The P.E kits are washed and ironed, homework is all done and sat waiting patiently in book bags so it can only mean one thing – half term is over.
I love having the kids home from school and I always wish for time to slow down so that I have a bit longer to spend with them. Half term has been lovely but with one major downside – the weather! It is almost certain that the minute the schools close the clouds will darken, the rain starts and doesn’t stop until the schools re-open, God bless English weather!
There’s one thing that gets us all through the cold, wet and windy weather of the UK and that’s the thought of two gloriously hot, dry weeks in the Florida sunshine, but what happens if our hopes of good weather are dashed and the rain follows us on holiday? Well don’t worry because Disney have plenty of rainy day options too…..
Generally most attractions will stay open whatever the weather, the exceptions to this are outdoor rides and shows which may be suspended if there is heavy rain. The water parks will also stay open unless there is a threat of lightning in which case they close (as do the resort pools – never a good idea to be swimming in a lightning storm!)
For us the rain can often be a welcome cool down from the heat of the sun, and the bonus is that we dry out fairly quickly once the sun comes back out.
A Cast Member gave us a great tip on our last trip and suggested that we went to Epcot if bad weather is forecast as there is still so much to do there. So we took her advice when the aforementioned rain did arrive the following morning. We spent some time inside Innoventions West learning about safety around the home (see a trip to Disney is educational AND fun!) and then we headed over to The Living Seas. We rode The Seas With Nemo and Friends which is a nice gentle ride and then we headed into Turtle Talk with Crush, this was hillarious and the kids loved every minute of it – you should check it out dude! We had a wander around the aquariums, watched the dolphins going through a training programme, saw the manatees and spotted a hidden Mickey, then had the obligatory photo with Bruce and his friends before heading over to The Land.
In The Land we rode Soarin’ – oh the smell of the orange groves was lovely! Soarin’ is very popular so I recommend getting a Fast Pass for this ride. Next we rode Living With The Land which is a gentle boat ride that goes through the greenhouses, and then we went on to Circle of Life which is a short film involving the Lion King characters that talks about looking after the environment.
I must make a quick mention of the Character spot that is near to Innoventions as this is a great place to meet many of the favourite characters and it’s under cover so perfect for staying out of the rain. However, the queues here get very very long so be prepared for a wait.
After The Land we went to visit Figment in Imagination, another gentle ride that gives you a chance to sit down a rest the legs for a few minutes. I remember loving this ride when I was a kid and my kids love it too! We also saw Captain Eo starring Michael Jackson while we were here, it was ok but the kids didn’t really ‘get it.’
By now the rain had stopped so we popped over to Test Track, which is Epcot’s only outdoor ride but it does close when the weather is bad. We had Fast Passes for this so didn’t have to queue for too long and fortunately it stayed open long enough for us to ride. As we came off of this ride the sky had grown very dark again so we decided to call it a day and headed out of the park. There are plenty of places over on the World Showcase that we could have visited and stayed dry in during the rain but the walk from Test Track to the World Showcase isn’t under cover unfortunately.
Another good place to go in wet weather is Downtown Disney. Although you will get wet as it’s not under cover, there is plenty to do that will keep you dry. There are shops galore (I can easily lose several hours in World of Disney and Days of Christmas!) Numerous restaurants provide dining options – you can choose from snacks, light meals and full sit down dinners. There are bars (make sure you’ve got ID to prove you are at least 21) and the House of Blues which is part restaurant, part musical hall and at the very end of The West Side the large white tent of Cirque Du Soleil dominates the skyline home to the La Nouba show.
Also on The West Side is DisneyQuest – this is 5 floors of arcade games and rides. Many of the games are ‘old school’ but there are newer ones too such as Guitar Hero and air hockey. There is an animation class and you can record your own song. DisneyQuest is not to everyone’s taste and I must admit that I wouldn’t rush to go back BUT the kids had a great time in here and if the weather is bad it’s not a bad place to go. If you have an ‘Ultimate Ticket’ then entrance is included, but some things inside have to be paid for. Alternatively, you can pay on the door if entry is not included in your ticket.
Just along from DisneyQuest is AMC Downtown Disney – a large multi-screen cinema. There are 24 screens and several of them offer a ‘Dine In’ option, whereby your food and drinks are served while you watch your movie.
Work is currently taking place to add a bowling alley to Downtown Disney, which will be a great addition to the area and another fun place to go – especially on a rainy day.
So if the Great British weather decides to follow you on vacation don’t despair because there’s still loads to do – just put your poncho on and have fun!
What’s your favourite thing to do if bad weather hits? Do you have a good tip for a rainy day in Disney?
See ya real soon!