Beat the Heat: Essential Tips for Visiting Disney World in Summer

Are you planning a visit to Disney World in summer? Today we share our trip to Disney World in August, how we managed the heat, and help you decide if a Disney trip in the summer is worth it for your family vacation.

Summer heat, high humidity, and crowds may discourage you from planning a visit to the Disney World theme park during the summer season, but there are some perks to a summer visit to the Walt Disney World resort.

Visiting Disney during the summer months, typically May-September is hot and humid, but you can save money if you time it right.

Disney World in August, specifically near the end of the month, has lower wait times and often discounts and deals.

My Best Tips to Beat the Heat at Disney World in Summer

  • Plan your day around the hottest times of the day. A typical summer day at a Disney Park would look like this: Arrive at park open (30-45 minutes before), Leave park after lunch for a break from the heat at the resort, return to the park for dinner and evening hours at the park.
  • Pack water bottles, ponchos, stroller covers, hats, fans, and cooling towels to prepare for the heat. It is better to have it and not need it.
  • Take advantage of the heat and ride the water attractions or visit the water parks.
  • Don’t rush and be mindful of how the heat affects everyone in your group. It is best to go at your own pace especially when it is hot out.
walt disney world in summer disney in august
This was early morning heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

9 Reasons to Visit Disney World in Summer

  1. Less crowds during the mid-August to end of the month.
  2. Typically park hours are longer during the summer months.
  3. Breaks at the hotel allow you to explore hotel and pools more. Some of our favorite resorts are Riviera Resort and Art of Animation.
  4. Take advantage of late summer deals. Check here.
  5. Typically less refurbishments and closures.
  6. At times night shows will have two showings. An early and late one. This allows you to maximize your time in the park.
  7. Take advantage of the heat and ride the water rides at the Disney parks.
  8. Attend special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom or the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.
  9. Visit one of the two Disney water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

But….a summer visit isn’t for everyone! Read on for details on why you should (or shouldn’t) plan a visit to Disney World in the summer.

What is Disney World Like in the Summer

May-July at Disney World will be busy but you will also have longer hours at the park. This may also be the only time you can visit due to school schedules or work schedules.

I have visited Disney World in May and July, June is too busy with the end of school for us. May is a bit cooler than July.

July is hot and crowded. It is probably the toughest time to visit during the summer but again, if it is the only time you can take the trip, I still suggest going! Just use the tips in this post and plan your days with the weather in mind.

Summer is also hurricane season and although Disney World is not on the coast it can be impacted with shutdowns and rain. Disney World is very prepared for a hurricane so if you do get stuck there, know that they are prepared to assist.

Check out this article about what to expect when you stay at Disney during a hurricane. You might be surprised to know that Disney is prepared and it can be a very safe place to be if you find yourself in that situation.

Our August Trip to Disney World

Visiting Disney World in late August is one of the best time of year to visit if you are looking to avoid long lines and the peak season. We have visited numerous times in August and have found ways to make it work despite the heat.

Crowds are lower than the busy season, prices are typically lower, and we don’t have to worry about taking time off of school with the kids.

The month of August will start with busy crowds in early August and around the end of August crowds will begin to decrease. Check out this crowd calendar to look at specific dates.

We have found the third week of August to be a good time to visit. Central Florida is mostly back to school and most of the United States is also preparing to go back to school.

Guests visiting during the month of August should expect average temperature of 90s with lows in the 70s. There is usually an afternoon rain shower during the hottest part of the day, between 1:00pm and 5:00pm.

When pricing out our Disney vacation cost late August is almost always one of the best priced/cheapest time to visit but it is not for everyone.

Consider what your priorities are when planning your vacation and this will help you decide if a summer trip to Disney World is a good fit for your family.

Things to Consider for Visiting Walt Disney World in Summer

Taking Kids Out of School or Missing Work

One of the biggest perks of visiting Disney World in the summer is we don’t have to work around our kids’ school schedule or be concerned with making up missed work.

We live in New York and school doesn’t start until early September giving us a small window in the last few weeks of August to plan a Disney World visit. It is the perfect time for our trip to Disney!

I also know many teachers that can only visit during school breaks when the prices are very expensive. A late summer visit would be a great option.

Weather at Disney World in Summer

Weather is probably the biggest factor in planning a visit to Disney World in the summer. Orlando, Florida is very hot and humid in the summer.

The temperature in July and August is high of 92 degrees and low of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

On a recent visit to Epcot the “feels like” temp was 110 degrees (F). Epcot offers little shade and we had to drink a lot of water and plan numerous stops inside to cool off. Pack a reusable water bottle for your visit.

There is also bottled water for purchase and you can always ask for a cup of water free of charge at dining locations.

The next weather issue you want to consider is rain. It will rain almost every afternoon in the summer. Typically the storm lasts under an hour and most indoor attractions remain open.

The rain is unpredictable so the best you can do is be prepared. I would not cancel my day at a park due to rain, I would make sure to be prepared.

When it rains keep in mind outdoor attractions will close. The Disney skyliner transportation system will also close for extreme thunder/lightning.

Parades and outdoor shows will also be postponed or cancelled due to the weather.

summer at walt disney world skyliner
The Disney Skyliner will temporarily close during thunderstorms.

We have visited Orlando in the summer numerous times over the last 5 years and a storm has not negatively impacted our trip.

How Does Your Family Handle the Heat?

One thing to consider that I think is often overlooked is how do you (and your family) react to the heat. Do you love it? Do you get overheated easily? These are things to think about.

If you don’t really like the heat but summer is the only time you can visit, there are things you can do to make your visit easier.

Arrive early at the parks before it heats up, plan breaks in your hotel each afternoon to cool off, move at a slower pace during the day, and visit the parks later in the evenings.

Crowd Levels at Disney World in Summer

While we can’t know exactly what the crowds will be like we can use crowd calendars to make a guess.

July will be the busiest month to visit the parks. July is busy for family travel no matter what destination you visit and expect the same at Disney World.

After the second week in August you will see a decrease in crowds. The parks will be busy but it will be less crowded than July.

summer at disney world crowds
Magic Kingdom during the afternoon hours in August.

Things to Pack for a Summer Vacation at Disney World

There are a few things I always pack when visiting Disney World in the summer. (affiliate links)

  • Reusable water bottles: You can refill this during your day at the park. All restaurants have free water that you can ask for. Don’t be afraid to ask. On very hot days they encourage guests to stay hydrated.
  • Ponchos: We always pack ponchos and it has been a huge money saver and help on rainy days. We purchase them on amazon and have them ready if we find ourselves in a storm. These have lasted us a few visits, just make sure to dry them completely once you are home.
  • I have not used stroller fans or neck cooling wraps but you may want them if you are traveling with small children.
  • Also pack the basics like sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Dress in cool, light-weight, and light color clothing can help you stay cool.
epcot in the summer
Epcot at Walt Disney World.

Is It Worth Visiting Disney World in the Summer

This is going to be a very individualized answer depending on the factors I listed above. I can only give our experience and opinion from visiting Orlando in the summer almost every year since 2017.

We think it is worth visiting Disney World in the summer. We always have the best time with the longer park hours and taking breaks at the resort during the afternoon hours.

The big summer crowds are usually gone, we have more flexibility because school is not in session, and we don’t mind the heat.

We have visited with friends and family that do not like the heat and they didn’t love visiting that time of year. They felt the humidity made it unbearable to walk around the parks and it wasn’t their favorite time to visit.

They also said if it was the only time they could plan a trip, they would still consider a summer visit.

I think if you know what will realistically work for you, and plan breaks or indoor attractions during the hottest time of the day, a summer visit might work.

Some of the most popular attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge rides are indoors. These will give you a much needed break from the heat.

star wars characters at disney world rise of the resistance
Riding indoor attractions like Rise of the Resistance during the hottest times of day.

When visiting Disney World in the summer keep in mind you will need to purchase park tickets ahead of time. Be sure to use the My Disney Experience app to start researching things you want to do.

A summer Disney World vacation can be a great time to visit. Plan your days based on what works best for your family and you will have a great trip!

Read Next: Best Tips for Your Walt Disney World Vacation

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