It’s scorching hot in Orlando, which means every day needs to have at least one cool-down activity planned into the itinerary. We rounded up the ways to beat the heat, from the hottest get-wet theme park rides to refreshing gourmet ice pops.
1. Laze out in the river. Heading to the pool is an obvious choice, especially for guests of Reunion Resort, A Salamander Resort, where a 966-foot lazy river flanked by towering palm trees provides the perfect respite from the heat.
2. Hit the theme parks. A few miles away, Walt Disney World soaks and splashes at not one but two onsite water parks, including Typhoon Lagoon, which boasts a 400-foot-long tube slide, another with a five-story drop and a manmade coral reef where snorkelers can swim with sharks and rays amid 362,000 gallons of refreshing, 68-degree saltwater. At Disney’s snow-themed Blizzard Beach, a chair lift takes you to the top of Mount Gushmore, where three thrilling rides await, including Summit Plummet, which drops you 12 stories.
The temperature is practically glacial inside Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the new SeaWorld attraction, which debuted in May. Besides being the home to four different species of penguins, this frosty attraction also features an innovative new trackless ride that speeds and spins you past icebergs, over snowcaps and through icy caverns.
3. Get out of town. For some refreshing fun, take the younger kids to downtown Celebration, which is 20 miles southwest of Orlando. The free lakeside splash pad has a series of jets that intermittently blasts a cooling spray of water into the air. Afterward, follow the smell of freshly baked waffle cones to Kilwins, where you’ll find ice cream, fresh fudge and hand-dipped caramel apples.
4. Order cool treats. Those headed to Orlando’s downtown area will find a few other options for chilly treats, including artisan ice pops at The Hyppo Orlando. Flavors, such as champagne mango and strawberry basil, change daily. In Ivanhoe Village, Twisted Bliss serves up a layered concoction of soft-served ice cream, Italian ice and gelati from its colorful walk-up window on Orange Avenue. Of course, those looking for a frozen treat with a punch might consider heading to Chillers, a Church Street District bar boasting Orlando’s biggest selection of frozen cocktails, such as the Suicide, served with vodka, gin, rum, tequila and triple sec mixed with five fruit juices, or the traditional strawberry daiquiri with frozen strawberries and rum.
5. Hit the spa. If all else fails, head to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando, Grande Lakes, featuring a 4,000-square-foot, outdoor adults-only pool surrounded by plush poolside cabanas. To escape the sun, head inside to chill out in the coed relaxation spaces, sip smoothies and grab a bite to eat (some light fare such as a Caesar salad or Asian chicken salad with a miso dressing will fit the bill) at the onsite Spa Café and experience citrus-infused facials using lime, grapefruit and mandarin to tone and revitalize your sundrenched skin.
Photo Courtesy of Reunion Resort