Everything You Need To Survive a Disney World Downpour!

Whoever decided Florida was the Sunshine State is a horrible liar. Sure, when the sun is out the place is gorgeous… but for most of the summer and fall, you’re liable to get soaked at some point every day.

Disney is prepared… are you?

If you want to keep the Florida weather from raining on your parade this season, you should pick up these six essentials for surviving Disney downpours.

A Solid Weather App

As every GI Joe PSA says, knowing is half the battle. Checking the morning weather forecast certainly helps, but in Florida, the question of “Will it Rain Today?” is not typically a question of if but when. That’s why you need a location-aware weather app. The latest generation of weather apps can detect nearby storm cells, alert you to changing weather conditions, and even estimate how long the shower will last.

CARROT Weather is one of the most powerful weather apps available… if a bit sarcastic at times. ©CARROT

Dark Sky (iOS) is the gold standard, providing hyper local weather information in a sleek and minimalist package. Unfortunately, it’s only available for iPhones at the moment. If you want something even more powerful, and don’t mind dealing with some eccentric design, you can also try CARROT Weather (iOS/Android). This whimsical weather app is hosted by a somewhat sardonic AI with a customizable personality, ranging from cheerful to… Let’s just say you shouldn’t use the Overkill setting if you have children around.

It’s odd to include a foul language warning for a weather app… but this is a REALLY good weather app. ©CARROT

You can customize more than just CARROT’s personality, however. With an optional subscription, CARROT can inform you of the UV index, nearby tropical storm fronts, and lightning strikes. It’s one of the most powerful weather apps on the market. Just… seriously don’t set her personality to Overkill if you have kids. Trust me on this one.

An Umbrella

Mickey Umbrella

I know, this one seems obvious, but things are a little more complicated than just grabbing an umbrella at the gift shop. There are a lot of factors you need to consider, like size and wind resistance, when choosing the perfect parasol.

Umbrella Magic Shot

First things first; unless you’ve got a stroller or mobility device with space for it, don’t bring a full sized umbrella. You may be tempted to save money by bringing the old golf umbrella from your closet, but it’s a pain to lug around all day… especially if it doesn’t end up raining! Instead, look for a compact folding umbrella. Something that can easily be placed into a bag or purse without much thought.

This one is cute, but where are you going to PUT IT?

However, not all folding umbrellas are created equal. If you grab a convenient umbrella from the check-out aisle without doing your research, you’ll fall victim to a trap that many guests overlook: the wind!

Pictured: You if you don’t respect the wind. ©Disney

Florida is a windy place, especially during hurricane season. Even if Disney isn’t in the line of fire, tropical weather systems can generate blustery storms that can turn lesser umbrellas inside out in an instant. Make sure whatever umbrella you bring has high wind resistance! We recommend the Repel Easy Touch Umbrella, well known for its durability and compact size. It’s perfect for resisting unexpected gales and is your best shield against the elements.

A Rain Poncho

Ponchos are a classic park uniform.

Many people consider the choice between an umbrella and poncho to be an either/or situation, but what kind of knight walks into battle with just a shield?

In all seriousness, ponchos are a great supplementary tool for avoiding the heavy rains of Central Florida. Florida’s winds have a habit of blowing rain around even the most stalwart umbrella, and ponchos are great for keeping little ones dry.

There’s another benefit as well; while Disney’s rides shut down for intense winds, they don’t shut down for rain. This can turn normally bone-dry rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train into drenching adventures that will make you want to go on Splash Mountain to dry off. Even if it doesn’t rain, ponchos are great for keeping dry on the rides you’re supposed to get wet on.

Any ride can become a water ride if the weather is bad enough!

While you can get cheap PVC ponchos for a few dollars, consider investing in a reusable model, like this one from Charles River Apparel. You want a breathable one, which can easily be packed and unpacked. Avoid ones that come in big bulky packages, and take time to familiarize yourself with how it packs and unpacks before you go.

Rain-Ready Shoes

Nothing is worse than the agony of the feet. You definitely want to bring shoes that are comfortable and breathable, but all of that is useless if you end up soaking your feet or slipping around the pavement. You want something that will keep your feet comfortable while standing up to the elements. Rain boots are tempting, but they’re often heavy and ill-fitting, making them a poor choice for a long trek through the parks. Flip-flops, the classic summer wear staple, don’t mind a bit of rain but will make your feet miserable… if you don’t slip and fall from lack of traction!

Beautiful… but a horrible choice in rainy day footwear.

One of our favorite choices for footwear is the humble Croc, a much maligned fashion statement that fits in perfectly in a theme park atmosphere. After all, you’re already wearing a matching set of T-Shirts and mouse ears, are a pair of silly shoes going to hurt that much?

Plus they come in cute themes! ©Disney

The classic Crocs clogs (or the more comfortable, but more expensive Lite Ride variety) are perfect if you don’t mind getting your feet a little wet. If you wear them without socks, rain water will harmlessly seep out the holes, restoring your feet to perfect dryness in minutes. If you want to keep your toes perfectly dry, however, consider something from the Crocs At Work line. Healthcare professionals wear these special clogs, slip ons, and flats to keep their feet safe and dry. They lack the signature Croc holes and can pass for an ordinary pair of shoes at a casual glance. Plus, if they can hold up to a hospital, they can definitely survive the Florida rain.

A Travel Towel

Are you a hoopy frood who knows where their towel is?

Take a note from Douglas Adams and make sure you know where your towel is at all times. As any fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can tell you, a towel is an indispensable traveling tool, especially in the wet Florida weather. Not only are they perfect for getting dry after a downpour, but they can provide a dry place to sit in a pinch! Most seating at Disney is outdoors and uncovered, so being able to keep your backside dry is a valuable commodity.

Nobody likes a wet bench.

Look for a lightweight, microfiber towel that can easily fit inside your bag. Terry cloth towels like those you’ll find in your hotel room are just too thick. Microfiber is just as absorbent and a lot quicker to dry besides. If you just can’t find a travel towel, a normal hand cloth will do in a pinch. Just remember to bring a plastic bag to carry it in once it gets wet.

A Phone Charger

©Amazon

This is a must-have even if it’s NOT raining, but you’ll regret not having one when the storms hit. When you’re hiding out under an awning waiting for the rain to relent, you’ll want to stay entertained… and informed! Weather updates, ride closings, browsing AllEars… all of these will sap your battery surprisingly quickly. Plus, outlet space is already at a premium. You could buy a FuelRod from the various kiosks around the park, but for nearly the same price you can buy a high capacity battery pack with enough juice to fuel your whole party!

A Bag to Hold It All

©Ozuko

Naturally, all of this is a bit much to carry around in your pockets, which is why you need a solid bag to lug them around in. You want something lightweight, easy to carry, and resistant to the elements. Look for a weather resistant sling bag, like this one from Ozuko. In addition to keeping your gear dry, it also lets you access your phone charger without opening the bag and can safely store credit cards, annual passes, and more in the shoulder strap.

With these tips, you’ll be more than ready to survive whatever the Florida weather throws at you! Check out the AllEars weather page for even more Florida weather tips!

What are your tips for surviving Disney downpours? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us on social media!

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Austin Lang is an Orlando local with a love of Disney, puns, and Disney puns. He's been a contributing writer for AllEars since 2019, and has been sharing his quirky view of Disney life ever since.

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6 Replies to “Everything You Need To Survive a Disney World Downpour!”

  1. There’s good and bad with ponchos and umbrellas. People who wear ponchos, will still duck into cover, and then shake off throwing water on everyone. They will wear them on rides (not just Splash Mt.) and then the ride seats get wet. This even happens on enclosed rides like Peter Pan. They drip water on everyone, on normally dry queue areas, and restaurant entrances. With umbrellas they do drip water on people. At least people are forced to close them when they get on rides. We actually wear ponchos. We shake them off before getting into the covered ride queue. Then we take them off and put them in a zip bag. We NEVER wear ponchos on any ride, even Splash. The bottom line is whatever you use keep in mind the people around you. I know that’s no easy for a lot of people at Disney World.

  2. Umbrellas are evil. Do not bring umbrellas into the middle of a crowd. While it might keep the person carrying it dry (except when the rain is coming down sideways like it sometimes does in Florida) the umbrella sheds the water onto everyone else near you. In addition, I believe umbrellas are the number one culprit in poking out peoples eyes or whacking other people in the face. Get a good poncho, it’s much more convenient, more effective and more courteous to others.

  3. “A solid weather app” lol That’s almost an oxymoron. I agree with the ziplock bags that the other guy mentioned. I ordered some waterproof ziplock style bags the other day to take tubing on the river and we took phones and keys along with food in them and not a drop got in. I’ve never been a fan of having to take your phone into a theme park because to me, that defeats the purpose of a vacation. I don’t want to be messing with apps and trying to deal with things like that. I’m not paying hundreds of dollars to do a bunch of work, or better yet, mess around on social media as if anyone actually cares what I’m doing at any given moment, but Disney has made it to where you CAN’T leave your phone behind so now we need ziplock bags. I’d be willing to bet that out of all of the blasphemous things Disney has done, I think this one would upset Walt the most.

  4. Dark sky used to be good until Apple bought it. Now they always give the worst possible scenario on forecasts that are more than 5 days out. I have seen some really extreme examples that didn’t even come close to holding up. Last winter called for 4-6 inches of snow multiple times and it never snowed in my area. Called for an ice storm once. Never happened. Called for a heat index of 135 in July and it ended up being 109 that day. I think Apple does it because it gets clicks with these wild forecasts. Even the forecast for next week in Orlando was way different 7 days out than it is now. Weather channel app has been more consistent.

  5. One thing we ALWAYS bring, rain or shine ( just in case you are the ones that get soaked on Splash Mountain or the Kali River Rapids) is a ziplock bag for every member of the party. They take up zero room, fit in your back pocket, and come in handy when you need to protect those cell phones. You can always get a bit dried off with a hand drier in a bathroom, but once the phone gets wet, it gets wet and all the apps will do you no good then.