You pack, plan, and pay for a magical vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort and are so excited you have been counting down the days with excitement and anticipation. Then, it happens; the one thing you have no control over. The weather takes a turn for the worse. What do you do? This question has many answers and all involve some flexibility, planning, and perseverance.
Let me preface that “taking a turn for the worse” is a matter of degrees—sometimes literally. A rainstorm to Floridians may not phase someone from the Northwest and a chilly day to Cast Members may still mean shorts and flip flops for someone from the northern states.
So, what do you do when it rains while at the most magical place on earth? Well, if it is just that, rain, no thunder or lightening, we grab our ponchos and umbrellas and carry on. Of course those items are in our park touring bag. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios make for some of the driest touring during the rain with Magic Kingdom a close second. And, as I read somewhere, if you are at Animal Kingdom and it starts to rain, don’t head for the exit, head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris as the animals enjoy the rain and become more active as they cool off while guests are still protected from the elements. We are known to swim if it is raining—again, no thunder or lightening, at our resort or a water park. We were going to get wet anyway!
If lightening becomes part of the equation, Disney is going to jump in and ensure guest safety. Boat transportation throughout the resort will be suspended and some attractions may be temporarily shut down. Pools and water parks will be closed until lightening leaves the vicinity. Some say this is the best time to shop and that is what thousands of others will be thinking, too. Downtown Disney is a great destination not only for shopping, but for indoor entertainment such as Splitsville for bowling, the AMC Dine-in theater with multiple movies to select from, and DisneyQuest, the five-story indoor arcade with amusement park ride simulations. Just know that if there is lightening, there will be no boat transportation to Downtown Disney.
Now, if we are talking hurricanes or tropical storms, again, Disney will provide directions to guests to ensure safety. Parks may be closed and entertainment options may become available at resorts (the afternoon pool-side activities may get moved inside to lobbies or food court areas). Depending on your resort, there may be games available to check-out from the Concierge or Guest Registration area. Resorts with kids’ clubs will still be in operation. Disney may also offer guests extensions on the park tickets, etc. to compensate for a hurricane and will do their best to get parks into ship shape if they experience any damage. This is, after all, Disney.
But what if it gets cold? Again, “getting cold” is relative and yet we have experienced some cold and chilly days while at the World. If traveling during the late fall/winter/early spring months, it can be beneficial to think layers. The mornings can begin chilly and a jacket is comfortable, but not needed by afternoon. The evenings can also bring drops in temperatures.
Just as umbrellas and ponchos magically appear in stores at the parks and resorts when rain starts to fall, guests will find sweatshirts, jackets, hats, even gloves appear when temperatures begin to fall and catch guests unaware. I would rather be prepared and pack those items, though I still have and use the Mickey gloves that I purchased during our first trip when there was unexpected cold weather. Now, I slip of pair of gloves into the pocket of my jacket before throwing it into the suitcase.
A little rain or cold, need not dampen your Disney vacation. With some creative thinking, packing or purchasing necessities, and fortitude to keep going although safely, you can still have a magical vacation if the weather takes a turn for the worse. And, besides, you are going to have a great story when you get home. Isn’t that what memories are made of?