You know the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers”? Well, here in Orlando the showers start in April but don’t really end until some time in September or later! And if you’ve been watching the weather you know that we’ve gotten apocalyptic rain for the last week. So what do you do if the clouds come out for your Disney World vacation? Well, you don’t have anything to worry about because I’m going to give you all the inside tips on how to have fun rain or shine!
1) Head towards the big, angry clouds. When most people see huge storm clouds looming over the parks they make their way to the exit. I feel the exact opposite about those massive, grey clouds. When I see a monsoon heading for Disney World, I’ll go out of my way to stop by. It’s fun to be one of very few people heading in, as tons of people can’t exit quickly enough. Most attractions are indoors and suffer no interruption during the rain. The only difference is the considerably shorter lines when there’s a little liquid sunshine!
Yep- I suggesting you head TOWARDS this!
2) The rain normally passes quickly – or misses all together! Those big clouds aren’t a very good indicator of when or where the rain will actually fall. I’ve spent entire days at Disney under thick, grey clouds without a drop of rain. Or storms will often pass by quickly. In these cases it will just pour buckets for a hour or so then it will be like nothing ever happened. The sun will come back so ferociously that the wet pavement will actually steam! The first hour the sun is back out is a magical time to be in the parks. Since most guests left before the rain started it takes a while for them to trickle back in, leaving you to enjoy the park.
3) But if it sticks around you’ll need a rain outfit. The best advice I can give anyone wanting to try Disney in the rain is to put together their rain plan before they get to the park. There’s nothing worse than an overpriced Disney poncho or flimsy umbrella. If you’re planning to go the poncho route then pick some up at the dollar store before your trip. They pack very easily and you don’t have to feel any guilt tossing them. If you’re planning to go the umbrella route… don’t. Crazy, sideways, Florida rain thinks your umbrella is cute but will soak you anyway. Personally, I’ve invested in a good rain coat, Crocs, and a baseball cap. With that combo I’ve been able to stay dry even touring in the worst rain.
4) Special rain only experiences. Yes – this is really a thing! Of course, there isn’t anything “official” or “published,” but cast members will go out of their way to not put guests out in a storm. When I go to Disney in a downpour I tend to head for The Haunted Mansion. My record is getting to ride this six times in a row to avoid wet weather! I didn’t even have to exit my Doom Buggy for two of those rides! How many people can say that?
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You’ve spent countless hours planning, making reservations, and studying touring plans to construct the best possible Disney vacation for your family. Yay! But even the most carefully constructed Disney World battle plan can go quickly awry when unexpected weather conditions butt into your plans. Here are some things to consider about how the weather might impact your trip.
Average Walt Disney World temperatures. Chart from weather.com. Click to enlarge.
Long-term Information is Power
One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve seen when working on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel is, “What will the weather be like during the time of my visit?” The guest then typically lists a date months in advance. Lacking Madame Leota’s crystal ball, the source I use to answer these types of questions is The Weather Channel chart of month averages for Walt Disney World. See the photos at the right for screen shots of the average WDW temperature and rainfall each month.
The main thing to note about these charts is that the temperatures and rainfall listed are AVERAGES. This means that what will happen during any given year might vary widely from those numbers.
I have visited Walt Disney World during the first week of December during four different years. If you look at the Weather Channel chart, you’ll see that the average daytime high for that week is in the mid-70s and the average nighttime low is in the mid-50s. Two of the four years I visited at that time, that’s exactly what I experienced, temperate climes perfect for touring. My other two early December visits had significant deviation from the curve. One year I was sweating through my tee shirts, with temperatures in the upper 80s. A different year, I ended up purchasing two heavy sweatshirts and pair of gloves because early morning temperatures were in the low 40s. Same week, vastly different experiences.
So, while you can use weather averages for general planning purposes, deciding when to visit for example, you’ll definitely need to do some fine tuning on your packing and daily planning as you get closer to your trip.
And in the trivia department … The highest recorded temperature at Walt Disney World was 102 degree F. The lowest was 17 degrees F. No shorts on that vacation!
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