Staying Safe In the High Summer Heat

Summer is here and the temperatures are already breaking records all across the country. The combination of high heat, the beautiful Florida sun, and a vigorous theme park touring strategy can make for disaster if we don't take care. Be sure not to let your Walt Disney World vacation turn into a family emergency due to heat illness. Know the signs and symptoms, have a plan to get out of the heat and sun to cool down. It's a good idea to locate the First Aid Station on your Park Map before you start your day.

All Disney Parks Have First Aid StationsAll Disney Parks Have First Aid Stations
Personal Trainer, and WDWFG Forum Member Sammy Bizzle shared some great tips on the forum that I thought were worth putting on our front page.

"Early signs of heat illness can include profuse sweating, thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, and light-headed feeling." Those sound pretty typical for a theme park tourist in the summer sun. So here's what he said that you really need to pay attention to. "The most important thing that you can do it to just be aware of your body. You know it better than anyone else." If you start to feel ill, let the people that you're traveling with know and take a break.

Friendly Nurses Wait to HelpFriendly Nurses Wait to Help
Browsing through our forms you'll get some great advice from Disney touring veterans and WDWFG readers agree that the best way to escape the heat is to go back to the room during the hottest part of the day. Some hit the pool, others advocate a nap, but almost all agree that some time in the air conditioning to cool down and take a rest. If you don't feel like heading back to your room, you can always make a trip to the AMC Theater at Downtown Disney for a movie.

Here are some more great tips for beating the heat from of our forum members!

Stay Hydrated!Stay Hydrated!

Sammy let us know that if you do suspect that you or a traveling partner are succumbing to a heat related illness there are a few things that you can do:

  • Lie down in a cool place and raise your feet about 12 inches. The Park's First Aid Station is a fantastic choice!
  • Apply cool wet cloths to the skin. Wet Napkins will work just fine.
  • Sip gatorade, or water with salt added, about 1/2 a cup every 30 minutes. Don't drink too much, or too fast.
  • Heat stroke can send your body into shock so if lips turn blue call 911

Do you have tips for beating the heat in Disney? A story to share? Leave a comment and let us know how you make it through the hot summer sun!

finngirl wrote on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 14:45:

finngirl's picture

Hydrate is the key. Don't wait until you are thirsty - you are already starting to dehydrate by then. If you have been drinking some water, and have not been to the bathroom for a very long time, that is an indication you need to drink more!

There are gel-filled bandanas available that can help keep you cool. You soak them in cold water for a while, and then just tie them around your neck. They can stay cool for days, and when they dry out, you just repeat the process again. Not necessarily a great fashion statement, but they work. We bought ours at home, but they sell them in the Japanese pavilion, in a range of nice colours and patterns.

Phil wrote on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 15:54:

Phil's picture

My rule of thumb on hydration-

If you ain't gotta pee, you ain't drinkin' enough.

It's super easy to start running low at WDW... even in times that aren't the midst of summer. We purposely avoid visiting WDW in the summer, but even in the late spring/early fall one can run into this issue as well. It isn't solely a June-August problem.

You aren't getting the most out of your trip if you managed to hit all the major attractions but spent most of the time feeling grumpy, tired, and maybe a bit dizzy due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Better to knock off for a bit and actually enjoy your time there.

Drebe73 wrote on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 18:12:

Since we have Annual Passes and live 2 hours from WDW we just avoid the heat and the crowds of the summer months all together. Once kids are back in school, we're back at the parks.

Dean Finder wrote on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 03:04:

Dean Finder's picture

A couple of related tips:
I hate the Gatorade/Powerade flavors, so I'll grab a couple packets of salt from the carts when I buy a bottle of water. It'll do the same job.
Also, yellow mustard has been found to be a quick remedy for leg cramps. (From the googles, it's believed that the spice turmeric that gives it color is the effective ingredient) I'll usually take a couple packets if I buy something from a cart that sells pretzels.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 11:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great tips everyone! Thanks so much for sharing!

Carol wrote on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 17:38:

Carol's picture

Get a handheld fan from Brookstone, they are the best little fans that I have found. They are super powerful. They are worth the money. Bring extra batteries, the batteries that they sell at the parks are expensive. You can get the spray fans at the drugstore or at the parks but I would only use them for the spray to cool yourself off, the fans just aren't powerful enough to really keep you cool.

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