On our recent Walt Disney World vacation we encountered 2 rainy days. I’m not talking about our summertime afternoon rain showers. I mean real all day rainy days. We are Floridians so we are accustomed to rain. We may be the Sunshine State but we have a lot of rain. The Orlando area averages 117 days of rain per year so you should always be prepared. Since we are semi-locals I thought I’d let y’all know How to Prepare for a Rainy Day at Disney World. Personally, I’ll take a rainy day at Disney over a 90+° day anytime!
Rain Gear for a Rainy Day at Disney World
Poncho or Rain Coat– Come prepared with a hooded rain coat or poncho. Don’t opt for the Dollar Store ponchos, they are thin and rip easily. Of course you can buy rain ponchos at Disney and they also now sell cute rain coats for about $50 but we avoid extra expenses and pack our own.
Shoes-Wear shoes that can get wet. Don’t wear leather shoes or sandals. Sneakers are not comfortable once they get wet. I wear my Tevas on rainy days. Any shoe like that or Chacos are perfect for rainy days.
Umbrellas– Please don’t. Umbrellas are dangerous weapons, in sun or rain. I have been poked and whacked by umbrellas too many times. People using umbrellas tend to forget that the umbrella is wider than they are and then they end up hitting someone else in the crowd.
Lightning is a much different story than rain. If there is lightning within 10 miles of the park, all outdoor rides will close. Outdoor food and shopping kiosks will also close. Disney even pulls all parking attendants out of the parking lots and has guests park on their own. Yes, chaos does ensue, I’ve been a part of the self-parking on 2 occasions so far.
On our recent visit to the Magic Kingdom we were in a 2 hour lightning delay that morning. That meant when we arrived there were 12 attractions closed, including 2 indoor attractions that were closed for technical reasons.
Our first Fastpass+ attraction, Jungle Cruise, was closed due to lightning. When one of your Fastpass+ choices is not running at the time of your Fastpass window, Disney sends you an “anytime” or “magical” Fastpass. This Fastpass is good for most of the rides in the park, just not the top tier rides so read carefully. It is also good for almost anytime. Our first magical Fastpass said it was good until 6pm. Our second magical Fastpass was good until park closing. We ended up with 3 magical Fastpasses out of the 5 Fastpasses we used that day. The weather totally changed our touring plan for the day.
Shows on a Rainy Day at Disney World
Disney’s goal is for the show to go on…if it is safe for the performers and guests. Rain and lightning can cancel parades, stage shows, and fireworks spectaculars. Safety is of utmost importance and if the show can go on, it will.
One of our big goals on this visit was to see the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular. When we make day trips we seldom stay late due to the 2 hours drive home so when we stay in the area we try to see the shows. I asked a cast member when they decide to cancel the fireworks. He informed me that the show will happen if at all possible. The call is made the last minute possible. Disney monitors the weather and has even had the show go off an hour late, when the weather permitted. Thankfully on this particular day, the rain ended around 4:30pm and we had a lovely evening.
The Best Park for a Rainy Day at Disney World
I feel that the Magic Kingdom is the best park to be in on a rainy day. The attractions are close together and you can quickly go from one to the next without being in the rain too long. The second best rainy day park would be Epcot. There is more than one thing to do in each building so you can hopefully wait out a rain storm. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with its current guest traffic configuration, is difficult in the rain. A few years ago my nephew and I got soaked trying to get across the park because there are no shortcuts and few buildings to pop into to stay dry. The worst park in the rain is Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Most of the attractions are outside and they are far apart. Avoid Animal Kingdom on a rainy day.
I tell all my travel clients to plan for a rainy day at Disney World. Pack ponchos and appropriate shoes. I also tell them to relax, have fun, and dance down Main Street USA in the rain! You can make great rainy day memories and a wet day at Disney is better than a dry day at home!
I did an InstaStory on our rainy day. You can watch it here.
If you are ready to plan your Walt Disney World vacation, Email Me and we will get started!