How to Beat the Heat in the WDW Theme Parks

Another scorching hot summer is upon us here in the Mouse House. Summertime in Florida can get brutally hot, and that heat is amplified by our excessive humidity and typical lack of a breeze during the hottest months of the year. This year, August-like heat began in central Florida in May. At the time of writing this post, it is currently 97 degrees in Orlando. It has not been uncommon in recent weeks to see people in the parks who have required treatment for heat-related illness.

Many locals tend to avoid the theme parks altogether on the hottest days and during the hottest times of day. However, when on vacation with a limited amount of time to get in as much fun as possible, this isn’t an option.

To get the most out of your vacation while trying to beat the heat, we have compiled the ultimate list of great ways to have fun in the parks while taking a break from the heat. We will break down these options for you, by park and also by category.

Magic Kingdom Shows

The Hall of Presidents (Halie’s favorite place to take a nap.)

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (outdoor queue)

Country Bear Jamboree

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Enchanted Tiki Room (outdoor queue)

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Magic Kingdom Attractions

Splash Mountain (This is an outdoor attraction, but it provides a quick cool down if you end up getting soaking wet while riding.)

Pirates of the Caribbean (1/2 outdoor queue)

Space Mountain

Haunted Mansion (1/2 outdoor queue)

Peter Pan’s Flight (1/2 outdoor queue)

It’s a Small World (open air queue)

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (1/2 outdoor queue)

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (outdoor queue)

Dumbo the Flying Elephant (indoor queue/play room)

Magic Kingdom Character Meet and Greets

Town Square Theater (Mickey, Minnie, Tinker Bell)

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Princess Fairytale Hall (Cinderella, Tiana, Elena, Rapunzel)

Pete’s Silly Side Show (Goofy, Donald, Daisy)

Magic Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants

Casey’s Corner

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Columbia Harbour House

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Pinocchio Village Haus

Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants

Tony’s Town Square

The Crystal Palace

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen

Be Our Guest

The Diamond Horseshoe

Liberty Tree Tavern

Magic Kingdom Stores and Miscellaneous

The Emporium

Main Street Train Station

City Hall

Main Street Chamber of Commerce

The Chapeau

Main Street Confectionery

The Art of Disney

Crystal Arts

Disney Clothiers

Frontier Trading Post

Memento Mori

Merchant of Venus

Tomorrowland Light & Power Co.

Big Top Souvenirs

Bonjour! Village Gifts

Sir Mickey’s

Epcot Shows

Impressions de France

O Canada!

Reflections of China

The American Adventure

Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival

Turtle Talk with Crush

Epcot Attractions

Soarin’ Around the World

Frozen Ever After

Spaceship Earth


Journey Into Imagination with Figment

Mission: SPACE

Test Track

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Living with the Land

The Land Pavilion

The Seas Pavilion

American Heritage Gallery

Stave Church Galley

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

House of the Whispering Willows Gallery

Epcot Character Meet and Greets

Epcot Character Spot (Various characters are available to greet guests in this location.)

Royal Sommerhus (Anna and Elsa)

Epcot Quick Service Restaurants

Electric Umbrella

Sunshine Seasons

Liberty Inn

Katsura Grill

Tangierine Cafe

Epcot Table Service Restaurants

The Garden Grill

Coral Reef

San Angel Inn

La Hacienda de San Angel

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Nine Dragons


Tutto Italia

Via Napoli

Teppan Edo

Tokyo Dining

Spice Road Table

Restaurant Marrakesh

Chefs de France

Monsieur Paul

Rose & Crown Dining Room

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Epcot Stores and Miscellaneous

Mouse Gear

The Art of Disney

Club Cool (Guests can try FREE samples of sodas from around the world. Be sure to try Beverly, it’s the best!! Just kidding… it’s disgusting. haha)

La Cava del Tequila

Rose & Crown Pub

Around the World Showcase, each pavilion has gift shops featuring merchandise from the pavilion’s host country. Each of these locations offer a unique shopping experience while providing relief from the heat.

Hollywood Studios Shows

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Walt Disney Presents

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Muppet Vision 3D

Hollywood Studios Attractions

Toy Story Mania!

Star Tours-The Adventures Continue

Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (1/2 outdoor queue)

Tower of Terror (1/2 outdoor queue)

Hollywood Studios Character Meet and Greets

Star Wars Launch Bay

Hollywood Studios Quick Service Restaurants

The Trolley Car Cafe

Backlot Express

ABC Commissary

Hollywood Studios Table Service Restaurants

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Hollywood & Vine

50’s Prime Time Cafe

Mama Melrose’s

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

PizzeRizzo (only open occasionally)

Hollywood Studios Stores and Miscellaneous

Tune-In Lounge

BaseLine Tap House

Frozen Fractal Gifts

Launch Bay Cargo

Disney Studio Store

Keystone Clothiers

Mickey’s of Hollywood Celebrity 5 & 10

Stage 1 Company Store

It’s A Wonderful Shop

Tatooine Traders

Animal Kingdom Shows

Festival of the Lion King (Danny’s favorite WDW show).

Finding Nemo-The Musical

It’s Tough to be a Bug!

Animal Kingdom Attractions

Na’vi River Journey

Flight of Passage

Kali River Rapids (This is another outdoor attraction that provides a quick cool down as riders get soaking wet throughout their ride.)


Animal Kingdom Character Meet and Greets

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants

Satu’li Canteen (Danny’s favorite WDW quick service restaurant)


Animal Kingdom Table Service Restaurants

Tusker House

Animal Kingdom Stores and Miscellaneous

Discovery Trading Company

Island Mercantile

The vast majority of Animal Kingdom’s quick service dining options, gift shops, character meet and greets, and bars/lounges are outside. While the park does offer many great options for those things, they aren’t necessarily good options for getting out of the heat.

You can see from the lists we’ve provided that the WDW parks offer a large number of options for things to do in the parks while getting out of the heat. The parks and the attractions, for the most part, were created with the Florida weather in mind. While you are exposed to the elements while enjoying some attractions, shows, dining options, shopping locations, character meet and greets, and bars/lounges, as many options as possible were created to provide guests, performers, and other cast members with protection from the outside elements.

As the heat starts to crank up in Florida, any amount of time that can be spent indoors and avoiding the heat will be beneficial to the overall enjoyment of your park day.

Using the hottest time of the day to check out any of the indoor merchandise locations to do your Disney shopping, or to sit down at a restaurant and enjoy a meal or a cold beverage in the air conditioning are efficient ways to be productive while taking a break from the outside elements.

We strongly encourage you to pay attention to what your body is telling you as you explore the parks. Be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks throughout your day, especially if you are consuming alcohol.

As tempting as it is to try to experience as much as possible every single day of your vacation, you don’t want to over-do it and end up getting sick from the heat. Most people don’t realize that it is very easy to end up walking well over 10 miles throughout the course of a typical day in the parks. This is a significant amount of walking compared to what many people are used to in their everyday life. Pushing your body beyond what it is used to, coupled with the excessive Florida heat and humidity, can quickly lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

We hope our tips for beating the heat help you to get the most out of your vacation during the hot Florida summer!

Do you have any go-to locations in the parks when you are trying to avoid the heat? Please feel free to comment and let us know your favorite places!

XOXO, Halie and Danny

3 thoughts on “How to Beat the Heat in the WDW Theme Parks

  1. Pingback: Best and Worst Times to Visit WDW – Dream Chasing in the Mouse House

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