It is hot, hot, hot outside. You and your brood are looking forward to some summer fun that will help you embrace the scorching temperatures but will also satisfy your need to beat the heat. Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks in Orlando, Florida can be the best decision you make this July.
With a little planning and organization to make sure your trip meets all your expectations, you can navigate the crowds and attractions with ease.
So, grab your favorite pair of summer sunglasses and get ready to experience Walt Disney World in July.
Crowd Predictor for Disney World in July
Let’s begin by discussing the month of July within the context of whether or not this is a good time to visit Disney World.
Is July a Good Time to Visit?
For many people, July is the best month in which to take a vacation. The kids are out of school. The extracurricular activities are on hiatus. The temperature is warm. Days spent in the office seem less appealing when the summer sun is beckoning you to come outside. Going to the Walt Disney World Resort seems like a great idea.
During the summer months, there is plenty of fun to be had. Plus, there are specialty events that you and your family can only experience when they travel during the month of July. But, before packing your bags, read on to learn more about what you can really expect from your summer vacation.
Temperamental Weather Systems
Everyone knows that it is hot in Florida during the summer months, but sometimes they don’t anticipate the truly erratic weather patterns that can exist at this time. On a typical July day, the thermometer will read somewhere in the upper 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t sound too bad. You can handle that, no problem. The thing to consider is that when the temperature soars that high, you must include the humidity.
For instance, if the temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a good chance on a July day that the heat index will make that number soar up to at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit. I know that sounds awful, and those high temperatures can make people feel miserable, but if you know what to do to escape the heat, and you are willing to drink water as much as you possibly can, this really won’t be a problem.
On the other end of the spectrum, Floridians and frequent Florida visitors know that at some point during the day, there will be a heavy rain shower. When the heat and humidity saturate the environment so thoroughly, the clouds have nothing else to do but release some pressure in the form of a rain storm.
Generally, the clouds will open and let the rain fall between three and eight p.m. Keeping these weather patterns in mind while planning for your trip should make your life so much easier.
Disney World Packing List for July
It is always best to be prepared for any situation. In July, the weather can be scorching one minute and then you and your family can be racing for shelter under pounding rain the next. You can handle this though, with a little preparation. Pack the following in your stowed luggage, and you will be ready for anything.
A day bag – Some people may wait until they get to the Disney Parks to purchase this piece, and I don’t blame them because Walt Disney World offers some stunning options for a day bag, but during the month of July one person in your party should be responsible for bringing a bag.
There is no need for everyone to have their own. If one person packs the bag and fills it with the group’s essentials, then everyone in the party can rotate carrying the bag throughout the day. This will cut down on fatigue, from everyone feeling like they must carry a bag, and it will help get you and your party through the admission gates faster because only one person has a bag that will need to be checked.
Sunscreen – TSA no longer allows travelers to take aerosol cans of sunscreen in their carry-on baggage, but you can get around that issue by packing at least one bottle of sunscreen in the suitcase you plan to store under the plane. There are a million different brands of sunscreen that do an excellent job with coverage, but I have two very clear suggestions.
Select a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 50. If you have children, consider using a sunscreen that features a roll-on applicator. This will ensure that you don’t miss any spots when slathering up your little ones for the adventures ahead. Once you have reached the hotel, be sure to unpack your sunscreen and put it into your day bag.
Sunglasses – Every person in your party would benefit from having their own pair of sunglasses. The pavement throughout the parks will be positively brilliant during mid-day and it will be necessary for you and your family members to protect your eyes.
Hats- There are many people who do not like wearing hats but having a good ball cap or a bucket hat during these hot summer days will really be beneficial in many ways. I wear my Walt Disney World baseball hat in July to help protect my head from the sun’s blasting rays, to keep the sweat off my head from running down into my eyes, and to provide a little extra shade for my face (I’m a freckle-faced lady, with freckle-faced kids, so I’m always worrying about keeping the sun from burning our delicate skin).
If you have a child who doesn’t love wearing hats, you may want to investigate getting a bucket style one that can attach or tie easily under their chin. Sometimes, these are more comfortable for younger children.
Ponchos or rain jackets – This may seem like a waste of day pack space, but you will be thanking me once the rain descends at 4 o’clock and you and your party are still able to get through the park because you remembered to pack your rain gear.
Ponchos do not have to be glamorous or expensive. You will only be wearing them for a short amount of time each day. They should be sturdy enough that they will do the job they are designed to do—keep the rain off you and your clothing, but also lightweight enough that they can be folded and stuck into a day pack.
Comfortable socks and shoes – I know it is tempting to wear flip-flops or sandals into the park on those hot summer days, but they are highly impractical. The first few hours of visiting attractions and riding roller coasters may go swimmingly in your sandals, but after the rain falls, you will be stuck squishing around in your soggy footwear.
When wet feet dry there is also a chance for blisters to form or become irritated. Tennis shoes and socks are always going to be the best bet while you are inside the parks. This is especially true for children. I lecture my friends constantly when they take their kids to the parks about this issue.
Your child will be happiest if they can wander around on their own two feet, exploring the park. If they are wearing wet sandals that can be slippery, all that glorious independence disappears, and you end up renting a stroller or carrying around your precious cargo.
You May Also Want to Read: What to Pack for Disney World in July
Now that you are packed and ready to go to the park for the day, let’s explore what you should expect from the crowds. The truth is that many people are drawn to Walt Disney World during the summer months. July used to be the absolute busiest month of the year, but that has changed recently.
Due to specials and promotions offered during other months, visiting Walt Disney World resorts during the month of July isn’t quite as challenging as it used to be. The folks over at Magic Guides provide a color-coded Disney World Crowd Calendar. This handy tool will help you decide which days and times are going to be the best for you and your party. But, let’s look at the month of July in a little more detail.
The first week of the month, due to the Independence Day Celebration for the 4th of July can be extremely busy. The 4th of July is one of those days at the Magic Kingdom where if you are not in the park before 5 p.m., there is a distinct possibility that your party will be shut out for the day.
This does happen. Most people think it is a myth, but I have been in the park on Christmas Day and on the 4th of July when the Magic Kingdom has reached maximum capacity and visitors are turned away at the gate.
This does not mean that going to the Magic Kingdom during the first week of July is impossible. It only means that you may want to consider going to the Magic Kingdom on the 3rd and visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the 4th.
Throughout the remainder of the month, the crowd levels decrease drastically. Many families like to take advantage of this time of year because there are always less tour groups around the parks. That makes waiting in ride lines or dining in specialty restaurants a little easier because you and your crew won’t be surrounded by a party of fifty.
The best days to go to the Walt Disney World Resort during the month of July are on Mondays and Tuesdays. Monday is particularly a nice day to visit. Most people are heading home on Sunday afternoons, so securing a Genie+ ride reservation or a restaurant reservation early on a Monday morning is feasible.
Notable Events in July
The Magic Makers at the Walt Disney World Resort certainly know how to celebrate the summer holidays. The fun starts early in the month of July and keeps thrilling visitors of all ages right on through to the end of summer.
The Independence Day Celebration for the 4th of July is a once-a-year treat visitors to the Magic Kingdom can enjoy. For this one special show, patrons are welcome to congregate throughout the park. Viewing areas for the firework spectacular range from in front of Cinderella’s Castle, through Tomorrowland and Frontierland.
People can enjoy the fireworks from anywhere because for this one extraordinary performance, the fireworks are shot off from various locations. It does not matter which way you are looking; you will see fireworks. Throughout this show, not only will you and your party be treated to a truly stunning fireworks display, but you will also hear some of your favorite songs that celebrate America.
Should you choose to be in the Magic Kingdom for this incredible firework show, I would highly recommend planning to hang out after the presentation concludes. Go get a bite to eat, go on another couple of rides, or take some time to visit with the characters. (This may be the perfect time to visit the Hall of Presidents.
On this day, visitors will fill the entirety of this theater almost non-stop. But, after the fireworks, you may have the opportunity to pop in there and see the presentation.) I tell you this, my friends, because getting out of the park on this day can be a nightmare if you try to leave right after the fireworks conclude. The Magic Kingdom will be at maximum capacity and that means thousands of people will be rushing towards the exit at the same time.
The Walt Disney World Cast Members do the best they can to get everyone out of the park safely. They have been known to even open a bus transportation system, just for the parking lots, to ensure that all guests are able to exit the park and return to the parking center as desired. The 4th of July can be a memorable event for you and your family. Just take the time to enjoy it, and be prepared to share the park with many, many other travelers.
Over at the Disney Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, the fun is in full swing. Parks open early and in some cases stay operating until late into the night. One of Walt Disney World’s newest specially ticketed events is entitled H20 Glow Nights.
On select nights throughout the months of June, July, and August, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is transformed into a nighttime party. All the rides are in working condition, spotlights and disco lighting are added around the perimeter, music is thumping throughout the park, and Partysaurus Rex (from the Toy Story franchise) can be spotted just outside the colossal wave pool.
There is a charge for admission to Typhoon Lagoon’s H20 Glow Nights. It is approximately $70. I find this is the perfect treat for the teenager in your travel party. Since the Glow Nights do not begin until the regular park hours end, your teen is free to catch up on some sleep early in the day and then be able to enjoy the cool of the pool late at night.
Because it is July, the temperatures are still warm, so everyone will appreciate being able to wind down or ramp things up at the end of the day in the cool, crisp waters.
Another new addition to the Walt Disney World theme parks that is available in the month of July (and equally appealing to the teenager in your life) is the introduction of Disney Villains After Hours.
This event is very similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, except it is available throughout the summer months, including July, and for this party, the Villains take over the Magic Kingdom. Tickets for this event cost approximately $150. To learn more about the Disney Villains After Hour Event, visit the Disney Parks Blog by clicking here.
Tips for Families with Toddlers
For families with teenagers, the month of July is the ideal time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. But, for families with toddlers, that might not be the case. Let’s evaluate the situation. It is super-hot outside during the month of July.
If your child is in a stroller, the heat may feel even more suffocating because they are riding closer to the pavement and they are surrounded by warm cushiony padding. If the rain decides to fall mid-day, you and your toddler may become drenched.
In my experience, toddlers don’t necessarily want to wear rain gear, so even if you pack a poncho for your little one, there might still be some issues. However, if your family is as diverse as mine, you’ve got teens and you’ve got the babies. So, here are some tips to help you make it through your month of July vacation while keeping your little ones calm and happy.
Plan to take multiple breaks throughout the day. I would recommend creating a schedule that allows you and your family to be able to cool off or find shelter at least once every three hours. Here is a list of ways you can create a mini-retreat while you are in the parks.
Take a detour from riding the attractions and go indoors to visit with the characters. Disney’s princesses are sprinkled throughout the Magic Kingdom. Each princess has her own indoor, air-conditioned castle-inspired room. These lovely characters will be happy to spend a few minutes meeting with you and your toddler.
Many people like this idea, so anticipate at least 30 minute wait times to see the princesses or Mickey Mouse and the gang. If you are at Hollywood Studios for the day, you may be able to cut that wait time to 15-20 minutes by heading over to meet-and-greet a few of the Star Wars characters. My kids and I like to hang out with Chewbacca.
Check out the park maps before going in for the day. Almost every park features a small area where kids can find shade and relax. At Epcot, there is a miniature park, near Test Track, where there are playground toys and benches. At the Magic Kingdom, in the Storybook Circus, there is a circus-style tent that has couches in it. This is the perfect place for a toddler to take a quick nap.
Plan your Character Dining at Disney World for the middle of the afternoon. While this might not be the ideal time for eating, you’re on vacation and you deserve to take a break whenever it is necessary. Plus, by going to a character dining experience at four o’clock, you are beating the mid-afternoon heat, most likely to avoid the summertime rain shower, and you have given your toddler their dinner before they got cranky enough to ask for it.
Using the My Disney Experience App, you can secure your character dining reservations with just a click of the bottom. You will notice the four o’clock hour is generally available. I’m sharing one of my secrets with you now, so use it to your advantage.
You know you want to stay for the firework show. You love it. You look forward to it, but sometimes those long hours can wear on your toddler. To avoid the struggle altogether, consider buying tickets to a Walt Disney World Resort Dessert Party. The perks of buying these tickets are numerous. First, you have a guaranteed seat for the Fireworks.
This is so wonderful. Instead of standing around, with your feet aching after the long day, you can take a load off and sit in your guaranteed viewing section. Next, you and your family members can enjoy a buffet of splendid desserts. For adults, champagne is even included.
If you are traveling to Orlando in the middle of summer, be prepared. Think about your party and what is going to be best for them. Investigate the notable events and work those into your itinerary.
Pack accordingly and be ready for the rain to force you indoors for at least a half an hour. You can do this. Now, the only thing left to do is get to the parks, order a rich and delicious Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, take a bite, and enjoy!
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