It’s 7 outside right now. Not 7:00 AM, not 70. 7 degrees. And on the ground, there is a foot of snow, which refuses to leave. This may be Disney’s most intricate marketing plan ever: somehow they’ve learned to control the weather in order to keep their main Oscar contender, Frozen, in the forefront of everyone’s minds. I have no problem believing that snow and ice will be on the ground straight through the movie’s Blu-ray release at the end of February.
There was one thing that happened this week that warmed me up, though. We booked our summer visit to Disney World. Disney World in the summer; it’s a bittersweet experience. On one hand, as teachers, my wife and I don’t have to deal with the angst of requesting vacation or personal time, taking the kids out of school, or fitting the trip into a specified week. On the other hand, it’s crowded and hot. Really, really hot. Eating-a-Dole-Whip-in-the-fiery-halls-of-Hades hot. Luckily, we’ve been to Disney enough to know where the best places in each park are to avoid being oven-roasted.
As great as the attraction is, has there ever been a person who has visited The Hall of Presidents in the summer and not fallen asleep? It’s dark, the audio and visuals are relatively soothing and, most importantly, it’s cold. Not cool, not refreshing. Cold. I’m pretty sure they store the Mickey Bars in the back in the auditorium. Don’t get me wrong, Carousel of Progress is pretty cold, too. So is Mickey’s Philharmagic. But The Hall of Presidents is cold enough to be considered a suitable candidate for an overlay featuring Anna and Elsa.
Well, the first place that came to mind was the cold weather testing room at Test Track. While it is cold in there, you’re not really in there long enough to enjoy it. Sometimes, it almost makes me angry. The good news is, as soon as I get off Test Track, I can head right to Epcot’s true cold-weather utopia: Club Cool. Let’s see what Club Cool, Coke’s sampling station and company store, has going for it: it’s freezing, there is never a line, and you get free samples of soda, some of which have cult-like followings. Would anyone like a Beverly?
(Author’s note: I usually list the theme parks, like most do, in order based on the year they opened, meaning Animal Kingdom would be last; however, last year Animal Kingdom’s attendance finally surpassed Hollywood Studio’s. So, consider this change-in-order my version of a protest: Disney, fix Hollywood Studios! OK, who needs the soapbox next?…)
This one is tough. Animal Kingdom holds onto heat so much, you could be working in the kitchen of the Yak and Yeti and it would be more refreshing than standing in Harambe watching the afternoon parade. Then it dawned on me: Finding Nemo – The Musical. Maybe it’s the fact that you are sitting for 45 minutes (a la Hall of Presidents), maybe it’s the time of day I usually attend the show (late afternoon, after a full day of being barbecued). Whatever the reason, the Theater in the Wild (Nemo’s home) takes its place as the coddest, er-coldest, spot in the Animal Kingdom (#dadjoke).
My first instinct was The American Idol Experience, but I’m not even sure if that will still exist by the time you read this. Honestly, the coldest spot for me always seems to bee the Sci-fi Dine-in Theater. It’s dark, it’s cold, there’s a video playing. I’m sort of surprised more people don’t curl up on one of the car seats and take an afternoon nap. The food may not be the best in the World, but the experience is fun and the temperature can’t be beat.
This list is, of course, subjective. A lot of these places may only seem like the coldest on property because of my own circumstances at the time of me visiting. If you’re looking for a place to cool off, though, you won’t go wrong stopping in any of these attractions or restaurants. Oh, and please try to forget you read this article when I re-run it a couple of weeks from now under the title “The Best Places to Nap in Disney World.” Thanks!
One last author’s note: All kidding aside, staying cool in the parks is a legitimate concern when you are visiting during the year’s hottest months. Click here to check out our article on ways to stay cool and safe when you visit. Thanks for reading, and contact us if you’d like some FREE help in planning your 2014 Disney vacation.