A Disney vacation involves months of planning, costs of airfare (or gas), accommodations, park tickets, plus the logistics of getting your family to Orlando. But you can’t control the fickle Florida weather, especially since quick rainstorms are often a daily occurrence. Not fair, right? But, you don’t need to let rainy weather ruin your vacation. These tips will help keep your fun on track, even on a drizzly day.
You can control some factors to help ensure that your vacation will have the perfect weather during your next Disney vacation (the time of year, checking long-range forecasts, etc.). But, Mother Nature tends to like surprises. You don’t have to let the weather spoil your vacation though. Even a rainy day can be a lot of fun and help create family memories that will last a lifetime.
My family hasn’t had a Walt Disney World vacation yet that didn’t involve some (or even a great deal of) rain. But we’ve learned to roll with the weather and still create amazing memories. Read on for tips to make your rainy day at Disney World the best it can be.
First of all, Stay Calm.
Florida rainstorms tend to be over quickly instead of lasting all day, so don’t panic if you see clouds rolling in. But those brief rain showers don’t always cut through the humidity. In fact, they can sometimes make it even worse, so staying dry will definitely help with the comfort factor for the rest of your day.
No matter what the weather does on your day in the parks, don’t let it get to you. It’s still an amazing experience to be at any of the Disney parks, whether wet, sticky, hot or dry. Yes, standing in the pouring rain to watch a parade or fireworks show is uncomfortable. You can still make it a fun experience for your kids by letting them splash in puddles or twirl around in the rain.
People and clothes will dry, but the memories you make that day are once-in-a-lifetime. They will be something your kids will remember forever. Try to keep your frustration or disappointment to yourself to help make those memories positive ones for the kids.
Wear clothing that dries quickly.
The best clothing options in the parks are those that will wick sweat from your body and also dry quickly. Walking around in wet clothes is no fun, especially for kids. Even if it doesn’t rain, you’ll likely be sweating in the hot, humid weather. Synthetic or lightweight cotton blends are a good choice either way.
Waterproof shoes or sandals are a great idea too. Heavy rain can ruin leather shoes and make walkways slippery. Plus, there’s almost nothing more uncomfortable than squelching around the parks in waterlogged socks and shoes. On our most recent Disney World trip, I learned this the hard way after an unexpected rainstorm soaked my tennis shoes. I bought a pair of Mickey Mouse flip flops to get through the rest of the afternoon, but they were an unplanned, and expensive, souvenir. Also, flip flops aren’t really recommended for riding roller coasters since they can fall easily off.
Dress in Layers.
Wear multiple layers. You can easily remove an outer layer if it gets wet. Plus, rain can be cold even if the temps are hot outside. And those air-conditioned indoor spaces are often colder than you think. Tank tops are great for outdoors in the heat, but throw a light shrug or hoodie in your bag, just in case. Not carrying a bag? Just tie a thin shirt around your waist by the sleeves.
Yes, ponchos are necessary.
You don’t need expensive or fancy rain gear. Those knee-length ponchos can protect you from the rainy weather, as well as from sitting on wet seats on the rides. Bring ponchos for everyone, and if you can, buy them beforehand off-site at a grocery or dollar store. Yes, you can buy the Disney Parks rain ponchos at any of the parks if you need to, but they are definitely pricey. On one trip I bought four clear plastic adult rain ponchos at the Winn-Dixie near our vacation rental home for $3.99 each and paid a dollar more to get my youngest daughter a pink Minnie Mouse one. I’ve also seen them at our local dollar store, so it can pay to plan ahead and stock up.
We usually carry the ponchos in our backpacks and re-use them several times, just stuffing them back in when we don’t need them since they’re light and compact down easily. On our latest trip, I forgot to re-add the ponchos to our bags on our last day. Unfortunately this resulted in my kids and I waiting under the awning of a restaurant in the Animal Kingdom for an hour while the rain poured down. We finally gave up and got completely soaked as we dashed our way to the park exit.
Keep electronics dry.
It’s rare to be in a Disney park without some type of electronics, whether cameras, tables or phones. Keeping them dry is definitely a priority. Pockets aren’t always the best protection, especially if your clothes get soaked. One cheap and easy solution is to bring a few plastic baggies to keep your valuable electronics in while it rains. (Check out 7 other ways Ziploc bags make great travel hacks.) I will usually put my camera or phone in a Ziploc baggie, even if I’m already stowing them in a waterproof backpack or bag. That extra little layer of plastic helps give me peace of mind.
Rain ponchos work great for you and your belongings, but they don’t help to keep your camera or phone dry while in use. Umbrellas are especially useful if you need to use your phone or grab a quick shot with your camera in the rain.
Organize your day according to the weather forecast. If it’s going to be extra hot, plan for stops in air-conditioned spaces, like restaurants, gift shops or indoor shows. It’s a good opportunity to see some of the amazing shows they have in the Disney parks or try indoor rides like Soarin‘ at Epcot. Plus you get to rest your feet for a little while too. Threatening clouds or raindrops are also good opportunities to browse through shops or stop for a meal. Since many rain showers blow over fairly quickly, you can often avoid getting wet altogether.
Rainstorms in Orlando usually happen in the afternoon, so you can plan ahead by booking indoor attractions for those times. Not only does that keep you dry, but afternoon walk breaks are helpful for resting weary feet, especially in air conditioning. Then you can use FastPasses to hit the outdoor rides either first thing in the morning or after dinner.
Bring (and wear!) Sunscreen.
Yes, you read that right. No matter the forecast, don’t forget the sunscreen. Even if it’s gray and pouring rain when you head out, it could be bright and sunny by lunchtime. It’s best to be protected since you can get burned even if the sun is behind clouds.
Don’t forget to re-apply often, since a single coat won’t last the entire day. Sun hats and sunglasses are a good idea too – just remember to keep them stowed during rides so they won’t blow or fall off.
And if Nothing Else, Just Get Wet.
Well, you’re going to probably get wet anyway, right? May as well give up even trying to stay dry and just embrace the drenching. And while you’re wet, take the opportunity to ride the water rides, provided it’s not thunder storming. Or head out for an afternoon at the water parks. It is just water, after all.
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