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 September 12, 2006, Issue #364 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
With Florida's rainy and hurricane seasons upon us, we posed a question to ALL EARS® Readers: What's your best tip for dealing with a rainy day at Walt Disney World?
Many of you simply said, "Grab a poncho and head to the parks! Don't let the rain stop you!" Your enthusiasm for touring the parks in the rain was refreshing. And we have to admit — we agree with you. (Unless of course, it's a lightning storm or a hurricane!) Many's the time that we have splashed our way around the World, oblivious to our squishy sneakers and the droplets running down our noses.
But we thought you might enjoy more specific tips on what to do when the raindrops are falling on your head. So we asked, and you answered — with some terrific tips! And, after reading each and every one, we discovered we had so many great ideas that we'd have to run them in a series over the next several months. As we promised when we first asked for your ideas, those whose tips we selected will receive an Allears.net goody bag. (Goody bag recipients have already been notified by email.)
Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories and ideas.
WHEN IT RAINS…
First, remember that some rides will close for safety reasons whenever it rains. The most obvious ones are the outdoor thrill rides like Test Track and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Next, take wild weather warnings seriously. We're not suggesting that you go out during the rains of a hurricane or an electrical storm!
If you are going to be walking around in the rain, dress appropriately — a lightweight poncho or rain slicker is de rigueur for rainy days. And maybe bring a change of socks, just in case your feet get soaked. Walking around in squelchy, chafing socks is a surefire way to bring on a blister.
As we said earlier, the best way to deal with a rainy day is to try to ignore it. Just put on your poncho and go! But what if you are surprised by a sudden shower? Stacks of ponchos will miraculously appear in most every store at the first sign of rain, but if you duck into a store and don't see any, just ask. They're likely to be just a step away from every register. Some readers even offered their primo poncho pointers:
Kelly Hughes: If rain is in the forecast, we bring an extra set of clothes to the park and put them in a locker. We can choose the poncho route, or just get a little wet. When the rain stops we run for a quick change; dry shoes and socks make all the difference. Carrying a towel in a backpack can help, too, to dry off the seats of rides before you sit!
Andrea DeYoung: I discovered that the poncho hood does not stay put on the head very well, so I bought a sun visor that fastens at the back of the head and put it over my hood. This not only kept my head dry, but it kept my glasses and my face dry as well.
Jane Peters: With four children, rain is just another opportunity to splash in puddles! To keep everyone safe and semi-dry, we always buy the matching Disney rain ponchos. I bring along a permanent marker and we let each person decorate their own poncho. This eliminates the "whose is that one?" syndrome you can get with a pile of six ponchos!
ahktlove: We bring extra cheap ponchos from the dollar store to cover backpacks and strollers. They come two in a pack and cost $1.00.
Pamela Warren: I bundle several plastic grocery bags together and carry them in my backpack. They are lightweight, compact, and disposable. They are available to pull out and sit on during a parade or a ride with wet seats, tie over your shoes to keep your feet dry (I do this for Kali River Rapids whether it's raining or not), and place my camera or other items in that should be protected from the rain. Also, if you get caught in a downpour and are changing into something dry, you then have something to put the wet articles in!
Leigh from NJ: Walt Disney World in the rain can spark some of the most magical moments and even create traditions. But the best part of the rainy day is when you have decided that you are so wet that you need a change of clothes and just HAVE to head to one of the stores get yourself some new Walt Disney World gear… the skies clear and you are ready to go.
As Doris Merowitz noted, "Having an occasional rainy day while at Disney actually gives us a good excuse to do some of the indoor things that we would probably never get around to doing on a beautiful sunny day." ALL EARS® Readers agreed with her sentiment, and overwhelmingly selected Epcot with its many indoor attractions as the park to spend a rainy day in. (Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom were tied for a distant second, and a very few readers mentioned the Disney-MGM Studios, or had other rainy day ideas — we'll share those tips in future installments of this series.) Future World pavilions have at least one show or ride of some kind, plus children's hands-on activities, gift shops, and some even have places to stop for a bite to eat. The World Showcase country pavilions also have shops, exhibits, live entertainers, places to dine, and nooks and crannies to explore, which could easily take a couple of hours before you have to venture back out into the wet nastiness.
Mary Ann Morelli: Head to the Land Pavilion in Epcot and take the Behind the Seeds Tour. It lasts about an hour or so. You get to go through the greenhouses and labs and see the techniques Disney uses to grow their plants. When you're done with the tour, see the Circle of Life film. You'll love it! Finally, you can have a bite to eat at Sunshine Seasons. It's a wonderful food court that offers a wide variety of selections. Up above you are beautiful hot-air balloons. It's all inside though, so you won't get wet from the rain outside!
Jennefer Bell: Head to Ellen's Energy Adventure. We have never had to wait and since the show takes about 45 minutes total, the rain is almost always stopped by then.
Pearl W. from North Carolina: A sudden rainstorm took us to the nearest open door, Innovations East. My 3-year-old was delighted — she learned to use a computer mouse, made friends chasing the light beams on the floor, enjoyed jumping on the energy exhibit, and coloring. We had to drag her out two hours later when the rain finally stopped. My son-in-law loved the technology exhibits. My daughter and I found it a little bit too noisy and frenetic so we went shopping at Mouse Gear next door.
Sarah from Nashville, TN: When it rained for two to three hours at Epcot during our Disney trip last year, we took advantage of the Innovations West area and we sent all of our friends and family FREE email picture postcards. It was a great time to cool off, save money, and when we came home, we had tons of e-mails from friends and family. The best part, though, was that we took pictures in different poses with different digital backgrounds and we sent copies of the emails to ourselves, so we also had some cool memories for the photo album!
Allyson: On rainy days it is a great time to really visit the World Showcase at Epcot. Many of the countries have indoor movies/exhibits that tend to get overlooked. The countries are close together so you won't get very wet hopping from country to country. It is the perfect time to relax and take it slow while at the same time learning and having some Disney fun.
Stacey from Buffalo, NY: We go to Epcot and along the way we stop in Mexico for margaritas, Germany for brats, France for a ham and cheese croissant and the United Kingdom for fish and chips. At the end of our fun, we buy new Disney towels, dry off and go back to our favorite hotel!
Holly Iarrobino: On rainy Epcot afternoons, we love to head over to the Rose & Crown to enjoy a pint (or two) and some wonderful piano tunes with Pam Brody! She loves to interact with her fans, so try and get a table close to her piano. We've chatted with her many times; she has great stories and songs and has been known to play requests. On Pam's days off, a gentleman named Leon Gregory plays, and he's great as well! And if you get hungry, you can order the snack size version of Harry Ramsden's famous fish and chips from one of the bartenders without getting wet standing at the counter service window!
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 second installment of "Who'll Stop the Rain?", featuring things to do in the Kingdoms, Magic and Animal, on a wet weather day.
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.