Disney Trip Mid August 2019 Tips that worked and the ones that didn't

PaintEM

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Just got back from our first Disney World trip. I am an over-preparer and watched every video and read every forum that I could for the last 2 months. Here was our experiences with different tips and tricks and what worked for us and what we had problems with.

Rain poncho versus umbrellas - Since we went in mid August, the weather was hot (91-95 degrees) and humid and rained every day. (which was expected) Typically, it rained in the afternoon but seemed to last an hour and then stopped. We brought disposable rain ponchos and used them everyday. Most of the times, the rain was fairly light but sometimes it downpoared! I would say most people wore ponchos there. However, I did feel a little jealous of people having umbrellas because the ponchos did feel hot. But, the trade off is not having to carry the extra weight of the umbrella all day for an hour of convenience. I had heard that the Florida rain can be so bad that the rain could come in from the sides which would make the umbrellas useless but we were lucky and did not experience that type of rain. On a side note, I did see some broken umbrellas and I believe that they were the ones that Disney sold in the stores so I would suggest that if you are an umbrella person, bring one from home.

Portable hand held fans - Yes! Bring these! We used these a lot! We had the ones that squirted water and they were great! My son (11 y.o.) had a normal size bottle which he wore around his neck and used throughout the day. I bought a rechargeable fan for myself that you wear around your neck and blows air up to your face/neck. I cannot say how it worked since my daughter (14 y.o.) ended up using it the entire trip! Lol. I can assume that means she liked it. She turned it on and off as needed and it lasted that whole day. We recharged it at night at the hotel. But, I think I read that if you keep it on continuously, it will last between 2-4 hours, depending on the speed you set it on. (Bought it on Amazon) I ended up using a mini fan mister. I liked this because of the portability but it was not as cooling as the bigger fan. (lower speed and smaller fan blades) I saw a lot of people buy the Disney regular size spray fans but it would be cheaper if you bought it at home and just brought it.

Cooling towels - I wasn't sure how I would feel wearing this around my neck. (partly a vanity thing) But, it worked great! We all ended up wearing these everyday! It really helped keep the neck cool and was good for cooling off your face as needed. It is amazing how vanity goes right out the window when in it soooo hot and you are trying everything you can to keep cool. Many people were wearing these and Disney sells these everywhere as well. Once again, buy them before you go to save money.

Walking shoes versus sandals - Disney World is huge and expect your feet to feel sore. I read that walking shoes are a must and to bring a couple of pairs so you can switch them to help with blisters, sore spots, etc. Everyone wore one pair of sneaker type shoes one day and we switched to another sneaker type shoes the second day. Great! No blisters. (but sore feet from walking, of course) But, on the third day, my daughter, son and I developed a painful heat rash on our feet! Our feet were red and felt like they were on fire with a prickly feeling! I thought it was the "Disney rash" that I read about but it didn't look like the photos. We had to take off our shoes and socks took up to a couple of hours for the pain to go away and our feet became really sensitive if it got hot again. We ended up wearing sandals for the rest of the time at the park. I had to buy some sandals for my son. He is not a sandal person so he never had any at home. We paid $35 dollars for the sandals that I think I had seen sell for $10 at home. But, it was worth it because otherwise, he probably would have not been able to go to the parks for the rest of the trip.

Water bottles - Yes! Bring these! We brought the insulated kind and it was quite refreshing to drink the cold water when it was really hot. I bought the Brita stainless steel filter bottle because people kept saying that the water there tastes horrible. My kids didn't complain about the taste when they used the water bottle which was great. I tried the water straight from the fountain and it did taste funny. People said it tastes like sulfer. Maybe...sulfer or water that had been sitting out for a really long time...kind of a stale taste...hard to describe but not pleasant. BUT, the whole point of buying the filtered water bottle was so we could fill them up at the fountains. We ran into two problems with this. First, water fountains are rare and few. I thought they would at least be by the restrooms, but they were not. Second, when you are able to find a water fountain, it maybe goes up an inch which makes it extremely difficult to fill up a water bottle. Heard many frustrated sounds coming from people who were trying to fill their containers up only to be able to fill it up a quarter of the way, if that. Heard there were water bottle filling stations somewhere. I saw one in line for Na'vi River Journey ride. People were desperately filling their water bottles there and it backed up the line quite a bit just for that.

Getting water from the quick service - Some people had said to not bother with water bottles because you can get the water free from quick service places. Yes, you can. BUT, the water cups are so small and you do have to wait in a line for it. The lines are long so the wait times can vary. We ended up asking whenever we bought food and drank it to conserve water from our bottles. Only places that can give free water are the places that have the soda fountain machines or a Starbucks. We had heard that they sometimes put cups of water out so you can grab it or have a huge container of ice water so you can fill up your water bottles. I looked everywhere for those but sadly, never saw that anywhere. Of course, we could have bought water the water bottles but I was trying to avoid unnecessary costs when I could. (We did end up buying bottled water a few times because of the problems we were having getting water) Overall, I think we were dehydrated because we felt we needed to conserve water. I'm almost thinking of bringing a Camelbak if we ever go back to Disney World again, especially during this time of year.

Bugs/mosquitos - I read that Disney World does a good job of keeping mosquitos away and people don't have to worry about them. I am extremely sensitive to mosquito bites and will get soooo itchy. And for some reason, this year, the bites are so bad that when I forget to use bug repellant, the bites turn into like quarter sized welts that turn into bruise like marks that lasts for months! I usually use the more "natural" bug repellant but I did not want to be bit and be miserable on vacation so I bought the Outoor Maximum Deet mosquito repellant. (Can't remember the brand but it is in a dark green bottle) I sprayed it on myself and the kids everyday before leaving the hotel. It worked great and am happy to say that I did not get one bite! But, one of the days we had gone to Volcano Bay at night for a special glow party event. When I sprayed the kids in the morning, my son was wearing socks so he ended up getting bites on his feet. Volcano Bay is buggy at night. We had to keep putting Calamine lotion and the Cortisone cream on his feet for the rest of the trip due to intense itching. If you are a mosquito magnet and are really sensitive to bites, bring bug spray and something to help with the itchiness just in case.

Snacks - We brought snacks so we can have them while we were standing in line per recommendations I saw out there. I did bring some but barely ate any. Number one reason, I was Disney and we ended up trying so many things that we weren't really hungry. Number two, the weather was miserable that while we were standing in line, we were more hot and thirsty than hungry. I brought some candy that we sucked on in line but otherwise, the granola bars, trail mixes, etc went untouched. However, if you have younger kids or have bigger kids/adults that are prone to being "hangry" I think snacks are a very good idea. I think if the weather was cooler, we may have had eaten the snacks we brought.

These are the main ones that seemed to be somewhat controversial on the Disney Boards so I thought I'd put my experiences of them. Of course, the non-controversial ones are a must. Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, first aid kit/medications etc. You would also need to bring more if you have younger kids. I heard a lot of meltdowns from little kids (and adults) so be prepared with what your family needs.

Otherwise, Disney World was fun and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!
 

DouglasE

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
That post was very, very helpful. Even though things won't be quite as intense when I go in late October as August, I think you just provided some excellent take away advice.
 

mamamelody2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing! We are going in a couple weeks and our big concerns are how to mitigate the heat, and how to stay dry. LOL.

We have gone 3 Septembers and last year was the first time we actually had the daily rain showers. We had umbrellas (bought the heavy-duty travel ones off Amazon) and were glad to have them! I actually bought a 10 pack of disposable ponchos 3 trips ago and still have most of them. We only used them once in 2016 when the rain was coming in sideways. They're just so hot and sticky in the summer weather!

We bought new rechargeable necklace fans this year. I think they'll work great! We had cheaper "weaker" fans the last couple years and sometimes that was all that saved us from the crushing heat/humidity when we got in a spot with no breeze or shade. We also have cooling towels that I bought years ago and never used. Why? I don't know. We'll use them this year!

I agree on snacks, too! We always bring candy and gum and that's it. We just don't want much else outside of meals and frozen treats in that heat!

We bring an insulated water bottle and fill it from the quick service places. 3 small cups fill it up. We never had a problem finding water last year and there were a few places with cups just sitting out waiting to be taken. I never get water from the water fountains, just yuck!

We have never noticed any biting bugs on any of our trips. Just lucky, perhaps?

I wish I could find some good walking sandals, but so far no luck! My feet just have too many issues. I'm taking 3 pairs of good walking shoes and rotating them out this year. Hopefully with that and ibuprofin, I'll survive! Plantar fasciitis sucks!!
 
  • BostonNick

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2017
    That was excellent advice/information. Thank you! Going February 1 to 8th! Can NOT wait!!!
     

    Ariadnea

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2019
    This is really helpful, thank you! We’re leaving in a week and have been there before, but you hit on a couple of things I’ve been debating on (specifically the portable fan and the water availability!) Sounds like you had a good trip! :)
     

    Ariadnea

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2019
    Plantar fasciitis sucks!!
    It really really does! I suffered from it for a long time. Just wanted to sympathize and share that the only thing that finally helped me were Oofos shoes - omg, they’re amazing. Only thing I could wear at the worst of the plantar fasciitis. I’ve done Disney with the plantar fasciitis and hope you have a good trip!
     

    DaisyNY

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2003
    Cooling towels are the best! We freeze a water bottle or two and use them to cool us off and drink throughout the day as they melt.
     

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