Summertime has always been one of my favorite times in central Florida.
The intense heat has never been a major problem for me, and I love walking around the parks and resorts during the warm nights.  I'm also a certified weather dork and it amuses me greatly when thunderstorms develop in the area.

The crowds do get busy when it comes to certain parks and attractions, but it's expected and some of it can be avoided through proper planning and using FastPass.  The only exception for my system was for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster in Disney's Hollywood Studios.  That FastPass was a hot seller and there were times that the single rider line was so busy that the workers had it periodically close it.

Otherwise, all of the popular rides were busy as they normally would be any other time of the year.  Some of them had stand-by lines that moved fairly well (Toy Story Midway Mania and Dinosaur), while others had painfully slow lines (Soarin' and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster).  As it was pointed out in one of the pictures, the crowds for Fantasmic! were insane.

As far as the dining options went, the best food was consistently found in the resorts and not in the parks.  Going to the resorts for lunch was a nice break from the crowds in the parks and also gave you something else to see and do, or if it was your first time, it was something new to explore.  It was easy to hop on a bus and visit a resort for lunch with most of the resort buses arriving within 10 minutes.  Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite places to have lunch along with newly re-discovered Caribbean Beach Resort.

I don't know if it was just me, but a lot of the time when walking around the park I felt like I was invisible.  Had it not been for last second course varations, people of all shapes and sizes would have crashed into me all day long.  Many knew that I was there, but they just didn't care and walked wherever they wanted to go.  After a while that got really frustrating and I began standing my ground.

Society is rapidly changing and many of those changes are quite visible in the park guests at Disney, Universal and the surrounding area.  I have a few theories about the future of the Disney theme parks based on these observations, and I'll be posting those and other observations in a series of new articles I'm planning on adding to this website.

For the most part the Summer trip went rather well and we all had an enjoyable time.  As long as you're ready for the heat and have a solid plan for working around the crowds, you can have a great time even with it being hot and busy.

Thanks for making it through this lengthy trip report.

Let me know what you think about it or if you want to share your stories about being in the parks in the summertime.

- Dan

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