Florida can be pretty hot during the summer. Add the theme park crowds in and your plan to have fun can come crashing right down and turn into a miserable day. While you might not think about it, there are certain steps you want to take to make sure that you stay safe and still have fun while you’re walking through the parks all day in the heat. While some things might sound like a no-brainer, some may surprise you! With years of experience in Florida’s scorching heat, I’ve learned a lot about avoiding a miserable experience as I’ve had a few of my own. Of course, you live and learn.. and learn I have!
While a thirst-quenching soda might sound like a refreshing idea, did you know that soda actually dehydrates you? While soda and other sugary drinks might be what you’d really like to drink, water is sure to keep you hydrated and going all day. If you really feel like you need something other than water, maybe go for a Powerade or Gatorade, but stay away from sodas.
Most theme parks will even allow you to bring bottled water in with you. If you’re planning on staying multiple days, or if you’re local to a theme park, consider purchasing their souvenir mugs. Employees will gladly refill your cup with ice water all day long.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but a sunburn can really ruin the rest of your vacation. Avoiding sunburn all together is the best way to go. There’s many ways you can go about avoiding a sunburn.
First, wear a hat. It will not only keep the sun out of your eyes, but bucket hat will keep the sun off your neck too. This is great for keeping the beating sun off your face and neck. Next, be sure to apply sunscreen before you get into the park and remember to reapply throughout the day. Many folks make the mistake of not reapplying and although they put sunscreen on, they still end up with burned skin by the end of the day. For your face, I’d recommend a waterproof sunscreen to avoid it from sweating into your eyes. And finally, try and spend as much time in the shade (or air conditioning) as possible. Stop for lunch, see a show, or just sit on a shady bench for a little while to relax and get your energy back.
Chafing is another miserable experience within itself. You can chaf from many different things, but the most common cause is from wet or sweaty clothing. Wearing sweaty clothing all day isn’t hard in Florida, so taking steps to avoid chafing is a must.
If you’re going to be riding water rides, I highly suggest bringing a dry outfit to change into afterwards or waiting until right before you plan to leave to get soaked. If you just happen to sweat a lot, there’s a fun tip I’ve learned that I think you might be helpful. It might sound strange, but put deodorant on your legs in the spots where your normally chaf. I have never tried gel deodorant with this, but solid deodorant works wonders!
If all else fails and you end up chafing, baby powder afterwards is quite the relief.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but this is a concept that my kids still don’t understand no matter how much I stress it. With Florida’s notoriously hot and muggy weather, you’re going to want to dress accordingly even though you might not be wearing something you’d really love to wear. Yes, leave the hoodie and jeans at your hotel. It’s best to wear light colored clothing to avoid your clothing absorbing more light (the lighter color absorbs less light and therefore makes you cooler). For a long day at a theme park, I recommend a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. If you’re going with a tank top of some sort, make sure you apply extra sunscreen to keep your shoulders from burning (see my first tip).
While flip flops are fun, easy to slide on, and great to keep your feet cool, they may not always be the best choice for a visit to a theme park. You’ll be doing a lot of walking and if you’re not wearing a comfortable pair of sandals, you could end up with painful blisters by mid-day and ready to head back to the hotel. Although sneakers can be pretty restricting and keep your feet wet all day long if you get them soaked, they’re great for walking long distances and will surely keep you blister free. Crocs, although not the most fashionable shoes, would be a recommended and comfortable second option.
Don’t Over Do It
While you might have your sunscreen on, a bottle of water in hand, and you’re dressed for the weather, there’s just one last tip I’d like to really stress – don’t over do it! If you’re feeling kind of tired, or you’re starting to get a headache, feel dizzy, or feel nauseous, you might have heat stress. Whether you have symptoms of heat stress or not, it’s important to take breaks through out the day to cool off. Even if your break just consists of sitting on a shady bench and drinking some water or heading into a gift shop to soak up some of the air conditioning, it’s important that you don’t over do it, otherwise you could get sick.
Of course, the ultimate goal when you go to a theme park is to have fun, not have a miserable day (or worse – get sick). After reading some of these tips, I hope that you may follow my advice before you visit a park this summer! And although I mentioned Florida several times in this article, I think these tips go a lot farther than Florida and everyone who’s visiting a theme park on a hot, summer day could utilize these tips!