Visiting Walt Disney World in the summer months can be a tricky ordeal. It can get extremely hot and humid, which can make the vacation seem a little less magical for some. Despite the forecast, we’ve decided to brave the heat and are headed to the parks this August. Though our clothes may be light, we’re definitely planning on packing a few extra (very necessary) items to help us combat the heat. Here’s what’s on our Summer Packing List to help us survive the Orlando heat.
All of the shoes!!!
We will be bringing at least two or three different pairs of shoes with us down to Florida. Not only does it allow us to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two or three days in a row (is that a fashion faux pas??), but we find switching between shoes helps our feet feel less tired and sore.
We know you’ve heard this one before but you should absolutely make sure the shoes you bring to Disney have been broken in. Ryan is notorious for learning this lesson the hard way. There is nothing worse than getting blisters and having incredibly sore feet at the end of day 1 of a 7 or 10-day trip.
Pretty much any season in Florida has the potential for rain, so we make sure to bring at least one pair of shoes that can get wet or will dry quickly. If the weather calls for a good amount of rain we avoid wearing shoes that will be damp all day and opt for something like flip-flops.
In general, it’s a good idea to have breathable shoes that can dry out in their off-days. If you’re brining runners, bring cotton sports socks, or a pair that’s very breathable. This will help keep your feet cool in the summer heat.
The Foot Remedies
Despite our best efforts, blisters and wet feet can happen, so Moleskin, Bandaids and foot powder are a must on the packing list to help your feet stay in good shape during your stay. Moleskin is great for avoiding blisters, and it’s a good idea to carry it with you to the parks. Foot powder will help keep your feet dry, which will also help avoid blisters.
We really can’t emphasize enough how well you want to take care of your feet on your Disney vacation, since you’ll be on them a lot.
Insulated Water Bottles
An insulated, stainless steel water bottle is ideal for the summer. We’re big fans of the S’well water bottles because they keep water cold for 24 hours (and hot for 12 hours, but we definitely don’t need that feature in the summer). When it’s hot and humid in the middle of the day, we really appreciate that cold water because nothing is more disappointing than trying to cool off with lukewarm or even hot water from a plastic bottle. While some water fountains in Disney World can get warm in the direct sunlight, when you happen upon one that is cold, make sure you stop and refill every bottle you have.
We almost always carry around a little container of Mio Sport, the ‘water enhancer’. During the summer months at Disney it can be difficult to stay hydrated so the Mio Sport is an easy way to get some electrolytes in your body. It’s small and easy to carry in a knapsack or purse, and it’s less expensive than purchasing Powerade in the parks. Even if it’s just making your water more appetizing, adding something to your drink will help incentivize you to keep drinking and stay hydrated.
Instant Iced Coffee
I usually hit a lull mid-afternoon and am in need of the pick-me-up that normally comes with coffee. Wanting to avoid any hot beverages, an easy and inexpensive answer to my problem is instant iced coffee. Starbucks sells boxes of individual portion packets that are extremely convenient when at the parks. I just empty a packet into my water bottle and I’m good to go. It’s much sweeter than I typically like my coffee, but it gives me the boost I need. It’s also a great on-the-go drink so you can avoid waiting in line to purchase an iced beverage at Starbucks in the parks.
This is an obvious one, but so important that we simply have to mention it. We bring sunscreen that is formulated for your face as well as a spray sunscreen. We bring the face sunscreen because it really does make a difference. With the amount of time we’re out in the sun at Disney we have to reapply quite a few times in the day and the face sunscreen is much kinder to our skin.
The spray sunscreen is for everything else. We like the spray because it’s quick and relatively mess free, making it easy to apply on the go at the parks.
I don’t wear much make-up at the parks, especially in the summer, but when I do I like to use a matte setting spray to help keep my make up in place for as long as possible in the parks. If I’m going to go to the trouble of putting make-up on, I want it to stay on for at least a few Disney PhotoPass pictures.
Perhaps as obvious as sunscreen are sunglasses or a hat. We are more sunglasses people ourselves, but hats provide great protection from the hot sun as well. It’s also very important to protect your eyes from the sun so make sure your sunglasses have UV protection.
Ponchos are an absolute must for a summer Disney trip. The summer months are notorious for downpours and quick rain showers due to it being storm season. A heavy rain shower can sneak up on you in under fifteen minutes – dump a ton of water on you – and then disappear as quickly as it arrived. Ponchos are easy to toss on over your outfit and everything you’re carrying. They are compact and fold up well to be carried around in your park bag, ready at a moment’s notice. Then you can stroll through the park from one attraction to the next while the non-poncho wearers are left huddling anywhere they can stay dry.
Last year we discovered the cooling towels for sale at Disney. We hadn’t ever thought to use one before, but we were visiting in September, Hurricane Irma had just swept through Orlando and it left a heat wave behind. The cooling towel was a life saver! If you haven’t used one before, they are small, lightweight towels that you soak with cool water, then ring the water out and give them a snap. They are hyper-evaporative materials that retain water while staying dry to the touch and they provide an amazing amount of relief from the heat when draped around your neck. They also wick sweat and moisture away which helps make you feel cooler. You can find Mickey themed cooling towels at Disney, but you can find plain ones on Amazon for much cheaper (just search for cooling towels).
While our full packing list includes lots of other items, these are the things we find make our days at Disney more enjoyable during the summer months. We hope there will be a couple here that will make the heat a little more bearable for you on your trip, too! What items do you pack for your summer days at Disney? Anything we missed or something that you would recommend? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!