As Olaf would say, “Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle, but put me in summer and I’ll be a…happy snowman!” Can’t argue with that logic, because summer is the quintessential time to go to Disney World, and Disney always makes me happy. Sure, the Florida heat and humidity will test even a cactus but there’s a reason why families and travelers flock to Disney World every summer. There are so many amazing things to see and do – for adults and kids, couples and singles, and families and friends alike. Here is our top 10 list of things to see and do at Disney World in the summer:
- Independence Day Festivities. Fourth of July festivities at Disney are always memorable, and it’s easy to see why – from the dazzling fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom to stirring performances at the American Pavilion at Epcot to special events at Hollywood Studios, there are so many ways to celebrate a hallmark of our country’s history.
- Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon. Orlando is not short on water parks, but Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon stand out among the competition. Blizzard Beach used to be a ski resort but melted into a water wonderland with Mount Gushmore as its centerpiece. There are plenty of attractions to beat that Florida heat, including the not-for-the-faint-of-heart Summit Plummet, which is known as one of the tallest and fastest free fall water slides in the world. Or for some friendly competition, there’s the Toboggan Racers, where guests lie on their stomach on a toboggan mat and slide down to the finish line. You can also head over to Typhoon Lagoon, a water park that was born out of a major typhoon that tossed palm trees and boats and toys all over Mount Mayday. For the little tots under 48 inches, there’s Ketchakiddee Creek, filled with activity areas, water slides, fountains and waterfalls. Or, for a truly unique experience, you can head over to Shark Reef and snorkel with, gasp!, sharks, stingrays and tropical fish.
- Sounds Like Summer Concert Series. Right at the America Gardens Theater, cover bands play give a salute to some of the most iconic groups in music. Although the dates and acts have not been announced for 2016, you can get a flavor for what might be in store by looking at some of the groups that performed last year – they covered Journey, U2, Billy Joel, Bee Gees, the Eagles, and more.
- New dining experiences. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of cooking shows. I like to picture myself cutting up a mean mise-and-place, butter poaching lobsters, or baking a divinely delicious dark chocolate souffle – in just 60 minutes! – but then reality sets in and I realize that my skills are probably not quite up to par. So I just leave the real cooking to the pros like Art Smith, who is bringing his yummy Southern cuisine to Disney Springs this summer with Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine. There’s also the world famous Chef Rick Bayless, who is opening Frontera Fresco in Disney Springs. I’ll be first in line to try that mole!
- Frozen Summer Fun. Disney has not yet provided confirmation on whether Frozen Summer Fun is returning in 2016 – but we’re hoping this fun summer event at Hollywood Studios comes back! For the last two years, Hollywood Studios has provided special Frozen-themed activities, including icy makeovers at the Ice Palace Boutique, Frozen dessert events, special fireworks, parades, and other entertainment.
- Disney Soccer Academy. At ESPN Wide World of Sports, for select dates in June and July, Disney will host 4-day or 5-day soccer summer camps for kids and teens ages 5-18. Participants can play alongside some serious soccer superstars and the program is done with a touch of Disney magic, of course!
- USA Jump Rope National Championship. Yes, this is a legit thing, and I could not be more excited about it! Marvel over the amazing skills of jump ropers across the country at the USA Jump Rope National Championship being held right at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The event runs from June 27-July 1 this year.
- Heat-defying treats. There are many ways that people cope with the Florida heat. Some choose to ride Carousel of Progress over and over, some will take mid-day breaks to get away from the parks when temperatures are at their peak, and some cool off with frozen desserts. I am a big fan of the third option, and why not? There are plenty to choose from! The classic Dole Whip is equal parts sweet and citrusy, cold and refreshing. Or, you can opt for the standard ice cream delights from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. If you want to go all out, you can bring your appetite (and maybe one or two other people) and try the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream. And there’s also my personal favorite, the warm brioche ice cream sandwich (or croque glaces, if you want to go fancy) at L’Artisan des Glaces at the France Pavilion at Epcot. Don’t miss these fantastic offerings, as there’s no better time to enjoy them than in the summer!
- Pools & water fun at the resorts. One of the things that Disney does really well is to create elaborately themed pools and slides for resort guests. Whether you are at Coronado Springs’ Lost City of Cibola Pool, or the Polynesian’s Lava Pool, or the Art of Animation’s Big Blue Pool, you will find a welcome break against the heat and park crowds. One resort deserving special mention is the Beach & Yacht Club’s Stormalong Bay, which in this writer’s humble opinion is the best that Disney has to offer. There’s sand bottom pools, a lazy river, whirlpool area, and more – with all of that, I can just keep swimming, just keep swimming…
- Recreational activities. If you’re looking for more unique water activities, Disney has plenty of options as well. Who says parasailing should just be when you are vacationing on some fancy island? You can do that right at the Contemporary Resort, at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre. This facility provides some serious aquatic fun, from water skiing to wakeboarding to renting your own personal watercaft. Don’t worry if you’re not a pro at any of these – Sammy Duvall’s has experienced trainers who will ensure your safety and enjoyment.
With that, I turn it over to you: what is your favorite thing to see and do at Disney in the summer? Sound off in the comments below!
Hi there, I’m Myra and I’m a huge Disney nerd and addict! I’m also an Independent Travel Agent at World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency of Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts. I’m happy to help you plan your next vacation, whether it’s this summer or any other time of the year! And best of all – my services are completely free to you! Please visit my page or send me an email at email@example.com to get started!