So you’ve booked your trip to sunny Florida, completed your countdown, and you look at the weather forecast for the Orlando area.
It’s supposed to be sunny Florida…….. not rainy Florida!
The forecast above isn’t something I would even worry about. But I’m talking solid rain.
Now what are you supposed to do? You can’t cancel….. you won’t “not go”! Reservations have been made, flights and everything ha been paid for……. how are you going to handle this?
Believe it or not, my wife and I were extremely spoiled with our trips to Walt Disney World by NEVER seeing a drop of rain for the first five or six trips. Then it happened in December, 2008. We landed at the Orlando International Airport and when I turned on my cell phone, there was a severe weather warning waiting stating there was a chance of strong thunder storms and tornados. I was in total disbelief!
As we road the tram from our arrival gate to the terminal we saw it….. rain….. heavy freaking rain.
We walked through the terminal to the Magical Express check in area in silent thought. We knew we were staying for six nights at Port Orleans French Quarter and we were going to get wet.
The Magical Express ride was smooth but our minds were not in our happy place. The sky was gray…. it was raining and raining hard. All the way to the first stop, Old Key West and then to the second stop, Port Orleans Riverside and then our stop, Port Orleans French Quarter…… rain!
As we checked in we were told our room was ready for us and we made the short walk…… in the ran….. and entered our room. We changed into shorts and sneakers and decided to head to the Magic Kingdom anyways….. in the rain. I hope you can really sense my mood about….. the rain!
We walked the short walk to the bus stop in the rain. (everything is a short walk from your room at POFQ) We were the only people waiting for a bus…. in the rain. As the bus pulled up we reluctantly climbed aboard to a greeting from the driver. He was smiling from ear to ear. We tried to smile, but it was tough. As the bus made it’s stops at three bus stops at Port Orleans Riverside, there wasn’t any other travelers. Then…. I started to laugh. Patti looked at me with the “what the heck” look and me laugh all the more! Then she started to laugh. I’m sure the driver thought we were both crazy!
As the bus pulled up to our stop at the Magic Kingdom the rain had slowed down to just a sprinkle. And by the time we went through bag check, it was over and the sun was starting to shine. But there was water everywhere. And their were CM’s everywhere pushing the ponds of water towards the drains with big squeegees.
As we walked up Main Street, it was almost deserted. There couldn’t have been more than maybe a hundred people total on Main Street. What people that were there were gathered in the Emporium and other stores along Main Street.
We were able to walk on every single ride at Magic Kingdom that day. No lines to speak of. Can you imagine that? No lines!
It was the best day ever at the Magic Kingdom and there were thousands of people that were at Walt Disney World that day that missed it!
From that day forward we decided that even though we might get some rain, we were going to be ready for it….. and still enjoy the parks! We now have our arsenal of rain gear ready for every trip.
One of my favorite Disney loving families swear by going to the parks every time it rains. The Allison family from Georgia have perfected their approach and have been in the parks so many times in the rain neither Jason Allison or I could count that high.
When is their favorite time to be at Walt Disney World? Jason says….. “on a rainy day”! And his wife Tammy, and their three daughters loves it as well. Jason says, “you get to do more, see more without a lot of waiting around. Most of the rides are a walk on!”
A couple of years ago Patti and I were experiencing some more rain during our trip. We were celebrating Patti’s birthday and on our fourth day it started to rain. It wasn’t just rain…. it was a solid torrential downpour that lasted almost two days. We went to the parks anyways on the first day, we got wet in spite of our Mickey ponchos, but we went and had fun.
On the second day we slept in and relaxed around the room at the Boardwalk Villas Resort as it continued to pour. We decided to lay low and stay dry. We had reservations for the Cirque du Soliel show at Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs for that evening.
The rain slowed down quite a bit at around noon so we thought we would head over to Hollywood Studios and enjoy some of the things we had missed earlier in the trip. We usually enjoy walking to Studios but I suggested we take the Friendship Boat this time to avoid all the standing water that was everywhere, and we are both glad we did.
The boat ride was great and as we pulled up to the dock at The Swan and Dolphin Resort to pick up my people, it started to absolutely pour once again. But we enjoyed the brief ride to Hollywood Studios.
As the boat pulled into the dock at DHS, I looked at Patti and she looked at me…… neither of us wanted to get off that boat in the rain so we just sat there as everyone else got off but us. The captain turned and asked, “aren’t you getting off”? We said “no” and he laughed! He said we were the smartest people on the boat”! We agreed with him!
We rode the Friendship Boat back to the Boardwalk and had lunch at the ESPN Club. The rain was still falling later in the day as we headed to Disney Springs and our reservations for the show but soon quit. There was standing water everywhere as we made or way back to the bus stop after the show.
The bottom line is don’t waste your precious time at Walt Disney World by sitting in your room on a rainy day! Put together a rainy day backpack for each person like ours below and go enjoy the parks. You will experience very short lines, if any and you will have the time of your life.
We enjoy every minute of our Walt Disney World vacation, even the rainy ones.