Considering a summertime Disney World vacation? For many families (especially those with school-age children) a summer vacation is the only time they have to visit a Disney park. So Walt Disney World in the summer months will be busier, and not to mention quite hot! However, despite the extra crowds and warmer weather, a summertime trip to Disney holds plenty of magic.
Here are a few tips for taking your baby to Disney World in the summer.
1. Stay on-site for a shorter commute to the Parks.
Book a stay in a Walt Disney World resort hotel and the time getting in and out of the Parks could be minimized. Some hotels are even a short walk away! Complimentary Disney transportation via bus, Monorail or boat is convenient but keep in mind that heavy crowds mean longer waits for everything, including transportation. Arrive to the bus stop or boat dock early, ideally before the Parks open.
2. Dress for the weather.
Summer in Orlando is not only very warm but the weather can also be humid and rainy. Dress Baby in lightweight and breathable fabrics that will be most comfortable. A cotton bodysuit or shorts and a tee will be appropriate. Skip layers or heavy costumes on Baby in the summer; even socks might be too warm for him to wear on a hot day.
3. Arrive at dawn for smaller crowds.
Generally, summer crowds in the Parks will be at their heaviest mid-morning to late afternoon. If Baby is an early riser, this trick will work best! Arrive at “rope drop” just before the Park opens and plan to leave mid-day when crowds and heat are at their peak.
4. Return to the Parks for more play after the sun goes down.
After a nap at the resort hotel and perhaps a swim to cool down, return to the Parks for more play once the sun goes down. If Baby is a night owl, stay late and take advantage of “Extra Magic Hours” when the Parks stay open even later than usual on certain days of the week. You’ll benefit with lighter crowds and cooler temperatures!
5. Help Baby to “keep her cool.”
The typical summer combination of heat and rain in Orlando can create a humid atmosphere that will make Baby feel clammy and uncomfortable. A hot baby is a cranky baby, so use these tips for keeping her happy and cool. Rinse a lightweight sun hat in cold water and wring it out before putting it back on her head. Clip a battery-operated fan to her stroller. Mist her with cold water in a spray bottle. Seek shade inside the Baby Care Center (there’s one located inside each Park). Here, you’ll be able to change her diaper, feed her a meal, or breastfeed in air-conditioned comfort.
6. Minimize your wait with FastPass+.
Summer crowds mean longer lines but there’s a way you can wisely shorten your wait times. When you book your Walt Disney World vacation, you’ll be able to choose FastPass+ for certain attractions, shows, or Character greetings in the Parks. By planning ahead and scheduling FastPass+, you’ll be able to skip the lengthy standby line. This is a fantastic way to minimize waits and maximize your time in the Parks, particularly important when you have a baby in tow! Read more about how FastPass+ works on the Disney World website.
7. Plan indoor activities to beat the heat.
During the heat of midday, plan your schedule around activities that take place inside so you can enjoy the air conditioning. There are some fantastic live productions at the Disney World Parks that take place indoors; age-appropriate for everyone in the family! Book a character dining experience for lunch so you can meet n’ greet favorite characters, have a great meal, and beat the heat at the same time. Choose rides with indoor shaded queues to minimize your time in the sun.
8. Keep Baby hydrated when temperatures soar.
Guests at the Walt Disney World resort are welcome to pack a soft sided cooler with snacks and bottled water. Request ice water for free at any counter service restaurant. Keep Baby’s sipper cup filled and encourage him to drink often.
9. Consider “non-park” days on the weekends.
Summer days in the Disney World theme parks are particularly busy. No more so than over the weekends. Choose to go inside the Parks mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) then schedule “non-park” days on the weekend. Non-park days could include a visit to Disney Springs for shopping and a meal, riding the Monorail to explore the Disney World resort hotels, or even just lounging poolside! Even a “non-park” day is delightful and you’ll be able to break away from the heat and crowds as you wish.