Ways To Stay Cool With Kids at the Disneyland Resort

by Lisa Maulhardt, contributing writer

Summer is coming, kids are finishing school, and now you have to come up with ways to entertain them. For our family, summer means we can spend weekday mornings at the Disneyland Resort. But spending the day at the theme parks when the temperature starts to rise can bring some challenges.

It’s not unusual for the temperatures to top 100 degrees in Anaheim during summer (especially in August and September). Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and bottles of water are always a must, but here are a few other ways our family beats the heat at the parks:

Disney California Adventure Park:

  • Dot’s Puddle Park: Located in “a bug’s land,” this water play area is a great way to cool off. With no lines, it is also perfect for letting kids play around for a bit. But for this attraction, you might want to plan in advance. Everyone is required to wear shoes while playing in the water, so sandals and Crocs work best. Also, having either a change of clothes or a bathing suit is recommended. There’s nothing like trying to take a sopping-wet toddler on rides. Tip: There is a family bathroom nearby that is perfect for a quick change.
  • The Animation Building: You can find this cool spot in Hollywood Land. Although not on my “you definitely have to do this when you go” list, it is an excellent place to cool off with kids on a hot day. It houses three different attractions, so you could easily spend an hour in the air conditioning. Turtle Talk with Crush is great for young kids, as they can watch the coolest turtle from Finding Nemo talk right to them. The Sorcerer’s Workshop has some cool hands-on things to do, including seeing how animation works and a quiz to tell you which Disney character you are most like. The Animation Academy might be better suited for older kids who can sit long enough to learn how to draw Disney characters. This is also the location for the Frozen character meet and greet. But, my favorite part of this building is sitting in the middle and watching the big screens show clips and play songs from many of my favorite Disney animated movies. Keep in mind that strollers are no longer allowed in the building and must be parked outside.

The Animation Building has three different attractions to enjoy inside. Photo by Lisa Maulhardt.

  • Disney Junior–Live on Stage!: Also found in Hollywood Land, this show is great for younger kids who love the Disney Junior programs. The seating is all on the floor - but there are some benches against the walls. Featuring the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang, the interactive story also includes other favorite Disney characters from Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Sofia the First.
  • The Little Mermaid - Ariel’s Undersea Adventure: Found at the entrance to the Paradise Pier area, this ride is great for the afternoon when it is hot and lines are long. Even if there is a wait, the line moves pretty fast. Another great place to enjoy some air conditioning, this ride takes you through the story of the classic animated movie.

Disneyland Park:

  • “it’s a small world”: If you are in Disneyland for the day, head to Fantasyland and jump on this classic attraction. Not only are you in a boat on the water, but the whole building is air-conditioned. Even if you have been on it several times, it is a great way to keep cool. And you can challenge your kids to find all of the Disney characters hidden throughout the attraction.

"it's a small world" is a great ride to enjoy some air conditioning. Photo by Lisa Maulhardt.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: If your kids are a little older and aren’t interested in “it’s a small world,” or you just can’t listen to the dolls sing that song one more time, try this fan favorite over in New Orleans Square. With a similar indoor boat ride, this one has a more exciting theme to it. The line does get longer later in the day.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay: Formerly Innoventions, this building in Tomorrowland has a lot to look at and is a great place to walk around. Displays inside include movie props and a short video about Star Wars movies. Plus, you can meet some of your favorite Star Wars characters here, as well. Although there isn’t any place to really sit down and relax, it is a nice area to walk around to get out of the sun for a bit.
  • Frozen Apple Juice: Found at many places throughout the resort, this treat is a great way to keep kids cool on a hot day. A few of the vendors (including Edelweiss Snacks, the Fantasyland Fruit Cart, and Goofy’s Freeze) sell it in a kid’s souvenir cup at a very reasonable $3.29 plus tax. With it being 100% juice, it is a guilt-free way to stay cool and get a souvenir at the same time.

Frozen Apple Juice in a kid's souvenir cup is a great treat on a hot day. Photo by Lisa Maulhardt.

While there are even more places to keep cool around the resort, these eight are always on our must-do list. I hope they will be “cool” addition to your Disney day, too.



  1. By MadasaHatter

    Great Article. I hate the heat. All great tips. I love the Animation Building for relaxing and staying cool. They have such a great job with the artwork. Frozen Apple juice even sounds good for an adult.

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