You know the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers”? Well, here in Orlando the showers start in April but don’t really end until some time in September or later! And if you’ve been watching the weather you know that we’ve gotten apocalyptic rain for the last week. So what do you do if the clouds come out for your Disney World vacation? Well, you don’t have anything to worry about because I’m going to give you all the inside tips on how to have fun rain or shine!
1) Head towards the big, angry clouds. When most people see huge storm clouds looming over the parks they make their way to the exit. I feel the exact opposite about those massive, grey clouds. When I see a monsoon heading for Disney World, I’ll go out of my way to stop by. It’s fun to be one of very few people heading in, as tons of people can’t exit quickly enough. Most attractions are indoors and suffer no interruption during the rain. The only difference is the considerably shorter lines when there’s a little liquid sunshine!
2) The rain normally passes quickly – or misses all together! Those big clouds aren’t a very good indicator of when or where the rain will actually fall. I’ve spent entire days at Disney under thick, grey clouds without a drop of rain. Or storms will often pass by quickly. In these cases it will just pour buckets for a hour or so then it will be like nothing ever happened. The sun will come back so ferociously that the wet pavement will actually steam! The first hour the sun is back out is a magical time to be in the parks. Since most guests left before the rain started it takes a while for them to trickle back in, leaving you to enjoy the park.
3) But if it sticks around you’ll need a rain outfit. The best advice I can give anyone wanting to try Disney in the rain is to put together their rain plan before they get to the park. There’s nothing worse than an overpriced Disney poncho or flimsy umbrella. If you’re planning to go the poncho route then pick some up at the dollar store before your trip. They pack very easily and you don’t have to feel any guilt tossing them. If you’re planning to go the umbrella route… don’t. Crazy, sideways, Florida rain thinks your umbrella is cute but will soak you anyway. Personally, I’ve invested in a good rain coat, Crocs, and a baseball cap. With that combo I’ve been able to stay dry even touring in the worst rain.
4) Special rain only experiences. Yes – this is really a thing! Of course, there isn’t anything “official” or “published,” but cast members will go out of their way to not put guests out in a storm. When I go to Disney in a downpour I tend to head for The Haunted Mansion. My record is getting to ride this six times in a row to avoid wet weather! I didn’t even have to exit my Doom Buggy for two of those rides! How many people can say that?
5) Go to Animal Kingdom. I’ve seen lots of advice to the contrary – stating that Animal Kingdom is a fair weather park. But the animals love, love, love the rain! Especially on hot summer days they just come alive in stormy weather. Some of my best safaris ever have been during storms. Even better? There’s no line because most everyone is afraid to get out in the weather. Top secret information: The elephants are most likely to take a bath in the rain!
6) Bring a camera. Of course, bring a Ziploc bag too! Some of the prettiest pictures of Disney are after the storms roll through, leaving the ground drenched. Now, I need to take my own advice because I’ve never done this myself! Being a local it just never seems to make sense to drag my gear out in the rain. (That’s one of the only down sides of living here. You can do everything “tomorrow.”) Ironically, I have lots of rainy day photos from Disneyland! 🙂 You can always rent a locker to stow away pricey electronics. You’ll regret not bringing them when the storm passes.
7) Look out for rain only shows. At the Magic Kingdom when the parade is cancelled there’s a special Rain Day Cavalcade. Basically, cast members and some of your favorite Disney characters come out to play in the rain dressed in their rain coats. It’s shorter than the normal parade but a novelty and it’s worth it to say you’ve seen it. Even better you can normally hang out in a doorway of a shop on Main Street for a great (and dry) view!
8) Not up for the challenge? That’s okay! Lots of people don’t think playing in the rain is any fun. We get plenty of sunny days and there are lots of fun things to do indoors. Resort hopping is one of my favorite ways to spend a day at Disney. The hotels are all so different and beautifully themed! You could also take in a nice meal, simply call for reservations at 407-WDW-DINE. DisneyQuest is another popular spot in a downpour. Even better it’s right next door to the AMC Movie Theater and all the shopping offered at Downtown Disney.
So what do you think? Will you be braving some wet weather on your next trip? Do you have any fun stories of being stuck in the rain at Disney? Do you have any other ideas for rainy weather? Please let us know in the comments below and as always thanks so much for reading!