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How to Beat the Florida Heat

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A midday meal indoors can help you to cool off

While the summers in Florida are known for their heat and humidity, no time of year is immune from hot days. I’m a New Englander, and I had no idea what hot and humid really were until our first summer in Florida. That said, you can still have a fantastic time, even when the humidity is so high that the air feels thick. Here are a few tips on how to beat the Florida heat.

Water

The most important thing that you can do is to drink lots of water. It should be water, not soda and definitely not alcohol. There are plenty of water fountains in the Walt Disney World theme parks, so take advantage of them. Ask for a free cup of ice water at any counter service restaurant. If you don’t like the way that the local water tastes, you can bring bottled water into the parks with you. Just make sure that you don’t bring anything that is in a glass bottle.

Sunscreen

Use sunscreen often, even if you don’t normally burn. I’ve known many people who thought that they didn’t burn, until they spent a day under the Florida sun without wearing sunscreen. You’ll see many people with sunburns at Walt Disney World, and they are all miserable. Don’t be one of them, use sunscreen. If you wear flip flops, don’t forget to use sunscreen on your feet. I speak from experience.

Hair, Hats, and Sunglasses

If you have long hair like I do, plan to wear it up. You’ll feel a lot better if it’s off of your neck. Your hair is going to frizz anyway, you might as well put it up. A hat can keep the sun off of your face and keep the top of your head from burning. Sunglasses may not help to beat the heat, but you’ll see less glare, so maybe you can convince yourself that the sun isn’t quite as strong as it is.

Take Breaks

An indoor meal in the heat of the day will give you a chance to sit down in the air conditioning for a while. The 60 minute wait for Space Mountain seems a little less crazy when you realize that you’ll be waiting inside. Plan to catch the indoor shows in the middle of the day. If you’ve been outside for a long time, duck into a store for a few minutes. Even five minutes in the air conditioning can make a huge difference.

Clothing

Theme parks and skinny jeans do not go hand in hand. Make sure that you wear clothes that are comfortable and that will not cause you to sweat even more. T-shirts and shorts are the most common attire. Black clothing will make you feel hotter, but light colored clothing will show the sweat, so I’ll leave that up to you. When getting ready for the parks, don’t forget the deodorant. Please, I beg you.

Cooling Towels?

Some people use cooling towels for relief from the heat. You’ll wet the towel, squeeze it out, snap it a few times, then place it on your neck. I’ve used cooling towels and they do make a difference. If you are thinking about trying them, make sure you have a plastic bag that you can place them in when you aren’t using them. You don’t want to carry slightly damp towels in your bag.

Plan for Rain

Whenever you’re headed to Walt Disney World, you need to plan for rain. Most of the time the storms don’t last very long. Don’t expect the rain to get rid of the humidity like it will in cooler climates. After a storm there is usually a short period where the temperature has dropped and the air feels comfortable. All that water has to go somewhere, though, and once the rainfall starts to evaporate the humidity level will shoot way up. There’s not really much you can do about it, I’m just telling you so that it doesn’t come as a total surprise.

Water Parks

Walt Disney World is home to two of the best water parks that you will find. Include a “water park day” in your vacation plans, so that you will have one day where it will be easy to immediately cool off.

Be Careful

When it comes to the heat, be careful, and listen to your body. Several years ago I passed out from the heat and broke my ankle in three places. This wasn’t in Florida, but because of my experience I learned that I need to take heat seriously. I ignored the warning signs that day, and I paid dearly because of it. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, or are having a hard time concentrating, sit down immediately and have someone get you some water. Cast Members will be more than happy to assist you, and you can also head to First Aid to take a break. I haven’t had any more problems with the heat making me sick because I now watch for the warning signs. Be careful, and pay attention to your body. If the heat is getting to you, don’t push yourself.