Rainy Days at Disney World
You've spent months planning, your itinerary is set, you arrive at Disney World and the deluge begins.
While weather is unpredictable, there are certain times of year, particularly the summer months, when a quick afternoon thunderstorm is the norm.
If you do encounter wet weather, it doesn't mean that you have to spend the day confined to your hotel room listening to "I'm bored..." Most of Disney World can be enjoyed no matter if the sun is shining or if you're starting to wonder if Noah is going to show up with the Ark.
Before heading to "the World", get yourself to a dollar store and stock up on inexpensive rain ponchos. Sure, a piece of plastic imprinted with a smiling mouse has its appeal, but you'll be paying a premium price for a Mickey raincoat. Think twice about umbrellas. They're not the easiest things to handle and stow as you navigate the parks.
The Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios have many attractions that are found indoors. Take a look at the weather forecast during your stay. If there's a fairly dry day predicted, plan to visit the Animal Kingdom Theme Park. While it does have sheltered venues, this is one park that's meant to be enjoyed outdoors.
When you arrive at the park, think about renting a locker. You can stow your raingear when it's not needed (and don't forget to bring a plastic bag to store the wet rainwear.) If it's really raining, plan for soggy shoes/socks. A change of footwear may be a good idea.
The good news is, not everyone plans ahead and you often see visitors leaving in droves once the rain begins. Just keep one safety issue in mind, when you pop on a poncho it doesn't mean that you're immune from lightning. Stay indoors until the coast is clear.
If slogging through the parks during a full day of rain isn't your idea of fun, think about visiting the Disney Resorts. You can hop on the monorail and explore the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts.
While all of the Disney Resorts have arcades, the Contemporary has the biggest by far. You can end up spending a ton of money, but at least you'll be dry and having fun.
If you're a pressed penny collector, there's another incentive for visiting the resorts. Each one has a unique penny machine where you can get a souvenir not found elsewhere.
Did someone say the "S" word? If the mention of "Shopping" has you clinging to your credit card, it is an option to consider on a rainy day. While your budget may not be ready for a one of a kind lithograph, not everything comes with a high price tag. At Downtown Disney there are tons of stores with everything Mickey that you can imagine. Lots of the shops, such as Goofy's Candy Company, Lego Imagination Station, Once Upon a Toy Store and the World of Disney have hands on activities making them the perfect spot for the kids to burn off some energy.
Another endless variety of shopping can be found at Epcot's World Showcase. It's amazing how inexpensive some of the items are, and you sure can't beat sampling some wines while the raindrops fall.
If your mate has that deer caught in the headlights look over the prospect of browsing the stores, pack him in his poncho and send him to the ESPN Zone over at Disney's Boardwalk. As he's happily watching his favorite team and munching on Buffalo wings, you can shop till you drop.
Rainy nights don't have to be a washout if you get tickets for La Nouba, a 90-minute original Cirque du Soleil production at Downtown Disney West Side. For ticket information, contact 407-939-7600.
At some point, you've got to eat, right? Obviously, sitting outdoors munching on a soggy hot dog may not be a plan, but there are so many indoor restaurants to choose from. For the restaurants that accept dining reservations, take the time to see if they have an opening. This can be done via your Disney Resort phone or through guest services in the parks or lobby of your resort.
Believe it or not, rain doesn't necessarily mean the fireworks are canceled. Don't be surprised if Wishes and Illuminations is still scheduled. If you wear glasses, you'll wish they had windshield wipers, but you will get to see the show.
It just takes a little imagination and planning to make a rainy day a memorable one.
- Changes coming to Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party? - An update is rumored for this parade later this year, possibly around October. Possible changes are new music; Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald moving to the top of the floats; and Stitch joining the fun. Sebastian, Lumiere, and The Mad Hatter will leave the parade.
- During pool rehab, Polynesian guests will have free admission to Blizzard Beach - Originally, the resort guests were just going to be given one-day tickets to the water park, but that has been changed. They will now have complimentary unlimited admission to Blizzard Beach during their stay at the Polynesian.
- List of restaurants participating in the 2015 Disney Dining Plan - This list will be updated as more restaurants are added. Epcot and Downtown Disney restaurants don't normally finalize their participation until later in the year.
- 2015 Magic Your Way Disney World packages released! - A Walt Disney World package is a resort room and theme park admission. The Disney Dining Plan may also be added.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
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- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
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- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- Walt Disney World 2015 packages now available to book
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions