Shady spots are the best way to stay cool and take a break during a hot theme park day (Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

Now that it’s officially summer, the time has come to have fun at our favorite Orlando theme parks. With the temperature rising at destinations like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, though, there are a few things you can do to beat the heat while you’re out exploring.

Use cooling towels. A heat-beating hack that’s great for the entire family, these lightweight, compactable towels are easy to throw into your park bag and even easier to “activate.” Just wet the towel, shake it a little and apply it to the back of your neck for an instant cool feeling. If the towel starts to feel warm again, simply re-wet and shake again.

Bring portable fans. These gadgets are a necessity when you’re going anywhere outdoors in the summer. There are fans that plug into your phone, as well as those that clip onto strollers for kids or spray mist, but by far the best option is a fan with three different speeds than can charge your phone. Go for a model with a long-lasting battery, which makes such a difference when you’re outside for hours.

Keep hydrated. Remember to continuously drink cold water to prevent dehydration. It’s a simple task that can have a large impact when it comes to cooling down. There are multiple water refill stations, as well as free cups of water at dining spots, throughout the parks. As a tasty alternative, try eating cold watermelon or cucumbers as a way to hydrate and keep your internal body temperature down.

Schedule water time for the highest heat of the day. Using the fastpass or express pass systems, you’ll be able to skip the lines to get right on the water rides when you want. Another fun activity for the whole family is pool time. In the afternoon, when the park crowds are highest and the heat is almost unbearable, take a few hours to chill in the pool before heading back for the night shows.

Take a break every hour or so to get out of the sun. You can find a shady spot to make a game plan for the rest of the day, or eat your lunch inside an air-conditioned quick-service restaurant.

Exploring the parks during the summer is exciting, and keeping cool will make the experience much more enjoyable.