Tips for Disney World in the Summer: Updated for 2024

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Updated 3/22/24

Growing up, we always visited Disney World in July during school breaks.  As a kid, the heat never seemed to bother me. As an adult, however, I swore I’d never visit Disney World in the summer since it can be SO hot. Fast forward a few years to having an older child in school, and we were back to visiting Disney in June and early July. I was skeptical, but the trip just reaffirmed for me that Disney is amazing any time of the year. (In fact, we are even visiting Disney World in June again this year!)

So whether you’re limited to the summer because of work or school, don’t let that deter you from having an amazing time. Below are a handful of tips to make sure you’re prepared to tackle Disney in the summer. 

Donald and Daisy Topiary Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2023

1. Stay hydrated

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to stay really hydrated all day when you’re visiting Disney during the summer. Between the heat and amount of walking, dehydration is a real possibility and you don’t want it to affect your vacation.  While you can always buy bottles of water throughout the parks, it definitely gets expensive. We typically bring a refillable water bottle and fill it up at either quick service locations or look for a water refill station. (You can find a few water refill stations in Disney World at each park. They continue to add more!) 

Another option is to get grocery delivery to order snacks and bottles of water for your trip. There are many options for grocery delivery at Disney World, but we prefer Instacart. For $10 off your next Instacart order of $50+, you can use my Instagram referral code: AEMMERLING18D130.

2. Get to the parks early

We recommend getting to the parks early at Disney World regardless of the time of year, but especially during the summer. It tends to heat up quickly in the summer at Disney, but it’s typically *only* in the low to mid 70s when the park opens. For that reason, we definitely recommend taking advantage of the lower crowds AND lower temps when the parks first open. If you’re staying on Disney property, you also get 30 minutes early entry to start doing rides before the parks officially open. 

Disney World summer hours will vary, but you can check the Disney World calendar here. (Exact hours and events for Disney World are typically published about 60 days out.)

3. Use stroller fans & misters to stay cool

We tend to use stroller fans during most seasons to keep those babies and toddlers cool at Disney, especially when napping. It’s especially important to have in the summer months, though. Here are a few different things to pack for Disney in July (+ June or August) to help you stay cool:

  • A stroller fan. We love this one with bendable arms that charges with a USB cord. 
  • A neck fan is great for adults who want to stay cool at Disney
  • Portable misters are another one of the best ways to cool off at Disney (and entertain the kids in line)
  • A lot of people also love cooling neck towels for Disney. We tried these towels and they worked to a point, but we definitely prefer the fans and misters over these. 

You definitely don’t need all of these. Just try one or two and see what works best!

4. Take afternoon breaks

With a 3 and 6 year old, we tend to take breaks at least some days regardless of the time of year. (And honestly, I even took a break when I was on a kid-free girls weekend in Disney!) That said, breaks is one of our top Disney World in summer tips.  The temps get the hottest in the afternoon, and it’s typically the most crowded then as well. Taking a break, whether it’s napping, showering or using the pool, is a great way to recharge for the rest of the afternoon/ evening. 

Our routine tends to be to just get up and roll out of bed for early entry. Then everyone showers and changes out of sweaty clothes in the afternoon when we take a break. I know taking breaks isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re staying offsite or prefer to make the most of every minute at the parks. It definitely works well when visiting Disney with toddlers, though, in our experience.

Disney World Port Orleans French Quarter Splash Pad at POFQ

5. Build in a rest day or two

Whether you decide to take breaks or not, we always recommend building in a rest day. You can sleep in, enjoy some downtime and get a break from being out all day in the hot Florida sun. You can use the amazing pools at your Disney resort, book some fun dining reservations and resort hop or go to Disney Springs. 

Just be aware that if you opt for Disney Springs it’s an open air shopping area, and it gets very hot and sunny there too! If you’re looking for indoor activities at Disney Springs, there’s an awesome movie theater, Cirque du Soleil® and Splitsville Luxury Lanes bowling at Disney Springs.

6. Look for indoor attractions at Disney World

There are a number of indoor rides and shows at Disney World at each of the parks. Some of our favorites by park include:

  • Magic Kingdom: Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh and Pirates of the Caribbean rides, plus Mickey’s Philharmonic, Tiki Room and Monster’s Inc. shows.
  • Animal Kingdom: Lion King and Finding Nemo Shows and River Na’Vi Journey. The Conservation Station is also a great indoor place for smaller animals and the Animation Experience. The Boneyard Dig Site (the playground in Animal Kingdom) is completely outdoors, but it’s mostly shaded which is a nice break from the sun. 
  • Epcot: Finding Nemo ride and aquarium, Living with the Land, Soarin’, Ratatouille and Frozen.  The Pixar Movie shorts at Epcot are also great for cooling off. (At Epcot, basically every ride is indoors!) 
  • Hollywood Studios: Mickey’s Runaway Railway, Rise of the Resistance, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Frozen Ever After Show and Disney Junior Dance Party.

Although Animal Kingdom has a lot of trees, it tends to feel like one of the hottest parks at Disney World to me. Hollywood Studios also doesn’t have a lot of shade, but it has more indoor attractions to stay cool. 

Indoor Shows at Hollywood Studios Frozen Sing a Long

7. Find the splash pads and cool down areas at the parks

Another great tip for how to stay cool at Disney World is to look for the splash pads and spray zones in the parks. Ironically, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, which I think are the hottest parks at Disney World, don’t have any splash pad areas. Magic Kingdom and Epcot, on the other hand, have a few.  

There’s a large splash pad area at Magic Kingdom called the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, located next to Goofy’s Barnstormer by Fantasyland. It’s a full blown splash pad with a train that has interactive features, and your kiddos will get soaked if they play long enough. There’s also a spray area in Adventureland next to Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride, and the camel on that ride sprays water for a quick cool off as well. 

In Epcot, there’s a splash pad by Future World and spray zone bear Guardians of the Galaxy. The new Moana attraction at Epcot, Journey of Water, is also a fun place to cool off.

Casey Jr Splash Pad at Magic Kingdom

8. Cool off with fun ice cream treats at Disney

Disney World tends to release new snacks and treats with every holiday and season, and Disney in the summertime means lots of opportunities for fun treats to cool off. One of our absolute favorite Disney World snacks is the Dole Whip, and you can find variations of it at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and select resorts. 

Our favorite ice cream cookie sandwich is found at Animal Kingdom, and Epcot has some yummy frozen drinks and treats. We also loved the fruit loop milkshake at Brunchcot and our favorite frozen orange drink at the Citrus Blossom at the 2023 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival!

You can also find a Dole Whip flight at Swirls on the Water with a Dole Whip flight and head to Marketplace Snacks for the amazing Mickey Bubble Waffle Sundaes at Disney Springs. 

9. Attend the Disney festivals and special events in the summer

The special events and festivals are one of many reasons why we love summer at Disney. Disney Parks recently announced several fun celebrations taking place during summer 2024 at Disney World. They include:

  • Lion King 30th Anniversary Celebrations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom from June 10- September 6.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a Joy meet in greet for Inside Out 2’s debut on June 14th.
  • Epcot will premiere a limited time show called ¡Celebración Encanto! It will take place on the new CommuniCore stage and will feature an Encanto sing-along for all ages. It will take place from June 10- September 6.
  • Disney Springs will debut a nighttime drone show called “Disney Dreams that Soar,” which will take place from May 24- September 2.
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is also opening in the summer of 2024. The opening date is still TBD.
  • Special July 4th fireworks at Disney World also take place annually. They’re typically at Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

If you’re visiting Disney World in August or September, you can also catch the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. 2024 MNSSHP dates should be announced in a few months. The annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot typically starts at the end of summer as well.

Note: The Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot is typically during the summer, but this year it ends early with 2024 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival dates from February 28- May 27. It has special food and drink stands as well as a fun scavenger hunt that’s one of our favorites things to do at Epcot with toddlers.

Encanto Topiary Epcot Flower and Epcot Festival 2023

10. Take advantage of lower prices in the summer

Not only do there tend to be less crowds at Disney World in the summer, but summer is typically one of the least expensive times to visit Disney. In addition to the lower resort and ticket prices for most dates, you can often find discounts for Disney World packages and resort stays in the summer as well. Summer deals for Disney in 2024 include discounted rooms of up to 30% off and specially discounted 4-day and 3-day park tickets.

To take advantage of one of these Disney summer promotions, feel free to contact me for help with booking your next trip!

In addition to prices typically being better in the summer, crowds are often lower too. One question I got after our last summer vacation in Disney was, “how busy is Disney World in July?” Aside from July 4th fireworks at Disney, I really didn’t think the parks were too crowded, even during the holiday weekend. (Disney can be crowded every time of year, but relatively speaking, the fall and winter have felt more crowded in our experience.)  

Summer at Disney in July Magic Kingdom

Disney World Summer Weather

If you’ve been to Orlando more than once, you probably know that the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. I’ve been there in the winter when it’s snowing and also when it’s in the 80s. I’ve also gone in April in Orlando before when it’s in the 60s or 90s F. The summer, however, is pretty consistently hot. In June, July and August in Orlando, low temps in the low 70s F and high temps hovering around 90 F.

The rainfall is also the highest from June- September, so it’s important to keep that in mind when planning and packing. There’s still so much to do at Disney when it rains, so just throw on a poncho and roll with it!

Disney Summer Packing List

Whether you’re packing for Disney in June, July, August or September, the essentials tend to be the same. Whether you’re trying to figure out what to wear to Disney in the summer or what extra things to buy before Disney, here are a few things we always pack for Disney World in summer months:

  1. Multiple swimsuits for pool breaks and water park time (especially if you purchase the park hopper plus!) 
  2. Disposable ponchos and stroller rain covers. (We recommend ponchos at Disney all year long, but especially for those afternoon showers in the summer!) 
  3. Lightweight, breathable clothing is generally the best clothing to wear to Disney World in June or July. For women’s summer Disney outfits, I love these activewear dresses and skorts with a tank top. 
  4. An extra outfit (or at least an extra shirt) for park days. You WILL be sweaty. We typically shower and change when we take a break in the afternoon. (But honestly, if you don’t change, it’s Disney and no one will care!)
  5. Several different devices to cool off, including fans, misters and/or neck towels. (Details shared above!)
  6. Refillable water bottles to stay extra hydrated. These collapsible water bottles are great if you’re looking to save space.
  7. Sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen. We tend to start in the morning with regular sunscreen and then bring face sticks and spray to reapply throughout the day. 
  8. Comfortable shoes and flip flops. We usually bring two pairs of sneakers in case one gets soaked and needs time to dry. 
  9. A stroller with a large canopy if you’re going to Disney World with toddlers (or really kids from birth to age 8 or so.) Disney is a LOT of walking, and having a great stroller helps to keep kids protected from the sun and save them from overheating. We love our Zoe stroller, and you can purchase one of the best Disney strollers for $15 off using our referral link here. You can also rent strollers that come with a rain cover from Kingdom Stroller.

Have you been to Disney World in June through September? We’d love to hear any tips you would add for Disney World in the summer!

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Disney World in the summer tips

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