Great weather goes hand in hand with a great theme park experience. Whether you're heading to Orlando for the Disney, Universal or SeaWorld parks, to Spain for PortAventura or even to Disneyland Paris this summer, it's important to enjoy the sun and keep cool and hydrated at the same time.
1) Seek out “cold points”
On a recent visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, we spotted an ingenious “cold spot” station set up at the top of the escalators in the park. It’s shaded, of course, and offers park visitors the chance to sit down and rest with a cold cup of water. Better still, the area is specially fitted with a very effective water vapour spray and fan.
2) Take in indoor shows when the sun is at its fiercest
There are plenty of shows to complement the rides at our favourite theme parks, and these often take place indoors in wonderful and much-welcomed havens of air conditioning. It’s a good idea to do these shows when the sun is at its hottest, between 11am and 4pm so you can take a break from the sun. If you’re taking in an outdoor water show, make sure to sit in the splash zone – it’s more fun and perhaps even a little too refreshing! Always make sure to cover up and use lots of sunscreen though, even in the splash zone.
3) Freeze a bottle of water the night before
Of course, the most important thing that you MUST do is to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Water can be expensive inside the parks so it’s a good idea to tip a little water out of a large bottle and pop it in the freezer the night before so you can have access to free, chilled water all day.
4) Do the water rides early on
Water rides. Some people love getting wet while others love to plaster their poncho to their head and save their hair! In tropical temperatures, wearing a poncho on the water rides can get pretty warm, particularly if you get too excited and put it on while you’re still in the queue. We recommend you do the water rides early (poncho free!) so you can enjoy getting drenched but still have time to dry off before getting in the hire car later. Some of our best splash recommendations are the Jurassic Park ride at both Universal Studios’, Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld and Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.
5) Seek out water fountains
Most of the parks provide free water through public drinking fountains, normally located near to the bathrooms, where you can fill up your bottle or splash your face. Alternatively, you can get ice cold water from any counter service restaurants at the Disney parks for no extra charge.
6) Playing fountains for kids
If you need to cool off and would prefer to play in the water rather than drink it, look out for Splash pads or “spray grounds”, which are located all over the Orlando parks. One of our favourites is the Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station in the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland Area, but it’s the Hollywood Studios super soaker gun at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids attraction which packs a real soaking! Remember to keep those shoes dry though!
7) Take a hand held fan
A handheld fan can be a great asset if you’re left holding the bags, or even for when you’re waiting in the queue for a ride. While we don’t recommend you ride the Kraken with the fan pointing in your face, it can be refreshing when you’re off the rides and catching your breath between coasters.
8) Leave the park in the middle of the day
The beauty of purchasing a 7, 14 or 21 day unlimited ticket is that you can get to the park nice and early in the morning, benefit from the quieter rides, and then leave around midday to return to the hotel for lunch and a cooling swim. You can then re-enter the park later in the afternoon when the temperature has dropped a bit and check out the rides you missed in the morning!
For more tips and tricks for making the most of the theme parks this summer, check out our Expert Guide section or read our destination guides! Orlando Tickets / Disneyland Paris Tickets / PortAventura Tickets.