- The Adventurous Alfords
Disney in July
Updated: Jan 17, 2020
Once upon a time, long, long ago, Garrett and I took our naive selves to Disney World in the month of May. We were unprepared and we were hot. But not hot in a good way. Hot in a very bad way. The bottoms of my thin fashionable sandals were melting to the asphalt. We were basically limping and crawling back to our hotel by the end of the day. Total rookies. We swore off Disney during the hot Florida months after that. But as fate would have it, the fourth of July holiday fell on a day this year that gave Garrett several consecutive days off. We had a park hopper day ticket that was not going to get used before the end of the year so we decided last minute to brave the heat and the crowds for the holiday. This time, we were very prepared. And I have made a list that makes for a much more enjoyable trip if you must do Disney during the summer.
First of all, of all of our trips to Disney combined, I have never seen the Magic Kingdom as crowded as it was for the fourth of July firework show. I'm talking absolute grid lock, max capacity met. Therefore I will start with DO NOT DO MAGIC KINGDOM ON THE FOURTH OF JULY! The firework show was not near as great as their "Wishes" show that they show every other night. You are literally shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others and you stay that way for at least two hours. And even after, the lines are crazy long. TIP: A super nice waiter in Epcot told us that the days before and after the fourth of July holiday were the slowest times of the entire year to go. People are usually holding out for the holiday so that they don't have to actually ask off for work, aka, what Garrett did, ha! He told us that he had only three tables to wait on the day before and had 12 at one time on the fourth. Crazy, right? But great to know. If we could go back and do it over, we would have just done Epcot that entire day, sun up to sun down and back to the hotel for a night swim, then bed. But we definitely wanted to see how Magic Kingdom was for the fourth, plus, the Magic Kingdom on the fourth of July has extended magic hours to 1 a.m. We almost always go until the park closes but the summer heat will tire you out much more than any other time of the year. Be prepared.
SO, now on to the summer essential Disney World list:
Bring a portable AC unit.
So the only affordable and decent working AC fan that I could find online was this one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BMIVQ3Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1Portable
It wasn't as great as I thought it would be but it was way better than a regular fan. Our kids would take turns napping in their stroller and it made a huge difference with them sleeping with that fan in there blowing on them. My son, Roman, loved it and said it felt great! TIP: The air will only blow as cold as the water you put on the sponge, so make sure you pour ice cold water on it.
I always saw people walking around with these and thought, "That probable does nothing and who wants to walk around with a soggy cloth around their neck?" But the truth is they DO work!! Again, use cold water to wet them. TIP: Depending on the brand and color, some of these cloths will stain your white or light colored clothes. My precious Dumbo shirt was ruined but it was ok if it meant that I was comfortable. But if I could go back, I would have gotten a lighter color.
A 64oz, or more, water jug that comes with an internal ice pack
I am linking the one I bought from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C7MZ9AO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Having this was the best idea ever. Disney has changed up their rules lately as to what they allow you to bring in the parks. To be safe, we decided to bring a backpack cooler with only this jug, oranges, roaring waters capri suns (incase my kids were stubborn about their water intake) and sunblock. All 80 ounces stayed nice and cool and the four of us drank every ounce. It truly was a life saver. We never felt ill or dehydrated.
Walk through shops (AC) any chance you can get.
It seems obvious but sometimes you have a lull in your day and you think sitting in the shade for a moment is a good idea. Wrong. Florida in the summer reaches temps well into the 100's which means your shade is around the 90's. Lulls are perfect opportunities to walk through shops. Even if you are not buying, Disney markets and displays everything so beautifully. Every store is unique in its own way. Most things can be held or looked at all while staying cool! TIP: Take pictures of the things you and/or your kids love and save for later. If their still talking about it nonstop later on or you just know that that specific souvenir needs to be in your life, you can always go to Shopdisney.com to purchase most of the same items and have them shipped to your home. TIP: If you have a Disney visa, you can save 10% in gift shops but you have to spend a minimum of $50. So see if you are able to find all of your families souvenirs in one store to save more money.
It seems obvious but its summer. You will burn. No matter your skin tone. Its as if the sun loves Disney too and tries to get as close as she can to get a glimpse at all of the fun. So pack enough for several coats for adults and children.
These were the least useful but the kids loved them and they actually kept the sun off of their upper bodies pretty well. They were also handy then it started to rain on us a little. Be warned: If you are apart of the "larger head" club like my husband and I, these were a little tight. They fit the kids ok but we ourselves couldn't really wear them.
Change of clothes.
You will sweat. You will stink. You will douse yourself in water whenever you can. Besides laying your head down on a pillow at the end of the night, there is nothing better than finding a restroom, cleaning and freshening up, and then putting on a pair of nice, fresh, clean clothes. We did this for our kids but not for us, adults, and man, were we jealous. Then got a second wind after that so it was totally worth it to have those extra t-shirts and shorts under the stroller.
A reusable personal straw.
Weird, right? In the summer time you will probably want to enjoy a frozen drink. It is a great treat to cool you down. Whether it's one of Disney's own creations or a frappe from Starbucks, bring your own reusable straw! Disney is moving in a greener and more environmentally responsible direction. One of their efforts is to help reduce waste in the ocean with using paper straws instead of plastic. I fully support this effort, however, ice cold drinks on scorching hot summer days does not mix well. Your straw will last roughly 2 minutes before completely falling apart. Easy fix: bring your own straw!
Pray for cloudy weather.
Right? When that overcast set in, we enjoyed the outside walking much more. I even made it a point to thank Jesus for it, out loud!
So that's it. I'd love to know in the comments if there was anything else to make Disney in the Summer any more enjoyable. Let me know! Thanks for reading!