Important tips to beat the heat in Orlando this summer
Florida is one of the hottest and wettest states in America. During the summer, temperatures can rise above 100 degrees with a humidity range of 80 to 100%.
Not only that, but during the summer Florida also experiences hurricane season, which begins in May and lasts until November, which means the state also experiences daily thunderstorms that last from an hour to an entire day. However, since it is warm and sunny most of the year, it generally makes Central Florida a great location for theme parks. For those who have never visited before, it can be confusing to know how best to prepare for an upcoming vacation. Florida is hot, humid, humid and sticky. It’s not uncommon to walk out of your hotel room and immediately start sweating. Add in the amount of walking and waiting you do in a park, and it can quickly become uncomfortable. We’ve rounded up some tips and tricks you should keep in mind when packing and planning a vacation in the Sunshine State.
What to know before you go
For the most part, there’s not much difference between packing for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort and a trip to Universal Orlando Resort or any of the other major theme parks in Florida. Some Disney Guests tend to go the extra mile with cute outfits, Disneybounding, and accessories for cute photos, encounters, and interactions, but that’s completely up to you. Universal also has some great visuals and many guests will be looking their best at Hogwarts in order to feel truly immersed in the areas of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Again, this is all extra and it is completely up to each individual to decide if they want to pack this way. However, fashion tips are a whole separate article, so we’ll just focus on surviving Orlando weather.
What to pack
If you are planning to pack some cute and fun clothes, it is highly recommended that you also bring extra comfortable clothes to change into. Breathable clothing, especially anything made of cotton, will work best to keep you cool and wick some of the sweat away. A good pair of shoes will also help you get around the parks and back to your hotel room at the end of the night.
What clothes should I wear?
It’s easy to have a collection of summer clothes and be done with them, but here’s a basic list of essentials to keep in mind when planning your outfit.
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Extra socks
- bathing suit
- Flip flops for the pool
- A jacket or sweatshirt (the air conditioner in parks, buses, and hotel rooms is always blasting, so the sweat cools and becomes cold quickly)
- Extra costume just in case
- Comfortable and breathable shirts
It’s important to remember a rain jacket and extra socks in the parks because these rainstorms blow fast and hard, but they usually end almost as quickly as they started. If you can wait an hour or so, you can generally get a few rides in without a long wait or no wait because most guests have gone back to the hotel to dry off. Make sure to plan some time to relax by the pool as well, especially after a long, hot day at the parks, as it’s the perfect way to end your night.
What items should I bring?
Clothes are not the only important thing to consider when packing for your trip. There are many useful items to have on hand as well.
- Cooling towel or bandana
- A reusable water bottle (most quick service locations will give you free cups of water if you ask)
- sunblock cream
- Hand fan
- Intravenous fluid or other electrolyte blend to keep you refreshed
- Hand sanitizer or wipes
This is just a basic list of items, but each one will go a long way toward helping you stay cool and helping you beat the Orlando heat.
Tips inside the garden
On top of what to bring with you, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the peace once you’re in the parks as well.
Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando both have a variety of indoor attractions, dining venues, and other experiences that can help you get away from the heat or rain for a while. As mentioned earlier, the air conditioning is always on in the Orlando heat, so finding an indoor area will help cool you down very quickly. Shows like the Country Bear Jamboree and Enchanted Tiki Room at Disney or the Poseidon’s Fury and Horror Make-Up Show at Universal are all indoor shows and last 10 to 20 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to relax.
Perhaps the most important tip is to stay hydrated! Most quick service locations will gladly offer you free cups of water if you ask. Grab a reusable water bottle and fill it or mix it with some electrolyte powder for an extra replenishment. Disney sells free refillable souvenir cups at your hotel for the duration of your stay, but you’ll have to purchase individual drinks inside the parks. Universal also offers reusable cups that can be refilled throughout the parks for free on the day of purchase and for an additional daily fee each day thereafter. Both parks sell bottled water and Powerade as well to help keep you hydrated.
And since there’s so much uncertainty, especially when it comes to summer vacation, here are some additional tips for beating the Orlando heat!
How to deal with rain
From June 1 to November 30 of each year, Florida experiences hurricane season. While hurricane season is usually worse later in the year, rainstorms start much earlier. Every afternoon, a wall of black clouds makes its way over Orlando bringing with it rain, thunder and lightning. Usually, the rain falls very quickly and drenches everything immediately. Give it about an hour or so, and the sky will be just as beautiful as it was before the storm, and you’ll probably be able to see a rainbow or two, too.
Most people leave when they see a storm hitting, which can empty the parks very quickly. If you can handle some rain, you can take some rides during this time. Avoid indoor tourist attractions if possible, as everyone will head there first. As long as lightning is not observed within a certain mile, most outdoor attractions will continue to operate. Find a place to shelter from the worst of the storm (it’s a great time to eat or pick up some souvenirs) and be ready once it passes to head to your choice of ride.
Tips for the theme park
Although no garden is truly “bad” during the summer, there are some things to keep in mind. Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most important Disney parks because of the amount of animals and the heat they emit. EPCOT probably has the largest number of indoor shows between World Showcase and the Future World area. Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk have many dining and shopping options, so they’re a great choice to spend your day or relax in the evening. Most of the rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are outdoor coasters with at least a partially outdoor queue and locker system, so it will be difficult to stay cool during wait times.
In general, there really is no “best time” to visit Florida theme parks. During the summer, you may experience extreme heat and a thunderstorm on the same day, so it can be difficult to know exactly what to pack and how to prepare it. While these are just some basic tips to help guide you, keep them in mind when planning a summer vacation to Disney, Universal, or any of the other Florida theme parks.
What’s your best tip for beating the Florida heat? Share your advice in the comments below!