If you’re visiting Walt Disney World between June and September, chances are you’re going to experience a thunderstorm while you’re here.
When it rains in Florida, it rains hard and thunderstorms can come out of nowhere, so you might only have a short time to find a place to take cover until it eases up, but that doesn’t mean you need to be stranded under a tiny overhang with nothing to do. There are some great spots at Walt Disney World where you can wait out a thunderstorm - spacious places where you can shop, eat, drink, have access to restrooms, and if you’re lucky, see an attraction.
If you think a thunderstorm is approaching, you need to have a plan on where you’re going to wait it out. Below is a list of places we recommend if you're at Disney.
Main Street U.S.A – The Emporium
The great thing about Main Street is that the shops all connect on the Emporium side, so you can walk the entire length of the street without getting wet. You also have access to Casey’s Corner if you get hungry.
The Hall of Presidents
The atrium/pre-show area is full of Presidential portraits and memorabilia. Getting the opportunity to see real articles owned by past Presidents is truly a treat. One of the most popular areas is the display of First Lady Dresses. The Hall of Presidents is best suited for adults. Unless your child is a real history buff, chances are they're going to be bored.
The Land - Future World
At nearly 6 acres, this pavilion is the largest in Future World. There's plenty to do here while you wait. The Land is also home to Soarin', Circle of Life, Living With the Land Boat Ride, Behind the Seeds Tour, Garden Grill restaurant and the Sunshine Seasons Food Court.
Japan Pavilion - World Showcase
Japan's shop is the "mall” of Epcot’s World Showcase where you will find a large variety of Japanese gifts and souvenirs. In addition to the shopping, you have access to two restaurants, restrooms, and a Sake bar.
One Man's Dream
Located on Mickey Avenue, this unique attraction provides a rare opportunity to learn more about the man behind the mouse. Guests are welcome to tour the displays at their leisure. The tour culminates with a film that features footage that was specially prepared for this attraction.
The Magic of Disney Animation
There are a lot of things to see in this building, including a tour of Disney animation. There is also a character meet and greet area. Characters vary depending on the day, but you can often find Sorcerer Mickey, Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, and Frozone. If you're feeling artistic, you can learn to draw a Disney character in a class taught by Disney artists.
Chester & Hester's Dinosaur Treasures
A variety of merchandise is available here, both Disney and dinosaur-related. The design of the store tells the story of Chester & Hester and the tacky merchandise shop and carnival they set up to take advantage of tourists coming to visit the area to hunt for fossils. There are some amazing details in this store - there's even a photo of Chester and Hester and the first dollar they made. Just look up!
Discovery Island Shops
The colorful bazaar in the Discovery Island is reminiscent of the architecture that you’ll find in Bali. Look closely at the ornately carved details on shops such as the Island Mercantile and see how many animals you can find. Inside this shop, guests will find toys, clothes, candy, collectibles and Animal Kingdom themed merchandise. Upscale clothing, exotic jewelry, tapestries, watch artisans, sculptures, collectible gifts, a ring carver and camera accessories are all carried at the Disney Outfitters. The popular Mickey safari pith helmets, children’s clothing, toys and gifts are found in Creature Comforts.
World of Disney - Marketplace
This is the ultimate Disney Character store. You'll find themed sections throughout the 50,000-square-foot shop - the perfect place to find souvenirs for everyone on your list.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Splitsville is not your typical bowling alley. The 45,000-square-foot venue features 30 lanes spread over two floors, as well as billiards, food, music and live entertainment.