What to Bring to Disney World in August

This photograph was taken by Michael of Countdown to Magic

August is historically the hottest month of the year in Orlando. It also has the most rainfall, which increases the notorious Florida humidity. If you’re not well prepared, these conditions can seem downright miserable. So in this article, I’m going to help you iron out your packing list, so you can determine exactly what to bring to Disney World in August.

Loose, Light Colored Clothing

Appropriate clothing is key to staying as comfortable in the August heat. Your clothing choices should be made of “breathable” fabrics such as cotton, linen, or cotton blends. Polyester, denim, and rayon fabrics aren’t the best choices for the heat of Summer in Orlando. Don’t wear any clothes that fit snug against your skin while enjoying the Disney World parks. 

Loose fitting outfits allow for a bit of airflow between your skin and the fabric, and that little bit of air helps your body cool down. Tight fabrics will slow down the evaporation of sweat (that’s how your body regulates temperature!), and can also cause uncomfortable chafing and rashes.

Darker colors, especially black of course, will feel noticeably warmer. Black clothing absorbs light, and the light is transformed into heat. Conversely, lighter colors such as white and pastels reflect light away from you. Less light absorption means that your clothes won’t feel quite so warm.

Bring Appropriate Footwear

Wearing the correct shoes is so important for a Walt Disney World vacation at any time of year.  While flip flops and strappy sandals are very fashionable in the Summertime, they are probably not the best choice for a full day of walking in the Disney Parks. Quality running or walking shoes are always an excellent choice. Wear light colored cotton blend socks with them for the best comfort. 

If you prefer sandals, sturdy hiking sandals are your best bet. Hiking sandals will be cooler than sneakers, and they are supportive while being lightweight. Another advantage of hiking sandals is that they are adjustable. On particularly hot days your feet can swell. 

Loosening the straps on your sandals (or even loosening your shoe laces on sneakers) will help alleviate the swelling and reduce your chance of blisters.

Water rides in the Walt Disney World parks are a fun way to cool off on a hot August day, but walking around in wet socks or sandals is likely to cause blisters. Consider bringing an extra pair of socks in case yours get wet while on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids! Another option is to pack a pair of mesh water shoes in your backpack to wear on water rides. You can change into the water shoes just for the ride, then put your dry shoes back on afterwards. 

Bring Rain Gear

August is the rainiest month of the year for central Florida. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Disney Parks on a rainy day!  The rides will only be shut down if the weather is severe, and there are plenty of shops and attractions that are enclosed. Lightweight ponchos are inexpensive and are invaluable when rainstorms pop up. A poncho can be folded or rolled up to take up a small amount of space in a backpack. 

If you’re bringing a stroller into the parks, consider packing an extra poncho, or even a cheap shower curtain liner. You can drape these over the stroller to keep everything nice and dry while you’re enjoying your vacation. A couple of large ziplock bags can be useful, too. They’re perfect for storing extra socks, damp clothing or shoes, and snacks that you want to keep dry.

Bring Sun Protection!

Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen! It is recommended by dermatologists that everyone use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30 or higher, preferably one that is water resistant. Don’t only put it on in the morning before you leave for the parks. Sunscreen works best when you reapply it throughout the day. 

Lip balm with SPF protection will help keep your lips from getting chapped or sunburned.  The best choice for sunglasses are styles that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Although everyone loves to wear their Mickey Mouse ears in the park, a broad brimmed hat is a better choice in the Summer. A wide brimmed hat will bring additional sun protection to your face, neck, and ears. You can find child sized hats with Disney character prints, which might make sun protection more fun for little ones who aren’t used to wearing hats all day.

Stay Hydrated!

Every person in your group should have a refillable water bottle. Fill it up before you arrive at the park, and take frequent water breaks throughout the day. In the August heat, if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, you’re probably already getting slightly dehydrated!

You can ask for free cups of water at many of the food carts and quick service food spots in the parks.  There are also drinking fountains located outside of many of the restrooms. Individual packets of electrolyte powders that can be added to a 16 or 20 ounce water bottle are very helpful, too.

Don’t Forget Your Swimsuit!

When you need a break from the parks, Walt Disney World Resort hotel pools and water parks are a fun way to beat the heat! Many of the resort pools are Disney themed, and some have scheduled poolside activities. 

Don’t forget your water resistant sunscreen, and be sure to reapply it throughout the day. The pools and water parks only close down in instances of severe weather, so pay attention to weather forecasts. 

Bring Cooling Towels

Cooling towels are inexpensive, and can be purchased in a variety of sizes and styles. The way they work is simple: You soak a cooling towel with water, then drape it around your neck. The cool water transfers your body heat to the towel, and as the water evaporates from the towel your temperature lowers. Cooling towels are also a great way to soothe children who are getting overwhelmed in the hottest part of the day.

Bring a Personal Fan

Small, battery operated fans are another way to stay comfortable. They’ll generate a gentle breeze; just enough to offer some relief from the heavy humidity. You can buy varieties that are worn around the neck, carried in a bag or pocket, or clipped on to a stroller.

Be Prepared During Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season in Florida runs from June through November, which means August is right in the middle of it. The good news is that Orlando is approximately 40 miles from the coast, so Walt Disney World will rarely shut down because of hurricanes.

However, severe storms are still possible if a hurricane is at or near the coastline. Walt Disney World does have a cancellation policy for hurricane season, so pay attention to the weather forecast a week or so before your scheduled arrival. 

In the event that the parks shut down for a day or two because of hurricanes or tropical storms while you’re at Walt Disney World, you may be asked to stay in your hotel rooms if staying on the Disney property. If the forecast looks like this might happen, and it’s too late to cancel or reschedule your trip, be sure to stock some snacks and bottled water in your room. 

Don’t try to order grocery delivery or go shopping yourself; you should be able to purchase what you need from the food courts or shops at your hotel. The rooms at all Disney resorts include at least a mini fridge where you can store drinks, sandwiches, fruit, etc.  If you’re traveling with children, consider bringing coloring books, card games, books, or small toys to keep them entertained just in case you have to stay in the hotel room. 

Disney World Essentials All Year ‘Round

Let’s begin by talking about why a smartphone is so important for Disney World—and it has absolutely nothing to do with making emergency phone calls or text messages.

Bring A Portable Phone Charger

A portable phone charger is a must have item for your Walt Disney World vacation!  With the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone, you can utilize the new Genie+  system to help plan your day and avoid long lines for your favorite rides. 

The app also helps with dining reservations, ordering mobile food pick up, accessing your PhotoPass photos, and more. All of this, and using your phone to take photos, can drain your battery before you realize it! 

Bring a Backpack for All Essential Items

A traditional backpack, a smaller backpack-style purse, a sling backpack or a fanny pack is extremely helpful to carry your essentials. It keeps your hands free, and your items organized. Any bag with outside pockets for water bottles is a great choice.

“Cooler” style backpacks are insulated to help keep any food or drinks nice and cold. You can pack extra bottled water, fruit, small snacks in these backpacks along with reusable cold packs (Walt Disney World doesn’t allow loose ice to be brought in) for a refreshing treat. Insulated backpacks are also a good way to keep any medications cold that shouldn’t be exposed to heat.

Take Your Own Snacks

Alright, let’s discuss some of those tasty snacks. Why? Well, because Disney does allow visitors to bring in their own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks! In terms of restrictions, well, your snacks can’t be in glass containers (with the exception of baby food jars), and they can’t require reheating or constant refrigeration. 

When you’re out in the August heat, it’s a good idea to have fruit, trail mix, cut-up vegetables, and juice boxes available to help prevent dehydration. Individual packets of electrolyte powders that can be added to a water bottle are helpful, too. Remember, dehydration happens easily anytime in Florida! 

Pack Basic First Aid Items

Don’t forget basic first-aid items. Band-aids, aspirin (or your painkiller of choice), a small bottle of aloe gel (for sunburn), and antibacterial wipes are easy to carry and make it easier to get through the day when little mishaps occur.  

In the intense heat of a Florida Summer, heat rash is fairly common. Also known as the “Disney Rash”, it can be soothed with hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Another uncomfortable condition that happens with the heat is skin chafing. Whether it’s from your clothing rubbing against you, or your legs rubbing together as you spend all day walking, your skin can get rubbed raw. An anti-chafing stick, often used by long distance runners and cyclists, can prevent this painful condition. Reapply it throughout the day for the best results.  

Most importantly, learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and contact a Disney cast member right away if anyone in your group is showing symptoms while in the parks. 

Conclusion

Walt Disney World may have slightly lower crowds in August. Families with children are usually getting ready to begin the new school year, and the weather keeps some tourists away.

Orlando has an average high-temperature of 91°F (32.8°C) and an average low-temperature of 76.8°F (24.9°C) in August. The heat index can make those temperatures feel 10 to 15 degrees even hotter!

Hopefully, these suggestions have helped you decide what to bring to Disney World in August. The best way to have a magical time on your August vacation is to make a detailed packing list, and pay attention to weather forecasts.

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