7 Ways to beat the Rain at Walt Disney World

Peoplemover Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
The PeopleMover ride in Walt Disney World - a great place to spend a wet day!

Florida is considered a sub-tropical climate. Summers are generally hot and humid. Winters are generally mild. It also rains a lot, and when it does it's generally heavy rain. However, your main concern should be about lightning, not rain, when visiting the parks. In Walt Disney World most rides continue in the rain. But if there is lightning – many outdoor rides will close. Indeed, some Water Parks will shut down the whole park entirely if there is lightning about.

Rain seems to follow us on holidays unfortunately. So we have had a bit of experience of ‘rainy days’ at Disney Parks. There are a few positives to rainy days – the lines for rides shorten and the overall crowds thin-out when it rains. Although you often have the privilege of getting a wet seat when it rains!

So how can you beat the rain?

1. The Rainy Season is May – October (with the peak hurricane season August until October). It is usually hot during the day and then it rains – heavy rain for a few hours or more. You can try and avoid this time of year if the rain is going to bother you.

2. Follow the ‘real time’ radar image of Florida. Preferably one that also shows lightning. Weather changes literally hour by hour in Florida. A day forecast of 28°C and rain tells you nothing of when this rainfall will occur or for how long. A ‘real time’ radar map will give you a clearer idea of when the rain is coming and how fast its moving across Florida. There is free Wifi in the parks so you can keep checking on those rainy weather days.

3. Plan which Park to visit according to the weather if you can. Disney Hollywood Studios is a good choice to visit on a rainy day due to the large selection of indoor rides and shows. Animal Kingdom has mostly outdoor attractions – but if it's drizzly, the animals will be more active(!). Magic Kingdom has many rides outside, but also lots of shops to hide away in and indoor rides. Lastly, EPCOT has lots of rides, world pavilions and areas undercover. However the distances between these undercover areas are exposed to the elements. 

So imminent rain is forecast on the radar – what do you do??

4. Ride all your ‘must do’ outdoor and unsheltered rides while you can. Remember most rides will continue in the rain – it’s when there is lightning that Cast members will shut things down. 

5. Take refuge in the following rides and shows at each Disney Park once the rain starts. There are some good places to spend time and wait it out. Rain generally lasts only an hour or two, so if you get stuck – make it a good area. These are areas you could happily spend an hour or more:

  6. Poncho or Umbrella? I took both with us! The $1.00 disposable ponchos are really quite useless after just one wear though. The umbrella came in quite handy – but it is bulky to carry around. Where there is a heavy downpour of rain – the poncho is not strong enough – you really do need shelter!

7. Walt Disney World is designed for rain. There is plenty of shelter from heavy rainfall (that is why Florida is also so green!). Even Cinderella’s castle is designed to withstand hurricanes. Lines are shorter and crowds begin to disappear when rain sets in. Remember, rain is really only water and it cools everything down.

Often when the weather is so incredibly hot and humid, the day will end (or afternoon) with a big thunderstorm and rainfall. When it does gets stifling hot – there will be rain soon –you can almost predict it. I think its nature’s way of balancing things and cooling things down again.

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