Our Step by Step Guide to WDW in the Summer!
As summer approaches, there’s no doubt in my mind that the parks will be at some of the highest crowd levels we’ve seen in years. Combine that aspect with the more that “aggressive” temperatures the summer can bring to central Florida and you’ve got a ton of potential for headache both literally and figuratively. However, when you know what to do and how to avoid the worst of the crowds and the worst of the heat, a summer Disney World vacation doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor.
I know some of you are reading this saying, “well the obvious solution is to just not go in the summer.” Of course that would be the ideal situation but not everyone has the blessing of time and availability of a clear schedule other times of the year. Particularly families with kids in school face major issues when it comes to booking in non-peak times.
In the big picture, the crowds will certainly be in full force this year, and despite continuous ticket price increases, the crowds will at the very least remain constant in comparison to previous years. When Galaxies Edge officially debuts, all bets are off because nobody knows how that’s going to play out in Walt Disney World. Other that that big event this fall, there’s not a ton going on in the parks in the early summer months. There are some special annual pass holder events and early or late night ticketed events for anyone to attend, but overall I don’t see anything really blowing crowds up this summer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one of the more popular times to travel and the heat is a huge factor once you arrive so be sure to check out our 7 simple steps to managing and booking a successful summer trip to WDW.
Step 1: Go Early
We’re starting it off with perhaps the simplest tip on this list and possibly one of the more obvious tips. If you can get to the park at least 15 minutes before they open (ideally 30+ minutes) you will be shocked how low the crowds stay for the first hour to two hours of being open. Lines move quickly because they haven’t had time to back up, and the sun hasn’t quite made it all the way up to bring a greater level of heat to the day. It sounds like a simple strategy, but if you’re looking to ride everything possible, as many do, this is likely the very best way to do so. Make the most of that first hour and hope that the crowds don’t start to build until at least an hour into the day.
A typical early morning in the summer can be quite pleasant even in the warmest months. It will heat up quickly, but I cant stress enough how important those mornings of calm temperatures can be when you’re rested and ready for the day.
Step 2: Avoid Lugging Water Around
Step 3: Book Table Service Meals Mid Afternoon
Step 4: If You Can… Avoid Carrying Anything Extra
I disregard my own recommendation more often that not in this case as I carry around hopelessly mounts of camera gear more often that not when I’m in the parks. For the most part take as little as you possibly can into the park with you. If you can get by with a draw string bag or no bag at all, do it and thatk me later. Not only is bag check way faster if you have a small bag with few pockets, but if you have no bag you can skip that line entirely.
Once you’re in the park, the benefits keep on popping up. When you get on and off of attractions, there’s nothing you can accidentally forget and far fewer chances of leaving something behind as you tour the parks. For many of you with kids I can definitely see how this strategy could be difficult. My greatest recommendation in that case would be to take the absolute essentials and the stuff you know you will use multiple times or must have and leave the rest behind. For example, if I’m not going to be using something in my photography bag at least twice in a given day, it’s staying in the hotel room.
Step 5: Realize That You Will Get Wet
Summer in Florida is unique in a strange but predictable way. From late May to August, you can expect it to rain like clockwork in the afternoons as the heat and humidity builds and eventually falls back down as rain (ok… maybe that’s not exactly how it works but that’s what it feels like lol). Without fail, you can expect at least some amount of rain between 1:00 and 4:00pm. It’s not going to happen every day but it is going to happen more often that not unless it’s an unusually dry year.
If you’re determined to stay dry, ponchos tend to be the cheapest option and if you are looking to go to WDW in the summer I recommend picking up some cheap-o ponchos off of Amazon or at your local dollar store for that worst case scenario downpour that you didn’t expect.
Watch the weather forecasts the days leading up to your trip. If it looks like you could be facing a lot of rain, consider taking a light jacket with you in your luggage. If it looks like a lot of rain is headed your way on a particular day of your trip, take the jacket instead of the ponchos and you wont regret it. Often times on summer trips it’s more of a question of when it is going to rain rather that if it is going to rain. More often that not the rain passes in an hour or two and you can hide out in a gift shop our head to an indoor attraction and it’ll blow over quicker that you expected it to. Be patient and realize that even if you do get a little wet, it wont hurt you and will inevitably create some comical memories to relive years later.
Step 6: Take a Break or Schedule Afternoon Fastpass+ Selections
Step 7: Realize Not Everything is Going to Be Perfect
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you’re there, and we’ll keep the conversation going in the future. We’re not the largest Disney community, but we’re one that’s here and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!
Need a Travel Planner?
If you want or simply need a little bit of planning help to make your Disney vacation dream a reality, check out the quote request form below this article for our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They’ll let you do as much or as little of the planning as you’d like and may even save you some money along the way! As always, thatks for supporting those who support us.
Ready to Plan?
Last but certainly not least, if you’re starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You’ll probably even save money along the way!