The lush, green landscapes of Central Florida are thanks to the great deal of rain that this area receives. An average of about 53” of rain falls in Orlando every year, about half of that coming during the busy summer months. While rainstorms at Disney World are often short-lived, you do have some generally rainy days. Here are some ideas to make the best of them!
1. Pick Your Park Carefully
Some parks are better suited to rainy, stormy days than others. My favorite place to spend a rainy day is at Epcot, specifically in Future World. Virtually all of the attractions at Future World are indoors, so you only have to be out in the elements going from pavilion to pavilion. The only major Future World attraction that closes due to inclement weather is Test Track, so you will have plenty to do. The Land and The Seas with Nemo and Friends even have restaurants inside, so you don’t have to brave the storm to get your lunch!
2. Pack a Poncho
A plastic rain poncho is the easiest want to stay dry on a rainy day. Umbrellas are allowed in the parks, but they don’t leave your hands free and you have to lug them around when it’s not raining. Ponchos are lightweight and won’t take up too much space in your bag. Your hands will be kept free and you can even wear them on rides. Mickey ponchos are available for purchase in the parks, but you can save a lot of money by bringing plain ones from your local dollar store.
3. Dress Appropriately
If rain is in the forecast (which it is nearly every day in the summer months) be sure to be prepared. Bring an extra pair of socks (or two) to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters. Make sure your regular clothing is lightweight and dries quickly; athletic fabrics are perfect. If you are visiting on an unusual cool rainy day, use fleece or wool to keep warm, as they repel water. Avoid jeans, which will stay wet and uncomfortable for hours.
4. Cover Your Stroller
Whether you are using a stroller that you brought yourself or one you rented from an outside company, be sure to bring a rain cover! Kids in a covered stroller will stay dry and you can keep them out of those tempting puddles. Be sure to cover strollers when you leave them in stroller parking if the sky looks even a little gray, as a wet stroller will soak your kids and can take hours to dry. While in a pinch a poncho or plastic garbage bag will cover a stroller, a fitted cover will stay on even in the wind, and will be more comfortable for kids. Plastic rain covers are available for most stroller sizes and configurations at baby stores and department stores, as well as online.
5. Watch the Rainy Day Cavalcade
If the weather is bad, the regular 3:00 Festival of Fantasy parade may be cancelled. The characters and floats just don’t handle rain well. But don’t be too disappointed: you might be treated to the Rainy Day Cavalcade! This mini parade features characters riding in covered vehicles and dancers sporting raincoats and boots. There is even a special rainy day song! It’s a little bit of Disney magic that helps make the rain fun, and something most guests don’t get a chance to see.
6. Avoid Animal Kingdom
Of all the Disney parks (excluding the water parks), Animal Kingdom is the most difficult on a rainy day. The attractions are almost entirely outdoors, and many rides and animal viewing areas will close due to lightning. If you have a choice, visit a different park on a rainy day. If you need to stick to your schedule there are some indoor attractions, including Dinosaur, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Festival of the Lion King, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Finding Nemo: The Musical. Try to go to those during periods of heavy rain and view the animals and do outdoor rides when things are lighter.
7. Visit Disney Springs
If you were planning on some souvenir shopping, why not use your rainy day to do it? There are lots of great places to shop at Disney Springs, and the shops are mostly indoors. Disney Springs is good to visit on a rainy day. While you will have to go outside to get from store to store, it’s much easier to navigate with an umbrella than the parks. In addition to shopping, there are also a ton of great restaurants, and even bowling. You certainly won’t get bored. And if you do get totally soaked, it might be the perfect time to pick up a souvenir T-shirt!
8. Resort Hop
A fun activity for any day, but especially a rainy one, is to visit some of the many unique resort hotels on the Disney property. The hotels all have their own special theme and décor. The monorail hotels (The Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary) are especially easy as the monorail stops are all under cover (or in the case of the Contemporary indoors) so you can see the main areas without getting wet! Be sure to sample some of the yummy cuisine featured at each resort.
9. Rent a Locker
While I don’t normally bother with this since we’re still using a stroller, a locker is a great idea for a rainy day. You can store a complete change of clothes and shoes in there, and they will stay safe and dry. Then if you get totally soaked, just visit the locker for a complete wardrobe change. Then your soggy clothes can stay there until you are ready to leave for the day.
10. “Just Keep Swimming”
Hopefully not literally! But don’t let a little rain ruin your day. A good attitude and a sense of humor about the situation will take you just as far as that poncho and dry socks. So just press on and keep your plans. Remember that only a small percentage of rides close for weather, and most that close will reopen sometime during the day. Please don’t berate cast members about weather closures; both the weather and the decision to close the ride are beyond their control. Closing a ride is to keep you safe, so don’t give the poor operator a hard time about it.
While we all hope for perfect weather during a Disney vacation, sometimes we have to make the best of a little rain. With these tips you should still have a wonderful time in spite of the rain. And remember, a rainy day at Disney World is still better than a nice day pretty much anywhere else!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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