Top 9 things to do at Disney World when it rains

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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

This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you, check out my affiliate disclosure for more information and all the legal mumbo jumbo.

But first, don’t forget your rain gear β˜”

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!

disney world rains
Coffee is great for rainy days!

#9- Spend your rainy day time checking out all the nifty shops on WDW property πŸ›οΈ

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 know shopping may not sound like the most fun, SO that’s why its number 9. πŸ˜‰

The best part, is that if you shop at one of the Disney Stores, you can have it delivered to your resort, sent to the pickup for later or shipped to your home. That’s a win win in my book!

disney world rains
When it rains, there’s always shopping!

#8- Go resort hopping 🚌

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. 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, 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!)

And if you have little ones on a budget, head over to the All Star Resorts and do the Milkshake Crawl! Head to the food court and ask about the one of a kind specialties there.

#7- Check out things that you wouldn’t see otherwise! πŸ‘€ 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!

disney world rains

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!

disney world rains
The Rainy Day Cavalade at Magic Kingdom

disney world rains
Our Mascot, Mickey Mouse, and his friends staying dry in the Rainy Day parade

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 exotic shops in the World Showcase!

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- Go back to the resort πŸ›ŽοΈ

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.

So go back, 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 I recommend that have indoor ques are:

Mickey at all four parks

Joy/Wreck it Ralph in Epcot

Tinkerbell then Ariel then Princess’s at separate Magic Kingdom locations

Star Wars Characters in Hollywood Studios

#3- Hang out in Epcot in Future World πŸ€–

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!)

play area outside of mission space

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

(and technically outside future world but still worth mentioning will be Remy’s indoor ride in France!)

#2- Check out all the shows πŸŽ†

Did you know that Disney World has a lot of shows?

magic kingdom rainy day
Cinderella Castle is still majestic even in the rain!

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:

  • Philharmagic- Magic Kingdom (the tiki room is cute too!)
  • It’s tough to be a bug in Animal kingdom is always recommended but we prefer Festival of the Lion King
  • Lightning McQueen- Hollywood Studios (we also really like the muppets!)
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing Along in Epcot, Awesome Planet, and shows in Canada and China

#1- Grab a hard to get 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 world restaurant reservations
A Disney Cast Member letting guests know that they have open tables due to cancellations because of the rain!

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!

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