We’ve been to Disney parks every time of year, and truly, unless you catch a cold spell (which is heavenly and rare), it’s going to be hot. 🥵

There’s no way around it: You need tips for staying cool at Disney World (and Disneyland) whenever you go.

Is Disney World hotter in spring than in winter? Of course. Is Disneyland more bearable than Disney World because it’s less humid? Sure.

But honestly, the Disney parks on both coasts of the U.S. are probably going to be uncomfortably hot and humid any time of year. We’ve noticed that a few degrees in temperature doesn’t make much of a difference, and humid is humid when you’re standing on line for a ride at noon.

Since you know the heat is going to be a thing to deal with, though, you can prepare for it.

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Travel During the Fall and Winter

Staying cool at Disney World is easier during the fall and winter — in other words, the time of year when the sun sets earlier. This is one of our biggest tips for how to beat the heat at Disney World and Disneyland.

When the sun sets closer to 5 p.m. rather than 8 p.m., you get about 3 hours of park time without the sun blaring overhead, and that can make a huge difference. This past year, we went to Disney World in the spring and Disneyland in August, and both times, we were seriously missing that early sunset time.

⭐️ Bonus: Unless you’ll be in a Disney park on a holiday, these times of year are usually less busy than spring and summer.

Get Tickets to a Nighttime Event

Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios at night.

Regardless of the season when you travel, getting tickets to a nighttime event is great for staying cool at Disney World.

The parks can still be pretty hot even in the evening — sometimes it doesn’t feel like the temperature changed at all. But the absence of the blistering sun overhead makes even a hot and humid night a lot more bearable.

After going to an After Hours event at Hollywood Studios earlier this year, we’re obsessed in more ways than one. Read about our experience here.

In terms of how to do Disney when it’s hot, the after-hours events are long enough that you could skip a regular park ticket that day and still get more than enough done. You can show up right around sunset and stay until after midnight.

Pack the Best Cooling Items for Disney World

There are lots of accessories and gear for staying cool at Disney World. Pick and choose the ones that sound like the best solutions for how to beat the heat at Disney World.

Need more packing essentials? Here are 19 Disney World packing list items we swear by.

Disney Cooling Towel

One extremely hot afternoon at the Magic Kingdom, we gave in and bought a Disney cooling towel.

The way these accessories work is pretty simple. You soak the towel with cold water, ring it out and then put it around your neck.

Disney cooling towel for staying cool at Disney World.

But do cooling towels work at Disney? Yup — they work how you think they’d work. The towel stays wet and cool-ish for a long time, and you can always re-wet it for another dose of cooling.

If you want to order a cooling towel before you’re in the park — and save some money — this pack of 4 on Amazon is under $20 and has 4.5 stars from over 22K ratings.

We don’t use our Disney cooling towel too much because it’s not very comfortable to walk around with a wet towel around your neck, but we usually take it with us just in case we’re desperate.

💡 Insider Tip: Put a baggie in your park backpack so you have something to put the wet Disney cooling towel in when you’re done using it. Add a box of Ziploc sandwich bags to your shopping list here.

Disney Misting Fan

I always think that misting fans — Disney-themed or otherwise — must be so cool and refreshing. On the other hand, it’s another something to carry, and wearing it around your neck seems like it would be too hot to make it worth it.

The misting fans you can get in Disney World look like this one (which you can also order on Amazon), and they’re too big and clunky for my taste:

Disney misting fan.

These don’t mist, but they’re a lot slimmer and easier to carry:

Mickey Mouse miniature portable fan in baby blue.

You can also get a 2-pack here.

Light, Sprayable Sunscreen

OK, so sunscreen isn’t exactly a cooling item, but consider this: If you don’t put sunscreen on in the morning, you’re going to get burnt, and that’s going to make you feel more hot and uncomfortable the next day.

We liberally spray ourselves with sports sunscreen right after parking and getting out of the car, and then reapply a couple of times throughout the day as needed. Spray sunscreen is the lightest formula you can use on days when you can’t bear anything heavier on your skin.

Lightweight Performance Clothing

I love following Disney bounders on Instagram as much as any Disney adult, but the thought of wearing anything close to a costume in Disney World heat makes me want to melt into a puddle.

Lots of us normo Disney-goers swear by performance clothing, meaning athleticwear that’s designed to wick sweat and keep your skin cool. At this point, I can’t even wear a cotton t-shirt in a Disney park because it’s too stifling.

Hats and Sunglasses

The jury is still out on this. Yes, a hat and sunglasses can keep the sun out of your face, but they actually make me more hot and sweaty than going without them. If those sunglasses slide down my nose one more time…

Angry Disney GIF.

Decide for yourself, and if you’re unsure, you could always bring them along and then stash them in your backpack or a locker if you don’t want to wear them.

Make a Dining Reservation for Each Park Day

If you have a dining reservation for lunch or an early dinner each park day, that’s approximately an hour of time that you get to spend inside, sitting down in air conditioning. You’ll feel totally refreshed when it’s time to head back into the park.

We started doing this when we went to Disney World during COVID because we needed an hour each park day to take our mask off (back then, you had to wear a mask everywhere, even outside).

Here’s how to make a Disney dining reservation.

Snack With the Heat in Mind

Mickey Mouse ice cream bar in Hollywood Studios.

There’s a lot of great food at Disney. Not all of it is going to be agreeable on a 95-degree day, though.

Before you order something that sounds or looks delicious, consider how you’ll feel after. I can’t eat anything fried or spicy in the midday heat, for example, because it’s going to make me feel even hotter when I’m done, regardless of how delicious it was.

If you’re the same, save those savory, hot dishes for the evening and pick ice cream, smoothies, salads, sandwiches and anything else that’s not steaming when it’s served.

Drink Lots and Lots of Cold Water

Duh, right? But if you make a point to drink ice-cold water throughout the day, you’ll stay cooler than if you don’t.

Getting water in Disney World is expensive and can really add up if you’re trying to hit your hydration goals. Instead, we like to bring a few insulated bottles with us and store the extras in a locker. A couple times a day, we head back to the locker to freshen up and swap out an empty bottle for a full one.

Here are the 3 types of water bottles to bring into Disney parks. Hydro Flask is my absolute favorite brand for keeping cold water chilled all day long, even when it’s stuck in a hot locker in the middle of Orlando for hours.

I have this one, which holds 32 ounces and keeps drinks at the right temp for hours:

Orange Hydro Flask bottle.

I suggest getting the sip cap, which twists to open and shut so you don’t have to constantly take the lid off.

Sip cap for a Hydro Flask bottle.

I’ve never had an issue with this bottle or cap leaking. I’ve tossed this in my bag when it’s filled with coffee or hot chocolate, and not a drop has ever spilled.

Go Into Every Gift Shop You Pass

If we did nothing else on this list for staying cool at Disney World, we’d still follow this tip.

For those Disney adults out there who are prone to overheating and cannot stand the Florida heat (👋), go into every shop you pass. Seriously, every single one.

As you walk down Main Street in Magic Kingdom, go through the Emporium. While strolling around the World Showcase, don’t pass up an international souvenir shop. Linger in every gift shop after exiting a ride. Go into the shops with items you know you won’t buy.

Whatever. Just go in.

Shops in the Canada pavilion in the World Showcase in Epcot.

On the hottest Disney days, we will quite literally duck into every shop we walk by. Sometimes we just walk in, look at something for 10 seconds, and then leave.

Every little bit of cooling down helps. Without it, all that heat builds up, and before you know it, you’re in that I’m-about-to-go-out-of-my-mind-or-faint state. We’ve been there.

Pick Your Rides the Smart Way

The front of the queue of Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

Be savvy about the rides you choose during a hot Disney day.

If you really want to go on a ride with an outdoor queue, pick the one with the lowest wait. Otherwise, go for the rides with enclosed indoor queues. For example:

  • Space Mountain
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Avatar: Flight of Passage

Some of these rides have overflow queue areas that are outside, but if the line isn’t too long, you’ll be indoors — and in the AC — most of the time.

P.S. Here’s what happened when we missed our Cosmic Rewind boarding time.

Remember, those popular rides with long lines that you miss out on during the day may be super easy to get on during the nighttime show.

Head to an Indoor Non-Ride Attraction

Think Hall of Presidents is a snooze? It might be, but it’s also a 25-minute break from the heat and one of the best attractions for staying cool at Disney World. Plus, the waiting area is also indoors, so you can start to cool down right away.

Get Disney for couples date night ideas for Liberty Square!

Every Disney park has lots of indoor attractions with low waits, indoor queues and long enough showtimes that you’ll recover from the heat. For example:

  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Awesome Planet
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • It’s Tough to Be A Bug

Also keep your eye out for walk-through attractions that are indoors and have no wait, like the Bijutsu-kan Gallery in the Japan pavilion in Epcot and the Walt Disney Presents museum in Hollywood Studios.

Take a Midday Break

A few Disney for couples trips ago, Mike and I started taking midday breaks.

At around 3 p.m., we’ll get lunch and then head back to the hotel (or sometimes go to the hotel and order lunch delivery). We take around 3 hours to cool off, rest and freshen up to spend the night in the park.

Galaxy's Edge in Hollywood Studios at night.

It’s a total game-changer, and it’s what we always suggest when people ask us, “How do you survive the heat in Disney?”

Not only does it feel refreshing to cool down, shower and change into clean clothes before heading back, but just knowing that the break is coming is motivating, too. Oh, and if you’re staying somewhere with a pool, even better.

Before we made this staying cool at Disney World tip a thing, we’d dread the second part of the day, knowing we’d be exhausted, sweaty and altogether sick of the heat. But now that we know we’ll be back at the hotel at some point, it makes that early-day heat and humidity easier to accept.

Staying Cool at Disney World FAQ

Want quick tips for how to beat the heat at Disney World? Here’s a brief overview of our top cooling ideas for Disney.

Which Disney park is best for a hot day?

Epcot is the best Disney park on a hot day. The Creations Shop is large enough to spend a lot of time in to cool down, and you can cut through it to get to a different section of World Celebration. Also, the World Showcase has tons of shops in each country, so you can walk into a different one for the AC every few steps.

Are there places to cool off at Disney World?

Yes, there are a lot of places to cool off at Disney World. The indoor shops, indoor non-ride attractions and quick-service eateries with indoor seating are the best places for staying cool at Disney World.

What are the best cooling items for Disney?

The best cooling items for Disney are sweat-wicking performance clothing, a Disney cooling towel, a Disney misting fan and cold water in an insulated bottle.

Do cooling towels work at Disney?

Yes, Disney cooling towels work the way you expect them to. After wetting the towel with cold water and ringing it out, place it around your neck. It’ll stay cold for a long time, and you can re-wet it whenever you want.

What’s the best way to stay hydrated in Disney World?

The best way to stay hydrated in Disney World is to bring a few insulated bottles filled with cold water and sip from them continually throughout the day. You can also get bottled water from vendors or cups of water from Disney quick-service eateries or restaurants.

How do you keep food cool at Disney?

To keep food cool at Disney, put a couple of ice packs in an insulated lunch bag along with the food. It’s a good idea to only pack food that won’t spoil if it gets warm.

How do you survive the heat at Disneyland?

To survive the heat at Disneyland, go into shops whenever you can and save outdoor rides for the evening.

Disneyland heat isn’t much different from Disney World heat, though it can be less humid on the West Coast. However, the tips for how to stay cool at Disneyland are the same as staying cool at Disney World.

When your trip’s over, bring some magic home with you! Shop our Walt Disney World-inspired items here.

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