Going to Walt Disney World in the summer is typically the most practical option for families with kids, college students, or anyone working in education. But naturally, people may be hesitant to face peak Orlando heat and crowds. Florida summers are no joke, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have an amazing vacation. Let’s go over some of the fun you can expect to help determine if going to Walt Disney World in the summer is right for you.
Longer Park Hours
If you’re more of a night owl, you’ll love the perk that the parks are open much later in the summer compared to other times of the year. Pre-pandemic, the earliest Magic Kingdom would close in the summer was around midnight, and Extra Magic Hours often went until 2 am.
Now, the hours aren’t as aggressive with an average closing time of 10 pm. However, this is better than the earlier closing times seen during the rest of the year. Also, there are no parties like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which cause Magic Kingdom to close around 6 pm. The rest of the parks tend to have longer summer hours as well, giving you more time to fit in all you want to do.
Two Amazing Waterparks
Walt Disney World has two waterparks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, which both offer a variety of fun attractions with classic Disney theming. These close for refurbishment during the cooler months and are most thoroughly enjoyed on a hot summer day. If you have fewer park ticket days than your length of stay, a day at one of the waterparks pairs great with an evening at Disney Springs or exploring your resort.
Disney Resort Pool Time
The Disney resorts all have top-of-the-line pools that include slides, entertainment, and that Disney touch that makes them an immersive experience. Each resort pool hosts afternoon “pool parties” where cast members host fun games like hula hoop contests and trivia. Some of my favorite resort pools include the Big Blue Pool at the Art of Animation Resort, the Volcano Pool at the Polynesian Village Resort, and, the pool of all pools, Stormalong Bay at the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts. Though typically open year round, these pools are the perfect place to play on a hot summer afternoon!
Fun Water Attractions
Splash Mountain (soon to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure) is a classic and a must-ride, but there’s a catch- you’re gonna get wet. This factor can make this ride less appealing to some, but in the summer you can fully enjoy getting soaked knowing A, it’ll be refreshing, and B, you’ll dry off in minutes. Another great water attraction is Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom. This ride is even more intense than Splash Mountain from a water standpoint (as in some people opt to wear a bathing suit or bring an entirely new change of clothes). These attractions are so incredibly fun and given its summer, you can fully embrace getting soaked and enjoy the rides even more.
Little Capacity Issues
Though having to make a park reservation can be a pain, this eliminates the chance of the parks reaching max capacity. Pre-pandemic, you would have to plan to get to the parks early on holidays or weekends to avoid the chance of not getting let in due to capacity limits. With the reservation system, you don’t have to worry and can take your time getting to your reserved park.
4th of July Celebrations
The 4th of July fireworks may be the best fireworks in all of Walt Disney World. You’ll never be able to experience other 4th of July fireworks the same after seeing the insanity that is the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT fireworks shows. Magic Kingdom’s fireworks typically run on July 3rd and 4th, so you’ll be able to catch the fireworks there on the 3rd and EPCOT’s on the 4th. In the past, Hollywood Studios also had a fireworks show, Rockin’ 4th of July, but we are not sure if/when that will ever come back. Though the 4th of July is one of the busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World, it’s a must-do at least once in a lifetime.
It can be super disappointing when you take a trip to Walt Disney World and realize your favorite ride is down for refurbishment. Disney tries to schedule these during the slower months, so the odds of this happening to you in the summer are significantly lower. Also, the waterparks and water attractions listed above often close for seasonal refurbishment in the winter, but you are able to enjoy them all summer long.
Now, this is not always the case, but Disney often likes to open new attractions and park features in the summer. Some notable examples include Pandora: World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT. Keep an eye on Disney Parks news to see when some of the most anticipated attractions will be open to the public.
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