I went to Disneyland this past week and it was so dang hot! It was in the mid 90’s and the air was still. I felt like the sun was bigger and closer than it had ever been! I had convinced my good friend to come along that day and she was hesitant because of the forecast. Well, let’s just say she kinda hated me that day!! I didn’t blame her. It was funny, I noticed how quickly our mood changed. One moment we were outside in the blistering heat, yelling at each other and we were all grumpy and the moment we entered an air conditioned ride – we were so joyful and elated. Needless to say, we weren’t as prepared as we could have been but I learned my lesson.
So thanks to that experience, I have compiled a list of things you can do to help you cool off during a hot day at Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure. Otherwise, you and your family just might have a miserable time being hot and uncomfortable, and they might kinda hate you too… and what a terrible shame that would be! Read on to find out my tips and advice for staying cool on a hot Disneyland (or Disney’s California Adventure) day!
1. Don’t Forget to Apply Sun Screen!
First and foremost, please remember to take care of yourself and your kids and protect your skin with a good dose of sun screen. I prefer the spray-on sunscreen because they are the easiest and fastest to apply to the kids. Make sure to get a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to get the best protection from harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) rays (the ones that cause sunburn). Be careful to cover all exposed areas and don’t forget ears, face, scalp and backs of necks.
2. Plan Ahead and Make the Most of Your Day
Make sure to check what the weather will be like on the day you are visiting. Remember that the hottest time of day will likely be around noon when the sun is at its highest point and try to plan where you will be accordingly. Make the most of your day. Get to the park as early as possible – right when it opens and stay until it closes. You will get to enjoy at least a couple of hours before it gets ridiculously hot in the morning and it begins to cool off during the evening (some summer nights you may even need a jacket). During the middle of the day when the sun is blazing, you will want to try to focus more on indoor activities (which I will discuss in more detail below).
3. Dress Appropriately… and Wear
This might seem like a no-brainer but some people (me) don’t like wearing shorts and decided to wear jeans instead. Big mistake! Wear loose, breathable clothing – dresses, tank tops, shorts, etc. I know a lot of people like to wear sneakers but I find that my feet get way too sweaty and I would prefer to wear comfortable flip flips or sandals that I can walk around the park in. I personally find that a hat makes me hotter, but try to figure out what works best for you. If you have a hat, make sure it is very light-weight.
Now comes the part that might surprise you – wear black! I have always heard that you should wear light colors in the summer because black absorbs the sunlight and it will make you hotter. Well, according to this very science-y article, you should wear black to keep cool. Apparently white fabrics not only reflect the sunlight, but it also reflects the heat from our bodies and sends it right back towards the body. In other words, wearing white is like turning yourself into an oven. So wear black! No wonder Mickey always looks so happy!
Also, try to avoid wearing a backpack if possible as this can really get uncomfortable. You will also end up with a giant sweaty spot on your back. Minimize what you are carrying when possible and decide what is really necessary and what can stay in the car / at home / in the hotel room.
4. Use My Super Secret Water Bottle Trick
Staying hydrated is REALLY crucial on a hot Disney day (or any day). The night before your Disney day, take several water bottles and put them in the freezer. If they are plastic water bottles from the store, open each one and let out some water first (otherwise the bottle will become deformed once the water is completely frozen because water expands slightly when frozen). Then take several more and refrigerate them. The frozen bottles can be used to keep the other bottles cold (and food too) during the first part of the day, then they will inevitably melt by the second part of the day, leaving you with a few more bottles of icy cold water so you can stay hydrated and happy all day! Brilliant huh?
5. Keep a Pack of Wet Wipes Next to Your Frozen Water Bottles
These can help provide some quick relief.
6. Bring Personal Fans, Spray Bottles and Misting Machines
A great way to keep cool when waiting in an outdoor line on a hot Disney day is by bringing one or all of these items. They are all fairly cheap but you won’t be sorry. You can buy cute Disney-themed ones, but here is the one we have (bring extra batteries just in case):
7. Choose Rides and Attractions with Short Lines that are Air Conditioned and/or WET!
This subject deserves a whole other post, but here are some rides/activities that I highly recommend on a hot day (in no particular order).
- It’s a Small World (short line and long air-conditioned ride)
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (short line usually)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (short line and long air-conditioned ride)
- Innoventions (no line and stay inside as long as you want! And if you have small children go checkout the Peter Pan story room – ask a cast member)
- Splash Mountain (beware of the long line but you will get nice and wet!)
- Get on the Disneyland Railroad and go ’round and ’round!!
At Disney’s California Adventure:
- Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue (short line and long air-conditioned ride)
- The Little Mermaid Ride (short line and long air-conditioned ride)
- Dancin’ with Disney (stay inside as long as you want)
- The block of activities located in the Disney Animation Studio at Hollywood Land, including Animation Academy, Sorcerer’s Workshop and Turtle Talk with Crush (you wait in line INSIDE here and can stay busy for hours)
- Princess Dot Puddle Park in “a Bug’s Land” (if you want to get wet)
- Grizzly River Run (another wet ride, but beware of long lines!)
8. Take a Trip to the Restroom
Sometimes just relieving yourself in the restroom and washing up can be very refreshing. If you are not too concerned about your appearance you can even wet your hair a little and wash your face. On very hot days this will feel great. Also, while your in there – note the color of your urine (sorry, gross I know) but if it is too dark it means that you are dehydrated – drink up and be safe. Which leads me to the next subject…
9. Know the Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
According to WebMD, the symptoms of heat exhaustion include confusion, dark urine, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, pale skin, profuse sweating, and rapid heartbeat. Pay attention to all the members in your party and if you need medical assistance be sure to make a trip over to the first aid center – there is one located in each park. Just ask a cast member and s/he will be happy to assist you.
Above all, be safe and have fun!
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