How to stay cool at theme parks during heat warnings

August 24, 2010, 4:27 PM · We've got an "excessive heat warning" throughout Southern California today and tomorrow, with temperatures well over 100 degrees in much of the metro area.

That means an exceptionally hot day for folks visiting Disneyland, Universal Studios or any of the other theme parks in the area.

So I'd like to remind everyone to follow our advice for staying safe at theme parks, which includes some excellent advice on staying cool.

Adding to that, I'd like to remind everyone to choose indoor attractions and restaurants whenever possible, to give you extra moments to cool down. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of going in and out of the heat; I find that temperature consistency helps me feel more comfortable. But when the air is *this* hot, you need relief.

Also, on days like these it is especially important to take our long-standing advice to arrive at the park early - when it opens - then ditch in the middle of the day if you can, and return later in the evening. We give that advice as strategy to avoid the longest lines in the parks, but it also provides a great way for you to avoid the worst of the mid-day heat.

If you choose to take a break with a swim or visit to a water park, remember that the sun's rays can get you underwater, too. Keep that sunscreen on throughout the day.

Finally, here's my rule for strollers (and cars, if you can manage it): *Always* park in the shade.

So, please, stay safe, stay cool, and enjoy your day at your favorite theme park. Additional tips welcomed, in the comments.

Replies (13)

August 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM · I always take a spray bottle for my kids that are stroller bound. Little kids usually aren't tall enough to ride the water rides and they get hot. A couple of sprays and they are much happier
August 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM · There would be considerably fewer calls for assistance at the parks if people drank enough water. Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated. I cannot stress this enough.

Not soda. Not alcohol. Water.

August 24, 2010 at 6:04 PM · My grandson Zachary and I always drink water everytime we see a fountain. They're usually by bathrooms, so we always go there too because you never know how long your going to have to wait in line for a ride.

Zachary also carries a small squirt bottle in his fanny pack along with a small fan with rechargeable batteries. I carry a fan with extra batteries too.

Bobby, formally known as Bob & Robert!!!!!!!

August 24, 2010 at 9:21 PM · Water, water, water. I'm always tempted to get one of those souvenir refillable bottles, but I know I'd just fill it with pop to get my money's worth. If I don't bring my own bottles, I ask for the complimentary cups at a stand or use the fountains in front of the washrooms.

If I do have alcohol, I usually precede it with lots of water.

August 25, 2010 at 5:20 AM · Avoid to drink red wine when it's very hot; I once did it at Epcot's food and wine festival, and I felt dehidrated.

Tip: if you drink red wine, drink plenty of water with ice afterward.

August 25, 2010 at 6:24 AM · I am a big fan of complementary glasses of water that most theme parks hand out any place that they have a soda fountain.

My wife and I will grab a complementary water and then go stand in a queue. There are plenty of trash cans around when you finish the cup of water and plenty of trash cans near the boarding platform if you don't. Once you get off a ride, grab another glass of water.

For people who travel extremely light at an amusement park, this keeps you from having to keep track of a larger container of water. With such extreme prices on all other drinks at a park, it helps keep costs down.

The exception to this rule is Holiday World where they have free drinks. At Holiday World, I would suggest diluting your soda with 50% water, or drinking water diluted Powerade if you cannot handle straight water.

August 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM · YES! Water water water! Although watered down Gatorade or other sports drinks aren't the worst.

But I've noticed people don't dress accordingly to the weather! Still wearing dark colors just because "it looks good", or thick materials. Or even crazier... hoodies in 90° weather??? It's not gonna get that much colder at night to warrant a hoodie! Not saying that people should wear workout gear, but anything to keep yourself cool should take priority over "looking good" or "looking cool".

And yes, shade is your friend during warm weather visits!

August 25, 2010 at 9:14 AM · I wear darker colours, as a matter of fact, to look presentable. Not good, presentable. There's nothing nastier than standing in line next to somebody whose light shirt is marked with patches of yellow or brown sweat stains.

One thing I noticed at Cedar Point was that half the men seemed to be wearing these hybrid tank-top/poncho shirts. Essentially, they were a tank-top but the arm holes ran the length of their body. They looked ridiculous but everyone was wearing them. Anybody else seen these goofy looking things?

August 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM · One of my pet peeves about amusement parks is that the water fountains are usually room temperature or warmer. There are a few exceptions...there's a couple of really cold ones at Cedar Point. And although Dorney is an offender, the fountain outside the bathroom by the race cars and Thunderhawk is good. Mostly I'm getting ice water courtesy cups at the concession stands.

Regarding the free drink parks: I generally don't drink soda at parks, so I was appreciative of the fact that (even though I'm diabetic)Holiday World offered non-carbonated (albeit sugary) drinks..fruit punch, lemonade, Gatorade. Lake Compounce needs to take a cue from Santa Claus..their free drink stations offer only soda and water.

I also am bald, so I keep (if I remember to bring it) a bandanna to dip in the water rides or fountains to wipe my head. Sometimes I'll just put the soaked cloth right on my head under my hat.

August 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM · 1. H2O is your friend. It's okay to OD on it
2. Visit all the shows during the hot hours (most are indoors)
3. Wear deoderant-- ughhhh, ever stand in a line next to a smelly person?
4. Normally parks let you bring in a water bottle-- so do it! (and refill at the fountains)
5. Wear light clothes... but ladies-- you don't have to wear a bikini if there's no water park (you attention grabbing... grrr)

Heh heh... Joshua... As a lady I do think those tank top/poncho thingies are a bit funny looking. I haven't seen a good looking guy in one yet. Thank you to those tourists who look presentable AND are sun-smart as well.

August 25, 2010 at 10:26 AM · Pyra said:

5. Wear light clothes... but ladies-- you don't have to wear a bikini if there's no water park

But feel free to do so ;)

August 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Yes, bikinis are presentable and light. But, uh, guys - keep the shirts on.
August 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM · A small suggestion regarding all the water recommendations... last year when we visited WDW, my boyfriend and I did take advantage of the free cups of water, but we also carried individual packets of Kool-Aid for his son, and Crystal Light for us. Adding a little flavor helped us convince his son (and ourselves) to drink all the water our bodies needed!

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