When it comes to planning a trip to Disney World, many people focus on the perfect weather and sunny skies. But what happens when Mother Nature has other plans and it starts to rain during your visit? If you are staying in central Florida for a week, you are bound to get at least one, if not more, midday downpour. They generally strike in the mid-late afternoon and pack quite a wallop.
Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits! Disney World has plenty of indoor attractions and activities that are perfect for a rainy day. Here are 10 Disney World attractions you should check out when the weather isn’t cooperating.
There are two tracks you can take when the rain starts to fall at Disney World. The first is to pack a poncho in the morning and continue to hit the indoor rides despite the storm. A simple dollar store poncho will protect you enough to allow you to keep moving around the parks. You will find that a majority of park-goers are not nearly as adventurous. My son and I love to take advantage of this and see how many, normally busy, rides we can get in before the sky clears up. Of course, you probably won’t be able to get in a ride on Seven Dwarfs or Big Thunder while it is pouring out, but the crowds at normally packed rides like Peter Pan, Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion tend to thin out when the rain starts.
If you are less adventurous and want to keep in a direr place to wait out the storm, you are in luck. The good news is that central Florida storms don’t last all that long and there are a ton of places in each of the Disney World parks that offer a bit of shelter from the storm. Here are a few:
- It’s a Small World (Magic Kingdom) – This classic ride is located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom and takes you on a whimsical journey through different cultures and countries. The ride is completely indoors, making it the perfect escape from the rain.
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Magic Kingdom) – This interactive comedy show features the characters from the popular movie Monsters, Inc. and is located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. The show is completely indoors and offers plenty of laughs to keep you entertained during a rainy day.
- The Tiki Room (Magic Kingdom) – The Tiki Room is a Disney classic show and one of the few left that give you a real connection to Walt. This was a show he was intimately involved in developing and although it has changed over the years, it has come back close to where it began in terms of programming. This show is a wonderful way to duck out of the rain and get a little relaxation time.
- The Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom) – Similar to the Tiki Room, this show gives you the ‘Walt Stamp of Approval’ feels when you are taking it in. Yes, it needs a bit of an update, but it is a classic show and can easily take you out of the rain for at least 20 minutes or more.
- Country Bear Jamboree (Magic Kingdom) – Another Disney parks classic show that is definitely a great place to shelter from the storm.
- Mickey’s Philharmagic (Magic Kingdom) – My family loves this show. It is a must-see for any fan of the Disney Renaissance. Added bonus is it has a gigantic queue area so even if you miss the show, you have a nice, dry place to wait.
- The Wedway People Mover (Magic Kingdom) – One of the few true rides on this list. The People Mover is outside, but covered, so it can be really fun in the rain providing the wind isn’t whipping the rain around too much. The added bonus is that the People Mover breaks down virtually every single time you ride it, so you are almost guaranteed a bit extra time under cover.
- The Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom) – This attraction is located in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom and features an Audio-Animatronics show featuring all the U.S. presidents. The show is 25 minutes and you are almost garunteeed to have a bit of a wait in what I think is the comfiest queue in Disney World.
- Muppet Vision 3D (Hollywood Studios) – Muppet Vision is a classic Disney Parks crowd eater. It has a very big queue area and the show is decently enough paced to ride out a storm. PLUS, it is a very entertaining show still after many decades. If you get out early and it is still raining, you still have a few of the bigger quick service restaurants in the park within a quick sprint as well as the absolutely best-named restroom area in any Disney park – The Royal Flush in case you want to blow some time making a pit stop.
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! (Animal Kingdom) – Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be a tough place when it rains given how exposed most of the park is. As you can imagine from most of the previous suggestions, shows tend to be your best bet to kill some time. The absolute best one in Animal Kingdom is Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!. This is the a recently opened, reimagined show that plays in a gigantic auditorium. It is a sure bet you will get in and spend a decent amount of time here. The runner up in Animal Kingdom would be It’s Tough to be a Bug, although I like Nemo more for rain since a decent portion of the Bug queue is exposed to the elements.
- Spaceship Earth (Epcot) – This iconic ride is located inside the iconic geodesic sphere at Epcot and takes you on a journey through the history of communication. The ride is 15 minutes long (assuming you dont stop right before you get to the top, but odds are, you will. Also, the queue is relatively covered so the rain has to be whipping sideways in order to bother you when you are waiting for this ride.
- Living With the Land and Soarin (Epcot) – Even with the shortest of queues, you can spend well over an hour productively in Epcot’s Land Pavilion. between the dark/boat ride Living with the Land and the quasi-flight simulator Soarin, there are thrills at bot end of the building as well as a great time-killing show Awesome Planet located just above Living with the Land. If the storm is extra-long, you can always hit up the Sunshine Seasons quick service restaurant and hang out in the mall food court-like seating area in the center of the pavilion.
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends and the Seas Pavilion (Epcot)- This attraction is located in Future World at Epcot and features a ride through an underwater world filled with characters from the movie Finding Nemo. Once you complete the omni mover ride, you can still stick around in and check out the gigantic aquarium in the pavilion.
- The American Adventure (Epcot) – This attraction is located in World Showcase at Epcot and features an Audio-Animatronics show that tells the story of America’s history.
So that’s it for attraction suggestions. Of course, you can park yourself in a quick service restaurant during a storm and to that end, I can’t advocate enough for the new Connections Café in Epcot, which is spacious, offers a ton of charging ports and has amazing food.
Also, a great way to wait out the rain and get some unbelieve bale views (albeit behind plexiglass windows) of the lagoon, the area resorts and Bay Lake is to hop on the monorail and do a loop or two. If you are adventurous, you can hop off of the resort or express monorail and on to the Epcot monorail if you really want to stretch out your loop. The transfer between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot monorails is pretty much covered so you wont get soaked.
I can’t believe I am giving this away, but my absolute favorite spot to wait out a storm (If we arent taking the ‘poncho challenge’ mentioned earlier) is to get some hush puppies and sit in the area of Columbia Harbour House that overlooks the walkway between Fantasyland and Liberty Square. There is almost never a soul in this area and it is a peak people watching location. It also gives you a big rush of nostalgia, so if you are a Disney World lifer, it is a great somewhat-hidden ‘happy place.’
No matter the weather, Disney World offers plenty of indoor attractions and activities to keep you entertained. So don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits, instead use it as an opportunity to check out some of these amazing indoor experiences that Disney World has to offer!