Have you ever heard the expression, “When it rains, it pours”? There is no time or place where that rings more true than summer in central Florida. Having personally been the victim of the stalled remnants of a hurricane during a Disney vacation, I can assure you that there’s no need to let a little rain spoil the magic. Check out this list of weather-proof fun!
Splitsville is a luxury bowling alley located in the Downtown Disney area. There are 30 bowling lanes, billiards tables, and a wide variety of food choices. The place is very large and can accommodate a lot of soggy vacationers.
The AMC Theater in Downtown Disney is a great rainy-day option. The latest Disney movies are always playing, along with other current cinematic offerings. Dinner and a movie more your speed? No problem! This theater offers Fork &Screen dining. You can dine on delicious fare as you watch your movie. Adults can even order a cocktail!
This is Disney’s “Indoor Interactive Theme Park”. There are several virtual rides, many classic video games, and food available. DisneyQuest is five floors of weather-proof entertainment for the kids and teens in your family. If you have the “Water Park Fun & More” option on your park tickets, entry to DisneyQuest is free.
4. Monorail Crawl
Ever do a “pub crawl” at home? Well the Disney version is the “Monorail Crawl” and it is a completely rain-proof way to spend the afternoon or evening! There are fabulous bars in all of the hotels connected by the Disney Monorail line. If you happen to be in the Magic Kingdom when it starts to rain (or at the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or Polynesian) just hop on the Monorail and get off at the nearest hotel stop. Enjoy a drink at one of the resort bars, get back on the Monorail, and continue to the next resort stop on the line. (Be sure to try the Lapu Lapu at the Tambu Lounge in the Polynesian.)
You can make this a family friendly activity by doing the Monorail “Dessert” Crawl (Get a Dole Whip at Capt. Cook’s food court at the Polynesian!) Watching your calories? How about a “Pressed Penny” Crawl? There are lots of possibilities!
5. Shop ’til You Drop!
Many of the rainstorms in Disney are rather short-lived. It may look like a monsoon for twenty minutes, but then the blue skies return. If you happen to be on a ride when the rain starts, you can use the brief interruption to check out the gift shops that are attached to nearly every attraction. A longer storm might warrant a visit to the larger stores in each park (Emporium at the Magic Kingdom, Mouse Gear at Epcot). Or, if it looks like the entire day will be a wash, you could spend hours browsing the World of Disney and other stores in the Downtown Disney area.
6. Grab a Bite
A passing storm might be the perfect time to have a snack. Just duck into a nearby quick-service eatery. These are located throughout all four theme parks and the Downtown Disney area. Just don’t be surprised if 10,000 of your closest friends have the same idea.
7. Take a Nap
The fast-passed hustle and bustle of a Disney vacation is enough to make anyone tired. There’s no harm in taking a mid-day break, and this is especially true when it’s raining. A quick snooze may refuel you for a late night viewing of Illuminations or the Electrical Light Parade once the weather clears!
8. Keep on Keepin’ on
Have you read our article called “15 Things You Should Bring With You Into the Parks”? If so, you’ll be wearing your waterproof sandals and carrying ponchos! Since you are armed and ready, why not just keep touring as usual? We have found touring in the rain to be a huge advantage! The unprepared clear out and the locals stay away, leaving the parks less crowded and easier to enjoy. The only time I would recommend changing your plans would be in a lightening storm at the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom. All “outside” rides at the Magic Kingdom will close (the Mountains, Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, Jungle Cruise, etc) Animal Kingdom also has several “outside” rides that will shut down (Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safari, walking trails), not to mention the fact that there is really no way to avoid walking long distances between attractions.
In my opinion the most advantageous park to tour in torrential rain would be Hollywood Studios. After the initial (rather long) dash from the buses to the main entrance, it’s easy to scurry from one place to another without much exposure to the elements. Hollywood Studios features many stage performances that are not affected by rain, and they will keep you in one place for up to 30 minutes at a time. Keep in mind that the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and Fantasmic performances will be canceled due to rain for the safety of the performers.
Future world in Epcot is another good choice for a day of sustained rain. The Land Pavilion has two major attractions inside as well as a 20 minute movie and a food court. Innoventions East and West are full of hands-on exhibits and games.
A word of caution: lightning storms in central Florida are no joke. Please use good judgment and avoid walking around outdoors during active lightning.