Now that the summer season is here, it is very hot in Central Florida. Average highs are in the 90s, and spending the day in a crowded theme park can be quite uncomfortable. Disney has done a great job in creating a good number of indoor, air conditioned attractions, and most of the outdoor ones have shaded queues. However, there are times where guests could use a break from the heat without the desire to visit an attraction. There are also instances when not all members of a group will be riding an attraction, and the non-riders will need a cool place to wait. As a tour guide, I have spent quite a bit of time researching the “coolest” places to wait for my guests. I would like to share my favorite Magic Kingdom spots today.
Fantasyland is probably the most popular and crowded area of the Magic Kingdom. However, there are very few shady spots, and it always seems like an impossible task to avoid the sun. If you are here in the morning hours, the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant is the best place to get out of the heat. Although this spot doesn’t typically start serving food until around 11:00, the doors near the exit of Small World are open, and it is quiet and cool inside. If you are opting to skip Small World, this is also a great spot to watch your friends and family “sail” by. Later in the day, finding a cool spot in Fantasyland could be a little tricky. However, the exit area of Mickey’s Philharmagic is shaded, and you can feel the cool air rushing out of the gift shop nearby. The gift shops throughout the park are good options for cooling down, but you won’t typically find areas to sit down.
Next, let’s head over to Tomorrowland. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is the best spot in this area for a morning break. Just like Pinocchio Village Haus, there is plenty of seating and it is nice and cool. It is also pretty quiet in this location (if you have a napping baby), unless you sit in the area near Sonny Eclipse. He seems to perform whether there are guests there or not! The next location I want to mention is the large gift shop at the exit of Space Mountain. There are some seats near the cell phone charging counter, as well as a few “massaging” chairs, which are very inviting after a long day of walking. Finally, I want to throw an attraction into the mix. The PeopleMover is a great “ride” for a twelve minute break from the heat. It is totally in the shade, it creates its own breeze, and it travels in and out of air conditioned buildings. While my thrill-seeking guests are riding Space Mountain, I almost always have my non-riders enjoy the PeopleMover.
Heading over to Adventureland, you will be hard pressed to find an air-conditioned spot to sit down. However, there are some benches near the restrooms next to the Pirates gift shop. If you are waiting for guests near the Jungle Cruise, stand as close to the FastPass kiosks as possible to enjoy some of their “outdoor” air conditioning. Otherwise, you can make the short walk to Frontierland and use the morning restaurant trick over at Pecos Bills. Other than a few gift shops, this is really the only cool spot in that section of the park. There are sometimes a few chairs to be found in the Briar Patch shop near Splash Mountain, but I wouldn’t count on them being available. Your best bet in that area is to find a shady spot under the train station.
I have saved the best for last, which is found in Liberty Square. Although many guests don’t want to dedicate a half hour to the Hall of Presidents (especially with young kids), the lobby of this attraction is the perfect place for a break from the intense Florida sun. First off, it is a very big area that can accommodate hundreds of guests. Next, there are comfortably soft benches located around the perimeter of the room. If you walk in and don’t see an empty bench, chances are good that one will open up in a few minutes, when the next show loads. Finally, the Hall of Presidents is centrally located and only a short walk from most areas of the park.
Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing the best spots in the other parks to stay cool. Stay tuned for Epcot!
I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!