The poncho: a standard piece of Disney park bag equipment found on every single “what to pack” list there is. Anyone familiar with Florida weather will immediately understand why, but let’s explore your options for traveling amidst torrential downpours and storms while in Disney. While a flimsy yet fashionable sheet of plastic will keep you dry, there are several things you can do to be prepared for a rainy day in the park.
Check the radar.
Almost too simple, but to my astonishment, it seems as though a quick look at the radar on my Weather Channel app while waiting in lines gave us a head start to beat the crowds to a dry waiting spot during our rainy days in Disney. Yes, you don’t want to be losing valuable magical hours to screen time, but a quick glance is all it takes to know that you are on the edge of an imminent downpour.
Find your dry haven.
Dark green, yellow, orange or red headed your way? On to the next step, finding an attraction, restaurant, or gift shop to meet your needs. Some attractions, like 15-30 minute shows, are a good option; like the Country Bears Jamboree or Mickey’s PhilarMagic. Restaurants will provide you a place to sit and refuel during a longer precipitation episode (we like trying to grab a table overlooking “it’s a small world” at the Pinocchio Village Haus-entertaining, dry and delicious!). And there is ALWAYS a gift shop nearby if you are in the mood to do some shopping (though this is not ideal for longer rainstorms since there are no places to sit).
Keep checking the radar.
The rains in FL seem to come as quickly as they go. If you are traveling to Disney during the rainy months, it is not a bad idea to keep a rain hideout location in the back of your mind for each area of the park you visit so you may quickly head that direction if another cloud bursts. For example, let’s look at these great dry havens in the Magic Kingdom lands:
Big Top/Dumbo area-Pete’s Silly Sideshow (character spot), Big Top Souvenirs (gift shop)
But, what about when it RAINS on your PARADE? Everything I have discussed to this point falls under the umbrella (sorry, had to use that one) of wanting to stay dry. BUT, sometimes you may find that a rain shower is a refreshing alternative to running through Casey Jr.’s Soak Station or waiting in line for over an hour hoping for a splash from the infamous Splash Mt. Watching the Fantasyland Parade on Main Street (3:00 in the hot afternoon sun), my daughter and I were caught in a sudden downpour, no ponchos and IT. WAS. GLORIOUS! I wouldn’t trade this memory for anything! The parade viewers around us squealed and ran for cover leaving us with the best view of the Seven Dwarves parading down Main St. USA, splashing in puddles as they went. Thankfully the rain, though heavy, was brief and gave way to another heat spell that dried us up rather quickly.
So, pack a poncho, check your radar, seek shelter, and if you do get wet, enjoy it!
Anxious, weather nuts, please read:
I, like you, may panic if there is lightning and big, booming thunder close by. Do not even mention an orange or red alert from my weather app! In the event of more severe storms or weather events, play it safe, yes. Seek shelter, of course. Let it ruin your day, no! Promise me you will understand storms in Orlando are common and will move quickly. Also, Disney has a plan. It is very unlikely, but if there would be a storm severe enough to cause major concern, park-goers would be appropriately notified and moved to a safe location. While I get you and appreciate it can be unsettling, promise me you will not let weather-stress ruin your trip.