As Vacation Specialists, one question we hear a lot is, "When is the BEST time to visit." We have covered this topic before, but I wanted to report back
on my visit in July.
Before we left, so many people told me that it would be unbearably hot and humid AND the crowds would be overwhelming. They were quite adamant that it would be miserable. I can see why my clients are so worried about choosing the right time to go. If all their friends are telling them horror stories, it can be so confusing. I wasn't worried about the heat or the crowds, though, and I WAS RIGHT!
Here's the lowdown:
1. Yes, it was hot and humid. This is where it's super important to know your family. We live in the South, near Raleigh, North Carolina. Guess what? Our summers are also hot and humid. So, Florida wasn't that different from home. Plus, we actually like hot weather. It's important to take the heat seriously, however. Which is why a good touring plan is so important.
2. The crowds. Well, there weren't any. I mean, Walt Disney World is the world's #1 tourist destination, so there are always a lot of people there. However, I have seen it much more crowded than it was. We used our Fast Passes and waited in some short lines for other rides. It was not wall to wall, by any stretch though. I would not worry about summer crowds. Disney has done an excellent job giving people reasons to visit throughout the year, which has spread out the crowds.
How to manage:
You can have an amazing trip in the summer when your kids are out of school! You just need to be smart about it, plan for the heat and be wise. Here are my tips for a GREAT summer vacation:\
- Plan a rest time during the afternoon. Either hang out in your room or play in the pool. All Walt Disney World resorts have awesome swimming pools.
- Plan at least one sit down meal per day. This allows everyone to re-group, enjoy some cool air, drink a cool beverage and relax.
- In the parks, seek shade and air conditioning. TIP: walk thru the stores down Main Street USA instead of outside.
- Use Fast Passes to minimize your wait times.
- Enjoy some of the cool treats that Walt Disney World offers! I loved this Peter Pan Float from Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom!!
- Dress in cool, breathable fabrics. Running shorts and work out tops are great and allow your sweat to wick away from your skin.
- Remember to drink a lot of water. You will lose fluids so much faster than you might think, you should be drinking almost constantly. We brought stainless steel water bottles and filled them in the morning. You can get ice water for free at any Quick Service location and we used these to refill the bottles since they stay cold longer.
Visit Walt Disney World when it makes sense for your family and your schedule. Don't let friends and strangers scare you. Consult a Vacation Specialist for guidance. Have a plan for your days and enjoy your time with your family!!
Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She plans vacations for all kinds of people to Walt Disney World, aboard Disney Cruise Line, to Universal Orlando, and aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. She loves helping families create magical memories.