Escape the Heat in Disney World Parks

OL 004: Escape the Heat in Disney World Parks

Escape the Heat in Disney World Parks: Our Tips for Places to Take a Break

You know it's hot and crowded when you visit Walt Disney World Parks in the summer. Sometimes you need to find a place to take a break. Lee and I discuss some of our favorite strategies and tips to beat the heat at each of the Disney World parks.

You may hear common advice to just go into a store or restaurant, but that may not be the best break for you. We have  few spots in each park that give you a break from the crowds as well as the heat. Learn how to plan your day to avoid crowds at peak times of the day.

We also have some suggestions in the related links for items to bring that can help you cool down.

Related Links

Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Evaporative, Cooling, Snap Towel
Topwell USB Mini Misting Fan Built-in Rechargeable Misting Fan Handheld Personal Cooling Mist Humidifier for Home Office and Travel (Blue)

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Transcript

THE ORLANDO LOCAL SHOW

Episode 4

William: Welcome to the Orlando Local show, episode number four.

Hey, thank you very much for joining us the Orlando Local Show. Today we are going to talk about how you can escape the heat in Disney Parks.

Thank you very much for joining us.  We appreciate you.

Hi, my name is William Beem.

Lee: Hey!  I’m Lee.

William: And we are the Orlando Local Show.  You can find show notes available at orlandolocal.com/4 and of course we have a free transcript of this show available for you there.  All you’ve got to do is show up, click the link, tell us where to email it and we’ll send it right off to you.

Welcome to Orlando, Florida during the summer time. It is warm, it is muggy and sometimes the heat just really gets oppressive.

Lee: It’s not just the summer.  Summer is most of the year here.  Right through October, I’d say, at least the first half of October?

William: Yeah, and probably starting the second half of April.

Basically it is not just three months of summer like you might get in most normal places.  Here summer is just a way of life, almost.

Lee: It’s ongoing, yes.

William: So you know it’s going to be hot most of the year, but what does that really mean to you?  I mean yes, there are buildings over there with air conditioning, you can kind of get in and out, but that’s not necessarily always the escape from the heat that you’re going to be looking for.  Part of the reason why is it’s crowded.

Lee: And sometimes it takes you away from what you’re wanting to do.

William: If you’re going to be out in the sun, just having that sun coming down on top of you is really exhausting within itself.  It looks great in the photos. You see this beautiful blue sky.  What you don’t see with that is the little waves of radiation coming off the asphalt that you can see in the summer time.

Honestly, if you’re going to be out there and it’s hot and you’ve been out there for a long time in a crowded park, sometimes tempers can get just a little bit nasty and not horrible, but you know tempers can flare.

Lee: Oh, they can get horrible. I’ve seen horrible!

William: You’ve seen horrible?

Lee: Yes.

 

William: It’s easy when you’re hot, you’re tired, you’ve been out there all day long and it’s hot – I think I said that twice! But that’s because it’s that hot!

People just get cranky after a while.  You almost need to put some of the adults to bed for a nap.

Lee: That’s not a bad idea!

The thing is, people say “Go back to your hotel.”  You always hear people saying to go back to your hotel and it’s somebody who always stayed onsite at a Walt Disney Hotel.  It was pretty easy for us to just jump on a bus or a boat or monorail and get back to where we were going for a break, but it’s not always practical, even if it is possible. For many people it’s not possible.

If you’ve got a FastPass reservation or if you’ve got a dining reservation, sometimes you are locked into that park for a while and so what we are discussing today are ways that you can just catch a bit of a break from the heat; places you can go.

William: It may be that you are not staying at a Disney Park.  So if you’re staying off property or if you’re a local who is visiting, going back to your house for the afternoon is a long, drawn out process.  It takes you a while to get out to the parking lot, get in your car, drive offsite, take a break and then come back.

Lee: You can burn a lot of time in travel time.

William: And if you’re only going to be there for one day, you really don’t want to lose that time in the middle of the day.

Lee: You really don’t.

William: No, so what you need is a plan of how you can find little spots where you can just kind of take a break, cool down, relax, recover and calm down if need be!

Lee: Yes.

William: So we’ve talked about why it’s important to understand the heat there and what it can do to you. Let’s talk about some of the things that you can do.  What are you looking for?

Lee: Places with some shade; places with air conditioning; you also want to try and get into an area where it’s not as crowded. You are rarely going to escape the crowds entirely in a theme park.

William: No, but there are places you can go and honestly, that’s more key for me to get to a place that’s not crowded than it is to get to a place that’s air conditioned.

Lee: And somewhere where your kids have a bit of room.  If you’ve got little kids who want to burn off some energy and they’ve been stuck in a stroller, they are probably sweating down the back of them because they’ve been sitting against this canvas support seat of the stroller. Or even the Disney ones, which I think are some kind of plastic.  These kids have had enough, so sometimes you want to get somewhere where they can get up and walk around safely.

Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, over the last decade there used to be benches and places where you could sit down in the theme parks and slowly one at a time, they seem to have started disappearing.

William: They have, because there are not enough benches for everyone to be comfortable and if you see someone else sitting down and relaxing and enjoying themself, it sends a signal to others that you’ve got something that they don’t.

Lee: So?

William: Also, I think Disney wants you to keep moving.  They want that illusion that everybody is moving through the park and I don’t know why.  That’s just a guess on my part, but they don’t seem to want to see anybody sitting around and relaxing, unless you’re maybe in that little area in the Hub that they’ve expanded, like “Oh, we’re having a picnic in the park.”

Lee: Or if you’re sitting inside a restaurant so that you’ve paid some money for something.

William: First, if I’m walking around all day long, I want to sit down and I want to sit down where there is not someone else walking past me or breathing down my neck.  I am trying to get away from the crowd, I want to sit down and then, after that, believe it or not, air conditioning is important to me.  But I would rather have good space where I can sit outdoors than I would have going into a crowded air conditioned place.

Lee: That’s true.  Just get away from the people, because the body heat also doesn’t help.

William: No, and one of the things when you are cranky from the heat is you can also get kind of touchy about the people around you.

Lee: And noise.  There is a lot of noise around you as well.

I think we are all the same to an extent when it comes to just having a bit of space around when we’ve had enough and we want some time out.

William: Alright, so when you’re thinking of cooling down, what are you looking for and also, what are the kind of things you want to avoid?

Lee: I actually want to avoid something that people often recommend, and we fell into this trap on our first trip I think.  Everyone looks for something where you get wet.

Let’s go get splashed, let’s cool off, let’s get on a water ride where we are going to get absolutely soaked.  The more soaked, the better so we can cool off!

William: And while you’re getting soaked, it actually feels really nice, doesn’t it?

Lee: Oh, in the moment, it does and then you might have a period during the ride or straight after where you are waiting for photos or you’re in the exit queue and the fans are blowing or there is a bit of air conditioning and it’s lovely and cool.  Then you’ve got wet feet and wet socks and wet shoes …. And wet clothes on your skin do not feel good!

I can tell you, from somebody who works out outdoors in the summer here, that having wet clothes on your skin or wet socks for a prolonged period of time, if you are prone to chafing or if you get blisters, expect them.  It’s actually silly little things that you don’t think about.  We have learned the hard way.

If you’ve got sandals on without socks, you are possibly going to get blisters on your feet.  If you’ve got bare skin rubbing against wet clothing, like your arms against the edge of a sleeve where there is a seam, expect to get chafing.  And chafing burns!

William: Well, there is something else too.  You get wet and then you go back out into the humidity and the heat and suddenly that cool water that was on you is now heating up on the clothing that is on your body.

Lee: Which is now heavy and slapping against your skin and stuck to you.

William: And it just feels miserable.  Actually, it almost seems like it makes you start sweating and you’re hotter now than before you got wet.

Lee: Yeah, and especially if you’ve got jeans or denim shorts on, which is something that I like to wear just because they are hardy and durable.

William: Honestly, some people I know go to the parks and they want to avoid wet rides because it messes up their hair or make-up or something like that.  That is the least of your worries.  If you think that getting wet is going to mess up your hair and make-up, try waiting about thirty minutes in the hot sun after you’ve been wet.

Lee: It’s not funny!

William:  You’re going to be melting like the wicked witch!

Lee: OK, another thing that people often recommend is getting into the shops and getting into the restaurants.

Now restaurants can work.  We will go into that a little bit later.  Bear in mind that some of these restaurants, if it is a sit-down, full service restaurant, you possibly would have needed to make a reservation.  You might also not be wanting to drop a whole lot of cash on a meal just to get cool and especially if you are not particularly hungry.

Shops at certain times of the day, and especially in certain seasons all day, can get really crowded.  So keep that in mind.

William: Those are the first places other people are going to go look to cool down.  Let’s get off of Main Street and walk through the Emporium.

Lee: Yes.

William: And suddenly it’s crowded.  Everybody is there, they are walking past you and if you’re in a cranky mood from being in the sun, now you’re going to be in a cranky mood inside of a shop.

Lee: Until you get to the bottleneck trying to get out of Casey’s!

William: It’s a quick blast of air conditioning, and that’s nice, but dealing with the crowd – if you’re not shopping; if you’re not into why you are in the building, it’s not a good escape.  It’s not a mental break.

 

Lee: It gives you a few minutes of a breather and if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s going to help.

William: Yeah, but that’s it.  Get in for a moment or two, walk down through the store and that kind of keeps you out of the heat for a little bit, but if you’re really, “I need to take a break. I need to get some mental relief as well as relief from the heat!” I wouldn’t advise going to the shops or restaurants simply because it’s going to be a different kind of nightmare.

Lee: Assuming that it’s really busy.  I mean, if you’re going when it’s not heavily crowded – and there are times during the summer and during the hot weather – where it’s not particularly crowded.

William: And those times are called “morning.”

Alright, why don’t we get started.  Let’s go ahead and start off with Magic Kingdom.

We’ve got a few ideas for places that you can cool down, so Lee, why don’t you go ahead and start off with your favorite one?

Lee: I’d go with the shows, especially if you’ve got little children, because all the shows are so family friendly.  The other thing is that they have got a large capacity, so unless it’s a very busy day there, you should not have a problem getting into the next show.  You shouldn’t have to wait through two shows to get in, so you’re looking at, what? Maybe a maximum twenty minute wait.  And you will be in the shade, even though you won’t necessarily be in air conditioning for part of it.

William: That’s the difference between a show and a ride.  Some of the rides, particularly in the summer time, can have extremely long waits and you are out there in the hot sun waiting for it.

Lee: Some of the lines extend into the hot sun. Others, like I think of Space Mountain, is pretty much entirely inside.

William: I guess you are kind of in there.  Every once in a while the line will run out the door, but if you see the line running out the door of Space Mountain and you’re looking to cool off, then I think you need to head somewhere else.

Lee: Possibly, yes.  Unless you just feel like being inside in the queuing area for a while, because you want an hour’s break! Or two!

William: Actually there are a couple of places that don’t have long waits usually, that I enjoy and those are rides in and around Magic Kingdom. One of them is WedWay PeopleMover and the other one is the train.

Lee: Yes, the Walt Disney World Railroad.  You’re not going to be sitting in air conditioning, but just having a bit of a breeze from the motion and being able to sit down.

William: That goes back to what I said before. You’re not going to be crowded on your bench on the train; you’re not going to have a long wait to get onto it.  Even when the PeopleMover for example, has a wait that is going downstairs and kind of around the launch platform, moves quickly.

Lee: Yes, it moves really quickly because it’s a continuous loading ride.

William: And most of it is in the shade. I usually like to head over for the PeopleMover and I get on the PeopleMover and I can just relax.  Part of it goes indoors where there is a little bit of air conditioning, part of it is kind of under a cover outside, but you are moving and you’ve got a breeze and you’re able to sit and you’re not crowded by anyone else.

 

Lee: Yes, and the Liberty Belle is one of my favorites. I think I’m the only one who likes it in the family.

William: Well, you can get on the Liberty Belle.  There are a couple of benches on there.  The thing I don’t like about it is I don’t want to end up standing through the whole ride.

Lee: But you can go and take a seat. There is seating inside. It’s just that I like to take photos and I like to be in the sun.  So that’s why everybody gets dragged with me.

William: You like being in the sun. I’m trying to get away from the heat.

Lee: Yes, but Tové has sat inside before and there is shelter and shade. You just need to try get in early, in the beginning of the line, so you’ve got a range of choices.

William: But you know what I would take over going on Liberty Belle? I would take going over to Tom Sawyer Island.

Lee: Tom Sawyer Island! Oh, that is wonderful.

William: There is a little spot there where there is Aunt Polly’s and … is it only open during part of the year? Or is it not open at all now?

Lee: Oh, no, it’s done. It’s been closed for some time.

William: Oh, that’s a shame. I miss the ice cream there.

Even so, there’s a nice little porch area. It’s covered and you can just look across the river and Haunted Mansion and you get a bit of a breeze once in a while.

Lee: Are there not fans up there? I don’t remember now. I’m just trying to think when you were sitting in the rocking chairs.

William: I don’t remember. While you and Tové were off running around on the rope bridge, I was happy just sitting there and it was comfortable.

Lee: It’s lovely.  I remember being there over Easter weekend in the Magic Kingdom. It was a particularly hot month of April. She was six years old, we didn’t really want to leave the park in case we got closed out to capacity – it might have been Easter Sunday or the day after – we just decided to get onto the launch and go over to Tom Sawyer Island and it was just an hour of absolute bliss!  She had shade, she was able to play, she could run around, she had the freedom and it wasn’t terribly crowded.

I mean there were people there; there were lots of kids there.

William: But it’s never really crowded.

Lee: There are little caves and places they can explore.

William: Oh and some of the caves are air conditioned, it seems like.

Lee: Yes.

William: So you can go down in there. I wouldn’t hang out in the caves. That looks a little creepy!

But honestly, it is a nice little treat when you wander through the caves and you think, “There’s an air conditioning vent right here!”  You are not going to be surrounded by people on Tom Sawyer Island, because most people just skip it.

Lee: That’s a place that really gives you a break from the people as well, if you are just feeling like you completely have everybody in your space.

William: So it hits my criteria. It’s not crowded and there’s a place to sit.

Lee: Yes.

Pirates is good as well.

William: If it’s not a day where your line is going out the door.  Most of Pirates is covered and the queuing area is inside, so you may have a wait, but at least you are in air conditioning.

And then of course, once you get on the ride, it’s not a wet ride, but there is that little drop off where you might get a little mist in your face or when one of the cannon balls drops nearby, but other than that it’s a nice, quiet, air conditioned ride.  I enjoy that.  It’s a good break.

Lee: Pirates is quiet?

William: Quiet? It is on the boat. Nobody is really yelling back at the pirates.

Lee: What about shows in the Magic Kingdom? Do you have some favorites?

William: You know, I’m surprised, but I actually enjoyed Philharmagic.

Lee: We love it!

It’s just somewhere that we always go if we are in that area. That’s the first stop for cooling off.

William: The nice part about some of these shows is they are spread around the park so if you need a break where you’re at, if you’re going to be over by Fantasyland, Philharmagic is over there.  If you are in Frontierland, the Country Bear Jamboree is there. Liberty Square has the Hall of Presidents, Tomorrowland has got the Carousel of Progress.  There is something where you can go in there, sit down and just kind of chill out and watch a show, have some nice air conditioning and not be crowded around there.

Usually there is not a long wait on most of this stuff.

Lee: These shows are places where everybody can go in. Whether you are holding a baby or you are taking somebody who is physically disabled or somebody who is elderly, there is nobody who is not able to go on it. Some of the rides have limitations, like Space and Splash Mountains; those are not necessarily suitable for everyone.

William: OK. So those are our recommendations for Magic Kingdom. Let’s move onto Epcot.

Lee: OK.  Where do you want to start?

William: Well, as soon as you walk into the park the first thing you see is that big golf ball.

Lee: Spaceship Earth.  Yeah, don’t start there. It is very, very busy in the first part of the day through until late afternoon; sometimes early evening, depending on the time of the year.  Then the wait times drop, because by that stage most people have finished up. They’ve mopped up the front of the park and they have headed towards the World Showcase.

William: That’s what happens. People walk in the park and it’s the first thing they see and they think, “Oh, let’s get on this.”

Lee: Yeah, don’t do that.

William: No, just go on back to the back of the park if you can. I know the World Showcase doesn’t open up until 11 am.  So if you’re there in the morning …. Also, if you’re there in the morning, it’s not going to be as hot at that time. You don’t really need that escape.

Lee: You don’t, no.  Do the stuff you really want to do. Actually, half of World Showcase, although it’s not open, because the bakery in France is open you can get through if you go on the right. If you go around Canada you can walk through there.

William: And we’ve done that before. That I like, because nobody else is really walking back there. You can just head straight on back and get yourself a baguette.

Lee: Yes, and some dessert for breakfast.

William: Exactly.

If you’re going to go past Space Mountain… what am I talking about? Space Mountain?  Spaceship Earth!  We’ve got too many attractions with a similar name.  I’m sorry.  Spaceship Earth.

So you walk past that and it’s not really going to clear up, like you said, until later in the afternoon, but let’s say it’s high noon and maybe you don’t have a reservation for lunch just yet, but you need a break.  Where do you like to go?

Lee: Club Cool is a favorite of Tové because she loves to sample the Coca Cola products.  And it is cold in there!

William: It is and that’s why, I don’t even like the drinks in there … If you’re not familiar with Club Cool, as you are walking into the park and you come up to the Fountain of Nations, go off to the right hand side.

Lee: Yes.

William: Is it just past where the Starbucks is now, or is it before that?

Lee: It’s just after.

William: Just after the Starbucks, which used to be one of my favorite ice cream places because I don’t drink coffee, so I haven’t been into Starbucks.

Lee: I don’t drink Starbucks anyway.

William: Club Cool is a Coca Cola sponsored place and what they do is they have samples of drinks that they make around the world.  Not any of the US drinks that I’m familiar with. It’s an interesting place to go if you want to try different flavours and they’ve got some merchandise in there, but even if you want to just stand there, there’s a couple of tables around.  There is not really seating, but it is a good, air conditioned place to just stand and calm down a little bit.

Lee: Yeah. Well, what we are talking about here are really short breaks where you don’t want to leave, you don’t want to take too much time out, most probably, but you just want to get a blast of cool air or a place to sit your feet or get away from people for ten minutes.

William: Exactly and if we’re up at that end of the park I like The Art of Disney.   It’s not for everybody, but there are going to be paintings, sculptures and there is maybe going to be an artist in there, drawing, or something like that. It’s a nice spot. It’s not terribly crowded.  I enjoy the art that’s in there; occasionally I’ve actually bought a couple of pieces in there.  Not a whole lot, but I love walking in there and taking a look around.  It’s just like you said: a ten minute break and you recover and then move on out.

Lee: And it doesn’t get terribly busy, as you say, so that’s a nice one.

Mission Space is another one like Spaceship Earth, where the crowds are heavier in the first part of the day.  But where you exit the ride, where it ends up in the little gift shop, there is actually quite a lot of space and there is a little section there where there’s an interactive game you can play and you can email yourself a postcard or animate it. I’m assuming it’s still there.  We haven’t played around with it for a good year or so.

There are things for the kids to do there. There are things where they can have a look around and explore, buy something, make Disney happy.

William: If it’s later in the day and you’re back in the World Showcase, there are a couple of places that we like a little bit better than some of the others.  Some of them have Kidcot stations, but those will have a bit of shade, but they aren’t necessarily all air conditioned.

Lee: Actually, most of them are inside in the back of a store in the pavilions.  There are some exceptions, like the American Adventure is outside. It is in the shade and I think they’ve got fans overhead, but you are not actually indoors.

Canada is another one where it’s kind of in a building – I don’t think it’s a totally enclosed building – it’s kind of open-faced.  It looks like a little log cabin, I think.  So it’s open. There is a fan in there, but it’s not as cool as some of the others.

So if you’ve got little kids, that’s somewhere they can sit to color in. There is probably not space for adults, because they don’t really want you taking a kid’s space at the table.  But there is somewhere you can take your little ones if they like picking up some sharpies and coloring things in.

William: And if you don’t have little ones, my favorite place is Mexico, for one reason: tequila!

Lee: Oh, yes!

William: They’ve got the little tequila bar. Is it La Cava del Tequila or something like that? I don’t remember the exact name of it.

Lee: How many did you have?

William: Well, usually there’s like three in a flight. But I think you can get more if you want to.

Lee: It’s just because you couldn’t remember the name.

William: Now, please remember one thing.  No matter how much tequila you have, do not try to climb the pyramid at the Mexican Pavilion.

Lee: Yeah, that was apparently a bad idea, because now they’ve put a sign up that says, “Don’t climb.”

William: They have a photo of somebody climbing the pyramid up there and he got pretty high up on the thing.

Lee: He did, yes.

William: I don’t know if he thought about how he was going to get down or what was going to happen when he got down.

Lee: Yeah, he made a bit of a splash in the headlines.

William: And if you’re not interested in tequila or having a drink, you can still cool off in there.  There’s that little Fiesta Tour.

Lee: Grand Fiesta Tour. It’s lots of fun and usually it’s not a terribly long wait.  There have been times where we have been surprised and thought, “Why are all these people here?”

Because it’s usually a fairly quick line.  But that is somewhere you can take a break.  And also the little open market area they’ve got in there is really cool to look around. It’s just different stuff and it’s quite a festive, cool feeling vibe. It doesn’t get terribly crowded. I mean it can get busy, but it’s not oppressively crazy.

William: Now, another place that used to have a boat ride was Norway.  Now I don’t know. Is it going to be … I haven’t been back since they’ve opened the Frozen thing, but is it still a boat ride?  Or what have they done?

Lee: The Frozen ride is open. Look, I’m not a … I haven’t bothered to check.  OK, I’m not a Frozen fan. It’s not that I hate it. I was underwhelmed by the whole thing.  We’ll probably go and get some information if anybody wants it and we’ll be quite happy to report back, but I haven’t gone on my own steam, out of my own interest.

I suspect that Norway – and that’s why we didn’t bring it up here – Norway is probably a place to avoid if you’re trying to get away from people right now.  I’m not sure what Disney is doing with managing everything, because as I say, we haven’t visited since Frozen opened.

William: Exactly, but that kind of goes back to a key point.  If you’re trying to calm down from the heat, you want to stay away from people and because Frozen is so popular, honestly, I wouldn’t bother.

Lee: Well, unless you’re there to do it.

William: If you want to do it, that’s great. But if your sole purpose is to try and look for a place to calm down and get out of the heat and relax, I would rather go to China.

I don’t mean the country. I mean …..

Lee: I know what you mean.

William: You go a little further down to China and they’ve got those little miniature versions of the Terracotta Warriors and it’s a nice, calm, relaxing place to be.

Lee: China is actually a very calm pavilion.  Actually most of them are great. If you can get into the stores, they’ve got a collection of little stores in these pavilions.  Morocco has also got it market style, but it is quite cool.

William: Morocco is nice to walk around, even though parts of it are outdoors, they’ve got enough … the buildings are tall enough that they cast some shade out there and with the tile it’s kind of cool.

Usually I’ve been able to relax in there.

Lee: That works as well.

William: But not Great Britain.  When I go over to the English area, it is too crowded and it’s filled with people drinking beer while they’re having fish and chips.

Lee: Not a fish and chips fan.  I haven’t converted him.

Well, I’m not really a fish and chips person, but I didn’t manage to convert him.

OK, a lot of people seem to go running into The Land pavilion to try and get some respite from the heat.  It is cool in there, but because Soarin’ is in there and Soarin’ is one of the key rides in the Disney parks, and then you’ve got Sunshine Seasons, unless you are specifically going in there for either or; or unless you’re going to the Garden Grill for a reservation, it can get crazy.  Most of the times recently that we’ve been there, at least one of the escalators hasn’t been working and when you switch off a usually moving escalator, people don’t know what to do.  It’s like traffic lights going out and nobody knows what they are supposed to do.

I’m not going to say keep away from it, but it’s not one of my first choices.

William: I wouldn’t recommend going in there. Unless you’re specifically wanting to go on Soarin’ or The Land or the restaurants, it’s not a place to get away from a crowd. It’s a place that’s very noisy.  It’s a place that’s filled with a crowd, the escalators are [sometimes] broken down. I enjoyed going on Soarin and that is a cool experience.  But unless you’ve got a FastPass, you’re going to have a bit of a wait getting there. It’s not a quick stop to go cool off and get out.

Instead, I would probably say go over to Crush.

Lee: Yes, Turtle Talk With Crush. I know we are a bit big, but we still like to do it because the kids are just too precious.   I love watching the little kids interacting with Crush.  And they’ve got some little exhibits and things there and it’s just a nice place to cool off.

William: That’s enough of Epcot for now. Let’s go ahead and move on to Hollywood Studios.

Lee: OK, this one doesn’t really have a whole bunch of places where you can get cool, but right now I don’t think it’s a full day park. I mean … well, yes and no.

William: There’s a lot of construction going on so some of the things that I typically enjoyed there just simply don’t exist and we are waiting.  They are building Star Wars Land, they are building a Toy Story Land, which means that you are not getting quite the same bang for your buck at Hollywood Studios as you did maybe a year or two ago.

Lee: That’s true. So this will obviously change once things open up, but for right now, Tower or Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster have shaded rides … rides? Listen to me! Shaded queuing areas.

Rock n Rollercoaster is mostly inside, but there is shade over it.  The same with Tower or Terror.  You’ve got some outside.  Actually, the most part of Tower of Terror is outside, initially, until you get into the building.

If you’ve got a wait and the wait time isn’t too bad, those are options if you don’t want to be in the stores.

I mean you can spend so much time in a store and so much time in a restaurant.

William: If you’re looking for a quick place to cool down, a lot of the restaurant options there are not necessarily air conditioned; they are shaded.  So for example, you can go to that place near Tower or Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster with park benches outside.  You can sit there and you can get an ice cream cone and relax a little bit. It’s not going to be air conditioned, but it is still going to be crowded. It’s not quite a cool down spot.

The same thing is true on the other side of the park.  If you go to the Backlot area over there, there are ceiling fans over there, but again you can get a drink or a full meal. It’s a counter service place, but it’s still not what I really like to cool down.

The place that I kind of like to go to is the Writer’s Stop.

Lee: Oh, yes.

William: You go in there and get the Carrot Cake Cookie.

Lee: It’s quite small, though.  The place inside doesn’t accommodate a whole lot of people at once.

William: It’s never been terribly crowded when I go there, so you can go in and look around a little bit.  You can get a little snack from the counter and you can just cool off for a moment and look out the window at the other people suffering in the heat.

Lee: Yes, that works.  Gloat!

The Muppets is a nice place to go.  Well, if you like the Muppets or if you can tolerate the Muppets, I guess, even if you don’t like them.  There’s a show for you.

William: That’s exactly it.  It’s the same as what we were recommending at Magic Kingdom. It’s a show.  So you can go in there and you just sit in a nice little air conditioned area and relax.

Lee: Yes.  And if you’re taking your kids in to meet characters inside.  Because Hollywood Studios sometimes they have some of the characters who come outside during the course of the day at certain times and those waits in the sun can get really hot!

William: Absolutely.  OK, let’s wrap things up with Animal Kingdom.

Lee: Oh, I’m going to say something about Animal Kingdom. This has got to be the worst park for a hot day and the worst park to be in when there is a heavy rain shower.

William: It’s because you are surrounded by vegetation, which keeps all the humidity low and around you.

Lee: It’s actually quite oppressive.  It always feels warmer in there and it’s just that thick, chew-on-the air, kind of feeling.  It’s soupy air.

William: Yeah, when you get into the thick of summer time, the humidity is up and that is going to be the place where you almost feel like you can chew the air.

Lee: Yes.

Now I think for Animal Kingdom, if you’re looking for a bit of a break, you don’t have that many ride options. It’s also a very big park and in terms of walking around you’ve got a lot of distance to cover to get from one place to another.  So Dinosaur is a ride that’s got a pretty much entirely covered and interesting queue area, where you are going to get some air conditioning.

Most of Everest’s queue is also air conditioned. I think shows are probably going to be your winner there.  So if you can plan your shows around the hotter part of the day, whether you’re doing FastPass or just working your other FastPasses and meals around it, I would say the Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King are both absolutely incredible shows.  They really are must-do’s.  Fit them in and use them and try and use them at the times that matter.

William: That’s what’s really important. You want to have a bit of a strategy when you go to a park, particularly in the summer time. It’s going to be hot and muggy.  Any time between let’s say, 3 pm and 6 pm is going to be, I think, the worst part of the day for oppressive heat and mugginess.

Those are the times when you want to have a plan to be out of the heat.

Lee: What we used to do when we were outside – and this was really to avoid crowds, primarily, but it works for the heat as well.  We would try and do our shows or our indoor things between noon and 2 pm, partly because it’s hot.  It’s not the hottest part of the day, but that is the time of the day where most people are in the restaurants.

William: Hmm, that’s a good point.

Lee: If we hadn’t had a late breakfast or a reasonably timed breakfast, we would be eating lunch maybe at 11 in the morning or we would have had a late breakfast or a mid morning snack and then we’d hold off until about 2.30 pm or 3 pm for lunch, because that way we were not in the midst of all the crowds in the restaurants.  Then it feels more peaceful when you’ve got some space around you.

William: It does and that’s a good point about having part of a strategy. Your strategy was do the show maybe when everybody else is at the restaurant and then when they clear out of the restaurant, then you’ve got a nice peaceful time to have a meal.

Lee: Yes.

William: Alright, so a lot of people also think that taking some of the nature walks at Animal Kingdom is a good way to get away from everything and cool down.

Lee: Well, you’re going to escape the sun for the large part, because you’ve got a lot of these trails that are shaded. But again, you’ve got this oppressive humidity around you.  And look, there are some days in summer even, where the humidity is not as bad as others. They are not all equal.  But just be aware that somewhere during your trip, if you are here for five or more days, you’re probably going to deal with this at least somewhere along the line.

William: And you’re also probably going to deal with an afternoon shower. They move quickly; they don’t last very long. Usually they come in, rain and move off and then you’re done with it.

Lee: Do you know where else you can go in Animal Kingdom is Tough To Be A Bug.  That’s really cool inside when you’re waiting. That’s all inside.  That’s if you don’t mind bugs. They are really cute, though.

William: Actually, I’m going to go back. I thought of something at Epcot and it wasn’t something that I really enjoyed, but it is a quick and cool place to cool down and sit down and get away from the crowd because there wasn’t a line to get into it.

Lee: What was that?

William: You remember Figment?

Lee: Oh, I love … Oh! You were just a spoil sport!  I love Figment.

William: I was a spoil sport because Figment farted on me.

Lee: That was part of the show.

William: So be prepared for that!

Lee: You won a scent.

William: Yeah, so if you’re not familiar with it, Figment has a little ride over there where it explores all of your senses.

Lee: William has lived here all his life and he had never been on Figment. Not the old one, not the new one.

William: No, no. That’s not true. I saw the original one and I went on it once because I saw – was it the Dream Maker?

Lee: Yes.

William: He creeped me out.

Lee: OK so you were scared.

William: I wasn’t scared. I was disgusted.

Lee: That’s the one that everybody likes.  We actually like the new one.

William. OK, and I had not been on it again because I did not want to see the Dream Maker.

Lee: OK, but he’s not on the new one.

William: No, he’s not.

Lee: And you pretended to hate it, but you didn’t really.

William: There was like a sudden gaseous burst of air at me and it had a smell.

Lee: Yeah, I know but it was a Disney smell. It’s all been sanitized and all the rest.  So it’s sanitary.

William: That aside, whether you like Figment or not, you’re on a little moving ride. Again, you’ve got space to yourself. You’re not going to be crowded with anybody hanging over you, there’s entertainment going on around you, it’s air conditioned.  It doesn’t have a big line to get into it.

Lee: No, usually it doesn’t.

William: If you really need to cool down, that’s a hidden little gem. That’s almost like the People Mover, only with more air conditioning.

Lee: Yes, and anybody can go on it. You can take your babies on there as well.

William: It’s a family friendly ride.  Well, we’re talking Disney World. Almost everything there is family friendly.

Lee: Yeah, but not all things are suitable for infants.

William: That’s true.

Lets’ take a look at a couple of questions about shows and parades that are also happening outdoors.

Lee: Yes. OK, this is just a challenge that you have to address and I don’t really know what to suggest for this because Disney shows and parades in the day are in the hottest part of the afternoon.  I would suggest getting something cold to drink.  Get a frozen drink or some iced soda or something like that.  Get an ice cream, get something cool, and cool off as best you can.  Get a water mister, load it up with some ice and go and get your spot.

William: And if you bring a little towel or something like that to keep you cool – we mentioned this on one of the previous shows – like a little Frogg Togg Towel, you might want to put that down on the concrete if you’re going to sit down on it, because those sidewalks get really hot.

Lee: Oh, yeah and you’ll feel it.  Or sit on your bag if you don’t have one. Just make sure you don’t have anything that can be crushed or broken in there.

William: Look it is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World in the summer. Just be prepared. It’s going to be hot, you’re going to look for a couple of places to break up your day and cool down.  And that will hopefully keep you happy and give you a wonderful vacation.

Thank you very much for listening to the Orlando Local Show, episode number four.

Show notes are going to be available at orlandolocal.com/4

And of course, we’ll put some links up there and there is going to be a free transcript for this show. So if you want to keep notes on this, and maybe put it on your smart phone as you’re going through the parks, that’s easy to do. Just go ahead, click on it, tell us where you want us to email it and we’ll make sure you get the transcript for this show and every other one.

Thank you very much!  We really appreciate you listening to us. We would love to have your feedback. Just go to the show notes site and leave a comment for us.  Tell us what you’re thinking or if you’d like to hear something else on a future show, please let us know.

See you next week.

 

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