Rain is one of those things that no one can really plan for, even the weather man isn’t always accurate in his predictions. The best plans and intentions can get sidelined by a thunderstorm or even a hurricane! Thankfully, Disney has lots of things that you can do when it rains.
Which is really important, because they close a lot of rides if there is thunder and lightning. Plus certain parts of the park get waterlogged when there is a heavy rain. Severe Inclement weather can put a bit of a damper on a Disney Vacation.
You can do many things at Disney World when it rains, from spending time at the resorts, to enjoying the indoor options, to celebrating rain only festivities!
I know a lot of people have questions about Disney World’s Rain Refund Policy, but you should really consider how to make the most of your vacation when you are already on property and it’s raining during your trip!
The good news is that while Florida is temperamental, it typically doesn’t rain all day. Most of the time we have showers that hang around for a few hours and then clear up (though sometimes it stays cloudy!)
So let’s explore the top 9 things to do when it rains, so you can still get the most out of your Disney World Vacation, regardless of the weather! Unless you’re more concerned about the heat- then check out The Best Ways to Beat the Summer Time Heat at Disney World
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But first, don’t forget your rain gear ☔
First things first, I always recommend having some ponchos, or an umbrella (though ponchos really are the way to go when you are on vacation!) and a stroller cover if you need one.
For the longest time I purchased and recommended these temporary ponchos, but this rain season I’m choosing a reusable option for all my time in the parks!
If you didn’t bring these, you can grab them at Disney. The youth ones are around 10 dollars and the adults around 20 (remember, it’s all about seasonal pricing!) so you can grab them there!
Disney also has some really nice reusable rain ponchos, jackets and rain gear- so maybe you’ll use this as a good reason to grab a souvenir you’ll use over and over again!
If it’s going to rain more than a few hours, you’ll need to hop over to this rainy day packing guide for advice on what to bring and wear to the parks!
#9- Spend your Rainy Day Time checking out all the nifty shops on WDW property 🛍️
The best and the worst time to go shopping is when it rains. It’s the best because you are making good use of your time, and the worst because it might get a little crowded.
We really enjoy going to Disney Springs when it rains to check out some of the bigger shops and grab a coffee, but you can also do the same on the boardwalk (and remember- skyliner might not be running if you head to the boardwalk during rainy times!)
Lots of guest take this opportunity to hop around to different resorts and buy goodies that might only be found there. I’ll talk more about this in the next point, but resort hopping to shop and eat is a great way to spend a rainy day.
I know shopping may not sound like the most fun, SO that’s why its number 9. 😉
#8- Go Resort Hopping to over 30+ on site Disney Hotels 🚌
If you are looking for a good way to stay dry while still having some adventure, I definitely recommend resort hopping!
You can do this by catching a ride on Disney’s transportation.
-If the rains are light and no lightning, you can use the monorails and boats and sometimes the skyliner.
-The skyliner will operate in very light rain/cloudy conditions, but not heavy rain, heavy wind or lightning.
Otherwise you will need to use the buses, your own vehicle, or rideshares. This is a great way to check out the sites, maybe grab a bite to eat, and see what each of the resorts has for activities.
Many of the deluxe resorts have fun activities to do, and some of them are free!
I’ll recommend to you the Monorail Loop outside of Magic Kingdom, which is The Polynesian, The Grand Floridian, and The Contemporary.
Another good resort hop option when it rains is the Boardwalk, which has the Boardwalk Inn, the Swan and Dolphin, The Yacht and Beach Club and several shops (plus back entrance to Epcot!)
#7- Check out things that you wouldn’t see otherwise! 👀 Like the special rain parade!
Disney World magic kingdom has some cool things to see if you keep your eyes open!
For one, you really get to see the ducks and other animals when it rains. They are so cute!
For two, you can watch the rainy day calvalade. This is a special rendition of Disney cast members dressed in rain coats and singing variations of ‘singing in the rain!’.
This is on the normal time line of the parade, and they’ll often do an overhead announcement to let you know when it comes down main street!
You’ll get to see your favorites like Mickey Mouse, and the Princesses, while everyone stays dry!
If you do plan to be in Magic Kingdom when it rains, you’ll enjoy this rainy day Magic Kingdom Planning guide. It will help you know what to expect and how to go about your day in the rain.
#6- Walk around the Authentic Shops and explore the World Showcase in EPCOT (plus enjoy rides!)
Epcot is by far the best park to be in when it rains! There is so much to do here in all of the shops in the world showcase. So get the ponchos and the umbrellas and head around the loop.
Each of the countries has shops that have authentic items native to their land, and most will have Cast Members from that country. We have had some TRULY incredible conversations with cast members regarding their native countries, with our favorite being a Canadian who took 20 minutes to show my 5 year old maps of Canada, the currency, the flags etc. My son loved it!
It’s a nice way to spend a rainy day by looking at all the nifty things they have in store, especially because you don’t see many of them in American stores!
And the food! All of the Countries in the World Showcase have some delicious snacks and desserts, plus you can always drink yourself around the world in the rain!
If the festivals are happening, and Disney is really trying to make them year round, you can still enjoy many of the offerings in the rain!
Bonus… the festivals great in the rain because most people leave and the lines for food will be super short!
#5- Reschedule your day, and Spend the day in your Resort Room
Sure, this sounds kind of cheesy, but it can be fun with a little planning. Most resorts have delicious food, some have coffee options, and many of them have events that you can participate in. Find Board Games and Toys for the kids in the Gift Shop (but get there early as they sell out fast!) and stock up on some snacks for the room.
So go back to the Hotel, and lounge around while you wait for the storm to pass! If the storm is really bad (like 2-3 days worth of rain) Disney has been known to add extra events at the Resorts and even bring Characters around. Ask at the front desk if they have anything planned for the rain, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Orrrr you could totally take a nap and then stay up late, taking advantage of those extra magic hours. It sounds like a win to me!
#4- Visit the Characters 🤝
Disney World is full of characters from those that have permanent greeting areas, to those that are temporary spots and they even have random pop up character spots.
Use the rain as a good excuse to wait in line and meet as many characters as you can. It’s likely that the lines won’t be too long, and the characters might even spend a little extra time with you!
Take advantage of the rain and get lots of pictures, selfies and signatures from as many characters as you can.
Some characters that have indoor visits are:
- Mickey Mouse at all four parks
- Mickey’s Friends at Pete’s Silly Slideshow in Magic Kingdom
- Joy and Vanellope Von Schweetz in the Imagination Pavilion in EPCOT
- Princess FairyTale Hall at Magic Kingdom
- Star Wars Characters in Hollywood Studios
- Olaf at Hollywood Studios
I do like the number of Indoor Options that Hollywood Studios has for Character Meet and Greets, but all of the parks have indoor meet and greet options! See the MyDisneyExperience App for a full list, or ask the closest Cast Member for help.
#3- Hang out in Epcot in World Discovery and World Nature 🤖
If you have kids, this is a great place to go when it rains!
There is so much for kids to do here, from the toddlers to the big kids.
For little ones, you can go to the area inside Finding Nemo for a play space and lots of interactive learning. Formally known as ‘The Sea’s Pavillion’ it has an aquarium, lots of CM’s teaching sea related educational material, Storytime with Crush, and play spaces!
Right next door is The Land Pavilion which has the new movie, Awesome Planet, which I recommend for young and old alike. Plus Soarin, Living with the Land, Sunshine Seasons and a Charging station!
You can also go backwards through mission space to find a play ground (and some stuff for the bigger kids!)
Plus, there are several rides here that you can do, several of which are kid/ADA friendly! When we know the day is going to be rainy, we head to Epcot!
- Living with the Land
- Finding Nemo
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
#2- Stick to Indoor Rides and Shows
If the Rain is only around for a few hours, you can easily switch plans to enjoy more of the indoor rides and attractions. Most people tend to leave, but the rain rarely sticks around for more than a few hours.
I bet you didn’t know just. how. many. they had until your plans got changed by the rain!
Here are some of our favorites at each park:
At Magic Kingdom you can go from ride to ride in Fantasyland. There’s Dumbo Ride (with an indoor playground, but the Dumbo ride operates in light rain), Philharmagic, Under the Sea Little Mermaid Ride, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight.
At Animal Kingdom I recommend getting in ride for Flight of Passage. This is a longer queue, typically around 90 minutes, and a great way to use the rain to your advantage! You can also enjoy the Lion King Show which is a short walk from Flight of Passage and on the other side of the park is Dinosaur and The Nemo Show.
In EPCOT, I recommend The Land Pavilion, The Sea Pavilion, and The Imagination Pavilion. All of those have rides, are inside, and some have play areas for the kids!
Over in Hollywood Studios, Sunset Blvd is a good option, with the Lightning McQueen Ride, Beauty and the Beast Show (you might get wet here, since it has some open sides) and Tower of Terror. Also close to the entrance is Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After and Star Tours (all of which are inside!)
Pro Tip: If the rain is about to let up, quickly head to your next outdoor ride. The line should be very short.
#1- Grab a hard to get Dining Reservation 🍽️
The rumors are true.
Well actually they aren’t rumors, it’s been known for sometime that the parks tend to thin out when it rains, especially when it’s going to rain all day. This means that many people cancel their reservations.
Disney Can’t have that!
So they send out some cast members with signs and notebooks to get you signed up for reservations to the restaurants, many of which could be hard to get otherwise.
That’s it for the weather report! 😎
Disney World is still fun in the rain! So no worries. Just adjust and pivot and enjoy your trip.
Have you been to Disney World when it rains? Do you have any other tips for enjoying your Disney vacation no matter the weather? Comment below!