Why and (When) Weather Closes Rides in Walt Disney World

At one point or another, chances are you’ve seen select rides closed in Disney World due to weather.

Skies are getting cloudy

But, how exactly does weather affect certain rides? It could not even be raining, but suddenly, your favorite ride is not running and the app says it’s a weather-related issue. Well, if you’ve ever wondered why this happens, we’ve got the explanation!

This week we had the perfect example of what happens when rides get closed due to weather. It was cloudy at Magic Kingdom, but it wasn’t raining. However, we noticed that rides were beginning to close. Over at Barnstormer, guests were walking out of the line because the ride was closed due to weather.

Guests leaving Barnstormer line

For many guests this might not make sense because, at the time, there didn’t seem to be any weather issues. However, if lightning is spotted within a specific region in or around Disney World, outdoor attractions get shut down -due to Disney’s policy. Outdoor kiosks like popcorn carts get closed, too.

Popcorn cart shut down due to weather

Tom Sawyer Island was also closed down due to weather.


Pretty much every ride, cart, feature, etc. at Disney World that is outdoors was shut down, due to lightning in the area. On the other hand, if it’s raining cats and dogs but there is no lightning, those outdoor attractions may continue to run.

Cinderella Castle on a stormy day

So next time you’re at Disney World and rides start shutting down for weather, you’ll know that there’s a storm nearby with lightning, and Disney will wait for it to pass to safely resume operation of the rides.

Why You Should Never Believe the Weather Forecast in Disney World

Have you ever been to Disney World with rides shut down due to lightning? Let us know in the comments.

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2 Replies to “Why and (When) Weather Closes Rides in Walt Disney World”

  1. When it’s raining, attractions sometimes have to close due to people refusing to move away from the exit. You can’t keep cycling people through the ride if the exit is blocked by people who are afraid of getting wet😂

  2. We were on Big Thunder Mountain once near the top and saw the storm off in the distance. Sure enough the ride shut down and about 10-15 minutes later (I think) it started pouring and lightning at the park. We were in the covered part of the queue so we just stayed until it opened.