It's summertime at Disney, which brings to mind many beautiful things like sunshine, warm weather, icy cold treats, and water rides that you enjoy getting saturated on. One thing we don't typically love about the warmer months is that minor issue of precipitation that clouds our Disney days with a less than pleasant daily drenching. Now, I could sit here and tell you a hundred ways to beat the rain, but really, none of them can compare to a different approach that it took till my thirties for me to understand.
Instead of discussing how to avoid the rain, I wanted to take a moment to talk about how to embrace it. I know, some of you might be thinking, oh no! my hair, my make-up, my outfit, and I feel you on all of those. I had my time in the I-put-a-lot-of-effort-into-this-look sun in my younger years, and for sure, this approach won't work for everyone. But for those of you Disney experts out there, listen up; it's time to step it up to pro level.
Not only does the Florida summer come with rain, but hurricane season also runs June 1st - November 30th, peaking between August and September. Because of this, embracing the rain isn't just simply going about your Disney business no matter what happens; it requires a good amount of pre-planning to remain successful.
First of all, you'll want to look at your wardrobe before you embark on your journey. Getting wet can sound fine at the moment when you are hot and bothered, but when those jean shorts are still steamy and damp 3 hours later, it isn't so fun. Opt for quick-dry materials that won't hold that moisture all day long, and be sure to pick up some waterproofing spray for your shoes. Some people will prefer to go with flip-flops or crocs to avoid wet shoes, but you don't have to give up suitable, supportive footwear not to have wet feet. Break in those sneakers and cover (as directed) with a reliable waterproofing spray; this will keep out the majority of water that splashes around your feet and prevent those nasty blisters.
If you are expecting torrential showers during your stay and want to fully commit to sticking it out when the rain starts to fall, consider taking a lightweight pair of flip-flops as well that can be stashed in your backpack. As the rain sets in, switch over to them temporarily until the weather dries up a little, and then get those sneakers right back on again. Are you not taking a backpack big enough for everyone's shoes? Consider throwing in a spare, dry pair of socks, at the very least; just in case.
Leave your hair styling tools at home. Yep, I said it. Not only do they take up precious space in your bag, but they also take up time to use each day. You are perfect just the way you are, and there is nothing about Disney parks in summer that will be your friend when it comes to hairstyling. Sweat, humidity, rain, heat; gross. The more effort you put in, the more disastrous it can be.
If you want to look cute, focus more on your accents like Minnie Ears or a fun hair accessory, anything that compliments a simple ponytail or bun that is practical and won't get ruined after a few hours in the elements. And if you need more convincing, having a hairstyle that will lend itself to a hat or visor will save your face from all that sun exposure as well. I never go to the parks without my baseball cap with a little hole at the top for my messy bun. It makes for nice photos while avoiding amateur lobster face from sunburn.
You know what is coming next. Makeup. Let your skin breathe and stick to the basics. You'd be surprised how little makeup you can get away with, especially if you make use of some good waterproof mascara (if you want to hot tip here, just let me know) and a fabulous color on your lips. Plastered-on foundation and concealer will likely end up smeared down your face once the heat has its way with you.
In those warmer months, the transition between boiling days and needing a light cover at night can catch you off guard if you aren't prepared. It's probably the one season I break out my old faithful backpack to make sure we are prepared. So, what is the one step people commonly forget when they think about their backpack in summer? Waterproofing it. If it holds all of your dry things and electronics (phones, watches, cameras), you need to make sure that baby is going to stay dry. Invest in a backpack that is made of waterproof material, or be sure to give it a good spray when you do your shoes.
My last tip for accepting your wet fate this summer is zip lock bags. Take a few of them in various sizes, or, even if you only take a large one and keep it in your pocket. You never know when you are going to need to keep something important dry in a pinch. Having one with you at all times can be a lifesaver and take that last bit of stress out of rainy afternoons.
Basically, it's all about changing your outlook. Instead of avoiding it, accept that in Walt Disney World, summer comes rainy afternoons and unpredictable storms. When you prepare for it in advance, nothing can stop you once your vacation begins. While everyone else is squealing and headed for the nearest shop front awning, you can stroll down Main Street U.S.A. and keep your plans moving along. No harm, no foul.
Honestly, when you aren't constantly stressing about the inevitable afternoon showers, there is a sense of freedom in just letting go and living in the moment. Have fun; carefree, childish, uninhibited fun. If you capture those moments on film, they will be far better than any perfectly staged hair and makeup selfie you were planning on.
Embrace the weather, and don't forfeit any part of your vacation to a little bit of rain.