There are 89 sunny days each year in Orlando, Florida. So, if you pull up a handy calendar and cross out the appropriate number of days, you’ll notice that you’re already finished with dry weather by March 31st. In other words, there’s less than a 25% chance of spending a day without a cloud in the sky while you’re at Walt Disney World. Meanwhile, the city experiences 36 percent more rain than average. So, if you’re visiting for four days or more, odds are good that you’ll get wet. You have to make your peace with it.
While some diehards will suggest that the best way to survive a rainy day at the park is to pull out a poncho and pretend as if nothing’s changed, that’s not an option for many people. You want to stay dry, especially if you’re traveling with a family including small children. Rather than recommend that you get drenched, we want to offer some suggestions about how to have a blast during your vacation as the precipitation comes down. Here are eight tips for enjoying Walt Disney World during a rainstorm.
1. Spa day
Walt Disney World features some of the finest spa treatments in the South. The most noteworthy of them are the ones at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Both of them are conveniently named Senses, so it’s not difficult to remember either of them. While Disney strongly suggests reservations for each one, you can oftentimes still beat the crowd by checking the weather each morning. If you notice that there is a high probability of rain at a certain point in the day, call one of the resorts to book your spa day. You can then rely on Disney transportation to ship you to the correct locale. If both of them are booked, many of Disney’s other health clubs also feature spa services. You can find a complete list here.
2. Catch a movie
Okay, this is NOT the optimal way to spend your time while at Walt Disney World. Every second of park time is precious, so you probably don’t want to spend three hours of your day riding/driving to a movie theater to catch a flick. After all, you can do that at home. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do when Orlando weather isn’t cooperative. Past a certain amount of wetness, a couple of hours in a high-quality movie theater sounds a lot better than more time standing in the rain.
The AMC® Downtown Disney 24 Dine-In Theatre is a wonderful facility that may surpass anything you have at home, especially if you’re not from a major metropolitan area. It’s a full service restaurant combined with a movie theater. Grab your reserved seats online, and then push a button on your chair at the theater when you’re ready to eat. A waiter will come to wherever you’re seated to take your order then return later with your food. Also, while some people find this service known as Fork & Screen a bit overpriced, it’s actually a fairly affordable meal by Walt Disney World standards. You can see the full menu here if you’re curious.
3. Bowling at Splitsville
This is one of my favorite suggestions for a rainy day at Walt Disney World. I’m not even much of a bowler, but the luxury lanes at Splitsville elevate the hobby of bowling to a higher plane. With 30 bowling lanes and five bars, it has just the right combination of activity and adult beverages to warm you up despite your wet clothes. Plus, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a shinier version of Happy Days once you enter the building.
Splitsville is a huge facility that can host a massive number of people, so even if everyone else at Downtown Disney ducks inside to get out of the rain, you still shouldn’t have a problem getting a lane or a meal. Best of all, the food at Splitsville is of the highest quality. Disney loves to brag that they’ve even got a pair of sushi bars onsite. For my money, Splitsville also offers one of the best burgers at Walt Disney World. If you’re like me, you try to keep things simple when you’re bowling. Burgers and beer definitely do the trick.
4. Take in a show
There’s no reason to let the weather ruin a night at Disney. Orlando offers a vibrant nightlife, and the lure of multiple major amusement parks has provided ancillary benefits. The city features some of the finest shows this side of Las Vegas, including offerings from the leaders in the industry, Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group.
La Nouba at Downtown Disney is the most popular show in town, which means that it does sell out during peak tourist periods. If there is inclement weather, however, you should still check at the box-office, as they offer last-minute availability due to no-shows. Blue Man Group is a bit trickier for Disney guests to visit, because there isn’t transportation available. You’ll have to take your own car or get a taxi/Uber. There’s a positive in this, though. You won’t be fighting Disney crowds any longer, but you should understand that Blue Man Group is every bit as likely to sell out. So, contact the box-office to check availability before finalizing your plans. Both shows are spectacular, and any true theme park tourist will want to watch both if they visit Orlando frequently.