What are the best places to cool off when the heat's on at a theme park?

June 29, 2017, 11:06 AM · Where is your favorite place to beat the heat when visiting a theme park on summer vacation?

We've got two schools of thought here. One says that the best way to get cool in the parks is to get on an underwear-soaking water ride and get drenched to stay cool. The other claims the best way to escape the heat is to get out of the sun and into an indoor, air-conditioned theater.

The water ride will leave you dripping for a while after you finish the ride, but the benefits of the indoor show end just as soon as you step back outside. The flip side argues that theme park water ride water is, well, often pretty icky. And after you dry, you're going to feel sticky and worse than you did before. Water rides are fun, but they can't beat air conditioning for overall comfort.

Which side are you on?

Full disclosure: I'm on #TeamAC here, not #TeamSplash. In my Orange County Register column this week, I offer my Top 10 picks for the best indoor shows to cool off in Southern California theme parks, plus five bonus picks for the Orlando parks.

What are your favorite attractions for cooling off at your favorite parks, anywhere in the world?

Replies (7)

June 29, 2017 at 12:41 PM · Back when Opryland was open, there was a place in the park called Misty downs. It was a boardwalk behind a shopping area along a lake. The area had lots of benches under big trees. In those trees there were spray nozzles. They created a constant light rain effect. More than the mister fans we see often today, but much less than a heavy soaking. I loved it. I DO NOT enjoy being soaking wet in a theme park, but the combination of shade, and the light sprinkle was very refreshing.
June 29, 2017 at 12:41 PM · Well, if you really want to cool off, you can hit a water ride, then an indoor show.
June 29, 2017 at 12:43 PM · The cool, dark queue area of the Magic Kingdom's (Orlando) Pirates of the Caribbean ... provided Disney isn't skimping on the AC for the ride that week.
June 29, 2017 at 2:18 PM · Last Sunday was quite hot at Disney's California Adventure. I adjusted my afternoon touring to indoor attractions. Mermaid, Cars 3 preview, Turtle Talk, Animation Drawing, and the restaurant dining room for ice cream. We still needed to leave the park. Can't handle the heat.
June 29, 2017 at 3:36 PM · I voted for water rides simply because I do love taking multiple rides on Bluto's Barges at IOA when it's really hot... But that's only, and I mean ONLY, when I'm staying onsite at a Universal hotel and can return to my room to change as soon as I'm done playing.
June 30, 2017 at 9:49 AM · I'm convinced the reason Universe of Energy is still a crowd pleaser is because most figure it's a great way to sit and cool off for 40 minutes.

Me, I like to duck into the cooler stuff at Epcot, including the various pavilions in World Showcase, admire that stuff more.

July 3, 2017 at 8:01 AM · Water ride all the way. You're not hiding but it cools you down for quite a while.

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