Tips about Rain

Linda Roberts emails: After reading your article on rainy days (AllEars® Issue #878), it made me think about our adventures at Disney. Both trips were in summer and so we did encounter rain. We rethought what was a fun use of our time during the rain instead of being annoyed that the rain may spoil our day, so here are my tips for dealing with rainy weather:

-- Purchase a waterproof backpack to keep treasures and dry clothes dry.

-- Buy lightweight rain jackets with good hoods. I thought we would find them hot, but we didn't and they made such a difference to being comfortable.

-- A tip from one of the cast members on our first trip is when your clothes are wet and you go indoors, leave on the poncho for a bit, as it will dry your clothes much quicker.

-- Consider ditching the shoes and socks for good hiking sandals and flip-flops. We found that even if we had dry socks, they were going in wet shoes and were tearing our feet apart.

-- Fabrics are also important. Leave denim and cargo shorts at home and opt for lightweight sports clothes that are made to dry quickly. Also, quick-drying sports towels are great just for drying face, hands, etc.

-- Do not wait for parades... In the rain, we came up with an indoor plan to take its place. We found many amazing things that we may have normally walked by.

-- Follow the good advice of the character Dory, from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, who has given our family its motto over the years: "Just keep swimming!"
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A tip "for when you are almost on the ride and it gets stopped for bad weather": This happened on our last visit. We were just about to board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the ride was stopped due to storms. Although the wait was around an hour, my wife and daughter got chatting to others in the queue, and soon one of the girls opened up a game app on her phone. It kept quite a few people busy and the wait just flew by. It's worth loading a couple of games onto your mobile device for delays like this, especially if you have young children, to keep them occupied. - Tony M.
A tip "for when you are almost on the ride and it gets stopped for bad weather": This happened on our last visit. We were just about to board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the ride was stopped due to storms. Although the wait was around an hour, my wife and daughter got chatting to others in the queue, and soon one of the girls opened up a game app on her phone. It kept quite a few people busy and the wait just flew by. It's worth loading a couple of games onto your mobile device for delays like this, especially if you have young children, to keep them occupied. - Tony M.
Bring rain ponchos with you just in case so you don't have to buy them in the parks. You can also use them on the water rides if it's cold outside. Also, if you have kids, even if they're a bit older, bring your largest strollers with you to store your food, coats, rain ponchos, etc. You won't have to pay for a locker. Later in the day, it's helpful to have a stroller at night when your child falls asleep at the park so you don't have to carry them. - Terri Jensen
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Before our trip, we purchased a sports towel at the local sports store. It is about 12" x 16" and folds up into a sandwich-size zip-top bag. What a lifesaver! We used it after the daily August rainstorms to dry off outdoor tables, ride seating, benches, and even ourselves when we got soaked in the rain! These types of towels are made by Speedo, TYR and other companies that make competitive swim equipment. When they get soaked, just wring out and they're dry again. For the $11 we spent it was worth it not to have to sit on wet seats or have wet behinds all day. We got ours at a sporting goods store, but they are also available on Amazon.com. - Becky Hecker
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Before our trip, we purchased a sports towel at the local sports store. It is about 12" x 16" and folds up into a sandwich-size zip-top bag. What a lifesaver! We used it after the daily August rainstorms to dry off outdoor tables, ride seating, benches, and even ourselves when we got soaked in the rain! These types of towels are made by Speedo, TYR and other companies that make competitive swim equipment. When they get soaked, just wring out and they're dry again. For the $11 we spent it was worth it not to have to sit on wet seats or have wet behinds all day. We got ours at a sporting goods store, but they are also available on Amazon.com. - Becky Hecker
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If you are planning a summer trip to Walt Disney World, it is pretty safe to assume that you will experience both very hot temperatures and rain. My tip is to buy inexpensive water shoes for the whole family at your local discount or dollar store prior to your trip. The pavement around the pools and in the water parks gets very hot. Areas with sand can become so hot that you can barely walk on them. I would recommend water shoes instead of flip-flops, because you will not be allowed to wear flip-flops on water slides. Water shoes can be purchased at WDW, but you will easily pay double for them. My second tip is to also purchase rain ponchos at the discount/dollar store. Ponchos take up much less space in luggage than rain coats. Buy one for each member of your party, and if you will be taking a stroller on your trip, buy an additional large poncho. Why? To cover your stroller while you are in an attraction. Nothing is worse than exiting an attraction only to find that a sudden rain shower has soaked your stroller, and everything in it. At WDW, strollers are almost never allowed inside of buildings or attractions. Instead, you will have to put your stroller in the "stroller parking" area. This area will be outdoors, and will rarely be under cover. Because the summer weather in Orlando can be unpredictable, I put our ponchos in a large zip top plastic bag, and keep them in the pocket of our stroller at all times. - Shannon Barrett
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Those clear plastic zipper cases that bed sheets come in are perfect for carrying rain ponchos. Since they are clear, the baggage check is able to see exactly what's in them. - Jackie Claxton
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If it starts raining in Disney Springs, and you don't have a poncho, some of the non-Disney-owned stores may have cheaper ones. We got two clear plastic ponchos for around $2 each at the Raglan Road gift shop, when the other stores were selling Disney-branded ponchos for $7 each. - Amanda Porter
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This may seem a little and "common sense" but during out last trip, we were caught in the Magic Kingdom during one of those fabulous Florida rain showers. Instead of ducking into a crowded store or going back to our resort, we jumped on the Disney Railroad and circled the Magic Kingdom until the rain slowed down. This was a great way to stay dry and people watch. We were able to get off of our feet for a while and recuperate and as soon as the rain let up - we knew and just jumped off on the next stop. - Lisa
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Regarding hurricanes at Walt Disney World -- We were at Port Orleans French Quarter during Hurricane Jeanne. WDW is FABULOUS about keeping their guests well-informed, by both phone and written notices. They take safety very seriously. For anyone traveling when a hurricane is brewing out in the Atlantic, I'd suggest packing some extra snacks, and also extra toys/games for the children. The parks were closed for one evening (after 5 p.m.) and the entire following day during "Jeanne." But we had Disney Yahtzee (in a zipper-top bag -- box takes up too much space), Disney Uno, etc. as well as some princess Polly Pockets to help pass time while in the room. Food was available prior to the storm, but the food services were totally closed up the entire next day. Having snacks packed was invaluable, and we even shared with our neighbors next door. We LOVE your newsletter! Even when we don't have a trip in the works, it helps to dream about our next vacation while reading our weekly AllEars®! - Rhoda Smith
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I was in Disney World from May 18 to 24, during which time Florida recieved a record-breaking amount of rain! It rained every day we were there, but we put on our ponchos and headed out to the parks anyway. The first couple of days were fun as we laughed at the ducks swimming in the "ponds" on the grass. One day we wore sneakers and they got soaked! We were uncomfortable and irritated until a waiter in the Magic Kingdom told us to put newspaper in our shoes. It really worked. They were dry the next day. We kept changing the paper as it got more and more wet. It was the best thing we learned on our trip other than to just have fun and go with it. We couldn't change the weather so we just made the best of it. - Danielle N.
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Purchase rain ponchos at the discount/dollar store. Ponchos take up much less space in luggage than rain coats. Buy one for each member of your party, and if you will be taking a stroller on your trip, buy an additional large poncho. Why? To cover your stroller while you are in an attraction. Nothing is worse than exiting an attraction only to find that a sudden rain shower has soaked your stroller, and everything in it. At WDW, strollers are almost never allowed inside of buildings or attractions. Instead, you will have to put your stroller in the "stroller parking" area. This area will be outdoors, and will rarely be under cover. Because the summer weather in Orlando can be unpredictable, I put our ponchos in a large zip top plastic bag, and keep them in the pocket of our stroller at all times. - Shannon Barrett
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My husband and I travel to Walt Disney World every year in September or October, which of course is hurricane season. A few years back it was announced that a hurricane was coming so batten down the hatches. We were staying at our favorite resort, All Star Movies, in the Fantasia section in building five on the top floor. We went out of 'the world' and bought a cooler, soda, water, lunchmeat, bread and other goodies. We were told that the parks were closed as well as the food court at our hotel and were also told to stay put in our rooms and ride out the storm. We had such a wonderful adventure in our room while the storm raged outside. We would look out the windows and the beautiful palm trees were leaning with the wind. It was scary and exciting at the same time. We stayed there for 24 hours and then were told we could venture out. The parks, gift shop and food court were open. It was one of the most memorable, exciting times at 'the World'. The Disney cast members at the hotel could not have been nicer and so accommodating. They periodically phoned just to see if we were okay. My husband took movie pictures out the window. What an exciting place! What an adventure in the rain! - Stevan and Mary Slover
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Here's another advantage to staying in the parks on rainy days: getting into a much-desired restaurant, even Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom can happen, as it did for us! Poor weather can drive some families away from a park, and they may not choose to return to the park later in the afternoon or evening just for an ADR (Advance Dining Reservation). Weather-related ADR cancellations are a great opportunity to get a walk-up reservation. - Susan Fadel
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