There are certain times of year in Florida that one thing you can count on is rain almost every day. Sometimes it’s just a quick drizzle or a quick downpour that goes away and dries up within minutes in the Florida heat. Sometimes it’s rain – lasting all afternoon – rain that can scare off even the most seasoned Walt Disney World visitor.
On my family’s recent trip in June we had 4 of our 6 days that were those really crappy, rain most of day, heavy downpour, walking through ankle deep puddles kind of days. Because this was my grandson’s first trip, and he was only 5.5 months old, I was a little leery of staying in the parks in heavy rains, so we did cut 2 days short, knowing we will be back before long. The other 2 days had enough breaks in the rain that made the days perfect for staying in the parks with less crowds. My grandson didn’t seem to be bothered by the rain at all!
Overall, when a family saves for a long time to visit Walt Disney World, it can be very frustrating and upsetting when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Over the years, I have found lots of ways to get the most out of my visit if the weather is bad. Don’t forget – just keep smiling!
A rainy day in Disney is still better than a sunny day at home! Be adventurous and enjoy your time at WDW, even if it is raining!
Before leaving home, head to your local discount store and buy plastic rain ponchos. Why wait in line and pay a much higher price for a plastic rain poncho in the parks? Go into the parks prepared based on the weather report for the day.
Many folks leave the park once it starts to rain so take that time to take advantage of much shorter lines for attractions that remain open in the rain. Very often when you get out of the attraction, the rain may have stopped.
Avoid quick service restaurants. When it starts to rain, many head into the quick service restaurants thinking they will have lunch or dinner and perhaps the rain will stop by the time they finish their meal. Quick service locations can be a crowd nightmare during the rain and really heighten frustration levels.
Get some shopping done but be prepared for crowds in the shops as well. Most of the crowds are just trying to stay out of the weather and aren’t making purchases so the lines to pay are not very long.
If you leave the parks with a plan to come back later in the day when the rain stops, be prepared for crowds at the bus, monorail and ferry locations, when leaving and when returning again later in the day.
If you do stay in the parks, don’t be surprised or disappointed when certain attractions aren’t operating or parades don’t take place. Be prepared for some limitations on what you can do. Be prepared for some last minute changes to your carefully planned schedule. Flexibility is key when it comes to the weather.
Protect your cell phones, cameras, strollers since a heavy downpour and rain can mean problems for all of them. If visiting during the rainy season and you have a stroller cover, bring it. If you don’t have one make sure you have something (even a cheap poncho from the Dollar Store) that you can cover your stroller with if you have to. Even if you have water-resistant cases, consider carrying Ziploc bags as backup to protect your electronics. Rain ponchos are a must but if you leave home without them, every store on Disney property sells them the second it starts to rain!
Have a sweatshirt. Yes, I know it’s 95 degrees out but when you are wet from a sudden rain storm and then go into an air conditioned building – you will be cold. If you don’t want to carry rain ponchos and sweatshirts all day – rent a locker as soon as you enter the park. Store your rain gear in the locker and it will be there and ready when you need it.
If you find you have to leave the parks and return to your resort, make the most of it! Have a picnic in your room. Many of the Disney resorts will host activities in the lobby areas for families and children. Make it an adventure!
When planning to visit during the rainy season (Summer months into the fall) it’s a good idea to bring along a back-up pair of shoes for everyone in the family. Sneakers getting soaked may not dry by the next day and who wants to wear wet shoes!
Visit one of the shows that you haven’t seen yet or weren’t planning to see again. That will give you at least 30 minutes indoors!
Head to Disney Springs and go bowling at Splitsville – or go shopping at the World of Disney store. I can spend hours roaming in and out of the different sections in the World of Disney.
Go on all the water rides – you’re already wet anyway!
Traveling with all adults and you know it’s going to rain all day – make an appointment for one of the on property spas! Or – hop on the monorail to visit the resorts along the rails – have a cocktail or a snack at each one before moving to the next!
The best park for rainy days in my opinion – Epcot. Almost everything is indoors. It’s a simple matter of walking from building to building in the rain but all there is to do is done indoors. None of the attractions close due to rain except for Test Track.
Don’t let the rain stop you from having a fabulous Walt Disney World vacation!