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You spent a year planning your family’s trip to Disney World. And then you arrive to discover the forecast is calling for rain every day of your trip. So, what do you do? You have two choices: you can let the weather ruin your trip or you can have fun regardless! Most people choose to head back to the hotel when it starts raining at Disney World, but this can be one of the most fun times you can have in the parks. And, let’s be honest, it rains almost every day in Florida (for at least a little bit). So, the chances of you have a full week of rain-free weather are slim. So, sing in the rain and splash in the puddles! And to help you make the most of your time, here are some tips for a rainy day at Disney.
Tip #1: Bring Ponchos
The first of our tips for a rainy day at Disney is to bring your ponchos! These will keep you somewhat dry while you are playing in the parks, which will keep you from being too uncomfortable. Even if it is sunny when you leave your hotel room in the morning, always take your ponchos to the park with you because the rain can pop up at any moment in Florida. Also be sure to have at least one extra poncho to cover your stroller with if you have a little one with you. And I would suggest bringing ponchos with you from home because they will be much cheaper than those you buy in the gift shops!
Tip #2: Wear Appropriate Shoes
It is inevitable that if you are out and about in the rain your shoes are going to get wet. So, be sure to wear shoes to the parks that you don’t mind getting soaked. Crocs are always a good choice because they are rubber and will dry quickly. If you know before you leave home that rain is probable, consider packing rain boots for your kids. It’s also important to pack more than one pair of shoes for your trip so that if your shoes are still wet the next day, you have a dry pair to wear. (Read our packing tips for Disney trips for other essentials to pack for your trip.)
Tip #3: Wear a Hat
Whether it’s sunny or rainy, it’s always a good idea to wear a hat to the parks. It not only will keep the sun out of your eyes, but it will also keep the raindrops off your face. And for the best protection, pull the hood of your poncho up over your hat to keep your hat and your head dry during the downpours.
Tip #4: Enjoy the Break From the Heat
During the summertime, it is hot and humid in Florida! It can be miserable to be out in the heat during this time. But, fortunately, Florida also tends to get little pop up showers on a daily basis during the summer. These generally don’t last more than 20-30 minutes, so if you get caught in one, don’t sweat it! It will give you a chance to enjoy a nice break from the heat. So, cool off a bit in the refreshing showers!
Tip #5: Enjoy Low Crowds
As I mentioned above, most people head back to the hotel when the rain starts. So, use the rainy day to your advantage and enjoy much lower crowds. This is a great time to jump in line for the most popular rides that will now have much shorter lines. (Just note that some of the outdoor rides do shut down during the rain.) I love being in the parks during the rain because it chases so much of the crowd away.
Tip #6: Catch the Shows
If you would rather not get wet during your rainy day at Disney, then use the showers to catch some of the shows throughout the parks. Most of the shows are either indoors or have a roof over the seating areas, so it is a great way to get out of the rain while still having fun.
Tip #7: Ride Some Indoor Rides
Another thing to do during your rainy day at Disney if you want to stay dry is to ride some of the indoor rides. Unlike most amusement parks, many of the Disney rides are inside of show buildings, so it’s pretty easy to keep riding rides without getting wet. In addition to the rides that are located inside, there are also some rides that have a roof overhead, such as the teacups and Aliens Swirling Saucers.
Tip #8: See the Animals
If you are at Animal Kingdom when it is raining, go see the animals! You can do this by either taking a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, walking one of the animal trails, or seeking out the other animal exhibits around the park. Like humans, the animals enjoy the cooler temps that come with the rain. So, usually they are out and more active when it is raining than there are on a hot sunny day. So, this is a great time to see them in action!
Tip #9: Shop
Disney World has no shortage of gift shops located throughout the property. So, another great way to spend time when it’s raining is to do your souvenir shopping. And if you are staying on property, you can have the staff of the gift shop ship your purchases back to your resort, so you don’t have to carry them around in the rain.
If you are at Disney Springs during a shower, head to World of Disney. It is the largest Disney Store in the world. So, you can spend quite a bit of time in there shopping without running out of things to look out. Similarly, the Emporium at the Magic Kingdom and Mouse Gear at Epcot are also large gift shops that can eat up quite a bit of your time if you are waiting out a downpour.
Tip #10: Linger Over Dinner
If it starts raining as you head into a restaurant to eat, then wait out the raindrops by having a leisurely dinner. This is a perfect time to have an extra glass of wine or slowly eat your dessert. Hopefully, the rain will stop before you are finished and ready to head back outside. And if you have gotten caught in the rain before reaching the restaurant, having a long meal will allow you to dry off some before getting on with your day.
Tip #11: Ride the Monorail/Skyliner
Yet another way to have some fun while staying dry on a rainy day at Disney World is to ride the monorail or skyliner and explore the various resorts. Now, if it is lightening, the skyliner will cease to run. But, short of that, head to either one of these fun modes of transportation and enjoy a relaxing (and dry) ride. You can either make a full loop on the monorail or jump off at the Ticket and Transportation Center and get on the other line. If you are on the skyliner, you can transfer lines at the Caribbean Beach station.
Tip #12: Take Some Photos
Another fun thing to do during the rain at Disney is to take some photos. While your family may look like drowned rats at the time, these photos make the best memories! You will look back at these pictures fondly for years to come. I have to say, though, that while I have been caught in the rain at Disney several times, this is something that I am not very good at doing. Usually I’m too scared of getting my camera wet to take pictures in the rain. But, the ones I have are some of my favorites! So, pull the camera out (maybe under an awning) and take some fun pictures!
Tip #13: Embrace It & Have Fun
However you decide to spend your time during a rainy day at Disney, just embrace it for what it is and have fun with it! Most of us only get to go to Disney World once a year or less, so don’t let a little rain ruin your vacation you’ve looked so forward to! Just have fun anyways. Splash in the puddles! Catch raindrops on your tongue. Show your kids that you can make the most of a difficult situation. This is also a great time to teach your kids that your attitude can make all the difference in a less-than-perfect time. So, channel your inner child and have a blast!
Tip #14: Don’t Cancel!
The most important of our tips for a rainy day at Disney is to not cancel your trip (or your day’s plans) just because it’s raining! Like I’ve said before, rainy days can be some of the most fun times at Disney World, so don’t run away from that! Just go with the flow and enjoy the vacation you’ve worked so hard to have!
Rain happens in Florida quite often. And unfortunately, you can’t really predict when it will show up or how long it will last. But instead of letting it ruin your trip, embrace it and make the most of it! I hope the above tips for a rainy day at Disney help you continue to make magical memories with your family. For help planning your trip, see our step-by-step guide, how much a Disney trip REALLY costs, the best time to go to Disney, and quick tips. Happy travels!