If rainy days are in the forecast for your upcoming Disney World trip, try these tips to stay dry, have fun, and make the most of the weather.
You’ve meticulously planned every detail of your upcoming trip to Disney. Your dining reservations are set, and park days are planned. You’re eagerly counting down the days until you are immersed in Disney magic.
You check the weather forecast one more time (you’ve checked the Orlando forecast repeatedly for days), and there’s nothing but rain. The panic sets in. Will your trip be ruined? Disney is an outdoor amusement park; will it close? What do you do now?
A rainy forecast doesn’t mean your Disney World trip is ruined; far from it. Personally, I have experienced two separate Disney vacations filled with rainy days, and you can still have a fabulous trip regardless of the weather.
The biggest hurdle when faced with rain instead of sunshine is acceptance. Once you accept the rain, you’ll be ready to pivot and move in a different direction with your plans. Below, I’m sharing my tips to make the most of rainy days at Disney World.
1. Prepare for the Weather in Advance
Preparing for the weather is the first step to ensuring your day is still magical. You’ll want to be ready for wet weather before you leave home, so make sure to bring:
- Ponchos, rain jackets, or any rain attire you have
- Umbrellas (you can buy a compact size that only takes up little room in your bag)
- A good waterproof shoe, a comfortable sandal (you must be able to walk 20,000-plus steps), or Crocs!!
- A waterproof or water-repellent backpack to keep your essentials dry
- Towels in zip lock bags (or any bag that will help keep them dry in your larger bag)
- Zip lock bags or other waterproof/repellent bags to store wet clothing
- A change of clothing
With these items in your luggage or park bag, you’ll be prepped and ready to take on whatever weather comes your way!
2. Plan to Ride Popular Attractions (Almost Everything Will Be Open!)
On the rainy day I encountered, it poured all day. However, there are still ways to enjoy a Disney day in the rain, whether it’s sprinkling or storming.
There are various options available to you, even if the conditions are not favorable. Don’t let the weather dampen your spirits: Despite the showers, you can still enjoy all your favorite rides at the park. Attractions stay open even when the weather takes a turn for the worse, so make plans to hit all of your favorite (or the most in-demand) attractions on a rainy day.
In fact, on rainy days, the wait times may be shorter due to fewer guests. Go ahead and make the best of your day!
As long as there is no thunder or lightning, you can expect most rides to be open. There are some exceptions, like Test Track at EPCOT or Slinky Dog at Hollywood Studios. You can check the My Disney Experience app to find out what rides are available.
3. Opt for Indoor Attractions and Activities Where You Can
Select rides with indoor queues, like Peter Pan’s Flight at Magic Kingdom or Soarin’ at EPCOT, to get a break from getting soaked (as an added bonus, you get to enjoy a wonderful journey to Neverland and around the world!)
Additionally, a rainy day is a perfect day to take in one of Disney’s indoor stage shows! You can check the My Disney Experience app (the app will be your best friend!) for locations and showtimes at each park. Here are a few notable mentions to consider:
- Animal Kingdom: Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
- Hollywood Studios: Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage
- EPCOT: The American Adventure- The Voices of Liberty
- Magic Kingdom: Mickey’ PhilharMagic or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
4. Take Advantage of Last-Minute Dining Reservations
Rainy days are a great opportunity to snag a last-minute reservation at a restaurant or resort you’ve always wanted to visit.
Reduced crowds on rainy days can lead to canceled reservations and more restaurant availability. So, when you’ve grown tired of the downpours and walking around wet, you can quickly check what dining options are available at each park, resort, and even Disney Springs with a quick search on the My Disney Experience app.
For example, during my recent visit to EPCOT, it rained heavily and there was no respite from the constant downpours. My family and I decided to take a break and find a place with dryer conditions. I took out my phone to check for available dining reservations. I was fortunate enough to secure a reservation at Sanaa, located in Animal Kingdom’s Lodge.
This was my first time visiting this resort, and I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to experience it in person. It was a bright moment on an otherwise dreary day! The bread service at Sanaa is highly praised by patrons, and it certainly lived up to the hype.
This experience wasn’t planned, but the rain allowed me to try something new.
More Tips to Make the Most of Rainy Days at Disney World
In addition to the tips above, I also find the following handy to keep in mind when rain happens at Disney World:
If you’re at a park and looking for a quick-serve restaurant, you can change your plans to a sit-down restaurant if there’s availability. Check with the front desk of any restaurant to see if they have any available tables.
If you’re staying within the Disney bubble at one of the Disney World resorts, check with a cast member to find out what indoor activities are available on that particular day. Most resorts also have this information posted in the lobby, which can be a helpful resource.
Consider moving your park day to a different day during your stay if the weather is better. Enjoy a Disney movie and snacks in your room instead.
Even though rain may seem like a hindrance, a Disney trip can still be a memorable and magical experience. You’ll cherish the moments when you wore ponchos, had wet hair, and soaked feet because they’ll be associated with great stories and fond memories. Remember a rainy Day at Disney is still better than not being at Disney!