The theme parks of Orlando can be hot and cruel, here are some tips on how to survive the parks whilst making the most out of your visit!
Take a bottle of water and refill it at the various water fountains or ask the servers in restaurants.
Use the website and park apps to get use to the layout of the park, so you can head straight to the ride you are most excited for.
Beat the heat
If you are not too fussed on riding every single ride, head to the park at around 2.30pm, meaning you beat the hottest time and the park is starting to clear.
Both Universal and Disney offer apps with ride waiting times, check these before you leave and whilst your at the park so that you know which rides are quieter when deciding what to ride next.
Child Swap/Rider Switch Pass
Travelling to parks with small children? Many rides offer a ‘child swap’ option for young children to swap with their siblings; particularly helpful when you have only one adult or older sibling wanting to ride.
Forget the parade
If you do love rides, then forget watching the parades and head straight to the best rides you want to try. Queues tend to be a lot quieter during parade times, particularly the evening parades.
Buy your tickets online
Avoid queues and save money by purchasing your tickets online and print them before heading to the park. We saved money and time by purchasing ticket packages at Undercover Tourist.
Although it is tempting, don’t over pack your bag! This will weigh you down and will probably be full of un-useful items anyway. Bring your phone, wallet, camera, raincoat and water bottle.
Leave Potter to last
Whilst visiting Universal, both Harry Potter areas and rides get incredibly busy, incredibly early. Leave it until later in the evening, when younger children are heading home, to avoid the 3 hour waiting time.
The correct footwear
We have all done it; worn pretty new shoes on a day out and ended up with blistered achy feet. Trainers are the best choice for trekking around these theme parks but I do love wearing a comfy pair of flip flops in the hot months.
Food in parks can be so expensive but don’t forget you can bring your own food in with you. We like to bring in a few snacks and get the refillable cups. Eating at an indoors restaurant can be a god send during the hot summer months, so bring some extra money for this.
In Orlando, it is so essential to bring sunscreen and keep applying it. It is easy to forget when your whizzing through the air at super speeds but don’t spoil the next few days of your holiday by forgetting to apply a bit whilst you’re queuing for the next ride.
Orlando’s weather can change throughout the day, so bring layers to avoid the ‘waiting for the parade’ chill or to keep you covered in a thunderstorm.
If you aren’t too fussed about sitting next to your friends or family, take the single rider queue, which can cut your wait time by half, if not more.
Bring a camera
Avoid paying overcharged ride shots and bring you camera to capture your fun memories.
I know I have said arrive late if your not too fussed on the rides but if you are fussed and want a full day at the park then get there early. Parking lots start to fill up from 9am!
Bring a Poncho to avoid the inevitable rainy afternoons.
Bring spare clothes for water rides
Island of Adventures includes lots of water rides that help you cool off in the summer. Unfortunately, because of the high humidity of the Orlando, clothes don’t always dry as well, so bring along some spare underwear to avoid walking around in wet clothes all day.
Start at the back
Walk to the back of the park when you first enter the theme park and work your way forward to avoid long queues and hectic walkways.
Alternate your rides
Much easier to do so in Universal parks, but alternate your rides between outdoor and indoor air conditioned rides to avoid over heating during hot months.
Sit near an exit
When watching a show, try and get seats near an exit to allow for a fast escape at the end.
Charge your phone
Not just for pictures but for those moments you suddenly lose your party, make sure your phone is fully charged. If you are like me, with a certain phone that seems to run out of battery very quickly, then head to Wossamotta U, located in Adventure’s Toon Lagoon (Universal) and purchase 30 minutes of charging time for $5. Internet access is available in this area of the park too.
Buy your souvenirs at the end of your day, there is nothing worse than carrying around a half deflated balloon and a collection of Simpson coasters around the theme park all day. At Disney, if you choose to buy souvenirs during the day, you can collect the items at the exit as you leave the park or even get them sent to your hotel if you are staying at a Disney Resort.
Book food reservations in advance
If you are a large family or want to eat in a popular sit down restaurant for dinner, you need to book a table prior to your visit.
Choose a hotel near the theme parks that offer a shuttle bus to avoid high taxi charges. You can rent and drive yourself, which we found the most convenient method of transport but be warned that parking in any of theme parks is expensive, costing upwards of $25 per day.
If you are travelling with younger children, check the height restriction before visiting so you can purposefully avoid certain rides and therefore avoiding child disappointment.
My Disney Experience app
Use the app to reserve restaurants and book your fast pass choices.
Bring your own gum, it is not sold in any of the parks.
Use the Crowd Calendar
Undercover Tourist have a brilliant Crowd Calendar that gives you a rough idea of the parks busiest days and weeks. Check it out before you plan any trip and avoid the Christmas period if possible.
Photograph the parking lot
So, theme park parking lots are massive! Take a photo of the area and lot you have parked in so you can find your car at the end of the day.
We booked our theme park tickets via Undercover Tourist, they offer some great discounts and packages.
Book theme park tickets with Undercover Tourist.