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You may get a raised eyebrow when you announce you are visiting Orlando at the peak of summer. First things first: Yes, there will be hot days. There are, however, a number of reasons why you shouldn’t be deterred. Even at the peak of summer, the city has a lot to offer and for many locals and visitors alike, it’s their favorite season. Here’s our guide to not simply surviving summer in America’s favorite vacation destination, but having a holiday you’ll never forget.

1. Cooling Off Feels Even Better

When the temperature soars, taking a plunge in a cold pool is even that much more enjoyable. At the Encore Resort, every 4- to 13-bedroom home has its own pool. And, beyond that, there’s a huge waterpark, the centerpiece of the resort. You won’t hear many complaints from the kids about the heat when they know those slides are waiting.

2. Visit the Parks

In every season, Disney, Universal, and the other parks in Orlando are the main attraction. If you are staying at the Encore, tell the concierges in advance which parks you plan on visiting so they can let you know of any special offers they can arrange. Otherwise look online for packages and coupons and you may find some limited-time deals with some research. And remember that the parks also have their own waterparks too: Aquatica at Seaworld, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach at Disney, and the new Volcano Bay at Universal.

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3. Only at Night Adventures

In the summer a number of parks stay open into the evenings, so you can explore them after the heat of the day has passed. The Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom is a favorite nighttime show that runs into the summer while Seaworld launched its own summer spectacle last year, the Electric Ocean. After proving a popular success, it returns this year. It’s a marine-inspired lightshow of electronic whales, dolphins, and other sea life. There’s also a family friendly dance party.

4. Go Shopping

If the heat gets to be too much, there’s always the air conditioning at the shopping centers from the Mall at Millennia, with its designer boutiques, to Disney Springs. The latter is more than just a shopping center, and bills itself as an entertainment complex too with a bowling alley, virtual reality experience, and themed restaurants. All of them are kept cool even on the hottest days.

5. Dine Alfresco

Orlando’s climate allows for alfresco dining most of the year, but it’s especially popular in the summer, when everyone emerges to enjoy the warm evenings. Encore’s concierges can send you to their favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. The end of the summer and transition into fall also brings with it Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, which launches on August 30 (and runs through November 12). Highlights of the popular event include the Global Marketplace, with opportunities to sample flavors from around the world, and the Eat to the Beat concert series, with performances by leading rock, pop, country, and R&B performers. New this year are a Sunday Brunch with the Chef series and a beverage pairing seminars on weekend afternoons.

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