For years, people touted horror stories about Orlando’s theme parks during the summer months. Tales of crowds like New Year’s in Times Square, and heat rivaling Satan’s Champagne room were passed around like old wives tales. Interestingly enough, we’ve found that summer is one of our favorite times to visit both Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, for many different reasons. Today, we’re sharing the secrets we’ve learned about having a great summertime trip to Orlando’s theme park playground, so you’ll have a great time, and avoid a heat-induced meltdown.

What to Expect:

Yes, it will be hot. There’s not really any way in getting around that. It does, however, rain almost every day in the summer, usually in the late afternoon, and it really does cool down significantly after the storm passes. We’ve actually found that summer has been one of the less crowded times you can visit when schools are out, especially compared to Spring Break or Christmas. Our personal opinion is that so many people have told people to avoid the parks during the summer months for so long, that it’s now actually a relatively uncrowded time to go.

Where to Stay:

We are always advocates of staying close to the hotel you’re going to stay at during the warmer months. We think this is a good idea for several reasons: for starters, trying to last from park open to park close isn’t a realistic plan. Your family (and feet) will thank you if you go back and take a nap during the day. This is a lot more feasible if you’re staying close to the parks. We recommend The Embassy Suites on I-Drive for your home base for a Universal Trip, and the DoubleTree at Disney Springs for where to stay for a Disney trip. Not only will both of these hotels offer you more space and metaphorical bang for your buck than staying on property during the summer months, but they both have wonderful breakfasts, pool areas, and plenty of room for your family to spread out.

You can check out The Embassy Suites here, and the DoubleTree at Disney Springs here.

What to Pack:

We always recommend packing lightweight, breathable clothing for the summer months, and wearing comfortable shoes that can get wet to the theme parks. Our favorite item to take with us is a portable fan that you can carry in the parks (it makes the heat way more bearable).

How to Plan:

The best advice we can give for touring the parks during the summer is to get to the theme parks when they open and stay until lunch, and then go back to the hotel and nap and swim until the evening hours. Head back to the parks only after the sun has begun to set, and enjoy the cooler weather.

Thank you so much to the Embassy Suites and the DoubleTree for partnering with us on this post!