The rainy season is upon us here in Central Florida, just in time to make Disney vacations a little more challenging. I have often seen the question from those planning Disney vacations if you can do Disney in the rain or if it’s worth it and the answer is YES! You can absolutely do Disney in the rain with some planning ahead.
First off, if you’re going to be in Florida between the middle of May (this year the rainy season started a little early) through August you should just plan for rain. Even if it’s not a torrential downpour we typically get a pop up shower or two every afternoon. So, here are a few of my favorite things that help make tromping around Disney in the rain a bit easier.
- A Hat- This is the perfect opportunity to sport that baseball cap you bought at The Emporium. The cap’s brim will help to keep the rain out of your eyes which is especially helpful if you wear glasses.
- A Poncho- Ponchos are available everywhere and should be in your suitcase before you leave home. I wouldn’t pay Disney prices for one when they’re readily available at places like The Dollar Store. My sister-in-law recently bought a nylon one with it’s own carrying case for me and I like it much better than plastic.
- Sweat-Wicking Workout Clothes- This could be one of the most helpful things you could bring with you and not just for rain. Sweat-wicking clothes help to keep you cooler overall and tend to be lighter weight which is great when it’s sunny and hot as blazes. But, even with a poncho, your legs will likely still get wet and while cotton sticks to you and stays wet for hours, workout clothes help you to feel drier and it dries more quickly. I also have sweat-wicking socks. Sometimes the rain falls so quickly here that you can be up to your ankles in puddles pretty quickly. Another good alternative is rafting type sandals. They’re made to get wet and your feet won’t slip around when you’re walking.
- If you’re buying a bag for your trip make sure it’s waterproof. Since we’re a family of 4 we always bring our own snacks, sunscreen, backup phone charger, etc. so I carry a backpack and, unfortunately, it’s not waterproof. If I was buying one again (and I might considering the amount of photos I take) I’d get a waterproof one.
There are actually some advantages to the rain though besides cooler temps. Our family has had some of our best times in the rain because crowds tend to thin out significantly. Last August my youngest daughter and I spent a very, very hot day in The Magic Kingdom and predictably it poured in the afternoon. I think that a lot of people tried to stick it out that day but after about an hour or so there was a mass exit. So, I decided to see if I could get a FastPass+ that was better than what I currently had and was able to snag one for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Plus there were just a lot fewer people left in the park.
We had an a different experience at Animal Kingdom when the skies opened unexpectedly and it just kept raining. I was a bit grumpy about the whole thing and wanted to leave which was a mistake. We would have done much better to get a bite to eat or to watch a show. Instead we headed to the trams which was another mistake. We were parked close enough to walk and I thought that since the trams are covered we’d be shielded from the rain. But #1- trams move and #2- the rain was sideways that day so mostly the ride to our car was like sitting under a waterfall. We walked to the car in puddles up to our ankles and by the time we got there the rain had gone down to a sprinkle, which often is the case. I wanted to go home but a quick traffic check showed that there was an accident on I-4 so we decided to head to Hollywood Studios. As we got there a lot of people were leaving so all of the rides were practically walk on and we ended up having a great time. I think we rode Toy Story Mania 3 times and Rockin’ Rollercoaster was the same. Sometimes a Disney trip is about taking lemons and making lemonade…and also not caring that you look like a drowned rat.
I hope these tips are helpful. Happy planning!