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Who'll Stop the Rain?
Rainy Day Tips from ALL EARS® Readers
Edited by Deb Wills, ALL EARS® Editor-in-Chief
This article appeared in the October 3, 2006, Issue #367 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
Thanks to everyone who sent in ideas on what to do when it rains at WDW! Your enthusiasm and devotion to touring the parks in the rain was refreshing. Many of you simply said, "Grab a poncho and head to the parks! Don't let the rain stop you!" We love that kind of spirit! (Obviously, we a ren't suggesting that you head out into a hurricane or a lightning storm, however!)
You sent in so many great ideas, that we made this a multi-part feature. Rest assured that if you don't see your tip included in one of the articles, we did read each and every one. And, as we promised when we solicited your tips, those whose tips we selected have already received their Allears.net goody bag.
This is Part II of our Rainy Day Tips feature article. Part I ran in the September 12, 2006, issue of ALL EARS® (ALL EARS® Issue #364), and gave lots of general touring tips as well as ideas for splashing through Epcot, your most favorite park to tour in the rain.
This part looks at the Kingdoms, Animal and Magic, as well as the resorts!
Gareth from Scotland: Catch the various safaris and trails in Animal Kingdom... the rain will drive many people away, but the animals don't seem to mind and you can get some great views (watch those cameras in the rain, though!). And of course, whilst in Animal Kingdom, Kali River Rapids in the rain is a must... However, my favorite thing to do in inclement weather would be to curl up in one of the many cozy fireplace nooks in the Wilderness Lodge with my wife and a good book...
JMcBride: At Animal Kingdom, some of the animals become more active when it showers. This is a great time to put on those ponchos and just observe the animals in The Oasis. There is so much overhead foliage that you don't get the drenching rains like you would out in the open. Rafiki's Planet Watch is a nice place to visit during the rainy season. Stop and talk with the Cast Members. They have lots of great stories about the animals and the operation of the Animal Kingdom. There's also a huge mural painted on the walls of the building and there are lots of hidden Mickeys. See who can find the most.
EschBecky: My husband and two daughters (ages 6 and almost 3) were at Animal Kingdom when it began to rain. We put on our inexpensive ponchos from home and headed for Kilimanjaro Safari. Boy, were we in for a treat! The animals act differently during thunderstorms, and it was quite a sight to see herds of animals standing together, all facing the same direction, not moving. When our safari vehicle was by the area with the lions, we had to stop for another animal that was in the roadway. At that moment, there was a simultaneous thunderclap/lightning-strike that sounded like it hit right by us! It woke up the male lion, who was not too happy. He started pacing and roaring -- it was quite a sight! I would not hesitate to ride this ride in the rain and in sunny weather, just to see how different the animals behave in different weather conditions.
Spin & Jan Spalding: Although it was virtually pouring out, we decided to venture into Animal Kingdom anyway. We were prepared with Mickey ponchos of course, and my husband in a wheelchair to boot! Even with rain gear we were wet but we've never seen so many animals ... they all LOVE the rain! We had the Kilimanjaro Safari ride to ourselves -- who knew there were so many elephants! Even the lion was sitting up and not sleeping as usual. And we did Kali River Rapids about four times in a row -- why not, we were wet anyway! Best rainy day we've ever had in Disney.
Christina Kravatas: It was right before the start of the Mickey's Jammin' in the Jungle Parade. The Cast Members had finally made the decision to go ahead with the parade despite threatening gray clouds. About five minutes into the parade it just started to pour. Not light rain, buckets of rain! The dutiful parade Cast Members continued on singing and dancing all the way through the rain and they were soaked. We immediately pulled out our yellow rain ponchos and kept jammin'. We were the only people standing on the sidelines in Harambe watching the parade. We cheered on the Cast Members as they paraded by, thanking them for continuing the parade in such a downpour. My tip is: make sure you have your rain ponchos at all times (buy the heavier-duty ones at Target) and wear waterproof sandals. Then you won't miss any of the action and perhaps make a few wonderful "singin' in the rain" memories!
Jennifer Turner: My Rainy Day Tip involves my favorite ride in all the World -- the Haunted Mansion! During those mid-afternoon showers in Orlando, we always duck into the Columbia Harbour House for lunch or a snack, and then to the Mansion! The rain adds to the eeriness, and the waiting area walkway is covered. It is oh-so-much-cooler to enter the Mansion if there is lightning and thunder outside, and the quick downpours in Orlando are usually over by the time you emerge from the ride. Welcome, rain-soaked mortals!
Robert: The downpour lasted considerably longer than usual so we used the time to visit the characters at Mickey's Toon Town Fair. We just kept queuing up for the next character. We got to see all who were there and stayed dry. Our children were 3 and 4 so it was a great way to keep them entertained and accomplish something that was on our list of things to see.
Diane: We found ourselves in Tomorrowland when the skies opened up. We decided to have a ride on Buzz Lightyear, only to find it raining more than before... what a great excuse to take just a few damp steps into Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies for some ice cream. From Auntie Gravity's it's just a short sprint under the superstructure of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority to the escalator that will take you up to this attraction. This is undoubtedly the best place to spend some rainy weather time while in the Magic Kingdom -- just drifting along on this pleasant ride we all love, safe from the raindrops outside. And if it's still raining after you get off (and we've often stayed on for more than one trip around Tomorrowland), it's another easy sprint to the Carousel of Progress. Still raining? Keep to the covered edge along the now-closed Timekeeper, and past the Noodle Station... and then you have the whole of Main Street to shop and eat along, dodging the raindrops by going from shop to shop. We love the sunshine, but it's great to be at the Magic Kingdom when it's raining!!
Annette Brooks: We always welcome a rainy day as an opportunity to slow down and explore the Disney hotels. We might do a loop on the monorail and check out the shops and restaurants in the hotels, maybe even do lunch. Plunking yourself in a rocking chair in front of the fireplace in Wilderness Lodge takes the chill out of a dreary day. Disney really does a wonderful job with all of the themed hotel lobbies and if you're there around the holidays, the Christmas decorations and gingerbread displays are bonuses. It's a relaxing way to refresh yourself and gear up for the next day's trek into the parks. And, best of all, it's free!
Leanne Hackett: On one of our trips to Disney the best place during the rain was Community Hall (Boardwalk Villas). Near one of the quiet pools is this recreation room that is totally Disney. It is a place that has tons of activities for the kids including: arts and crafts (for a small fee), movies, a ping pong table, a foosball table and video games. My kids love it so much they spend time here during sunny afternoons, too. The Belle Vue Lounge off of the lobby at the Boardwalk has games for you to play including Yahtzee and checkers. They have great couches inside, and right outside on the deck is a great place to sit and watch lightning.
Gloria Martin: If we have checked the weather and it sounds totally unbearable to go to the parks we plan on sleeping in. Just put on the Do Not Disturb sign and sleep in. When we get up, we order room service and actually sit back and enjoy the morning. After that, we spend the day wandering the other hotels and enjoying seeing what they have to offer.
JJ Marcum: Put the kids down for a nap and enjoy the short-lived rainstorm from your resort room with a good book! We did that each afternoon with our 1-year-old and 5-year-old. The 5-year-old didn't sleep but he did have some down time enjoying our spacious Ft. Wilderness Cabin.
Cheryl Fer: Hop on the monorail and head to the Contemporary Resort! Riding the monorail in the rain is an experience in itself, especially in the front. We head to the Contemporary game room, which in my opinion is the best game room in Disney. The whole family enjoys playing games for tickets and then cashing them in for prizes. Afterwards, we head to Chef Mickey's for a nice dinner or to the cafeteria next to the game room for a quick bite. We always finish the trip with a stroll through the stores and admire the inside of the hotel. My family has enjoyed our "trip to the Contemporary" so much that we now give the children Disney Dollars at Christmas time that are specifically for the game room. According to my family, the second runner up is the Pop Century's game room.
Mary Ann Devine: If it is after lunch and it looks like it will be a few hours of rain, the best thing to do is head back to the hotel and take a nap! Or, mom gets to do laundry while everyone else naps -- not so fun, but you get to chat with all the other moms in the laundry room about where they are from, what restaurants they ate at and enjoyed, etc.
Debbie Jeffers: I go resort hopping and go shopping. Each of the gift shops at the different resorts has the standard merchandise; then, as an added bonus, they have merchandise specific to that resort. So far, what I am trying to do is either collect a different beach towel or shirt with the resort's logo on them, or I stop by their snack bars and pick up a soda cup with the resort logo for about 11 dollars. With the mugs, I even have the ones that say Fall 2000, which I got at Epcot.
Wendy from NY: Discover the beauty of the resort you are staying in, take a closer look at the lobby decorations, walk around and look out the public viewing areas. Or take a tour of a resort. If your resort has no tours, call the Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge and see if a tour is available.
C. Hesse: Don't forget to check out activities that might be going on at your resort! One rainy afternoon our extended group of nine gathered at tables in the food court area of the Port Orleans Riverside Resort. We had found tables by the windows and out of the way of people eating a late lunch to enjoy some card playing. We noticed that some Disney staff were setting up tables with an activity and had also brought out a dozen or so chef coats. One of the Cast Members approached our group and invited the kids (all four of them) to come don a chef's coat and join in the activity at the table. Each child got a large Mickey shaped sugar cookie and frosting and decorations to create their own MICKEY! It was a fun activity for the kids and a tasty treat as well! In case you were wondering, it was a free activity!
Christine Mercier: We bring "Disney games" with us. There is the Disney version of Guess Who, Disney Trivial Pursuit, Uno, Memory and many other board games. We order in room service, play Disney board games and watch Disney movies/TV. We also eat Disney "snacks." Walmart has Disney microwave popcorn, and local dollar stores and Walgreens have Disney candy and fruit snacks.
Sharon Petrow: Take your Hidden Mickey book and head over to a hotel on an adventure looking for them. We were on one of the floors by a room looking for one when a family came out. They were very surprised when we showed them that a Hidden Mickey was right by them.
Have we "w(h)et" your appetite for more rainy day tips? Be sure to check back in a few weeks when we have our third and final installment of "Who'll Stop the Rain?", featuring things to do in Downtown Disney and miscellaneous suggestions for a wet weather day.
RELATED LINKS -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Did you miss the first installment of "Who'll Stop the Rain?" You can find it here: http://allears.net/ae/issue364.htm
Looking for more tips on traveling to Walt Disney World? Be sure to visit our Tips Database at: http://allears.net/rta/tips.php
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.