It’s your highly anticipated Walt Disney World Resorts vacation, you’ve planned, you’ve saved, you’ve stared up at the ceiling going over packing lists and alas, it’s finally here! And now, now it’s raining. Sigh. Now what!? Often times our Disness motto is, “Strap on your poncho and get after it!” Florida’s rain showers are a great crowd thinner if you’re willing to brave some wet sneakers and soggy churros. Yet, we understand that wading through the puddles and riding out the storm may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. Never fear, there are plenty of really fun rainy day options at Walt Disney World. There’s no need to sulk, no to camp out in your room and watch TV, this vacation is still going to be fun, memorable and no amount of rain can dampen pixie dust!
For starters, you rarely have to look beyond your own resort for some great activities! Every day, resorts at every level are full of activities (many free) that all guests are welcome to enjoy. An itinerary can be found in your room, or just take a walk down to the concierge desk and see what’s happening. Did you know that every day at the Art of Animation there’s an animation drawing class? For free, all guests (of any resort) can pop in for Disney character drawing classes at 11am, 2pm and 5pm. (Classes fill up quickly, plan on arriving about thirty minutes prior to class time.) There’s also no shortage of trivia and Bingo games in resort food courts all across Disney. How about learning how to make one of those super cute Mickey head tie dye shirts that you see floating around the parks, classes happen at the resorts! (Just check for days and times.) It’s also a great time to explore your resort, check out the shop(s), do some pin trading, have a great meal, hit the arcade, there’s no shortage of activities if you just venture downstairs to take a peek.
When is the last time you’ve gone bowling as a family? For us, it’s one of those activities we know is available in our hometown, but rarely take advantage of due to crazy life schedules. A Disney vacation is the perfect time to slow down and enjoy each other, and a rainy day in Disney is a great time to hit Splitsville! A fun, competitive family game of bowling at Splitsville in Disney Springs is a great way to spend a rainy day. After you’ve worked up an appetite knocking down pins like a boss, you can enjoy a meal together at their full service (and dining plan friendly) restaurant. They have great appetizers (loaded fries-yum), sushi, pizza, massive burgers and a huge variety of entrees to choose from. You can easily spend an entire afternoon at Splitsville and forget about all the rain and cloudy mess that drove you inside in the first place!
It may seem like a crazy idea if you’re trying to avoid the rain, but don’t completely count out visiting the parks in the rain. The beauty of Disney is that very few of the attractions will close during the rain. There are the obvious closures that have to happen in a heavier downpour situation (Test Track at Epcot is not a friend to the rain) but there are lots of opportunities to duck in and out and still get to ride and experience your favorite attractions. Our favorite rainy day park is Epcot. (This could also be out of necessity as it seems to ALWAYS rain on the day that we have planned for Epcot.) Grab the kids some passports and let them linger a little longer in the Kidcot locations. These Cast Members are incredible, your kids won’t even realize they are learning something new and you will get some extra time to explore the amazing gift shops in the various countries. (If you’ve never really spent time in the Morocco “marketplace” area, where their Kidcot location is, you’ve been missing out. You are instantly transported to “a whole new world.”)
There’s also so much to see and experience in “The Land” pavilion. Kids of ALL ages will love spending time in the aquarium above the Seas With Nemo attraction. Check out the Pixar Short Film Festival in the Imagination Pavilion (seriously, do it, these short films are amazing) and let the kids go crazy in the Mission Space Advanced Training Lab. (That’s astronaut code for giant interactive playground with computers, games and no need to control their volume!)
The World Showcase is a delicious place to wander, taste test different cuisines and commit to a nice, long, meal that you can savor and rave about while you wait out the rain. (How about dinner AND a show, check out the “Biergarten” in Germany, or a fun character meal at the “Garden Grill in the Land.” )
Looking back over our trips in the past, it’s funny to remember how some of our rainy days actually ended up being some of our favorite Disney trip days. The rain added a sense of adventure, dodging drops as we head out to our next experience and also taking some extra time to explore, find and enjoy many attractions and areas that we may have otherwise overlooked had we not been forced to slow down and learn to dance in the rain a bit. How do you handle the rain on a Disney vacation? Are you a poncho up and get out there or a wait for it to pass kind of traveler?