Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Yin Yang Of WDW In The Summer

Ahhh, summertime in Walt Disney World is fast approaching. There are definitely things to love (and not love as much) about being in The Mouse during the heat-and-humidity-infused months ahead. For example, there are far more activities that can be done in WDW during the scorching upcoming months, but that's balanced out by the massive crowds and long lines.

So to look more closely at this yin yang experience that is The Mouse in The Summer, we'll break it down into what we love about WDW in the summer versus what we might not love so much...

What We Love About Summer In The Mouse

The Pools

It's no fun staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort in January when it's 30 degrees and you can't even go swimming - trust us. Come summer, you CAN'T WAIT to dive in.

Paddle Boats & Other Recreational Water Activities

Who wants to head out into the middle of Seven Seas Lagoon on a Water Mouse when it's 45 degrees out? Sounds a little more appealing in that fantastic Florida sunshine in June.

The Dole Whip
Now, this treat from Adventureland (and Captain Cook's in the Poly) can be enjoyed any time of year...but it just seems so much better when it's 93 degrees out!

Kali River Rapids, Animal Kingdom
Any other time of year, Kali is basically not worth the effort (outside of seeing the queue area - which is phenomenal). Unless it's an unseasonably hot day, you don't want to get soaked only to walk around shivering afterward. And I also never understood the point of wearing the rain ponchos on the ride - aren't we riding it to get wet??? So with that said, when the heat is cranked up, there is almost no better feeling than hitting Kali and getting DRENCHED. But get that fastpass, because the lines are LONG in the summer.

Splash Mountain, Frontierland

This classic is slightly different than Kali in that during the non-summer months, they usually turn down the big sprinklers that really get you wet - although that doesn't save you from the splash other logs make at the bottom of the big drop after you've already done it. But during the summer, you WANT to get soaked here, for many of the same reasons why we love Kali during this season.

Summer Nightastic

This gives us an opportunity to see some new things at WDW this summer: new effects at Tower of Terror, extended hours at Animal Kingdom, Summer Concert Series at Epcot, new fireworks at Magic Kingdom, and of course, the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Water Misters
Who doesn't love to put their face into the water mister spots you can find at Epcot? There's 3 places I can think of off the top of my head - the area over by Test Track, the misters outside of Universe of Energy, and the misters by the fountains before you reach the World Showcase breezeway. There's also one opposite the bongo drums in Africa at Animal Kingdom, one over in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom and a few others hidden throughout the parks. These are a prize when it's 95 degrees and you're sweating like there's no tomorrow.

Singing In The Rain, Hollywood Studios

This is actually unknown to a lot of people. At the Lights, Cameras, Action end of the Streets of America, you can find an umbrella attached to a light pole. Stand in the right spot and water spritzes out all over. This is just another clever way of getting you wet - which, of course, is a blessing this time of year.

Tiki Totem Poles, Adventureland
They look cool, and during the summer they play a valuable role in cooling you off. The kids die for these guys.

Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bar
For much of the same reason why we love the Dole Whip, the Mickey Bar comes to the rescue on occasion.

Ellen's Universe Of Energy, Epcot
OK, this isn't the greatest attraction ever, but 45 minutes inside of cool AC is a savior in the middle of July. American Adventure in World Showcase does the same thing, but it's a far superior attraction, although not quite as long.

Club Cool, Epcot

Of course, we can never sing the praises of this little outpost enough. AC and free coca-cola products from around the world. How can you beat that when you're burning up?

The Water Parks
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach really are a great way to spend a day at The Mouse when it's ridiculously hot outside. Whether it's the lazy rivers, the wave pools or slides/rides, you can't go wrong at either water park. We especially love Typhoon because of the awesome theming.

Ice Water Dumped On Your Head
OK, maybe this is just me. But wow, does it work.

What We DON'T Love About Summer In The Mouse

It's Busy Season

School is out all across the country. This is THE time most families around the country (and most of the world in general) come to The Mouse since they don't have to rip their kids out of school and miss time. So it all converges here at once, for 3 straight months. This means big crowds.

Long Lines Everywhere
When it's busy season and there are big crowds, that means long lines. REALLY long lines. So not only do you have to wait in a ridiculous line for a ride/attraction that probably lasts all of 3 minutes, but for some of these rides the wait (or part if the wait) is outside in the ridiculous heat. Patience wears thin.

Shoulder To Shoulder Crowds During Parades, Fireworks
This comes hand-in-hand with "It's Busy Season" (as do long lines). But it's particularly bad because it's really hot outside -which very much adds to the frustration factor which is already present because you're shoulder-to-shoulder with countless thousands of people, every where you turn.

It's Tougher To Tour "Commando" Style
Some people love to blitz around the parks, taking in as much as possible as quickly as possible. While I don't really prescribe to that idea as much (anymore), I can understand the motive of those who do. But this time of year, not only can long lines sabotage your efforts, but it can drain you - quickly. If you're trying to really get your money's worth and see as much as you can, this is a difficult time to go that route, for all those reasons.

Getting An ADR Is Almost Impossible
At least it used to be during the summer. With the state of the economy, it might be slightly easier these days heading into summer to get a dining reservation with shorter notice (although with the number of travelers getting the Dining Plan, it is still going to be difficult no matter what). Be prepared to eat Counter Service, at a Table Service that isn't your first choice, or bring your own food (which we always encourage).

It's Uncomfortable Outside Even During The Evening
In central Florida, it's not just the sun and pure temperature that makes the summer heat awful - it's the humidity as well. It's a "wet" heat, and that's what makes you sweat the most. And even when the sun goes down in the evening, much of the humidity stays put. So you continue to sweat, even standing there on Main Street, USA at 10 p.m., watching The Main Street Electrical Parade and Summer Nighttastic Fireworks show.

Now, even though that's a rather daunting list of things to dislike about The Mouse during the summer, to me the good outweighs the bad. There's still more things to love than there is to not love. And when it's all said and done, whether it's 25 degrees or 95 degrees, there's still no place I'd rather be than The Happiest Place On Earth.

1 comment:

  1. We tried our darndest to find the right spot for Singin' in the Rain! We never did though. :( Maybe next time...