Picture this: the iconic Cinderella Castle, thrilling rides, enchanting parades, and a burst of fireworks lighting up the night sky. Yes, you’re at Disney World! However, if you’re planning a visit during the summer, you’ll also encounter sweltering temperatures and massive crowds.
Florida is hot, humid and with the addition of the dense crowds (and the long lines that are sometimes outside with no A/C) can be a little much for someone who isn’t prepared.
But you can be prepared, that’s why you’re here!
Is Disney World crowded in the summer?
Yes, Disney World is crowded in the summer, similar to Spring Break Time. It is not the most crowded time of the year (thats the Christmas season!) but many weekends and some weekdays in late May, June, July and early August can be very crowded at Disney World.
How do People Survive Disney World in the summer?
There’s no secret sauce to surviving Disney World in the summer. You need to plan ahead and know your own personal limitations. Wearing light clothing, having sun protection, using personal fans and hats, staying hydrated, plus planning down time during 2-5 pm which are the hottest parts of the day. It’s recommended that you start your day very early, take an afternoon break, and then head to the parks at evening time to survive multiple summer days at Disney World.
Let me share with you the best tips for surviving (and THRIVING!) in the Florida Heat and Humidity on your Disney World Vacation.
Plus, we’ll cover how to deal with the crowds and the best ways to go about enjoying your Disney World Vacation in the Florida Summer!
Table Of Contents
This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you, and I may earn commission on qualified sales, check out my affiliate disclosure for more information and all the legal mumbo jumbo.
☀️ Disney World in Summer Tips
😎 Book ADR’s (advanced dining reservations) for sit down restaurants in the heat of the day (between 12-4pm) so you can get an Air Conditioned Break. Try to spend mornings in the parks (so choose quick serve to get in there faster!)
😎 Take advantage of the Pools and Water Parks on your vacation. Many people head to the pools in the afternoon for a cool down (rain typically comes around 4- so head back to the room to freshen up for the evening!)
😎 Bring multiple pairs of shoes, for everyone. It’s recommended to bring two sandals and one closed toe shoe. Between the rain, the sweating, and the chafing/blisters, it’s good to have shoe options in the summer!
😎 Save the indoor shows for the afternoon when you need A/C. Shows like Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom, The Hall of Presidents,Carousel of Progress and Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom and Frozen at Hollywood Studios (among many others!)
😎 Plan ALL your pictures for the morning, including character meet and greets. You will be hot and sweaty by 10 am and those don’t make for the best pictures- also- the sun gets so bright by then too! It makes your pictures really bright and eyes really squinty.
😎 Prioritize Hydration! So many people faint during the summer from being too hot and not drinking enough liquids. We make sure all of us have our own reusable water bottles, and we keep track during the day. Plus there’s yummy drinks to try at Disney World- no excuses for taking a break for hydration. You can see all of the Refillable Water Locations at Disney World here.
Is it worth it in the summer time? 🕶️
Another question many Disney goers have is, “Is it even worth it to go in the summer? It sounds dreadful!”
Yes, it’s crowded and hot, but you can still enjoy your time there, especially if you have realistic expectations and you plan ahead!
This year they had a lot of cool things that made it even better in the Summer!
Since they’ve rolled out more pay-to-play options you can do something fun and relaxing during the day (like swim at the pool or check out the resorts) then head to the parks for many of the afterhours events.
Weather at Disney in the Summer- Heat, Rain and Hurricanes
Florida is a special place, because it generally has great weather- but then it can also turn to crap really fast! As a native Floridian it’s not uncommon for me to expect a cool morning, hot afternoon and an afternoon shower- all in one day!
Yes, it will rain at Disney World. 60% of our rain comes between June and September! ☔
There’s a lot of misconceptions around rain at Disney World. Disney World does not have a special rain policy ⛈️ for your tickets (to much public dismay) but they do have some really cool things you can do in when it rains at the parks and resorts! ☔
I recommend getting some ponchos ahead of time, as umbrellas aren’t the easiest to use when you are in the parks! These small ponchos are handy to have in a bag, and great for when it starts to rain (so you dont have to wait in line or duck and cover as many line queues are indoor and outdoor).
There are some other things I recommend you to pack if you haven’t done the parks (or any theme park) in the rain 🌈- but if you’ve done a week long rainy trip- then you’ll have an idea of what to pack and expect!
IF IT RAINS- Magic Kingdom is one of the best places to be- and you might want to save this ☔ Rainy Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary just in case.
How to Survive Disney World in the Summer
The biggest concern for many is the heat! It can get really hot in Florida, and the summer’s are when the temperature really ramps up and blasts the world. Here’s my tips for beating the heat.
Packing a reusable Water bottle is very helpful. These are also great for rides where you can’t have drinks (which are all of them, and the character meets) since you can just throw this in your bag. (Can’t do that with a cup of water). You can bring whatever bottles you have from home, grab some new ones on Amazon, or budget 30-50 dollars per person per day to purchase single use Water Bottles at Disney.
Cooling towels are a must have for any summer time activity, especially Disney World. Regular Florida heat isn’t bad, it’s being on the concrete and asphalt with all the people and lack of trees and wind that make it so hot!
I would venture to say that on many days, it’s 5 degrees hotter in the parks (especially Hollywood Studios. we never go there in the afternoon!)
But the real MVP? Portable Personal Fans.
We have so many of these. Some for the kids, some for us, some we leave in the car, one we attach to the stroller. We live here, down the road from Disney, and we still aren’t used to the heat. Save yourself the heartache and pack a reliable fan.
I also love the thought of not worrying about the batteries dying- so I like rechargeable options!
You can get several rechargeable fans like a hand held fan OR a clip on stroller fan which I personally have and use frequently.
My favorite recently is the neck fan. I like that it leaves my hands free to do whatever else I need or want to do. The battery, on the lowest setting last 10 hours, with the fan lasting about 6 hours on the strongest setting. This is the second summer I’ve had the jisulife neck fan, and I’ll never go back to a handheld fan!
So you can use your own charger, you can rent a Fuel Cell Charger from Disney World, Or you can just charge it when you get back to the hotel for the night! Here’s a list of all the FuelRod locations at Disney World.
Florida Humidity is a vacation issue
You know that feeling when you get out of the shower and you feel like “dewey/sweaty”. That’s what Florida Humidity feels like. The only problem is you can’t get away from it!
Seriously, it feels like you got smacked in the face with a towel. My brother came from Arizona to Visit us in April, and as a born and raised Floridian, this now Arizona convert was hiding in our house with a fan because of the Humidity!
After a bad afternoon shower ⛈️, in which the clouds disappear and the sun comes out in force, the humidity is so strong it can take your breath away.
So in addition to the above tips for heat, I wanted to emphasize that taking an afternoon siesta at your resort will be a very smart decision! You can play for a few hours, have dinner, and head back to the parks in the evenings!
The Paramedics and Fire at Disney (the Reddy Creek Fire Dept) are amazing! But you don’t really want to meet them. In the summer they run lots of calls on people that get over heated. Some simple steps will keep you safe- so plan ahead for the heat and don’t let it bother you!
Hurricanes at Disney World
Hurricanes are actually a problem at Disney World, and this is one of the rare instances where they will close the parks.
But oddly, we’d rather be at Disney World during a Hurricane, because they have entertainment in the lobbies and some very sturdy buildings! Plus- they are smack dab in the middle of Florida, so even when Irma hit in 2017, they only closed for a few days with minimal damage (and my house that was closer to the coast was without power for 2 weeks- so we did end up at Disney!)
What about your vacation?
In a known State of Emergency for weather, Disney and the airlines are very flexible with cancelations! Please come after the hurrincane if you can help it.
If not, you’ll be in your room for the ‘main event’ which is a lot of rain and wind for days on end. Welcome to Florida!
✨ Crowd Control- How to beat the Summer Rush ✨
Summer is pretty crowded at Disney but it’s can still be very enjoyable!
What to expect
Many people are curious “just HOW crowded does Disney get?” That’s a great question so I wanted to paint some visuals for you.
There is a line for getting into the parks, both through security and the ticket booth. This can get very long and crowded- and take anywhere from 15 mins to 45 mins to get into the park.
There’s normally no fans, very few shade options and you are very close to everyone else. So yes, it can get alittle sticky!
Then inside the parks you have several lines.
Most rides end up being a 1 to 2 hour wait. It’s not uncommon to wait 20-30 mins at the popcorn stand and also wait in line for quick service. Bathrooms, even with 100 stalls, can get backed up by the amount of people at the parks. Not too bad, but 5-10 mins when you have to pee is a long time!
What you can do to beat the crowds
The good news is that beating the crowds is very doable!
Get to the parks early- that way when you wait in line to get inside you aren’t baking in the sun.
Bring (or plan to purchase at the parks) all the gear you need to keep cool like a water bottle, cooling towel, fan, hat, sunglasses etc. so you aren’t waiting in line
I would try to get these ahead of time, or even at the resort. That way you don’t have to hunt them down during your park time.
Do a sit down restaurant for lunch. You don’t want to have to wait in the long lines (and you can’t really feel the a/c) at the quick service restaurants. Save the lines for things like ice cream and water throughout the day.
Plan all your fast passes for the morning, and the most popular rides. Then plan to do shows in the afternoon, before going to the resort for the afternoon break. This allows you to make the most of the day, without roasting in the sun or sweating in hour long outdoor lines.
My Secret Weapon
Disney knows it’s hot, and they have lots of ways to cool down. My favorite way is with all the water activities you’ve got rides, you’ve got random things that shoot water at you (like that bromeliad at the beginning of Pandora in Animal Kingdom, and the Tiki / spitting camel in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom).
You’ve also got splash pads! There are a few of these in the parks. Keep your eyes out and let your kids cool off!
Disney during the Summer is STILL magical- you just might need to make a few changes to your plans!
Have you visited Disney World during the summer time? Or are you planning your first trip? Share your helpful recommendations or questions in the comments below!