Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, and even at the most Magical Place ever, Disney World, the weather can put a kink in the plans. One of the big weather problems is a rain!
So Let’s Talk about the rain.
There’s lots of different kinds, from a light afternoon shower, to a torrential downpour! There’s also the rains that comes like sleet in abnormally cold winters and the more common rain from an afternoon shower.
Sometimes, depending on the year, there are rains for days from large thunderstorms and inches of rain from hurricanes. And that’s why we have to plan ahead with the weather so we know what to expect! You can start your rain planning by checking out this helpful Magic Kingdom Rainy Day Itinerary, or planning for the top 9 things to do at Walt Disney World Resort when it rains.
So do Disney World Parks Close when it rains?
That depends entirely on the type of rain!
If it’s a light shower- it’s unlikely that anything will close. Especially if it’s just a quick sprinkle most of the activities will go on like normal- I’ve even seen the photographers and ballon people that will stay out in a really light shower.
If it’s a thunderstorm with lightning, it’s very common for most of the outdoor rides to close, and some of the indoor ones as well!
This is one of those situations where you will see people ducking for cover. Lightning is no joke in Florida, even at Disney World! So you will see all the cast members come in from the streets and the guests huddled under the overhangs and packed in the stores.
The best kind of situation is having rain, but no lightning. This means the parks generally clear out- because no one wants to get wet, and you can score some really cool pictures and reservations with the limited amount of people present!
If you are at the parks when it rains, you’ll want to make sure you’ve pack and plan to wear the right rainy day items so you can get the most out of your day!
Do the Water Parks close (typhoon lagoon and blizzard beach) when it rains?
Not only does my family visit the parks several times a month, but we also love to pop into the water parks on those hot days (which is like 9 months out of the year)
But that also means that we’ve had our fair share of afternoon thunder storms while we are at the water parks.
So do the parks close? Yes and No. If there are thunder storms or lightning in the area (or it’s actively pouring) they will close the attractions. If it’s just cloudy or there is a light sprinkle but no lightning, they will keep them open.
It’s actually one of our favorite things to go to the water parks after there was a good rain- because they will be pretty empty and we will be able to jump on the rides and just have a good time! You can check out my saved instagram story highlights to see more tips for the water parks.
What about closures for Hurricanes?
If it’s a hurricane- one that will directly impact the Central Florida area, Disney WILL normally close the parks, maybe only for half a day, maybe for several days at a time.
They tend to wait till they get a definitive answer on the hurricane before they start closing things, which could be up until the day of the bad weather.
Many people will reschedule or cancel their trip if they suspect a hurricane coming- which can be a wise choice after what happened with the people stranded at Disney in 2017! They were essential trapped in their resort rooms with limited food options. It was crazy for a few days!
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What’s Disney World Rain Refund Policy?
That leads to the next, ever important question.
What is Disney World’s Refund Policy when it comes to the rain?
They don’t have one!
Let me clarify- it is very rare to get any compensation from Disney for the weather, with the exception of Hurricanes. Generally, with a hurricane, Disney will bend over backwards to get you rescheduled or home before the hurricane hits (and maybe a little more depending on the circumstances)
Disney World is very careful what they offer compensation for. Things like rides breaking or a weird fluke with a restaurant often result in special fast pass tickets and food vouchers. Those these are Disney’s Fault- the Weather- is not controlled by Disney.
This also means that special ticketed events don’t get a refund either!
Which is especially crappy if you are coming for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas and can hardly enjoy the special characters and parade because of the rain. Even worse if you are coming for Mickey’s not so scary Halloween Party- nothing like having a weather proof costume! Sometimes the dessert parties will give you the option to reschedule- especially if you know far enough ahead in advance.
So What should you do when it Rains?
First things first, make sure you check the weather for the day, especially on the day of. I know, your on vacation! But planning ahead and bringing the right gear makes all the difference!
If you remembered to grab Umbrella’s and Poncho’s before your visit, make sure to pack those! Otherwise, you will see Disney Cast Members come out in force with lots of rain gear options. Seriously. They will be parked with a cart before you even get in the park!
The Right Foot Wear is also incredibly important. Not only do you not want to fall, but you also don’t want to get blisters. I swear by crocs for the kids (with socks when it rains).
Raining at the Park
If it happens to be a light sprinkle while you’re in the parks- no worries. There is plenty to do in every one of the parks to get you through an hour or two of rain.
The real problem is in those rainy days that just don’t quit! Those are the days that I recommend heading over to Magic Kingdom or Epcot. These two parks are often more “rain proof” (though Hollywood might be a runner up in 2019!)
Enjoy all the indoor attractions and shows, and of course, time to SHOP! You can also catch up on some of the restaurants that you might not have normally have eaten at- people tend to cancel reservations.
Raining at the Resort
I much prefer to get caught in rain at the resort! It makes planning that much easier.
If you get caught at the resort you can decide if you want to change plans (like go to different parks) or have a relaxing rainy day! Sometimes its nice when the rain forces you to take an unscheduled break. Then you can hop over to the parks after the rain has died down for the day.
Another great option is to go resort hopping! Especially if its just a gloomy day, the monorail will still be running. You can just hop on the monorail resort loop and check out all the beautiful resorts (and yummy restaurants!) while staying almost 100% dry.
And that’s a wrap
Basically, it’s going to rain- even in the Sunshine State. Disney isn’t super big on refunds, but they do try to make accommodations to make up for the rainy mess.
If you are prepared with your rainy day gear and have a good attitude about getting soaked on your vacation, you can have a lot of fun!