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As parents we know that bad weather can be a real headache. Whether it's a storm that keeps you cooped up indoors or just lousy weather that makes getting around difficult, it can be a bummer. But what do you do when you’re at the Walt Disney World Resort and the forecast looks dismal? There are still plenty of great places to go within the Walt Disney World theme parks, even if the weather isn't on your side.
First and foremost, if you are visiting Florida you need to know that it rains, especially in the summer, but the rain is often short-lived. Central Florida’s climate is considered sub-tropical and is known for its hot, humid summers and dry(er) winter months. For this reason, many people wonder when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World, and what is there to do if the forecast calls for rain? Well, you’re in luck! The Walt Disney World Resort was built, and is prepared, for all types of weather; you just have to know what to do when inclement weather rolls in.
The theme parks will remain open during rain and inclement weather, although some of the attractions may shut down temporarily until the weather system passes. The Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will only close for very severe weather, for instance in the event of a hurricane. But rest assured, if you end up at Walt Disney World during a hurricane, you will be taken care of. If there is rain or non-severe storms in the forecast for your theme park days, don’t cancel your plans. Below is my list of the best parks to visit during inclement weather at Walt Disney World.
Most of the attractions at EPCOT are indoors so if it’s raining you can spend a good amount of time exploring each land and pavilion while staying dry. Some pavilions like The Land and The Seas With Nemo & Friends house multiple attractions allowing you to spend hours in the same location while waiting out the storm.
The Land pavillion at Epcot
If you happen to get caught in a storm on the World Showcase side of EPCOT it’s good to know that some of the buildings in the various pavilions are interconnected, meaning you can explore the entire (or almost entire) pavilion without stepping foot outside. Most of the countries also have an attraction of some sort where you can take a break and wait out the weather.
Did I mention that EPCOT also has numerous dining options? There is no shortage of table service and quick service dining options here. Take a break, grab a bit to eat, and relax in a restaurant until the nasty weather passes.
Another advantage to EPCOT is that is very close to the Boardwalk area. You could always scoot over to the boardwalk and check out the restaurants and shops at the Boardwalk area resorts if you wanted to get out of the park for a bit.
The second best park to be in during inclement weather is Magic Kingdom. Although Magic Kingdom has more outdoor rides that will shut down during a storm, there are still many that are indoors or have covered queues to protect you from the elements. Magic Kingdom also has many indoor shows like the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s Phillharmagic, and Hall of President’s that are longer in duration and can offer some reprieve from the rain. You may even catch a special rainy day parade if you brave the outdoors and are willing to get wet.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
There are only a few rides at Disney's Hollywood Studios that will close during the rain so you don’t have to worry about running out of things to do however, you will have to worry about getting wet since most of the queues at this theme park are partially outdoors. If the wait for the more popular attractions like Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, or Tower or Terror are long then you can bet you are going to get wet waiting in line.
There also aren’t many table service options at Disney's Hollywood Studios so finding a last minute dining reservation isn’t always easy. The quick service locations also become quite crowded during bad weather as there are fewer of them and they tend to have limited seating. If you see rain coming while you are at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I recommend finding an indoor spot to wait it out before they become packed with guests.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Most of the attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park are outdoors except for It’s Tough to be a Bug, DINOSAUR, Na’vi River Journey, and Avatar Flight of Passage. Be forewarned, if the lines are long for these rides you will end up standing outside and getting wet. The other downside to visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Park during the rain is the layout of the park. Aside from Pandora, you will have to walk longer distances outdoors between the various lands meaning again, you are going to get wet. If being out in the rain doesn’t bother you then Animal Kingdom is a great place on a rainy day as the crowds will be much lower than on hot, sunny days!
If you are staying onsite at a Disney World Resort hotel you can take advantage of the resort activities and visit the arcade (which is sometimes free during bad weather). Otherwise, the rain doesn’t have to ruin your theme park plans! Pack your poncho, umbrella, an extra pair of shoes and socks, and head to the theme parks to experience the magic of Disney…with lower crowds.
** Disney Mom Tip - if you are planning to visit the theme parks in the rain, I highly suggest a stroller for your younger children. They will need a place to rest, and you can keep them dry in the stroller with a rain cover. The company we rent from provides complimentary rain covers that are so convenient during those afternoon pop-up storms (https://www.kingdomstrollers.com/?ref=kellyeatmoncole1) **
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