hot and tired kids at Disney World

Hot, tired, and in need of a break

Florida gets hot. Miserably, sticky, HOT. The weather is one of those background things that you might not take into consideration before you arrive, but once you’re there it’s hard to escape it. We planned for the weather only to the extent that I packed shorts for the boys and sundresses for my princess. We bought a camel pack (which we promptly forgot at home. Whoops.) to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, simply dressing for the weather and drinking plenty of water wasn’t enough. Several members of our family are extremely sensitive to heat, and I dehydrate at the drop of a hat. Luckily, there were plenty of ways at Disney World to get out of the heat and avoid meltdowns.

Safety First

Overheating and dehydration are not things you can just live with. At least for our family, moderate discomfort can escalate into full-on heat stroke in a heartbeat. Carry water everywhere. If you stay on property and have the Disney Dining Plan, you get refillable resort mugs. Fill them with ice and water before you leave for the parks in the morning and refill them at drinking fountains all day long. Or remember to bring the camel pack. That way you can bring your coffee with you in the morning. (Some of us aren’t livable until our second cup of coffee!)

Be sure you know where the first aid stations are in the park you plan to visit each day. They are trained to treat heat stroke and dehydration. Some signs of dehydration include dry lips, nausea, headache, and diarrhea.

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In the Magic Kingdom, the first aid station is located on Main Street, U.S.A. next to the Crystal Palace Restaurant.

EPCOT’s first aid station is in the Odyssey Center, near the bridge between Future World and World Showcase.

The first aid station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is located near Guest Services, just West of the entrance to the park.

In Animal Kingdom, the first aid station is located in the Discovery Island area, behind Creature Comforts.


Handling the Heat

Several souvenir stands sell misting fans. They seem overpriced at first, but they’re worth every penny! Be sure to check out the totem poles in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom too.

Spitting totem poles

Spitting Totem Poles

Avoiding the Heat

They say timing is everything, and that’s certainly the case with the Florida heat. Plan your day so that you spend the worst hours of the afternoon cooling off.

  • Have a late lunch around 2pm. The restaurants will be less crowded and you’ll spend some time in the air conditioning. If you get the Disney Dining Plan, consider eating your table-service meal at lunch instead of dinner.
  • Head back to your resort for the middle of the day. Spend an hour or two in the pool, or if you have younger ones simply relax in your room for a quiet rest time. You may find that even older kids take a nap after a long morning at the parks. Your whole family will be refreshed and ready to enjoy the fireworks instead of being tired and crabby.
  • Plan your rides. Dark rides, like Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom, and water rides like Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom, are ideal attractions for avoiding the afternoon heat.

Of course, the best way to avoid the heat might be to travel during the winter months! If your region gets bitterly cold (like mine does) a week in the relative heat of Florida might just be the perfect vacation!