Tickets, check. Sunscreen, check. Stroller, check. Great – you are ready to hit the parks running…..wait, what was that loud rumble? No, no, no that can’t be thunder??? Not on your perfect family vacation! Sure enough, it is pouring down rain outside. What to do? What to do? Take a deep breath, you are prepared…you can do this! Assuming that there aren’t any safety warnings issued (think hurricane or lightening storm) just grab those ponchos and get ready for another great day at the most magical place on Earth!
A little planning and preparation can save you loads of time and money, should you encounter bad weather while on your Disney World® vacation. First things first, check out the weather forecast for Orlando – you can usually look ahead 10-15 days. If showers are predicted, or even if they aren’t, it is best to be ready. Florida is notorious for out of the blue downpours! Before you leave, head out to your local discount store and pick up some ponchos for the whole family. Are they attractive? No. Will they save your vacation? Yes. While ponchos are available at the parks, they are at PREMIUM prices. Nothing like a sudden thunderstorm to illustrate the age old theory of supply and demand!
So let’s take a look at my top 5 things to do on a rainy, nasty, wet day at Disney. First, recognize the fact that there is nothing you can do to change an act of God and that you can still have an awesome time experiencing things that you might not otherwise have a chance to see! Come on, pull your hair back into a pony tail, slap on a ball cap and put on those hideous ponchos. Get ready to rock that rain gear!
- The vast majority of folks will be flocking to the most obvious choices – DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park and the AMC 24 Theater Complex. Both are located in the Downtown Disney area and are at an extra cost. Don’t get me wrong, both of these can be crazy fun, but on rainy days, they are crazy busy! As they are both indoors, you can have a great time and forget that it is raining cats and dogs (or is it mice and ducks?) outside!
- Resort hop! Take this opportunity to explore the other resorts on property…don’t forget to check out the fabulous hotel restaurants as well. You never know – you may find the perfect spot to spend your next Disney vacation!
- Head to the Future World Pavilion in Epcot! Many of the attractions are housed in huge indoor facilities, in particular, Innoventions East and West. My family has literally spent hours just exploring these two buildings – tons of interaction!
- Hang at your resort! If you know that the day is destined to be rainy, why not sleep in a little? Hey, it’s vacation after all! When you finally roll out of bed, head out to the lobby area of your resort. Not only does every WDW resort have its own arcade, but many offer kids’ activities. I was so surprised one morning to arrive dripping wet in the lobby of the Polynesian Resort to find three separate games going on – my kids were thrilled!
- Ignore the rain and hit the parks anyway! Barring dangerous conditions, enjoy your day as usual. You will find that most people leave the parks in droves when the sky opens up – let ‘em go! Thankfully, as the crowds leave, the attraction wait times drop drastically. Of course, some outdoor attractions will close due to safety issues. Enjoy – the hot Florida sun will be glaring down on you soon enough!
- Jackie from the Disney Moms Panel