The unfortunate reality of southern California is the occasional heat wave. And when it’s hot in Disneyland, it’s BRUTAL. If you’re planning on visiting the park during a heat wave, here are some helpful tips to keep you safe, cool, and hydrated!
This goes without saying, but make sure to have plenty of fluids when you’re in the park. Get a water bottle and keep it on hand throughout the day. Be paranoid about staying hydrated, especially if you’re sweating. The last thing you want is a trip to the hospital when you’re supposed to be enjoying Disneyland! (I speak from experience…I’ve been hospitalized for dehydration during a trip to the happiest place on earth).
Make sure you keep applying sunblock periodically. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of shade in the park, and you spend a lot of time in the sun. It’s really easy to get burned, especially on hot days. So whenever you can, opt for indoor rides, attractions, and restaurants. And of course, don’t forget the wet rides and attractions:
- Grizzly River Run
- Matterhorn Bobsleds (limited splash)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (limited splash)
- Princess Dot Puddle Park
- Splash Mountain
Remember that these wet rides have lines that sit in the direct sun. On brutally hot days with long wait times, waiting in line might be more harmful than beneficial. If you’re tired or want a break from rides, duck into the shops located in each land. They usually stay nice and cool and are well covered. Here are some other places in the park where you can hide from the sun for a bit:
SHADY SPOTS – DISNEYLAND
- Hungry Bear Restaurant patio
- French Market patio
- Square garden (limited shade)
SHADY SPOTS – CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
- Entire rear section has decent shade, and the puddle park keeps you cool
- Patios around Wine Country Trattoria
- Main dining area (limited umbrellas)
And finally, on days that hit triple digits or incredibly hot days with big crowds, consider following a more nocturnal schedule. Head into the park right when it opens, and then leave at around 11. Return to your hotel or duck into the air conditioned shops and restaurants in Downtown Disney until 5 or 6. Then go back into the park until it closes. This way, you’ll still have six to ten hours in the park and avoid the hottest part of the day.
Some guests actually bring umbrellas on really hot days. This is not a bad idea if you’re planning on staying all day long, and if you get sick of carrying it, you can place it in a locker.
Grab a cool snack (ice cream, frozen lemonade) in between meals. They’re a fun treat, and they keep me from feeling nauseous due to the heat.
Slow your pace! Try not to rush too much from ride to ride; you’ll just make yourself hotter.
And finally, if you suspect that someone in your party has a heat related illness, there is a first aid center in each park: one at the end of Main Street USA, next to the Baby Care Center, and one by the Guest Relations Lobby on Buena Vista Street. (detailed post about the First Aid Centers coming soon!)