I was provided a free countdown calendar by Creative Countdown for this post. All opinions are entirely my own.
I will admit that I have normally avoided visiting Disney in the middle of the summer. As most people know, it’s hot, crowded, and expensive. However, this coming summer I have two trips I’ll be taking – a trip to Disneyland in the middle of July and a quick weekend trip to Disney World in early August. And even though heat and crowds can sound like a big turn-off, there are actually plenty of ways to deal with the crowds in the theme parks and have a fantastic vacation no matter the weather or the people.
One of the best ways I’ve found to stay organized and keep track of my trips is my countdown calendar from A Creative Countdown. It also gets me excited to look at how close we are getting to being in Disneyland!
The best thing you can do when visiting in the middle of the summer is to plan ahead. I have my countdown calendar from Creative Countdowns to remind me of some of the most important things I need to do! You can edit the countdown calendar and customize it to make it your own – so I’ll add things to the calendar like “make fastpass reservations” or “making dining reservations” so I don’t forget to do them. If you can book your hotel early and make your reservations as soon as you’re able to, you’ll save a lot of time once you’re on vacation.
Plan some down time
Disney can be a very “go go go” type of vacation. There’s so much to do, and when the parks get crowded you might put more pressure on yourself to get stuff done since you’ll have to wait longer for things. Don’t drive yourself crazy by trying to be in the parks all day every day. Not only is this not a great idea in general, but the heat and crowds can make things feel even more overwhelming than they normally would be. Plan some pool time, make a reservation for a leisurely signature dinner, or just decide to sleep in one morning.
Prepare for the sun
There’s no way around it, Florida (and California) are going to get pretty hot in the summer months. And as much as I love the sun, it can be a very dangerous thing. Avoid a lot of pain by bringing sunscreen with you and applying it several times throughout the day. I recommend packing it because sunscreen costs a small fortune to actually buy in the parks if you forget it. Hats are a good idea too. Another good idea is a towel, because chances are you’ll be sweating. A small regular towel or a chilly pad (a type of towel which you wet and then holds in the cool) is a huge relief in the parks. A countdown calendar is a great way to remind yourself to start packing early so you don’t forget some of the things you’ll want to bring!
Get up early, go out late
The parks will be the most crowded and the hottest in the middle of the day. The hours from 12-4 will be packed and miserable. I’ve found the best approach to the day for me personally is to start early and end late, with a nap in between. Get there at rope drop, ride some stuff with small wait times, plan your fastpasses for around 11-1, and then take a break. In the evening it will be a little bit cooler and some of the crowds will have (hopefully) thinned out a little bit.
I’m fairly health focused, and one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is drink plenty of water. This is never more true than when in Disney during the summer. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun, and walking around more than you might be used to. Consider carrying a water bottle and refilling it at the water fountains so you have plenty of hydration throughout the day.
I won’t lie, if you’re at the theme parks in July and August there are going to be crowds. Lots of them. 2-3 hour wait times may not be unusual in the middle of the day for some of the most popular attractions. If you want to do some rides, you will be standing in line. But waiting in line doesn’t have to be an awful thing. Disney has created lots of amazing queues, so take in all of the details that they’ve put there. Bring your phone with games to play (and a portable charger!), or a book like the Hidden Mickeys guidebook or my Educational Guide to Disney World. (Download to the Kindle app to make it easier to read on the go!) And don’t forget about the people with you! I’ve shared some Disney conversation starters on the blog that might come in handy.
All of these tips will help you deal with Disney in the summer, but I will say the most important is to plan ahead! And even if you haven’t planned your trip a year ahead of time, at least taking a few months to develop a plan of attack, some reservations, and a good packing list will go a long way. And a countdown calendar is a great way to keep track of it all and get excited for your trip too! The best part is I’ve got two FREE calendars to giveaway to readers.
This giveaway is for a custom 30 day tear off countdown calendar. There are lots of fun designs to choose from, including many that would be great for a Disney trip (but lots for other things as well, including special events and holidays!). We will have 2 winners. In order to enter you just need to fill out the information on the Rafflecopter below!
Which design from Creative Countdown is your favorite?