Disney Hack: Top spots to stay cool at Magic Kingdom, plus how to get free water

If you haven’t noticed, it’s summer. Summer is hot, particularly in central Florida.

And, no, I’m not wimpy. I grew up in Alabama and now live in Louisiana, two very humid places. I also spent an entire summer in Orlando. Even when you’re used to the heat and humidity, it can be startling. Usually Florida offers summertime afternoon showers that help the day cool down a little, but during my last vacation to WDW in June, the Sunshine State lived up to its name with no rain.

Beverages-Ice-WaterRemember, you can fill up a cup or water bottle with water from Disney’s water fountains. The water is filtered, but it does come out slowly. It’s not usually cold, either. You can also get a cup of ice water for free from most quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World.

But what if you’re looking for some AC? The following spots at the Magic Kingdom will help you out.

1. The Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom

My husband is thoroughly enjoying the air conditioning in this picture.
My husband is thoroughly enjoying the air conditioning in this picture.

The Hall of Presidents, located in Liberty Square, has an air-conditioned waiting area with seating (couches full? I plop down on the floor). Shows last 23 minutes and run constantly during park hours. Even if you walk in just as a show is starting, you are guaranteed over 20 minutes of air-conditioned waiting time. Don’t worry about the show ever being full; there are 700 seats in the theatre. Aside from being a break from the summer heat, the Hall of Presidents is a very Walt-inspired attraction due to his patriotism and love for Abraham Lincoln.

Never visited the Hall of Presidents? One of the best parts is the presidential roll call at the end of the show, when all 43 presidents (Although the incumbent President, Barack Obama, is the 44th, Grover Cleveland is both the 22nd and 24th, due to his non-consecutive terms; therefore making 43 people who have served as President) wave or nod each name is called.

Also, be sure to see the location someone named the Hall of Presidents on Instagram when you visit next. It goes with the theme of this post.

2. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Adventureland

Photo from Disney
Photo from Disney

Not only does the Tiki Room offer ten minutes of air-conditioned bliss, it’s also an important part of Disney history. After purchasing a mechanical bird on a trip, Walt was inspired to create the first-ever Audio-Animatronics show, The Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland. Without the creation of The Enchanted Tiki Room, attractions like it’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion may have never come to fruition.

At the beginning of the show, a cast member wakes up the birds. But, some say that if a guest asks nicely, he/she can awake the birds from their slumber.

Just like the Hall of Presidents, you will only have to wait for the previous show to end before entering. The Enchanted Tiki Room is rarely (if ever) filled to capacity.

The Enchanted Tiki Room is now located next to Aloha Isle, so continue cooling down with a Dole Whip after the show. My favorite treat is the Dole Whip float, pineapple ice cream served atop pineapple juice.

3. Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland

Photo from Disney
Photo from Disney

The Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, an interactive comedy show hosted by Mike Wazowski, rarely has a wait. If the wait is ever more than 15 minutes, come back later. During the middle of the day in peak season, less-popular attractions will sometimes have inflated wait times. The good news is that the waiting area is completely inside. The ten-minute show is also aptly cooled.

Each show is different based on its interactive nature, keeping the attraction interesting.

4. Mickey’s PhillarMagic, Fantasyland

mickeys-philharmagic-00
Photo from Disney

This is another attraction that you should come back for if the wait is more than 15 minutes. You generally only have to wait until the previous show finishes before entering the theatre. The waiting area is also inside.

This 3D, 12-minute-long show is the perfect 3D show in my opinion. You get to experience some of the most iconic Disney scenes and song, including “A Whole New World,” “Be Our Guest,” “You Can Fly,” “Part of Your World,” and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” I’m afraid that this show could be revamped soon, as it was featured in the Times guide while I was there. When nothing particularly special is going on, Disney will feature attractions that aren’t getting as much love as others in the Times guide. If they do decide to revamp PhillarMagic, I hope they keep the tour of Disney songs theme. It helps the show from getting old because most people enjoy hearing those classic tunes over and over again.

5. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Tomorrowland

10455224_10204386212587980_3043377364061649969_nThe PeopleMover is one of the most underrated attractions in Magic Kingdom. It’s not inside, but the ride offers a constant breeze during your overhead tour of Tomorrowland. The PeopleMover rarely has a wait, and sometimes I get off and get right back on when I need a break from the heat and crowds.

My favorite part has to be traveling inside Space Mountain. The ingenuity to put a ride within a ride is so Disney.

The only attractions in this list that offer FastPass+ service are Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor and PhillarMagic, but do not use a FastPass on these attractions. It will be a waste of a FastPass because you won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for either ride.

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Why you should purchase a Memory Maker at Walt Disney World: Review

Throwing out $169 for pictures may seem like a high price to pay, but purchasing Disney’s Memory Maker (advance purchase price: $169; regular price: $199) is worth it.

What do you get?

1. All photos taken by Disney PhotoPass photographers

11169938_10204386439033641_4243657927817853037_nThis means everywhere you see a Disney PhotoPass photographer, usually wearing a khaki vest and holding a Nikon camera, is up for grabs. When I first used the MemoryMaker in 2014, PhotoPass photographers were usually at the front of the park (near each park’s landmark) and at character meet and greets. When I visited in 2015, I noticed that PhotoPass photographers seem to be in more locations and in those locations for longer periods of time.

Where can I find PhotoPass photographers (usually)?

Magic Kingdom:

  • Main Street, U.S.A. — Leading up to the castle and near the founder’s statue
  • Liberty Square — Side view of castle
  • Tomorrowland Entrance — Side view of castle
  • Frontierland — Exiting Big Thunder Mountain
  • Fantasyland — Near Ariel’s castle

Epcot:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Fountains at FutureWorld
  • France — Fountains
  • France — Eiffel Tower view

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Park Entrance — Great Movie Ride in the background
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios Archway — near the entrance to Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Ticket Kiosks — Before entering the park, many like to snap a picture under the Disney’s Animal Kingdom sign
  • Tree of Life — Various angles
  • Expedition Everest

2. All photos from character meet and greets

10603785_10204386453233996_828113591478815383_nNot only do PhotoPass photographers snap posed pictures at character meet and greets, but they also capture candid shots. These candid shots can be difficult to capture if you don’t have someone else in your party dedicated to snapping pictures.

11181213_10204386274189520_3606817736356252130_nCandid shots are usually my favorites (above). If you don’t have someone in your party taking pictures for you, the blueberry (a term used for Disney character handlers in blue shirts) will take a picture for you. Usually, they do a great job. I’ve also had blueberries take completely out-of-focus pictures that may or may not contain the subjects (ahem…Darth Vader meet and greet last year…ahem). Using the photos from the Disney PhotoPass photographer guarantees the photos will be high-quality shots.

3. All ride photos

11112295_10204386435913563_9037740285948348139_nYes, you will receive every photo from every ride you venture on that takes your picture. Every ride does not take your picture, but many popular attractions do. If you link your MemoryMaker to your Disney MagicBand, then you don’t have to visit the photo kiosk following the ride. Your MagicBand already knows you were on the ride! It’s fun, convenient, and a little creepy.

Rides that take your picture:

Space Mountain
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Seven Dwarves Mine Train (you can’t view these photos following the ride, but they show up on your MemoryMaker…as does a video)
Splash Mountain
Tower of Terror
Rockin’ Rollercoaster
Expedition Everest
Dinosaur
Spaceship Earth (doesn’t show up on your MemoryMaker, but you can email this photo for free)
TestTrack

Did I miss any?

4. Photos with a bit of magic

1467248_10204386484674782_6579620180324435906_nSome of your photos will have some fun effects treated with Disney magic. You don’t know what the effect will be until you look at your photos!

With the MemoryMaker, you get all of your photos digitally for one price. After your trip, you will have about a month to download your photos. You can download the photos once, but you can make as many copies as you would like for your party. One traveling party only needs one MemoryMaker!

If you’re tired of asking strangers to take your picture, it’s time to get MemoryMaker. My husband HATES having pictures made, but knowing that pictures were quick and easy with a PhotoPass photographer made them WAY more manageable. Plus, he liked getting the ride pictures.

New feature: Vacation Planning

Are you feeling stumped as you work to plan your Orlando theme park vacation? I now offer vacation planning services under the Vacation Planning tab at the top of the page. You can also click here to learn more.

I have traveled to Orlando to visit the theme parks over 4o times, and I lived in the area for three months while interning for SeaWorld. I’ve planned and booked vacations to the area for the past three years, planning for a variety of budgets and groups of people (friends, families, couples, etc.).

Pricing

  • Consultation (Preliminary email/phone calls to discuss budget, dates, goals, etc. No booking.): Free
  • Booking (Includes hotel, flight, car rental, theme park tickets, dining reservations, entertainment, etc.): $40

If you’re ready for me to plan the vacation of your dreams, simply fill out the form below!