Dealing With Disney In the Heat
A Disneyland Planning Articleby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-24-2015
I’ll make it clear from the start – my husband and I really do not do hot weather as a rule.
We find it draining, particularly if it’s combined with humidity, as it often is in Florida. Therefore, we do our best to avoid visiting Disney during the hottest times of the year if we can, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Next year, we’re taking our first real foray into the real heat and humidity in Florida, with a trip planned to Walt Disney World for late September, but our recent visit to Disneyland may have helped to prepare us for that…
California Adventure - early morning
An early start to the day, due to the heat, has other benefits, like an empty park...
As soon as the extended weather forecast on Accuweather was available (now up to 45 days in advance), I was checking what we were looking at for our trip, which also took in Alaska. Although Alaska looked beautiful, and unseasonably warm, sadly that was also the story for Anaheim too, with temperatures forecast for the whole of our stay into three figures. This was not what I wanted to see!
There wasn’t much we could do about it, apart from plan accordingly in terms of what we were taking. The factor 100 sunscreen that our friend, who lives near Disneyland, had bought me immediately went into the suitcase, as did our cooling spray. We’ve encountered similar temperatures at Disneyland before, once at the end of August, which wasn’t that much of a surprise, but once at the end of October, which was certainly not what we were expecting. I guess Disneyland likes to give us a hot welcome!
On days like that, we try and spend as much time as we can inside out of the heat and in the air conditioning. So, for example, if we were walking down Main Street USA, we’d walk through the shops, rather than down the middle of the street. It provided a welcome break, and also meant less time out in the blazing sun, which for me was a huge bonus, as I tend to burn very easily. It did mean we missed out on things, for example seeing my beloved donkey Eeyore, as we were told he was out in Critter Country, and we were near the park entrance. I couldn’t bring myself to do the walk. It was the same story with Olaf in the California Adventure, who had a 20 minute wait, ironically, given who you’re waiting to see, in the sun. I would’ve thought they’d have transported you to the cold of Arendelle!
Every time we saw any opportunity for drinking water, we would take advantage of it, as we knew there was also a danger of dehydration in this weather. Having previously passed out at Walt Disney World, which we think was partially down to me not drinking enough, this is something I’m always now really conscious of. Like walking through the air conditioned shops, eating in the air conditioned restaurants, or enjoying the air conditioned attractions, it also helped to reduce our body temperature, albeit only for a moment, but it was welcome relief all the same.
The weather did affect what we managed to do, as we began to favour any attractions that had indoor queues. If something was showing, say a 20 minute wait, and the waiting area was outside, we’d just pass it by, as we knew that would take its toll on us. Thankfully, it’s something Disney were obviously acutely aware of when they built these parks, as we managed to find plenty of things to see and do that had indoor waiting areas. I didn’t mind that we had a 15 minute wait for Soarin’, even though I have chronic fatigue, and standing doesn’t do me much good, as it was in the air conditioning and such a welcome relief from the draining heat.
Of course, heat is at its worst in the middle of the day, and that’s something to take into account when planning your touring. We tend to be morning people, so we started to get up earlier than perhaps we would have done otherwise, and headed out into the parks even before the sun was fully up. It helped, as it at least gave us a little bit of time before the searing heat hit.
Another added bonus of getting up and at ‘em early was the wait times were pretty low, and we were able to get on a number of different attractions in quick succession. On our final day, we were able to enjoy the first opening day of the holiday overlay for the Haunted Mansion. As I’m sure you can imagine, this was a huge attraction, and the line was insane to get in there, but thankfully because we were early, it wasn’t too warm, and we could deal with the wait time.
Disneyland - Main Street vehicles
Taking an early morning ride on one of the vehicles along Main Street in an attempt to stay cool...
We also planned in plenty of down time back in the room to recover, and also take a shower and clean off, before heading back out, usually in the late afternoon or early evening. It was a very welcome break, and allowed us to recharge our batteries and cool down. It’s certainly something we’ll make sure we do during our forthcoming September visit to Walt Disney World, as I have no doubt the heat and humidity there will completely drain us.
Perhaps the most important lesson we learned is that, although neither of us copes well with hot weather, it is manageable if you plan accordingly, and take sensible precautions to ensure you remain as cool and hydrated as possible.
Updated 12-24-2015 - Article #1250
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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