How to Stay Cool When it's Hot at Disney World

Beat the heat at these chill spots

Need a place for your family to cool off at Disney World? Head to a wet ride or a water play area where little ones can run through splash pads and pop-up geysers, shoot water cannons, or flop down mini-slides into the shallowest of puddles. Or walk through a refreshing giant mister to beat the heat. Be sure to dress your kids in swimsuits under their clothes or, at the least, bring a change of dry clothes with you into the parks.

Here are favorite places to chill out at Disney World:

  • 01 of 08
    ••• Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney Parks

    Located in the Storybook Circus area of the new Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom near Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the Barnstormer. Disney's Imagineers researched old Ringling Brothers circus wagons when designing this charming train-themed water play area featuring monkeys, elephants and giraffes and lots of ways to get wet and cool off.

  • 02 of 08
    Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom, Disney World
    ••• Walt Disney Parks

    One of the iconic mountain rides in the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain seems like a tame enough float ride until the very end, when it brings you on a five-story splashdown. Sit in the back if you want a light splash or spray, or opt for the front if you want to get soaked.

  • 03 of 08
    ••• Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

    At Epcot's Future World, chill out with a leisurely stroll through the giant misters at the Test Track Cool Wash, a mock car wash where you can also buy slushies and other icy treats. If you've packed a change of clothes for your little ones, let them run around at the small splash pad with pop-up geysers near Mission: SPACE and Test Track.

  • 04 of 08
    ••• Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

    Speaking of Epcot's Future World, don't miss a chance to sample free soft drinks at Club Cool, a tasting room sponsored by Coca-Cola. You can cool off as you try various Coke products available in countries around the world, including Peru, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

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  • 05 of 08
    ••• Walt Disney Parks

    If you plan to be in the Animal Kingdom on a hot day, use FastPass+ to book a mid-day time to ride on the Kali River Rapids, located In the Asia section. You will definitely cool off and will likely even get soaked. Kids must be at least 38 inches tall to ride. (Tip: Pack a waterproof bag or a gallon-size zip-lock bag for your camera and phone, and maybe even a change of dry clothes.)

  • 06 of 08
    ••• Walt Disney Parks

    In the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom, you can cool off in the giant misters near Tamu Tamu Refreshments, then order a cold milkshake from the walk-up window.

  • 07 of 08

    Uwanji Camp

    ••• Walt Disney Parks

    From the Animal Kingdom, it's a short shuttle bus ride to the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge, where little kids can cool off at Uwanja Camp, an animal observation site-themed water playground divided into three zones with age-specific activities, gentle geysers, a squirting flower garden, leaky buckets, water cannons, a slide and more. It's adjacent to the zero-depth entry Samawati Springs Pool and its a 128-foot slide.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Ice Cream Shops

    Wherever you happen to be in Disney World, you're never far from a place that serves ice-cold sweet treats. These ice cream shops are our favorite places to grab a cone, scoop, sundae, float, shake, or sandwich. Options range from artisinal ice cream and gelato to the iconic Dole Whip pineapple sorbet.