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Surviving A Summer Day At Disneyland

Updated on November 22, 2016
How to survive a Summer day at Disneyland!
How to survive a Summer day at Disneyland! | Source

The weather is hot, the sun is shining, and school is out! This can only mean one thing: its Summer time In sunny SoCal! Summer is a really fun time to go to Disneyland. The days are longer and the weather is ideal for water rides as well as yummy treats but keep in mind it is also one of the busiest seasons for Disneyland. This means that there are tourists visiting from around the country (and sometimes the world), almost everyone is on Summer break, and children have no bed times but don’t let that prevent you from visiting. I know what you are thinking: the lines are long, it’s too hot, and way too crowded but there are many ways to enjoy and survive a trip to Disneyland this Summer!

Avoid Those Long Lines!

First I think it is important to recognize the most popular attractions in each park. If you know what will be the busiest rides you want to go on, you can easily figure out a way to enjoy that particular ride without the lines. Some examples of these are: Splash Mountain, Grizzly River Run, The Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, and Toy Story Mania (just to name a few). If you plan on getting to the parks early I would suggest picking the rides you want to go on first and get a Fastpass.

Here is Fantasyland at night right after the firework show.
Here is Fantasyland at night right after the firework show. | Source

Fantasyland Tip

If you go to Fantasyland towards the end of the firework show you are actually allowed to line up for re-entering the area (they close it during the show). This is one of the best ways to do some Fantasyland rides that have had super long lines during the day because once they let you back in you get first pick in what you want to go on, which means practically no line at all to wait in!

What is a Fastpass and how do I get one?

For those of you who don’t know what a Fastpass is, it’s a special ticket you get that lets you skip a good majority of the line and in most cases you practically walk right on to the ride. Anyone with a ticket or annual pass can get one. Not all rides have the Fastpass option and you can only receive one Fastpass at a time. At the bottom of the ticket it will tell you what time you can receive your next Fastpass. This is why I recommend figuring out which ride you want to go on the most. I personally would suggest getting a Fastpass for any of the major water rides because you will most likely want to enjoy it during the hot part of the day so you can get nice and wet! Other rides such as Indiana Jones you can enjoy anytime because the line is mostly indoors!

Also keep in mind that you can only get one Fastpass at a time. Once you have received your first Fastpass look at the bottom of the ticket. It will tell you what time you can go get your next one. My tip is to either keep an eye on the time or what I personally like to do is I set an alarm on my phone so I don't miss out on getting another one as soon as possible!

If you can’t get a Fastpass don’t worry there is another option you can consider. A great time to do all those rides with the hour plus line is during parades and shows! Most people will flock to watch a parade or a firework show creating shorter lines.

Fastpasses for Grizzly River Run.
Fastpasses for Grizzly River Run. | Source

Fastpass Tip

Fastpasses can run out because there are only so many per day that the park passes out. The rule of thumb is the sooner you go the easier it will be to get the fastpasses you want.

Speaking of Lines...

Sometimes long lines are unavoidable. FastPasses run out, there are tons of people in the park, and/or rides break down or are closed causing other lines to be that much longer! Sometimes we all have to be miserable and wait in a 75+ minute line. This clearly is not ideal especially in Summer when the temperature reaches triple digits.

Here is my friend Danielle and me standing in line for Toy Story Mania!
Here is my friend Danielle and me standing in line for Toy Story Mania! | Source

The good news is that there are a lot of lines in each park that are covered/shaded from the sun! It may not speed up the line but at least you won't be as miserable. Some rides with shaded lines include:

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Indiana Jones
  • Space Mountain
  • Tea Cups
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Mater's Jamboree
  • Tower of Terror
  • California Screamin'
  • Soarin' Over California
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • The Little Mermaid

Carousels are great in the summer! The lines move fast and the ride is in the shade!
Carousels are great in the summer! The lines move fast and the ride is in the shade! | Source

Time To Get Wet!

This may seem obvious but if its hot outside and you are dying to cool off a bit, go on a water ride! The only two in the parks are Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run! They are both awesome options and you are sure to get soaked. A plus of Summer is that even at five in the evening it will still be hot enough to enjoy a water ride and dry off before it cools down. It is also important to keep in mind since they are the only water rides they are going to have very long lines! This is where utilizing your fastpass options come into play. If you are with little ones this might not be the best options. Don't worry there are a few more places that you can cool off:

  • The water ball in Tomorrowland
  • The rocket outside of Redd Rocket Pizza Port
  • The rocket outside of Soarin Over California
  • It's A Bugs Land



What is your favorite water ride during summer?

  • 56% Splash Mountain
  • 44% Grizzly River Run
18 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

It's Still Too Hot To Stand In Line!

So you've done some rides but it is just too hot to continue on. Don't let the heat get the best of you! If you are tired or melting from the sun, pick rides that are not as popular but are indoors. Some of my favorite rides to enjoy when I am beat from the sun are: Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Winnie the Pooh (yes you can enjoy this ride as an adult with no children), It’s a Small World, and almost every ride in Fantasyland! These are great because the lines are typically short and the rides are indoors!

Another great option to avoid the heat without missing any of the Disney magic is to take a ride on the train that goes around the Disneyland park. You can climb on at a station located at Main Street, New Orleans Square, Toon Town, or Tomorrowland. Sit back and enjoy the ride in the covered train! It may not be air-conditioned but there is shade and a nice breeze once you get moving! My personal favorite way to ride the train in the summer is to get a nice cold drink such as a Mint Julep or a Dole Whip Float before getting on the train. For those of you who have not yet experienced this don’t think that it will be a typical boring train ride! There are many surprises along the way such as peeks into a few attractions and a ride back in time!


If you don’t feel like any of these options I have one more for you: go shopping! Now I didn’t say you had to spend money. Go walk through the shops in Main Street or Buena Vista Street where it is nice and cool inside. There are many neat things to look at and very cute window displays that are sure to make you smile! Disney has great attention to detail which always makes a fun experience.

While walking around California Adventure I spotted this cute display in the window of one of the shops!
While walking around California Adventure I spotted this cute display in the window of one of the shops! | Source

You Deserve A Treat!

After all of my ideas, if the heat still too much to handle, go and get a nice cold treat! There are ice cream carts all over the park, especially during summer! There is also many places to get ice cream inside of Disneyland such as the Gibson Girl Parlor on Main Street and Toon Town. In California Adventure there is Ghiradelli which has amazing sundaes! Not an ice cream person? No problem! There are many other treats you can enjoy such as frozen lemonade (with a shot of raspberry, cherry, or strawberry flavoring), a frozen apple juice, some cold fruit, a Mint Julep (non alcoholic), or anything from the Dole stand by the Tiki Room! The Dole stand is very popular during the summer and you could end up waiting about 30 minutes in the heat but don’t sweat I have a little secret for you! Go inside the Tiki Room waiting area and you can order a treat from inside! The line may be slow but it is a lot faster than waiting on the outside plus once you have your treat go watch the show! You get to sit down, relax, and sing like the birdies do! Also the Tiki Room has a restroom attached so no worries on that end for all you pineapple juice and Dole Whip Float enthusiasts!

Here is the famous Dole Whip Float: Pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice. Located at the Tiki Room.
Here is the famous Dole Whip Float: Pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice. Located at the Tiki Room. | Source

What is your favorite treat to keep cool?

  • 22% Ice Cream
  • 11% Frozen Lemonade
  • 41% Dole Whip Float
  • 7% Fresh Fruit
  • 19% Mint Julip
  • 0% Frozen Apple Juice
27 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Still Need More Ideas?

Some other fun things to do that most people don’t think of are to watch the shows! Obviously the fireworks, Fantasmic, parades, and World of Color are favorites but there are also plays to see as well. Just outside Fantasyland is the Fantasy Faire where you can watch a Beauty and the Beast play or a Tangled play or next to the Toon Town train station you can view Mickey and the Magical Map. In California Adventure next to Tower of Terror go and enjoy the play Aladdin. These give you a chance to cool down and give your feet a break while enjoying a few laughs! If you are not a fan of plays but love to get your groove on check out the Mad Hatter Tea Party in California Adventure! You can dance the night away while traveling down the rabbit hole!

Here is Eugene and Rapunzel at the end of their adventure!
Here is Eugene and Rapunzel at the end of their adventure! | Source

World of Color

If you decide to do the World of Color dining option (available at select California Adventure restaurants where if you dine with them you can get premier passes for World of Color) you get to be in the front row which works well in the summer because you get wet! If you have never seen World of Color the video below shows you what it is all about! I highly recommend checking it out if you plan to stay late at the parks. It is truly magical!

World of Color

Just A Few Last Tips!

No matter what you decide to do on your visit to the happiest place on Earth these last few tips are important and essential! My number one tip is to bring a filtered water bottle! I cannot stress this enough! It is going to be very hot and water can be very pricy in the park. There are water fountains available but we all know that the water does not taste pleasant and can actually make you not want to drink water. The best solution is the filtered water bottle. My favorite type of bottle is the Bobble; it is light weight and easy to refill. There are others such as Brita and Camelback. Hydration is key in this hot SoCal heat and if you don’t want to pay or drink nasty fountain water there is no better way to go! Drinking water will never be easier!


While we are on this note for all you adults who like to get your drink on I recommend not drinking any type of alcoholic beverages until after the sun goes down. Trust me you do not want to be sick in the heat.

This next tip will seem like a no brainer but you will be surprised by how many people don’t do this: bring sun block! The next worse thing to the heat is being sunburned. It is uncomfortable and not what you will want to remember from your trip. Save yourself some trouble and apply another coat of that SPF while waiting in line. If you find that you forgot to bring sun block no worries! Just walk on down to a hotel gift shop and buy some.

Bring snacks. Disneyland allows you to bring food into the park so why not take advantage of saving some money. Bring some granola bars or a PBJ! No matter what you choose you will be glad you did after being in a line and starting to feel hungry!


Also wear a hat! When it gets really hot and sunny you will be glad you have a hat on your head! You will not only be shading your face and protecting it from the sun but you will be able to see better as well because the sun will not be in your eyes.

Tip Recap

-Bring a Filtered Water Bottle

-Avoid alcohol until the sun goes down

-Don't forget the SPF

-Pack Snacks

-Wear a hat

Do you go to Disneyland in the Summer?

  • 83% Of Course!
  • 17% No Way!
18 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

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      Kelsey Roo 2 years ago

      I stumbled upon this article (Pinterest) and I will definitely put some of these tips to use! Also, I think I'm the only one who hates the Dole Whip. Pineapple is not my thing.