How to Keep Cool at Disney without the Pool
The theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort are playgrounds in and of themselves. It’s easy to spend hours engrossed in the depths of the parks, finding nuances and details you’ve never noticed before. I could easily spend an afternoon walking through the deepest parts of World Showcase or Harambe in search of the famous Disney touches that bring the story to life around you, and when I recently visited the parks with my young family members, I knew early on they didn’t share the same passion for detail-hunting…and a backup plan was formed.
It’s true: you can spend 2 days in any of the theme parks and still not have seen and done everything, but spending day after day racing from attraction to attraction in an attempt to squeeze it all in left my little cousins mentally exhausted and pretty grumpy before we had finished our first full day in the parks! On that very hot Monday, my cousins were begging for more ice cream and ‘air conditioner’ breaks than I’d anticipated, and I knew a week of this would not a happy vacation make. Without changing any of our plans, I knew something would have to change for the very hot week ahead, and I had just the idea to keep everyone cool, calm, and happy.
There are a few splash zones and play places located through WDW that are, in my opinion, vastly under used. Of course you can take your kids to the local playgrounds and water play areas that I’m sure are no more than a few minutes’ drive from your house, so why should you waste time doing just that when you’re visiting a Disney park?! The answer, I’ve come to learn, is simple: kids need deviation. Even in Walt Disney World, attention spans shrink when heat exhaustion sets in, and one of my go-to spots on that vacation with my cousins was Casey Jr. Splash N’ Soak in Magic Kingdom.
Located in a quiet section of the park- just across from the Barnstormer in Storybook Circus- is the perfect destination on a hot afternoon. Complete with circus vehicles, adorable animals, and a great view of the Fantasyland train station, the splash zone succeeded in cooling off my very hot and antsy cousins three times that week- just watch out for wacky water sprayers if you don’t want to get wet!
Since my cousins are too small to ride Test Track, they had to sit with their grandparents while the older kids took a 0-60 spin around the sim track. I wasn’t looking forward to the antsy screaming I knew would be happening back where we left my cousins and grandparents…but all we found awaiting us was an empty bench. Lucky for us (read: lucky for my grandparents) the kids found the Coca Cola cool zone sprayer that’s just outside of the Test Track Pavilion. They certainly seemed to have forgotten about their Test Track shortcomings judging from their huge smiles and wet faces.
We also frequented the foam-bottom splash area in Epcot. You’ll find this splash pad on your right as you make your way from Future World to World Showcase. If you can’t find it, just look for giggling diaper-clad toddlers in the vicinity. We stopped at this spot both on our way to and on our way out of World Showcase and it proved to be a great bookend diversion for my cousins; the promise of a soak-down is what kept them going as we took that long trip around World Showcase!
Weather doesn’t know theme park boundaries, and it was just as unbearably hot when we spend the day at Disney Springs. They loved shopping in World of Disney and the youngest girl could not get enough of Tren-D, but the mid-day heat exhaustion slump still hit us hard, and we needed an answer! Without attractions and shows to duck into every few minutes, I remembered the splash pad located near the Port Orleans boat launch (near the back of Rainforest Café) in the nick of time! My cousins quickly soaked themselves from head to toe. Something about getting wet brought them back from the land of heat-exhausted children, and judging by the relieved parents around us, they weren’t the only kids who needed a cool down! Which of these splash areas would you choose for your children? Let us know in the comments below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!