Don’t let rainy days at Walt Disney World stop you from enjoying
You’re all geared up and ready for a great day at the Orlando theme parks when you turn on the news and get the weather report. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for rain and your plans seem to be washing away with it. Don’t fret; even rainy days at Walt Disney World can be great days for touring through Walt Disney World. Here are some tips for surviving those showery days:
Rain means smaller crowds
On rainy days most guests decide to forgo visiting the theme parks entirely. This means that the attractions have much shorter wait. In fact, sometimes you practically feel you have the park to yourself.
The theme parks are designed for rain
Disney Imagineers certainly had the frequent showers of Florida in mind when they built the Orlando theme parks at Walt Disney World. Most of the lines for the rides are covered and the majority of the rides are indoors. Nearly all of the restaurants are sheltered or indoors as well. Only a few of the attractions are closed due to rain:
Only Test Track closes due to rain.
Lights! Motors! Action! and Fantasmic are cancelled during rain.
While only a few rides close for rain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, Liberty Belle Riverboat, Astro Orbiter and Swiss Family Treehouse close during lightning.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not recommended for rainy day traveling due to most of the animal habitats being outdoors.
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Avoid Disney Springs
Because many guests stay away from Orlando attractions on rainy days Disney Springs tends to attract big crowds. Since Disney Springs is an outdoor shopping complex, visiting Disney Springs will not help you avoid the rain anymore than visiting a theme park. Also, parking is limited at downtown so the extra crowds can make finding a parking spot practically impossible. All together it is not recommendable to visit Disney Springs on rainy days. If you are interested in making it a shopping day, visit Epcot.
It’s always a good idea to bring ponchos or rain gear just in case of a sudden shower. Even if it doesn’t rain it’s helpful to have for the wet theme park rides like Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.
Have a nice long meal
Rainy days are great days for enjoying a leisurely meal at the full service restaurants at the theme parks or Orlando hotels. For an entertaining dining experience, visit Rainforest Café at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Downtown Disney, Sci-Fi Dine Inn Theater and 50’s Primetime Café at Disney-MGM Studios, or any of the character meals at the Disney hotels.
Have a rain plan
Florida showers can strike at a moment’s notice, so it’s always good to have an idea of an indoor ride nearby that you can get to quickly if a downpour occurs. There are a few attractions in which it is very easy to ride multiple times while waiting for the sky to clear up:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Haunted Mansion (must walk outside to re-enter)
- The Land Pavilion (Soarin’, Circle of Life and Living with the Land)
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros
- Art of Disney Animation (multiple exhibits)
Find the characters indoors
Disney characters don’t like getting wet anymore than you do. If you’re looking for your favorite Disney friends, you might have to seek them out indoors. You can always find Mickey in his house and various characters inside the Toontown County Bounty at the Magic Kingdom. You’ll also find characters at Character Connection between Club Cool and Innoventions at Epcot.
Florida is a tropical environment
It’s fairly common in Florida to get sudden showers during the summer. These showers usually only last about 30-45 minutes but can be rather impressive. It’s not too rare for a seemingly clear sky to turn into a torrential downpour in a matter of moments. Quite often, guests in the theme parks panic and quickly leave the theme parks instead of simply waiting out the short shower. If you find yourself caught in the middle of an afternoon downpour, give it at least a half hour before abandoning the theme park.
Don’t let a little rain spoil your fun. Enjoy the theme parks when they are less crowded. You might find it to be one of the most fun days of your vacation!