What to do on a Rainy Day at Disney

So…you’ve planned your vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth and now the weather is threatening to ruin it. Boo. We can’t control what Mother Nature throws our way (I say this as I watch the snowflakes coming down outside my window), but we can control how we react to it.

If it’s just the quick “Florida rain shower”, not much will change at the parks. Some outdoor rides may temporarily pause the harder it rains, and if there is lightning – expect more to shut down. Disney doesn’t close because of rain – but they have been known to close for hurricanes. 

While most of the time rain in Florida is to be expected, and often clears out quickly, sometimes it sticks around and you might need to be reminded how to “play in the rain”. 

The best things to do at Disney World when it rains.

  • Arrive early. If the rain is planned for the whole day and you can’t move your plans, get to the park early (hopefully before the downpour). The rides are more likely to be up and running early and you’ll have a better chance at getting on that must-do ride if you have more time to work with.
  • Wait it out. Florida rain is likely to pass, and there’s almost always somewhere to “wait out the shower”. 
  • Take a Break. If the kids (or a grown up) in your group is cranky – head back to your resort for a break or nap. It’s ok to go and come back. You don’t even have to go to YOUR resort, you can explore something close by. On the monorail – try The Contemporary, The Grand Floridian, or the Polynesian. Near EPCOT – try Boardwalk, Beach Club or Yacht Club. Lots of unique and fun things to explore at each resort.
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Crowds go way down when it rains, and if you stay in the parks, you’re likely to be first on rides that may have paused during the rain. This makes for a short wait time on those popular attractions.

  • Go to the Disney Springs. Disney Springs Area offers movies (AMC theater) and bowling (Splitsville) both indoor activities. 
  • Ride a water ride. You’re already wet- why not enjoy it! 
Embrace the water! Hop on a water ride in the rain!
A large, reusable poncho will keep your stroller and kiddo dry.
  • Find the indoor attractions. There is at least one good option everywhere to stay dry. 
    • Magic Kingdom: Country Bear Jamboree, Enchanted Tiki Room, “it’s a small world”, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, Carousel of Progress
    • EPCOT: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros (Mexico), Reflections of China (China), American Adventure, Bijutsu-kan Gallery (Japan), Gallery of Arts and History (Morocco), Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (France), Impressions de France (France), Canada: Far and Wide (Canada), Living with the Land (World Nature/Land), Sea Base (World Nature/Sea),  the Seas with Finding Nemo (World Nature/Sea), Spaceship Earth (World Celebration), Test Track (World Discovery)
    • Hollywood Studios:  For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-Along, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!,  Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Toy Story Mania (sometimes an outdoor queue), Star Wars Launch Bay (characters and exhibits), Star Tours, Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (some outdoor queue) Walt Disney Presents, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Muppet*Vision 3D, Minnie & Mickey’s Runaway Railway, Smugglers Run, Meet Olaf
    • Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR, It’s Tough to be a Bug!, Na’vi River Journey (sometimes and outdoor queue), Avatar Flight of Passage (sometimes and outdoor queue)
  • Find indoor food. 
    • Magic Kingdom: all table service dining, Cosmic Rays, Columbia Harbor House, Casey’s Corner (limited indoor seating), Golden Oak Outpost, Pecos Bill, Pinocchio Village Haus, The Friar’s Nook, The Lunching Pad (some covered seating outdoors), Tomorrowland Terrace, Tortuga Tavern
    • EPCOT: Sunshine Seasons, Connections, Katsura Grill, La Cantine de San Angel (some covered seating outdoors), Regal Eagle (some covered seating outdoors)
    • Hollywood Studios: ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Docking Bay 7, PizzeRizzo
    • Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree Barbecue (some covered seating outdoors), Harambe Market (some covered seating outdoors), Resturantosaurus, Satu’li Canteen, Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafe (some covered seating outdoors)
  • Take a ride. You can hop on the Monorail or the train (at Magic Kingdom), both usually run during lighter rains with no thunder or lightning.
  • Shop. This is a great time to get your souvenir shopping done! In the resorts, the park stores, or even at Disney Springs.
  • Special Rainy Day Fun! The Magic Kingdom has a special Rainy Day Cavalcade!

Tips to Prepare for a rainy day at Disney

  • Check the weather. Ok, so at first glance it may look like rain everyday. Zoom in – Florida is known for daily rain showers, so check the hourly to see if it’s all day downpour or scattered.
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Rain keeps the crowds away. So if you’re prepared and packed for the rain, it could be a great way to check some things off the list.

  • Take ponchos. Sure, you can buy them in the parks, but I love and adore the quick disposable kind. We carry 6-10 dollar store ponchos in a backpack for just-in-case moments. They’re great for covering a stroller, spreading out on a wet table or bench, and keeping people dry of course. Also, they can be tossed instead of saved after use because no one wants to put a wet poncho back in the backpack. If you really need themed ones – try these.
  • Raincoats are great! If you want to stay a little more dry than a disposable poncho, I love these easy to carry or stuff in a park bag raincoats. For men, women, and children.
  • Pack all the Ziplock bags. They’ll keep all the electronics dry – phones, chargers, back up batteries.
  • Extra socks. If there’s rain in the forecast, throw and extra pair of socks in your park bag, wet feet are the worst.
  • Extra shoes. If you really want to avoid soggy feet. My pre-teen daughter hates wet socks and shoes, so if it starts to rain she pulls Crocs out of the park bag and saves her sneakers for later when it’s dry. 
  • Stroller cover. While the disposable ponchos might do the job, an actual stroller cover is super useful and reusable. 
  • Small towels. You don’t want to lug a beach or hotel towel around all day, but you’ve checked the forecast, and know that rain is on the way. Add this item to your park bag for the day. 
  • Umbrella. Essential for a rainy day. If you want a compact adult-version, I love this one. Lightweight and easy to toss in the bag.
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Umbrellas will set up the security scanners at park entry. Remove your umbrella and hold it out in front of you before going through the scanner.

Rainy Day Questions (FAQs)

Q: Will I get a refund or partial refund if it rains?

A: No. Disney does not offer a refund if it rains. 

Q: Will I get a refund if there is a hurricane and the parks close?

A: Yes. Disney has historically issued refunds and partial refunds in this case. Please note it is always case by case and not a guarantee. I strongly recommend travel protection either from Disney directly, or through a third party.

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Your travel advisor can help you select the best travel protection option for your vacation.

Q: Will the restaurants close? 

A: Restaurants remain open in the rain and are often a “great escape” to wait out the wet weather.

Q: What about parades, fireworks,  and shows in the rain?

A: Parades, fireworks, and shows are often modified when it rains, and sometimes canceled. The MyDisneyExperience app will be the best place for up-to-date info on your park day.

Q: What about events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, or After Hours events?

A: Events still take place in the rain and have respective cancellation and refund policies.

Q: Do the rides shut down if it rains?

A: See above, not all rides will close, but some do to keep everyone safe.

Q: What if I have a Lightning Lane for a ride and the rain closes it?

A: It’s most likely that your Lightning Lane will convert to an “Multiple Experience” Lightning Lane and can be used anytime later during the day. If the ride does not reopen, Guest Services can help you find a resolution.

Q: Will the Skyliner be open in the rain?

A: Yes, unless there is lightning or high winds, the Skyliner runs in the rain.

Q: Will the Monorail be open in the rain?

A: Yes, unless there are severe storms and lightning, the Monorail will run in the rain – and the waiting areas are covered so you can stay dry.

Q: Will the boats run in the rain?

A: Yes, unless there is lightning or high winds, the boats will run in the rain.

A rainy day at Disney is better than a dry day at home! Make the memories, play in the rain!

Looking for more items to add to your packing list – check out the free packing list and the post Things You MUST Pack for Walt Disney World® Resort.