Rainy Days at Walt 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.

Related: Making the Most Out of Your Walt Disney World Vacation When it Rains

Before heading out on your vacation, 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 poncho. 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. While it does have sheltered venues, this is one park that's meant to be enjoyed mostly outdoors.

Magic Kingdom Park  

  • When the afternoon parades at Magic Kingdom can’t continue as planned due to weather, Disney friends come out to play in the “Rainy Day Cavalcade.” This fun cavalcade brings Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their pals down the street in antique vehicles, accompanied by a special musical soundtrack and parade performers in colorful raincoats and boots. The “Rainy Day Cavalcade” will not occur if there is lightning in the area due to safety concerns.
  • Take a ride on the Space Mountain attraction, set sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, and climb aboard a Doom Buggy in the Haunted Mansion attraction. 

Epcot

  • Go on Soarin’ Around the World. This indoor attraction allows you to experience a breezy, airborne adventure as you hang glide above the breathtaking marvels of the world.
  • Travel under the sea—without getting wet—on The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction before getting close up with clown fish, sharks and more in a massive 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium.
  • Catch popular Disney and Pixar short films—in amazing 4D at the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Check into the Twilight Zone and drop in at the Hollywood Tower Hotel where you’ll be hurtled up and down aboard an elevator-style lift and brought into…the Twilight Zone.
  • Make your way over to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith attraction and race along the darkened freeways of Los Angeles in a super-stretch limo to the rockin’ tunes of Aerosmith.
  • Sing along with Anna & Elsa in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Singalong Celebration.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • In Africa, head over to “The Festival of the Lion King,” a high-energy show filled with songs, pageantry and puppetry celebrating the classic movie, “The Lion King.”
  • Venture over to Pandora – The World of Avatar area where you can take a mystical journey into Pandora’s glowing bioluminescent rainforest on Na’vi River Journey attraction. This indoor boat ride will take you on a visually stunning adventure!  

Sometimes on a rainy day at the Magic Kingdom, guests have been treated to their 'Rainy Day Cavalcade' - take a look at the video below to see it!

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 Disney Springs, 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, 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.

While it's bound to be crowded if a full day of rain is predicted, the AMC Movie complex can be a great way to spend a few hours.

If you're in the mood for a bit of pampering, schedule a spa treatment at Disney's Grand Floridian Spa & Health Club or the Disney's Saratoga Springs and Spa.

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, through guest services in the parks or lobby of your resort, or via My Disney Experience.

Believe it or not, rain doesn't necessarily mean the fireworks are canceled. Don't be surprised if Happily Ever After Nighttime Fireworks and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth are both 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.



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Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!