What To Do If It Rains at Disney World

It doesn’t matter how much of a planner you are, you can’t control the weather. You can make everything about your vacation perfect on paper, and then Florida rain strikes. And let’s be honest, Florida rain storms can seem a little intimidating! Good news for you, Disney Parks usually don’t close for weather (excluding hurricanes), and there is so much to do!

As a lifelong Central Florida native, we’re here to give you everything you need to keep your Disney World vacation as perfect as possible even with a little rain!

Rains at Disney World

Don’t Be Afraid of the Forecast!

Picture this: you’re preparing for your Disney World vacation and you check the weather forecast. Oh no — there’s rain!  Don’t fret, just yet! Florida has a tropical climate. And, just because it says that rain is predicted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will rain all day. Florida may be called the Sunshine State, but hot and humid summers often turn into short daily afternoon thunderstorms.

But, keep in mind that Disney World is a 47-mile-wide property. It can be raining in one park but completely dry in another. And, the good thing about Florida rain is that it is usually quick moving. In fact, a storm is often in and out in 30 minutes!

Even if there are some days where rain is an all-day event, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your vacation without interruption! This is a great opportunity to explore a park because it’s often less busy. Many guests will leave the park once a rainstorm hits, and the ones that stay will benefit.

Of course, hurricane season does run from June to November. However, the likelihood of Disney World getting hit head-on is pretty rare in Central Florida. If a hurricane does come through Orlando, there is plenty of warning and Walt Disney World does a great job at keeping all guests completely safe.

Fun Fact: Disney World Resorts are where many Florida evacuees from other parts of the state will go if they have to get out of harm’s way!

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What to Pack for a Rainy Day

Even though the rain won’t ruin your day, it is still important to be prepared for it. Here are some things you can bring from home to be prepared for an afternoon rain storm.

What To Wear

The one thing about tropical afternoon storms is that they can produce heavy downpours. This results in large amounts of puddles. Make sure you have water-resistant shoes, or shoes with a good grip. You don’t want to have slippery flip-flops while walking through puddles all night! Also, bring extra socks in your bag! No one likes wet socks. Once the rain has stopped, change them out and you are good as new!

In the heat of summer, you’ll also want lightweight clothes. Heavy clothing like 100% cotton, jeans, sweaters, and sweatpants are all things to leave at home. Instead, pack lightweight performance-type shirts, shorts with good airflow, and always pack an extra shirt in your bag if you are not planning to take a resort break back at the room. My definition of miserable is walking into a freezing cold restaurant or gift shop while soaking wet. No, thank you!

PRO TIP: Bring gallon-sized Ziplock baggies in your park bag. This will give you somewhere to put your wet clothes without getting anything else inside wet!

Rains at Disney World

Raincoats and Ponchos

The first thing most guests think of when they hear rain protection is an umbrella. While umbrellas do the job and are allowed at Disney World, they become more of a hassle than a help sometimes. Grab a raincoat or a poncho before your vacation to save space and time! Ponchos from a retailer like Walmart, Target, or even Dollar Tree will do the job just fine and are significantly cheaper than ones at the parks.

Another reason for a poncho or raincoat is that Florida rain also comes with winds. With a raincoat or poncho, you are protected from all sides. An umbrella is not going to help you when the wind starts to blow the rain sideways!

Stroller Covers

If you are traveling with children, a stroller rain cover is a must. They are plastic but breathable covers that protect the kids from the rain, making it easier to get from place to place. The last thing you want on top of the adults being wet is the kids being wet and complaining!

There are a few different types of stroller covers on Amazon. We recommend opting for one that zips or Velcro on and off. If you leave the stroller to hop on a ride and think a storm may be brewing, cover the stroller before you leave! No one wants to come back to a wet stroller if you can help it.

What to Do During a Rainy Day

As we said, Disney World doesn’t shut down over some rain showers. Although the parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment will still go on as best they can, there will be some modifications.

Any outdoor rides will be stopped for the duration of the rain. And, any outdoor entertainment will be modified. For example, instead of the parade at Magic Kingdom, there will often be a “Rainy Day Cavalcade.” So, what else is there to do when it rains at Disney World? Let’s break down the best ways to make the most out of your rainy day!

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Get Up Early

This can be debated among the Disney community, but it is a hard fact in the summer. Rain typically begins in the afternoon. So, if you “rope drop” (get to the parks right when they open), statistically you will have more dry weather than guests who don’t get to the parks until later in the day.

This is especially important if you are planning to go to a park that has many outdoor attractions such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The more time you have for outdoor attractions early in the day, the better!

Prioritize Your Parks

When it rains at Disney World, guests will inevitably start to leave the parks. So, staying at the parks results in some empty areas you may not have been able to take advantage of any other time! Plus, rainy days at Disney World can be GREAT photo ops!

Even though they stay open, there are definitely certain parks that are better for rainy days than others. Here’s what you can do in each Disney Park:

EPCOT on a Rainy Day

EPCOT is our number one park for a rainy day. All attractions, besides Test Track, are inside! This automatically gives you the most bang for your buck out of any park, especially on a full day of rain. Many of the attractions are grouped in close proximity as well.

On top of indoor attractions, World Showcase is a great place to spend a rainy day. Popping in and out of the country’s gift shops and restaurants is a great way to explore EPCOT. And, it’s educational for the kids!

Magic Kingdom on a Rainy Day

Magic Kingdom has a good number of indoor attractions, being a fine option for a rainy day. Attractions are not as close as some of EPCOT’s, but they’re still close enough that you can leave the stroller in one spot and get to multiple attractions quickly.

Note that at Magic Kingdom, some of the character appearances may be on hold due to the rain, depending on where they are located.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a Rainy Day

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has many indoor attractions, but they are much more spread out. This means more walking between rides and not as many places with cover to pop in and out of. Many of their food options are in open-air areas, so dining can be harder.

Additionally, Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway are both notorious for being down during bad weather even though they are inside. This puts Hollywood Studios third on our list of rainy-day parks.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom on a Rainy Day

Lastly, there’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom has the most outdoor attractions, walk-throughs, and entertainment. So, if the forecast calls for rain on your Animal Kingdom day, GET THERE EARLY! You easily can make a complete morning out of Animal Kingdom and then park hop to EPCOT for some shelter. While there are some indoor attractions here, the lines tend to get long when everything else is shut down.

Explore the Resorts

There is so much to see at Disney World outside of the four theme parks. The Disney World Resort hotels are individually themed with some awesome restaurants, shops, and activities. Best of all, anyone can visit them!

Often, you’ll be able to snag last-minute dining reservations at resort restaurants too. This is a great option if you want to hit the parks in the morning, and then take Disney transportation to your resort of choice to seek shelter!

Keep in mind that some Disney transportation options such as the Disney Skyliner and Friendship Boats may temporarily stop due to weather. If this happens, Disney will begin bus service for locations that are typically serviced by Skyliner or boat.

Rains at Disney World

Visit Disney Springs

Disney Springs may be an outdoor shopping and dining destination, but the restaurants and stores are so close to each other that you can avoid getting wet on a rainy day. There are even some covered walkways!

This is a great time to grab a cocktail and appetizer and explore Disney Springs restaurants! We suggest Jaleo or Morimoto Asia for more adventurous eaters. Or, try Wine Bar George or Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ for our light palate friends. While reservations can be hard to get, if you are traveling without kids there is almost always room at one of the bars at these restaurants.

Disney Springs can get busy on rainy days, as many guests don’t want to “waste” a park day in the rain, and things like pools and outdoor activities are no longer available. So, if you have dining reservations, allow yourself extra time with Disney transportation on these days!

Disney springs

Is a Rainy Forecast at Disney World Going to Ruin Your Trip?

Rain in Central Florida is par for the course, especially in the summer months. Good news for you, there are so many things to do at Disney World you won’t even care about a 30-minute rain shower. With this guide, we’ve given you everything you need to know to make the most out of your vacation…even if it rains!

Comments

Have you ever been on vacation when it rains at Disney World? What were your go-to activities to keep busy during the storm? What do you wish you would have packed with you? Let us know in the comments!

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