Rain at Disney World: 7 Tips & Tricks for Surviving Stormy Weather
Rain is inevitable in Florida. As annual passholders and long time Florida residents, we braved non stop rain countless times to enjoy our days at Disney World. Many visitors will leave during rain at Disney World, which means shorter ride queues and less people in general. This can make for a pleasant day IF you are prepared for the rain. If you’re planning a trip, use these seven tips to be prepared and make the most of rain at Disney World.
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What Happens When it Rains at Disney World?
Rain at Disney World is very common and typically doesn’t interrupt normal operations. Most rides at Disney World are inside and are not impacted by rainy weather at all. However, you can expect temporary closures for any uncovered, outdoor rides if there is heavy rainfall, thunder or lightning within a certain radius. Such rides include Dumbo, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Barnstormer, Slinky Dog Coaster, Test Track, etc.
If weather impacts any of your FastPass+ reservations, Disney will typically send an email letting you know that you can come back later in the day to use it at a different time, or gives you the flexibility to use the pass for a different attraction.
In the event of rain at Disney World, outdoor shows will also be cancelled. Magic Kingdom has a special “Rainy Day Parade” if bad weather interrupts the Festival of Fantasy parade. Most other shows have multiple showtimes throughout the day.
Check the Forecast for Rain at Disney World
It seems pretty obvious, but checking the local Orlando forecast will be imperative in planning for your day, especially if rain at Disney World is expected. Check the local weather and set up a rain alert on your phone for when there are storms in your area. If you want to avoid rain at Disney World, I recommend planning a trip for December, January, or February when rain is less frequent. Florida has daily thunderstorms during the summer months so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Purchase ponchos BEFORE entering Disney World
Rain ponchos at Disney World are sold in most gift shops and are upwards of $9 a piece! I highly recommend picking up a few for less than $1 at Walmart or the Dollar Tree to save money. Here’s a pack of 8 for pretty cheap on Amazon. We love using ponchos as a cover for our stroller too in a pinch. They keep baby nice and dry but can be thrown away at the end of the day. They tend to be blown around pretty easily though so if you plan to use it to cover your stroller, bring along some clips (like these) to keep the plastic clamped down.
If you anticipate rain at Disney World (especially during the Summer season) and have a stroller, invest in a durable plastic cover. This one was less than $20 and has been a lifesaver! Nothing is worse than a soaked stroller. Since most stroller parking is outside and uncovered, and strollers aren’t allowed in a lot of areas, this is a worthwhile investment.
Umbrellas are allowed at Disney Parks and are another great option for staying dry. Ziplock bags also come in handy. Storing valuables (money, phones, cameras, etc) in ziplock bags saves them from any potential water damage. This is also a great tip if you plan on riding any ‘wet’ rides as well.
Shop ’til it Stops
Although it doesn’t appear this way from the outside, many gift shops at Disney World are actually connected to form one LONG store with multiple entrances. Spend a few minutes perusing merchandise, or at the very least, use this as a dry walkway. Disney World offers lots of shopping options so use the heaviest rainfall as an opportunity to grab your souvenirs.
There are also several outlet malls in the Orlando area that make for great shopping. We love the Character Warehouse, which sells deeply discounted Disney items on clearance from the parks. Another option is to head to Disney Springs where you can see a movie, immerse yourself in a hands-on virtual reality experience at The Void, watch a Cirque du Soleil show or bowl at Splitsville.
Sit down to eat
While many Disney restaurants are quick service, a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to sit down for a longer meal. With less people in the park, there’s also a better chance of snagging a last minute reservation to one of the more popular restaurants. Check the My Disney Experience App for restaurants closest to you.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
One of the easiest ways to ruin a day at Disney World is by wearing uncomfortable shoes. This is especially the case when it’s raining. Speaking from experience, wet soggy tennis shoes are the worst to walk around in. If the forecast calls for rain, make sure to wear comfortable sandals. Alternatively, pack a pair of extra shoes/socks to change later in the day.
Attractions & Shows to Avoid Rain at Disney World
Depending on which park you are visiting, check out the park map ahead of time. Plan to travel the park in a circular motion, hitting each ride/attraction along the way. Moving from one ride to another will keep you mostly dry and limit the time spent in the rain. Check out shows in addition to rides/attractions. Shows provide an opportunity to sit down and stay dry while still being entertained.
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s a Small World
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Meet Cinderella, Elena, Rapunzel and Tiana inside of Fairytale Hall
- Enchanted Story Time with Belle
- Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Dumbo’s Indoor Playground
- Space Mountain
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Rangers Spin
- The PeopleMover
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends (be sure to explore the aquariums)
- The Land Pavilion (home of Soarin’ and Living with the Land)
- Meet Mickey & Pals at Character Spot
- The American Adventure
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
- Meet Anna and Elsa in Norway
- Frozen Ever After
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of The Little Mermaid
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- Explore Star Wars Launch Bay (meet Chewbacca, Darth Vader and BB8)
- Toy Story Mania
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Star Tours
- Meet Olaf
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Na’Vi River Journey
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Festival of the Lion King
Surviving Rain at Disney World
Don’t worry, a little rain won’t ruin your Disney trip, as long as you’re prepared for it. Using the tips above will ensure a magical day despite a little ‘liquid pixie dust’. As a bonus, note some of the benefits of rain at Disney World below:
- Less people, shorter ride queues, yay!
- Fireworks STILL happen (as long as there is not lightning or extreme winds)
- Most rides and shows are inside and aren’t delayed or stopped due to rain
- Disney is extremely accommodating for cancelled events (i.e. the Jedi Temple Training at Hollywood Studios, when rained out, gives participates the opportunity to meet Darth Vader instead) You may get an equally memorable experience despite stormy weather.
Have you ever endured rain at Disney World? What’s your favorite tip or trick? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.