How to Stay Cool on a Hot Day at Disneyland

June 13, 2021, 10:12 PM · California's theme parks return to full capacity on Tuesday - just in time for guests to roast in the hottest temperatures of the year so far.

We are looking at a forecast high of 100 degrees in Anaheim for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure visitors on Tuesday. It's predicted to be 97 at Universal Studios Hollywood, but Six Flags Magic Mountain fans had better get ready for a high of 110. The weather will be better for the seaside parks in San Diego County, where Legoland California and SeaWorld are looking at highs in the low 80s.

The new rules in California will allow indoor attractions to operate at full capacity, which will be helpful as visitors look to escape what is shaping up to be exhausting heat. Here are our top tips for staying cool and avoiding heat-related health problems when visiting Disneyland and other theme parks during the summer.

Drink water

And not just when you are in the park. Start getting hydrated the day before your visit and continue drinking water when you get up in the morning and on your way to the park. You do not want to start a hot day in a hydration deficit, because the heat's only going to make that worse.

Bring Sunscreen

Start your day with good sunscreen but bring it with you, too, because it's going to sweat away - and likely quickly at these temperatures. You will need to reapply to stay protected throughout the day.

Bring, or find, shade

Staying out of the sun will help reduce the rate at which you overheat, so consider bringing a wide-brimmed hat or sun umbrella with you to the park. Do be respectful of people around you if you bring an umbrella, however. Take it down in a crowd. Also try to maximize the time you spend inside or at least under cover while visiting the park.

Sit and rest

Resting also helps prevent overheating. So take plenty of opportunities to sit and let your heart rate come down. Dark, air-conditioned shows are the best for this, so when you can listen to the birds sing words and the flowers croon, go for it.

Wear socks

This one might seem counterintuitive, but wearing less clothing doesn't provide the best protection from the heat. One of the quirky ailments that theme park first aid centers often see is a heat rash on people's feet and ankles from walking on hot pavement all day. Your feet need shielding from that heat, and a flimsy pair of sandals or flip flops don't provide it. Footwear with airflow is great, but make sure your feet and ankles have some sun protection, as well.

Got other hot weather tips for theme park visitors? Please share your best advice with us in the comments.

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Replies (6)

June 13, 2021 at 11:32 PM

I’ll be at Universal on Tuesday…working inside with an AC.

June 13, 2021 at 11:37 PM

Last trip to Disneyland (August 2003), lucked out with not too bad weather. I really cannot imagine hitting California in summer in the best of times.

Of course, Florida can be bad too. All-time hottest WDW trip I had was August 1999, temps in upper 90s and then humidity. I still remember sitting at a bus bench when a flash rainstorm hit and literally an inch of steam rising up from the ground.

Yet despite that, one of my fave trips thanks to all the great stuff opening that year to enjoy. Just have to load up on water, don't overexert yourself and be okay.

June 14, 2021 at 8:47 AM

I think another thing that's important for dealing with high heat conditions is to get acclimated to higher temperatures (and humidity where applicable). All the water, sunscreen, and rest in the world won't do you a bit of good if your body just isn't ready for the shock of extreme heat. Many of us have been spending months inside our homes in the comfort of HVAC and consistent climate control. Some of us aren't even walking from the car/train to an office building or nearby complex for lunch, so we're not even getting that momentary taste of natural air temperature, let alone when the mercury soars into triple digits.

I think it's important to get a feel for those high temperatures by doing some brisk exercise leading up to a planned trip. Just a brief exertion in high heat can help prepare your body for the stress it can expect when you're walking around a theme park, just like an athlete would prepare for a big competition.

Also, another thing to remember is that going from extreme heat to extreme cold can be even worse than just staying in the heat. Instead of seeking chilled air from an interior space, look for those areas of shade with perhaps a light breeze (or fan). Sitting in an chilled room for any extended period will make it harder for your body to reacclimate to the heat when you venture back outside.

June 14, 2021 at 11:02 AM

@RussellMeyer: A good point. It's sometimes better to stay by outside of one of those open door shops to get some air in first before going in full. And shaded spots help massively, it's remarkable how getting out of the open sun can be a help.

June 14, 2021 at 2:06 PM

The first summer I worked the Tom Sawyer Island rafts at Walt Disney World, I think I kept my bedroom's AC set at 82 degrees, and I hated going to the mall or near the freezer section at Gooding's, because I didn't want my body to switch back to getting used to cooler temperatures.

June 14, 2021 at 2:25 PM

The weather has changed so much in the past 20-30 years in Southern California. I remember my mom would pack jackets and such for the summer because temps would be cool in the evening at Disneyland, USH, SWSD, and by 2001 DCA. I come from the Southwest, Far West Texas, so a trip to So Cal was looked as a nice vacation from the heat with cooler temperatures. Not so much the past few years. It has actually been hotter in Anaheim, then my city of El Paso. Triple digit heat is becoming common in the L.A. area and mornings which used to be cool and pleasant are already warm. I have officially put off visiting So Cal in the summer and prefer to visit in October or March.

I agree about getting used to the heat prior to a trip to a warm locale. A while back I would heavily encourage my family to walk outside in warm temperatures to get used to a Summer Orlando trip. It helps but we still also put off on those summer Florida trips due to the heat.

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