July is one of the most popular times to visit Walt Disney World – and it’s easy to see why. With US schools on summer vacation, shorter business hours at many offices and great (but hot) weather, July in Florida is very tempting for theme park travelers.  Knowing what to expect when you visit and how to pack for your July Orlando vacation will help you get the most from your trip.

Weather: Expect days – and nights – to be hot. It may rain, particularly in the afternoon, but the rain won’t lower the temperature any. You won’t get cool from the rain fall; you’ll just go from being hot to being hot and damp. Visit the theme parks in the early morning or show up at dusk to enjoy the rides and attractions without baking in the heat.

Crowds: Expect to see peak crowds at Disney World in July. Show up early – super early – to the park you want to visit on the 4th of July, since it will be crowded. The Magic Kingdom has actually closed several times in recent years because it reached the maximum capacity. You’ll want to be inside the gates already if a closure happens.

Park recommendations: Visit the Animal Kingdom in the morning if possible. The layout of this park is visually stunning, but does not allow for particularly good airflow, so it often feels hotter here than in other parks on site.

Water parks like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are ideal for daytime fun. Head to one of these parks on the day that has the hottest temperatures forecasted during your Disney trip. After spending a cool day in the water park, spend the evening at Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios and take advantage of cooler weather and lower evening crowds in these locations.