while you watch other families self destruct in the heat.

Get To Your Chosen Park Early

This is the number one tip for any Disney park around the world, no matter what the season. With families being on holiday and not wanting to get up too early, park opening is the quietest time within the park, allowing families to maximise their time by not having to wait for the most popular rides and attractions. First thing is the best time to start collecting fast pass tickets for major rides that the family will want to ride latter in the day. Not only do you have the advantage of having smaller crowds at park opening, but being morning the temperature will be cooler making for a more enjoyable environment for all.

Disney offers "Extra Magic Hours" at one of the four main theme parks each morning for guests staying at a Disney hotel. The nominated park of the day will open 1 hour earlier than normal for Disney resort guests. This fits perfectly into this strategy if you can get your family up, prepared and at the designated theme park to take advantage of this offer. If you can't because your children are too young, will be too tired later in the day or its too hard to get everyone up extra early and motivated because it's vacation time, than it's not the end of the world. Detailed analysis has determined that although the park that opens early on a particular day will have less people in it for the first 2 hours, by lunch time there will be more people in that park then on a standard day, due to the normal amount of people who would have gone to that park on that day anyway on top of the guests who chose that park for the early open time. If you can't make it to the opening of the park that opens early, try and make it to one of the other parks that open later, but it would still be best to try and get to the later opening park at opening and then take a rest during the middle of the day.

Disney World Cool Down

Stay Hydrated And Avoid Getting Sun Burnt

Nothing will ruin a Disney holiday quicker than getting sunburnt or sick from dehydration or sun stroke. Florida is guaranteed to be both hot and humid through summer and many people coming from cooler climates will not be used to the heat, humidity and being out in the summer sun for long periods of time. Even if your family comes from warm areas, Disney World is largely an enclosed environment with little natural air flow from the wind, crowds are crammed in like sardines and the sun radiating off the pavement makes the park in summer more like an oven then idyllic holiday destination. By arriving early you can avoid some of the harsh Floridian summer sun and then by wearing comfortable and light clothing that offers skin protection, applying sunscreen regularly and wearing a hat will help minimize the chances of sunburn. Disney World has a disappointing limited number of drinking fountains so it's imperative to bring refillable plastic drink bottles to refill for your children during the day. Another common sense tip is to wear comfortable, well broken in footwear. That new pair of sandals or high heels may look good in the store, but after walking 7 miles in one day on unforgiving pavement in the blistering heat is a sure fire way of not being able to walk for the rest of your holiday.

Have A Rest Back At Your Hotel During The Hottest Part Of The Day

A smart of proactive way to tour a Disney park is to arrive before park open, stay until the heat and the crowds become overwhelming and then take the entire family back to the hotel room for a rest and a swim in the pool. Once the family is rested you can head back to the parks which will now be less crowded and the temperature will have dropped, making theme park touring that much more comfortable.

Plan The "Must Do" Activities For Each Day

Disney World is almost inconceivably big, with so many rides, attractions and activities on offer at the four parks and the resort itself that it is impossible to do everything. Many a families holiday has been ruined by trying to do too much each day, feeling like that they are not getting their full value for money if they are not running at break neck speed for 18 hours a day. Combining this stress with the summer crowds and heat is a recipe for disaster with families self destructing instead of relaxing. Nobody wants a holiday planned with military precision with no room for spontaneity but families will have a much greater holiday experience if they agree before hand on the must do activities at each of the parks, create a plan on how each of those activities can be achieved and then leave anything else as a bonus. By familiarising yourself with the parks and their layouts with resources like the brilliantly written Unofficial Guide To Disney World and following some of the touring plans outlined within the book will help ensure that wait times in the blaring sun are reduced.

Rest times can be scheduled into the day, with a rest back at the hotel to avoid the afternoon sun the perfect escape or if time constraints or the distance to the hotel is too great then activities such as lunch in a sit down, air-conditioned restaurant and other air-conditioned activities such as theatre presentations and shows are the perfect way to all the family to recharge in the cool before braving the hordes out in the greater park.


Summer is a great time to visit Disney World, tying in nicely with school holidays. Although the resort will be busy, with just a little bit of fore planning and setting realistic expectations and how much can be accomplished in any given day, your holiday will sure to be the relaxing adventure of your dreams rather and an idyllic moment your whole family will remember fondly into the future.

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