You’ve been planning your Disney World trip for over a year, and now rain is on the forecast. Don’t panic! Florida showers are a daily event in the summer, and are usually short-lived. There are lots of ways to still enjoy Disney World in the rain.
Here are our 9 tips and tricks to make the most of your Disney World vacation, even if it rains.
Tip 1: Expect Rain in Disney World
If you are traveling to Disney world in the summer, expect rain every day. Florida is known for its afternoon showers.
The rain often only lasts for an hour or two and then subsides. After the rain is a great time to visit more popular attractions. The rain can drive crowds out of the parks, and lines are shorter.
Orlando often experiences tropical storms, and even low level hurricanes. Disney World is expert at preparing guests for these storms and will close attractions if necessary. Even if certain attractions are closed, there is still plenty to do in Walt Disney World in the rain.
Tip 2: Hit the Disney Parks Early on Rainy Days
Summer storms in Florida are common in the afternoon between 3 and 6 PM. To guarantee a full day at the parks during the rainy season, hit the parks early. Make sure you visit all of the attractions that might be affected by the rain.
If you have a park hopper (learn about different pass types in our Disney Guide for Beginners), consider splitting your day between two parks and retreating to your hotel room for a nap during the rainy time. You can still get several great hours in the parks after the rain subsides.
Tip 3: Bring Rain Gear to Disney World
We recommend packing a poncho or rain jacket for each member of your family. Disney World sells rain gear, but it can be expensive.
We prefer rain ponchos because they are practical, easy to carry, and can be put away after the rain is over (bring a plastic bag to store them). They also give you plenty of coverage, which can be essential in heavy tropical downpours.
Avoid umbrellas. It’s annoying to carry them on rides, and they don’t provide enough coverage for the tropical weather of Orlando. Even if you have an umbrella, you will probably still get soaked. Ponchos and jackets are easier to pack, and function better against the Florida weather.
Choose your shoes wisely. Make sure you have water resistant shoes. Cloth sneakers will get soaked in the heavy rain, and will take a long time to dry off. We recommend comfortable, quick dry sandals.
Many folks bring an extra pair of socks in the case of soaked feet. If you aren’t sure that your shoes will hold up to the water, it’s a lightweight insurance plan to avoid blisters.
If you have a little one, consider a rain cover for your stroller. Rain showers can come unexpectedly, even when you are waiting in line for a ride. Your child will be grateful for a dry seat to hop into during long Disney days.
Tip 4: Make a Disney World Rain Storm Dining Reservation
One of our favorite rainy storm at Disney World tricks is hiding in a table service restaurant. If you see rain on your Weather App forecast, see if you can book a reservation at that time. Typically, restaurants will let you linger for one more glass of wine or a dessert to share while the thunder storm clears.
Another trick is if you see a rain storm coming, you can book a reservation on the fly on the My Disney Experience App. Often times there are reservations available mid day within 15-30 minutes of your time. Find a quiet spot to enjoy a drink, have a snack, and let the weather pass.
If you need advice on how to book Disney Dining Reservations, visit our Beginner’s Guide to Disney World.
Tip 5: Visit Disney World’s Indoor Attractions
Each Disney World park has plenty of indoor attractions that are perfect for hiding from the rain. Shows can run up to 20 minutes, and can provide a welcome shelter during passing Florida storms.
Here is our list by park of the best places to hide in the rain:
Best Magic Kingdom Rain Spots:
- Carousel of Progress (Indoor Show)
- Hall of Presidents (Indoor Show)
- Country Bear Jamboree (Indoor Show)
- Mickey’s Philharmagic (Indoor 3D Show)
- Enchanted Tiki Room (Indoor Show)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Ride with Indoor Queue)
Best Epcot Rain Spots:
- The Land Pavillion (Multiple rides and Indoor Cafeteria)
- The Living Seas Pavillion (Finding Nemo Ride and Aquarium to explore)
- Japan Pavillion (Mitsukoshi store is easy to spend time in)
- Mexico Pavillion (Shopping, Ride, and Tequila Cave!)
- O Canada! Movie (Canada Pavillion)
- American Adventures (Show at the American Pavillion)
Best Hollywood Studios Rain Spots:
- Beauty and the Beast Stage Show
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular (Show)
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid (Show)
- Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance (Indoor Ride)
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Indoor Ride)
Best Animal Kingdom in the Rain:
- Festival of the Lion King (Indoor Show)
- Finding Nemo The Blue and Beyond (Indoor Show)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris (ride, but they run this in the rain)
- Its Tough to Be a Bug (Indoor 3D movie)
- Dinosaur (ride with Indoor Queue)
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch (Building with indoor exhibits)
- Na’vi River Journey (Ride with covered Queue)
Tip 6: Choose your Rainy Day Disney Park Wisely
Some of the parks are simply better to navigate in the rain than others. Magic Kingdom and Epcot are both better for rainy days, as they have plenty of indoor attractions to keep you dry.
With the new park reservation system (read more here), you can still change parks leading up to your trip as long as they haven’t closed the date. If you expect a rainy day, there are some Disney World parks that are better to visit in the rain than others.
Epcot is our preferred park when visiting Disney World in the rain. While the distance between attractions can get long, there are lots of places to hide and hang out for a longer period of time.
The Magic Kingdom is also a good choice rainy day. It is smaller and rides are closer together. If you plan your day right, you can hope from line to line while still staying mostly covered. However, many Magic Kingdom rides are outdoors and can close due to rain.
While Animal Kingdom has many rides with covered queues, it is very spread out and is challenging on a rainy day. You wont be able to enjoy the animal exploration trails, which are really what makes this park special.
Hollywood Studios in our opinion is the worst park in the rain. With attractions that are spread apart, and not a lot of places to linger, we would avoid this when visiting Disney World in the rain if possible.
Tip 7: Does Disney World Give Refunds for Rain?
No, Disney does not issue refunds to their theme parks due to rainy weather.
The Disney World Rain Policy states:
“Disney World will not issue refunds or credits due to inclement weather. Guests should plan accordingly and be prepared for the possibility of rain during their visit.”
Disney also doesn’t cancel special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you have planned these during rainy weather, the best plan is to go prepared and try to make the best of it.
This is different during hurricane season. If Disney needs to close due to a hurricane, they will issue refunds. This has only happened a few times in the past, and it is not a common occurrence.
Read Disney’s Hurricane Policy here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/hurricane-policy/
Tip 8: Know the Rides that Close due to Lightning
There are certain outdoor attractions in every park that close during bad weather. If these attractions are must sees for you, plan your day so that you get to them prior to the afternoon storm.
The rides that can close due to lightning are:
Magic Kingdom Rain and Lightning Closures:
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Jungle Cruise
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Liberty Belle Riverboat
- Astro Orbiter
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Epcot Rain and Lightning Closures
- Test Track
Animal Kingdom Rain and Lightning Closures
- Expedition Everest
- Gorilla Falls Trail
- Kali River Rapids
- Tricera Top Spin
Hollywood Studios Rain and Lightning Closures
- Slinky Dog Dash
Tip 9: Consider a Non-Park Day when it Rains in Disney World
The best thing to do if you see a rain soaked day coming is to reschedule your park day. If you have the flexibility to avoid the theme parks, there are lots of things to do in Disney World on a rainy free day.
- Visit a Disney Spa
- There are full service spas both at the Grand Floridian and The Dolphin. Relax your tired muscles and indulge in a massage or a facial.
- See the Cirque du Soleil
- Disney Springs is now the home to Drawn to Life, a new Cirque du Soleil show featuring Disney characters. Tickets are expensive but families really enjoy this show. Look for tickets on Viator here.
- Do a monorail hotel tour
- You can still stay dry and explore Disney World with a tour of the monorails. The Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian are all connected by the monorail. Explore these beautiful properties, shop in the stores, and even consider getting a drink or a snack at one of the many restaurants these Deluxe resorts offer.
1 thought on “Disney World in the Rain: 9 Tips and Tricks”
Pingback: Disney World for Beginners: A Complete Guide in 2023 - Just Go!