Walt Disney World (FL)

Caught in an Unexpected Rainfall? Remember Your EARS!

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It WILL rain while you’re at Disney World. That’s pretty much a given. But if you know the whole day will be rainy, you can still have a lot of fun if you’re prepared for it. The google machine can point you to many, many, many articles packed with helpful tips, all great at helping you understand which rides close during storms, what magical things happen only when it rains and how to dress appropriately for rainy days. For some of our own pros and cons about prepping for a rainy day at Disney, see https://touringplans.com/blog/disney-world-in-the-rain-poncho-vs-umbrella-vs-jacket/.

My wife and I have spent entire rainy days at the parks and enjoyed the fact that the water sends some folks home while others take cover. Days like this often lead to chance conversations with strangers that usually begin with them asking, “Where did you get those great ponchos?” “We brought them from Wisconsin.”

A normal rain shower is no reason to skip the parks.

And of course, if it’s going to rain all day, you can always stay at your hotel and enjoy the amenities it has to offer.

But – and here we come to the meat of the matter ­­– what about those days when the sun shines, then it rains for 15 minutes, then the sun shines, then it rains for 20 minutes, then the sun shines, then…well you get the idea.

You’re at Disney World, so just remember your EARS!

You can Eat, Adjust plans, Ride, or Shop (not necessarily all four, and not necessarily in that order).

EATING is a winning strategy as far as I’m concerned. It’s always snack o’clock! Duck into any nearby gastronomical location and grab a little something. The good news is you’re never too far away from a place to nab a bite at Disney World.

While you’re snacking, think about ADJUSTING your plans for the rest of the day. If you’re using the Touring Plans app, use the time to re-optimize your custom plan. (Read more here.)

It’s an ideal time to slow down for a couple minutes and think through your next steps.

Another option, depending on where you are when the skies open, is to take shelter in a longer-lasting RIDE – or maybe in a sheltered queue you’ve never been in because you always used FastPass. While Hall of Presidents, American Adventure, and Carousel of Progress quickly come to mind, don’t overlook Mickey’s Philharmagic or Muppet*Vision 3D, or Spaceship Earth. On our last trip we were delighted to see all the interactive fun built into the line for Peter Pan’s ride; as often as we’ve ridden it, we have never gone through the queue! If it’s true that getting there is half the fun, I wonder what fun I’ve missed out on by skipping the line to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train! The Imagineers spent countless hours creating these environments and during a rainy spell is a great time to especially appreciate their efforts.


Lastly, you could always SHOP! This one’s easy because (once again) you’re never far away from a shopportunity at Disney World. There is simply no shortage of places to spend a half hour while you’re waiting for things to let up and dry out. The only limiting factor may be your budget…

On one of our visits we were at the Great Britain pavilion in EPCOT when it started to really rain hard. Mary Poppins ran for cover, and we ducked into the Tea Caddy shop with dozens of other people and just watched the beautiful gardens and hedges soak up the rain for a while. Then we browsed the store’s offerings and I grabbed one of those delicious Cadbury bars (that somehow taste different – way better – than those made in America) and enjoyed a treat while we waited. We discussed where to head next, the rain let up in about 15 minutes, and we went on our way. Covered three of the four EARS options in one fell swoop!

Do you have any favorite ways to deal with a day of off-and-on rain? Let us know in the comments.

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Bob Jacobs

Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he retired as Editorial Director for a well-known catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog. They’ve visited Walt Disney World regularly since 1992.

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