15 May 2018

The Approaching Storm

It’s rather wet at Walt Disney World right now, which means plans are being altered and some guests are staying away from the parks or not resort hopping as a result. As a native Floridian, I know that rain is part and parcel of the gorgeous tropical scenery, but it does tend to put a damper on a vacation. It is the reason I always over-pack on clothes, particularly shoes and socks, and while I may end up with some pruny toes, I don’t want to end up with a wrinkled holiday. Here are a few of the things that I do during rainy weather that may help you the next time stormy weather blows through while you’re in the Vacation Kingdom.

Lounges – Finding a place for a nicely crafted cocktail and maybe a nibble or two is an absolute must during a rainstorm, particularly if that lounge offers a view of the outside world. My top recommendation, if the rain isn’t driving in on you, is to find a cozy seat on the porch of Nomad Lounge in Animal Kingdom. Other highly endorsed options include Outer Rim in the Contemporary, BoardWalk’s AbracadaBar, and the Rose & Crown in Epcot. There are also tons of options in Walt Disney World’s food theme park, aka Disney Springs, so you’re sure to find a place to weather the storm in style there as well.

Long, Interactive Queues – We spend a great deal of time trying to find the best way to avoid lines for attractions, but when the weather is soggy, that is the perfect time to jump in line and explore the story and interactive elements present in some queues. Peter Pan’s Flight, Frozen Ever After, and Flight of Passage all have amazingly detailed queues that are just waiting to be explored, and they will definitely help you forget about the passing rains.

Shows – Shows are often hit or miss during any trip, you may want to see one, but how much of your trip time are you willing to dedicate to them. If you’re like me, you end up haggling with your party and settling on one or two as a compromise. Rainy days are perfect weather to spend some time enjoying these offerings, particularly in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. While the films and performances of World Showcase could occupy quite a bit of time, I prefer splashing through puddles in the Magic Kingdom as I make my way from the Enchanted Tiki Room, around the corner to the Country Bear Jamboree, a quick dash over to Philharmagic, and then one last brisk walk to finish at Carousel of Progress.

You Will Get Wet – Since you are already going to be wet, you might as well make the most of it. In this case, I mean hopping onboard a log or raft and experiencing Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids. Typically with these attractions we try to avoid getting soaked or nervously hoping that someone else is the one who is going to get drenched. Since you’re already soggy, go ahead and give these attractions a go, provided that it is a rainstorm and not a thunderstorm (in which case they would be shut down anyway). I promise these will be some of the most laugh-filled and joyful times you ever have on either of these attractions.

Dark and Stormy Nights – If you’re like me, the disconnect between what’s happening outside an attraction and the story being presented inside an attraction can sometimes be a little off-putting. That or I’m just a complete nitpick… If the weather outside is going to be frightful, then why not head into attractions that live in a world where it’s a dark and stormy night? The Haunted Mansion and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are perfect stories to jump into when the rains are coming down outside.

Exhibits – Often bypassed, there are plenty of places throughout Walt Disney World where you could learn something during a rainstorm. You’ll be safe, dry, and come away with newfound knowledge. The prime examples of these exhibits are present in many of the pavilions of World Showcase, where you can learn a great deal about the history and culture of a given country. Similarly, you could spend a good deal of time in Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Stick to Your Plan – When it storms, many guests tend to huddle at their resorts or, if they’re local, waiting for the rain rain to go away before they come for a visit. That means that crowds tend to be a little lighter on wet days at Walt Disney World. You’re there to experience all the parks and resorts have to offer, so regardless of the weather stick to your plans as best you can. It may not be the perfect vacation, but you’ll still be making memories and that’s the most important part of the trip.

I hope these ideas help you get in the mood to splash in some puddles and play through the rain. When the rains happen at Walt Disney World, and they are bound to happen sooner or later, there’s no denying that it is a bit of a letdown. However, at that point the trip becomes more about what you can make out of it. Don’t let it be the thing that ruins your trip; instead try to find ways to use it to your advantage. You will come away with stories to tell and memories to share.

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