Ultimate Guide to Summer Vacation at Disney World
Bust out the board shorts and bikinis folks, because as of today, Summer 2018 is officially here!!! Every year my anticipation for my favorite season starts earlier and earlier, and I’ve been dreaming of long hours of sunshine and warm breezes since the very first leaf fell last fall- needless to say I’ve been waiting for this day for a long, long time!
Since I’ve three seasons’ worth of time to curse the cold and await the return of sun-kissed skin, I’ve done quite a bit of planning for when my favorite season finally made its return. Here’s everything you need to know about spending your summer vacation at Disney World!
One look at their homepage and you’ll notice that I’m not the only one who’s done some prepping; Walt Disney World Resort has been doing the opposite of hibernating this winter, and they are ready to unveil the full lineup of “Incredible Summer” offerings (check out my article on the Incredible Summer here for more info).
I’m excited to see Toy Story Land and dance with the Incredibles in Tomorrowland, but what I love most about summer at the Resort is that while there is always something new, summer classics are just as big a part of the vacation for me and my family. While you’re preparing for an incredible vacation this summer, be sure to include some of the Resort’s classic summertime staples into your trip.
Ice cream is never out of season for me. Unless temperatures dip into the negatives, I could always go for a cup or cone of my current favorite flavor! Yes, ice cream is always welcome in my house no matter the season, but there’s is something special about licking a cone of the frozen stuff on a hot July day that really does the job of enhancing the season.
From Dole Whips to sundaes, it seems that there are about as many ice cream shops and kiosks at Walt Disney World as there are days in a year! If you want the best of the best (who wouldn’t’?) these are the spots you have to try:
Hand-Scooped and Soft Serve Ice Cream
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Beaches and Cream
- L’Artisan des Glaces
- Hollywood Scoops
- Dole Whip- Aloha Isle
- Funnel Cake a la mode- American Adventure
- Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Beaches and Cream
- Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars (kiosks throughout the parks)
- No Way Jose- Beaches and Cream
- PB&J Milkshake- Tune-In Lounge
- Double Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich- Tamu Tamu
It’s clear that I value dessert above a real dinner, though skipping over the restaurants with the best summertime vibe wouldn’t be right! As if we needed another reason to love summer, it’s the one time we can eat outside without having to worry about our food- or our feet- getting cold! These restaurants all have a laid-back atmospheres and light summer eats that make them perfect for enjoying during the hottest months.
- Satu’li Canteen
- Pizza Rizzo
- La Cantina de San Angel
- Spice Road Table
- Rose and Crown
- Geyser Point Bar and Grille
- Big River Grille and Brewing Works
- The Boathouse
- Paradiso 37
- Olivia’s Café
- Kona Café
Only the tastiest, most refreshing, and strongest here, folks…
- Fiesta Margarita- Epcot
- Blueberry Lemonade with Stoli- The Boathouse
- Bahama Mama- Paradiso 37
- Sunset Sangria- Hollywood Studios
- Big Blue Pool- Art of Animation
- Augustine- Grand Floridian
It’s usually hot in Central Florida, but there isn’t anything as brutal as the summertime sun mixed with the stifling humidity that is forecasted for nearly every day each summer. Once you’ve hit the parks- or even walked the distance from your Resort’s lobby to the pool deck- jumping head-on into the crystal-clear waters of a cool pool are just what the doctor ordered.
Every Walt Disney World Resort has their own pool, though if you’re looking to stay at the Resorts with the best pool theming based on your budget, here is where to book your stay:
- Art of Animation- Three pools are open to guests of the hotel and are themed to Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and My favorite is the Cars-themed option based on the Cozy Cone Motel!
- Coronado Springs- Swim under the shadows of an ancient Mayan temple, indulge in a drink at the adjacent pool bar, and make sure to tie your trunks extra tight before taking your turn down the winding slide.
- Boardwalk- The Luna Park Pool is my favorite on property. While you swim, wave to passing boats on the visible Crescent Lake and take in views of the Cyclone-themed slide, the beautiful Resort, and…the Tower of Terror!
- Yacht and Beach Club- The sand-bottom pool is the most sought-after pool on property not only for its winding canals and large size, but also for the wrecked pirate ship that serves as the starting point of the long, fast, and exciting water slide!
Now that summer is officially here, we want to know what you’re most excited to experience at Walt Disney World Resort this season! Are you excited for the new “Incredible Summer” offerings? Which ice cream treats are you going to try? Let us know in the comments!
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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!