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 January 9, 2007, Issue #381 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 aren'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 even 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 III of our Rainy Day Tips feature. Part I ran in the September 12, 2006, issue of ALL EARS® (Issue #364), and gave lots of general touring tips as well as ideas for splashing through Epcot, your favorite park to tour in the rain. Part II ran November 7, 2006, in Issue #372, and looked at the Kingdoms, Animal and Magic, as well as the resorts. This third and final part looks at Downtown Disney and also includes miscellaneous tips.
Shelley Bordo-Bracken: My husband and I like to drive over to Downtown Disney and do a movie marathon at the AMC24 theater. If we are at the BoardWalk Villas as DVC members when it is pouring, we try to grab a rocking chair on the deck outside the main lobby, curl up with a book and we have a great view of the lagoon and BoardWalk.
Danielle Mahoney: Last time we were in Disney on a rainy day we took a bus to Downtown Disney to the shops and bought a scrapbook and supplies. We then went back to the hotel and I started working on it while my husband plotted out the next day's itinerary. I even included a rainy day section with pictures of us stuck in the hotel room. I was able to do most of the scrapbook before we left Disney and I had something fun to show my coworkers when we came home.
Amanda Downs, Whitney Point, NY: A great way to spend a potentially not-so-magical day is to visit Downtown Disney. The shops are fantastic and are each beautifully themed. The Once Upon a Toy Store will keep the younger set busy with its interactive toy displays -- be sure to design your own Mr. Potato Head postcard for a fun and cheap (free!) souvenir. The outdoor LEGO play area is also sure to be a hit. As far as dining goes, there are plenty of options to please all members of your group. Downtown Disney is also home to a huge movie theater and DisneyQuest -- an indoor interactive theme park good for a few hours of fun when the weather isn't wonderful. My family and I could easily spend an entire day wandering around Downtown Disney. Regardless of the weather it's a great place to relax a bit after storming the parks. Enjoy!
Lisa Bliss: One day it rained the entire day and we were lucky enough to have planned the tea with Alice that day. We took the monorail to the Grand Floridian where my daughter spent a wonderful hour with Alice and the Mad Hatter and my husband and I had a quiet hour together listening to the piano player in the lobby and watching the rain. We took the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge where she spent the rest of the afternoon at the Cub's Den making crafts. After dinner at the hotel where she rode in a hobby horse race, we sat and watched her have her character portrait drawn by the lobby artist. It was a wonderful day and we discovered many wonderful new things to do that we might not have done had it not rained.
Mary Parker: Take advantage of the exercise rooms in most of the Disney hotels, a nice meal and maybe even a nap... the sun will come back soon enough. And, you will be refueled and energized, ready to go.
Steve and Susan Beck: Take a Disney Vacation Club Tour. That's what we did and we are so glad we did. The DVC has been a wonderful purchase for our family. It is an opportunity to explore the DVC and be in out of the rain at the same time!
Judy from Dayton, OH: I would go to one of the PhotoPass stations and take the time to edit and save the pictures we had taken so far on the trip. This would save valuable time at the end of the trip, as you won't need as long to finalize and make the photo CD, a process that can easily take at least an hour even with a minimal amount of pictures. The extra time spent adding embellishments to your pictures will be so worth it when you get back and can't do that to the pictures anymore.
Diane Taylor: My daughter and I wore our Crocs, the comfortable-foam like shoes. It didn't matter whether our feet got wet or not. Carrying a small jacket for those days can help young children to stay warm under their ponchos during the colder months. We also brought homemade ponchos made of hunter orange fabric and could easily find each other in the crowd.
Callie Shreckengost: One of our favorite things to do anytime, but especially if it is raining, is to find a bench or table out of the rain and simply people-watch! On our trip last September, we were waiting for dinner at the Concourse Steakhouse at the Contemporary Resort as the outer bands of Hurricane Rita showered off and on. We sat out in the lobby facing the lake. We also had a great view of the escalators and saw an entire wedding party come in from a soggy ceremony, decked out in their drenched formalwear, but they still were bubbling and overjoyed by their magical Disney wedding, even in the rain! That was priceless!
Kathy J. Miller: What do I do when it's raining on my Disney vacation? I call the airlines and see how much it will be to extend my stay, of course! Actually, I pack the rain poncho and water shoes and head to the parks. There is no better time to get pictures of the World without all of the crowds of people in them. All you need is a break in the clouds to let the sun in for a minute or two and you can get the best pics!
Amy Famiglietti, Malden, MA: A thing that I found to really help pass the time during the storms was trying to make it to a 3D show in the parks. These usually last about 30 minutes and are indoors. Most of the time when you come outside the rain has stopped and the sun is out!
Toohill: On a rainy day I brought out a balloon animal kit I got at Target (I was thinking of any rainy day when I bought it). Besides distracting my kids (4 and 6), I wanted to use the handy instructions from the kit to make something other than a dog. My first several attempts failed, but I started getting the hang of it. At lunch we headed to the Contemporary's food court. The animals drew attention. We had instant friends for the kids, thankful parents for distracting their kids, and my skills multiplied. I was even offered game prize tickets for a balloon giraffe. Think of something you like to do on a rainy day and bring it with you to Disney. Your ideas could work their own Disney Magic.
Elizabeth Shannon: Head to a water park. Most often it rains on the way and we are still allowed in. By the time the rain stops we are well in the park and on our way to the more popular slides, when a good portion of people are leaving or have left. Even if we are there for only two hours, it winds up being the best time. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The water parks will close if lightning has been detected in the vicinity.)
Olivencia: Rainy days are usually an adventure for kids and if you are in Disney, this equals a DOUBLE adventure.
-- Go to the Florida Mall. There is a huge Playmobil Store where kids could have fun playing with toys, and there are places to eat. When you get back you will have quiet hotel time while they are playing with their new toy.
-- Check the weather in Tampa. If it looks good, hop to your car and go to Busch Gardens. If you have been postponing it since you always get trapped at the Disney parks, now you have the perfect excuse.
-- Go to the Millennia Mall, which has lots of stores and places to eat, but WARNING -- it can be an expensive alternative.
-- Check the weather and go to the Kennedy Space Center. The kids will love it, and you will take a break from the parks. Also this is more educational and the photos will be convenient for that next science project.
-- Make a reservation for lunch at the Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel. It's not Disney but it is fun. They have alligators, and have storytelling time and tours at a specified hours.
And finally, Kevin shares this thought on Rainy Days at Disney World: Go play in the rain and tell everybody you just got off Splash Mountain and found your happy place. Remember you are on vacation and you are not the only one caught by the rain. If you look around at the other people, find someone and ask them to go play in the rain with you. If Cast Members can put on a show and have fun why can't we? I have done this and after about two or three minutes we had about 20 or 30 people dancing and singing in the rain. It was one of the best times I have ever had and would do it again. The best part is the person I got to go with me in the rain thanked me. He said that he was down because of the rain -- it was his last day in the World and the rain was going to slow him down. But after the singing in the rain rendition he was ready to go. So I give you this to think about -- if Disney brings out the kid in you, then why not let it show?
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.