Tips To Stay Cool at Disneyland

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Summer is here, and it is a hot one. When I was at Disneyland it was hot and muggy, and now I am home and we are in the middle of a heatwave, the hottest on record for the Pacific North West. Thankfully, it isn’t the hottest on record in Idaho, but man, it is still hot.

Even though it was hot at Disneyland, we were able to keep fairly cool with some of these tips I am about to share with you. If you have another keep cool tip you think I should add, be sure to let me know so I can add it.

Staying cool at Disneyland during the heat, which can sometimes extend into October, takes a little bit of planning, but with these tips, you will enjoy your trip and hopefully stay decently cool.

Stay Cool Tips for Disneyland In The Heat

I will put all of the tips I have used, or even some that are popular in the Disneyland with Kids Facebook group. Just know that you don’t have to do ALL of these. Read through the tips and find the ones that work for you.

Before we get into the tips, a reminder that you can book your vacation through my partners at Get Away Today and get discount tickets, hotel stays and more. Use code CRAZYADVENTURE to save extra on stays of two nights or longer.

1. Stay hydrated

This is an important tip and that is why I listed it as number one. Be sure to hydrate in the days leading up to your visit and then continue to hydrate in the park. My family has experienced dehydration at Disneyland and it is not fun at all. So drink that water.

With this, remember you should NEVER buy water at Disneyland! Bring a reusable water bottle and have it refilled either with free ice water (available at quick-service restaurants) or at water bottle refill stations.

Water bottle refill station at Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland

Another thing we did, is we utilized the picnic area, and since loose ice is one of the items banned at Disney parks, and we were taking a cooler, we put ice in a gallon size Ziploc bag (double bagged it actually), and then after we ate lunch, we had cold ice water in the bag that we used to fill our water bottles with.

Which brings me to my next tip…

2. Find shade for your meals to cool off at disneyland

Disneyland has added a ton of table seating, but it will still take a little for thought to remember to find a shaded area for lunch and possibly dinner.

Finding a shaded place to eat will help you stay cool, help your food, whether it is food you purchased or food you brought into Disneyland, from getting dry and stale.

We personally used the Disneyland picnic area our last trip, which has ample amounts of shaded tables, but if you start looking by 11:30 am, you can most likely find a shaded table in the parks as well.

Tables in Disneyland picnic area

After having lunch in the shade, where it can feel a million… okay 20… degrees cooler, we felt rejuvenated for our afternoon in the parks. We were doing open to close in the parks because of the shorter hours, but in July of 2021 Disneyland is increasing park hours, so the next tip might be a good fit for you.

3. Take a mid-day break

A few years ago, my family fell in love with the mid-day break. I used to always be an open to close gal, or we would leave around dinner time if my kids were tired. But one year, we tried the mid-day break and I was hooked.

As soon as it gets hot, maybe around lunch time, head back to your Disneyland Area Hotel and either enjoy some pool time, take a nap, or just relax in the air conditioning. Return in the evening (we usually went back just before dinner) as it starts to cool off.

splash area bucket filling up and dumping water

The bonus is that crowds at Disneyland start to calm down around this time as well. Especially now that Disneyland has cancelled Annual Passes. You no longer have that influx of evening visitors.

4. bring Fans to disneyland

Hear me out on this one. A fan is a great idea to help keep you cool, but you can’t just bring any fan into the park.

Fans can help keep you cool by blowing fresh air, or even a mist and some fresh air, on you. Here are some of my favorite fans to take into the parks.

  • Hands free neck fans. I bought one of these and it was great. The only problem I had with it was that ours had a large push button power switch, which made it turn on if it was barely bumped.
    When getting a neck fan look for something you can recharge, that doesn’t easily get bumped on, and if you have hair that might get close to it, preferably something bladeless. I think this one from Amazon is a great option. My friend bought it and it avoids the issues we had with ours.
  • A mini handheld fan with a neck strap. I have seen them at Walmart, Walgreens, and yes, on Amazon. These are normally battery powered so make sure to bring batteries with you.
  • Misting fans. Disney actually sales these in Disneyland, but you can find them pre-trip for a better price. These ones on Amazon are a great price for a pack of 3. EXTRA STAY COOL TIP: put a couple cubes of ice in the fan to help keep the water cool.
  • Stroller fans, but get the right ones. If you have littles in a stroller, a fan can be a huge help to keeping them cool. But don’t get the flimsy foam ones that do nothing. We like to get good size clip-on fans that look more like desk fans, but are light enough to clip onto your stroller at Disneyland. I found this one on Amazon that has flexible mounting, a large rechargeable battery, and at the time of publishing, a coupon to get $4 off. Bonus of stroller fans, when it cools off in the evening, your kid may no longer need it, but the person pushing the stroller can aim it at them.
  • Accordion style fan. I bought one of these when I went for Disneyland’s Reopening in April and it was my best purchase ever. As of mid-June 2021, they still sell them in the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney. Highly recommend! They are perfect for pulling out and fanning off, but don’t take up a lot of space. If you don’t want to spend money on a Disney one, or chance that they no longer have them, you can buy some off Amazon. But make sure you are getting high-quality ones because you will use them a lot!

5. Cooling Towels are a must at disneyland

I love cooling towels. You can find them off Amazon for a really good price. Now, not all cooling towels are created equal, and while the higher priced ones are often a good option, I have always found they tend to be a pain. Most of them are very stiff when dry.

Instead, I have purchased a large pack of cheaper cooling towels off Amazon, and just rotate them. They still work well, and are easy to stuff in a bag when they are dry.

You can see my husband wearing a cooling towel in this photo from September 2019

Another tip – I have arthritis in my ankles. And walking all day on cement takes its toll on me. Whenever we sit for a bit (lunch, dinner, etc) I get a cooling towel and put cold water on it, then place it on my ankles while propping my feet up. It has helped a ton!

6. Head indoors during the afternoon to get cool

The reason I put this one so far down is because it is so popular that you may be fighting other people for these indoor locations.

When it is hot outside, head indoors to cool down. That could mean an indoor attraction such as Indiana Jones Adventure, Soarin’ Around the World, or an air-conditioned mid-day cruise on “it’s a small world” (take a nap if you don’t want to listen to the song).

Some other indoor options include shopping, Animation building (this is a very popular option though so it will be crowded), or if you were able to snag a dining reservation at an indoor dining option like Blue Bayou or Carthay Circle, head there during the hot afternoon hours.

7. Beat the heat with Disneyland’s Water Rides

Both Disneyland and California Adventure offer a water ride, but they both have height requirements.

Splash Mountain is located in Disneyland in Critter Country and is a log flume ride.

Grizzly River Run is a river raft ride in California Adventure’s Grizzly Peak.

Both may get you wet or soaked. The lines tend to start to get long for these two attractions around noon, so hit them up around 11:30 or check if they are utilizing single rider lines (this will split your party up) or hopefully Fastpass and MaxPass will return soon.

For those too young (or not interested) for these rides, here is an insider tip, head over to Grizzly Peak, and there is a little path to the left of the giant bear by Grizzly River Run. From there, you can go down to a lookout point to watch rafts come down the final drop. This is a splash zone, where those who don’t want to ride, or those not wanting the long line, can go to get wet and cool off.

Guests being splashed at the lookout

8. Clothing choices help you keep cool at Disneyland

Clothing can make a big difference in how cool you are in the parks. Dress in light weight fabrics. Everyone is different on if they prefer to cover more skin (wearing light weight long sleeves and pants) or dress with less coverage such as tanks and shorts.

If you feel comfortable with it, I have fallen in love with wearing dresses to the parks. Skirts, kilts, dresses… whatever you can do that allows the breeze to hit under there, it helps a ton.

Disneyland can get quite breezy so you may want to wear bike shorts under your skirt/dress. I bought some off Amazon in a variety of colors (and they even had plus-sizes for a good price).

And while this isn’t a stay cool tip – Chaffing cream/gel is a must have for everyone. They sell some for thighs, and for more intimate parts. I bought some Body Glide at REI I love, but also found it on Amazon.

While it may be hot in the day, also remember that it can cool off quickly after sunset, and with the coastal breeze coming in, you may feel cool. I definitely suggest packing at least a hoodie or light jacket. Better to have it and not need it type thing.

9. Other Reminders

While this may not help you keep cool at Disneyland, but a reminder to wear and reapply sunscreen. If you choose to utilize a spray sunscreen, please be sure to step somewhere out of the way, away from other guests, and away from any food offerings/dining tables to reapply your sunscreen.

And another reminder to stay hydrated, and eat foods that sit well with your stomach in the heat. I know personally I cannot do dairy and heat (which sucks because I love Disneyland ice cream!) so I have to avoid all dairy until late evening.

Remember to check the weather in the days leading up to your vacation and prepare for these tips. Even if you think it won’t be too bad, remember that with all of the cement, walking and people, it often feels 10-20 degrees hotter than it actually is in the parks. Keep cool and enjoy Disneyland!

Ready to book?

Are you ready to book your Disneyland vacation? If so be sure to book through my partners at Get Away Today. Not only do they have discounted tickets, free hotel nights, and more, but they also offer a low-price guarantee. They never penalize you for booking early, so if a better deal comes out, you simply contact them and they will credit your account or refund you the difference. Book your Disneyland Vacation and use code CRAZYADVENTURE on vacations of 2 or more nights for an extra discount.

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