Disney Attractions to Escape the Rain
Florida is nicknamed “The Sunshine State,” but the weather at Disney World isn’t always predictably sunny. Often – especially during the summer months – a rain shower will sweep through the park and cause guests to run for cover. But don’t fret – a little bit of precipitation doesn’t have to ruin your Disney World plans. In the event of bad weather, there are still plenty of Disney attractions to escape the rain until the sun returns.
Which Disney attractions close when it’s raining?
Luckily, most rides at Disney World are indoors and not impacted by the rain. There are, however, a handful of attractions that typically close when perception (or thunder and lightning) pass through the park. These include Astro Orbiter, Big Thunder Mountain, Dumbo, and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin at Magic Kingdom; Test Track at Epcot; Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Lights, Motors, Action! at Hollywood Studios; and, unfortunately, many Animal Kingdom attractions (including Exhibition Everest and any attraction with animals).
On a positive note, you will notice shorter lines once the rain stops, as many visitors head for the exits when the weather deteriorates.
With that said, here is a list of the best Disney attractions to escape the rain.
The Best Disney Attractions to Escape the Rain
Magic Kingdom Attractions to Escape the Rain
Hall of Presidents
If you find yourself near Liberty Square during a rainstorm, make your way over to the Hall of Presidents. The air-conditioned waiting room provides ample seating to take cover while the rain passes through. If you want to stick around for the attraction, the 25-minute educational multi-media stage show features realistic Audio-Animatronics of all 45 U.S. presidents (including Donald Trump).
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
If you skipped Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in favor of more exciting attractions when the sun was shining, a sudden rain shower may be just enough motivation to enter this Disney World classic.
Located in Tomorrowland, the Carousel of Progress was originally created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York’s World Fair. The attraction features an interesting 21-minute show about how technology has shaped our modern-day world. This educational and time-consuming attraction may be just what you are looking for on a rainy afternoon at Disney World.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a 12-minute 3D show featuring Sorcerer Mickey, Donald, and scenes from classic Disney films like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Fantasia. With an indoor queue line and pre-show, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a great attraction to pass the time while you dodge the rain.
Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain roller coaster is one of the most popular rides at Disney World, which means long standby wait times. This is usually a negative, but if you are planning on riding this attraction anyway, why not go when it’s raining? Space Mountain’s covered and air-conditioned queue line provides comfortable protection from the elements before you step aboard this thrilling Disney attraction.
Tomorrowland Video Arcade
Located at the exit of Space Mountain, the Tomorrowland Video Arcade provides another fun respite from the rain. The cost to play these games are not included in park admission, but it still provides a fun and dry option to keep kids entertained until the rain stops.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean first opened back in 1973 and is still as popular as ever. In fact, it tops our Best Magic Kingdom Rides list. The attraction has spawned a hugely popular Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise starring Johnny Depp. The queue for this attraction is almost always long, but it’s entirely air-conditioned and covered, making this a top ride to escape the hot and rainy weather.
Dumbo’s Indoor Playground
If you have young children, you may want to seek shelter from the rain inside the big-top tent of Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Instead of a waiting line, this attraction has an indoor (and air-conditioned) playground, complete with slides, climbing nets, and an area for toddlers. A Cast Member will hand you a pager to hold your place in line as your children have fun in the play area. They won’t even realize that it’s raining outside!
Country Bear Jamboree
If you find yourself in Frontierland when the rain starts falling, the Country Bear Jamboree Audio-Animatronics attraction – starring a hilarious batch of singing bears – provides a good refuge to escape the bad weather. This classic Disney World attraction was one of the last Walt Disney helped to develop before his death in 1966.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
A section of the queue line and pre-show of this classic Disney attraction are outdoors, but entirely covered and protected from the elements., The show itself is indoors and usually has very little wait time. Relax and listen to the singing robotic birds while you wait out a passing shower.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
The Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a 400-seat comedy club with a refreshing air-conditioned main queue area. This is a great spot to escape the rain, so long as the queue line is short enough that it doesn’t stretch outside.
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
The queue through Ariel’s Grotto provides cover from the rain before you enter this fun indoor musical and adventure ride. The attraction itself takes riders through a dazzling display of visual effects and Audio-Animatronics as it retells scenes from classic Disney movie “The Little
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Rangers Spin
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Stitch’s Great Escape
- the covered outdoor patios of Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
See our Magic Kingdom Secrets page for more interesting tidbits about this Disney theme park.
EPCOT Attractions to Escape the Rain
The Land Pavilion
One of the best spots to wait out a rainstorm at Disney World is inside Epcot’s The Land pavilion. There you will find spectacular indoor attractions (Soarin’, Living with the Land, and the 20-minute conservation film Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable), delicious dining options (The Garden Grill, Sunshine Seasons food court), as well as unique shopping to keep you engaged and having fun for hours. By the time you’ve experienced everything in The Land, the rain may have long since stopped.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
At The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion, you can wait out a rain shower by exploring the indoor 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium, eating at the Coral Reef Restaurant, seeing Turtle Talk with Crush, or riding a “clamobile” on The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction.
The American Adventure
The American Adventure is the host pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase. It also shares its name with the pavilion’s main attraction, a 30-minute long Audio-Animatronics stage show of American history. The American Adventure also has a large indoor (and nice air-conditioned) waiting room to escape the rain.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
Located inside the pyramid at Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is a gentle Audio-Animatronic boat ride. Enjoy the antics of these 3 feathered amigos and the dazzling sights of Mexico as you stay dry inside this World Showcase attraction.
Travel through time – from the Stone Age to the computer age – at this attraction inside Epcot’s iconic Spaceship Earth geosphere. As you depart from Spaceship Earth, visit Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future interactive play area. By the time you exit
Spaceship Earth, the clouds may have disappeared.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure
The Universe of Energy: Ellen’s Energy Adventure is a show starring comedienne Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye “the Science Guy.” At 45-minutes, this is the longest attraction at Disney World and a great escape from the rain.
Hollywood Studios Attractions to Escape the Rain
Voyage of The Little Mermaid
If you find yourself in Hollywood Studios during the rain, head for Voyage of The Little Mermaid, an abridgment of the 1989 Disney film “The Little Mermaid.” The 15-minute live show featuring actors, puppets, and special effects. While the line for this attraction does occasionally stretch outside (not covered), the wait time is usually short and the indoor queue is a safe place to wait out the rain before the show begins.
With a 12-minute pre-show and an 18-minute show, Muppet*Vision 3D is one of the longest attractions at Disney World. The show is filled with an assortment of Muppet shenanigans, 3D tricks, singing by Miss Piggy, and appearances by all your favorite Muppets characters. Muppet*Vision 3D will entertain you for at least a half hour while the rain falls outside.
With a fun indoor queue populated with Audio-Animatronic characters, a pre-show and a ride that takes guests through random scenes from the Star Wars universe, Star Tours is a fun attraction to escape the rain – especially for Star Wars fans!
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
During the event of rain, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror may be a good place to seek shelter. This accelerated drop tower dark ride – inspired by Rod Serling’s groundbreaking television series “The Twilight Zone” – places riders in a hotel elevator where people have mysteriously
disappeared through supernatural forces. By the time you exit The Twilight Zone, the clouds
may have disappeared as well.
See our Hollywood Studios Secrets page for more interesting tidbits about this Disney theme park.
Animal Kingdom Attractions to Escape the Rain
Finding Nemo – The Musical
Finding Nemo -The Musical is a popular stage show based on the classic Disney-Pixar film. With a run time of 40 minutes, this attraction is one best options for escaping a rainy day at Animal Kingdom.
Festival of the Lion King
The Festival of the Lion King is another lengthy stage show to enjoy when the weather turns sour. Located inside the new Harambe Theater, the Festival of the Lion King is an entertaining and high-energy live musical that runs for about 30 minutes.
Seek cover inside Dinosaur and you won’t be disappointed. This dark EMV ride takes you on a turbulent journey through the prehistoric Cretaceous period and features captivating Audio-Animatronic dinosaur scenes. The queue, pre-show, and attraction itself will ensure that you
remain “dry as a bone.”
Other Ways to Escape the Rain at Disney
Wear a Poncho
Most people run for cover when the raindrops start to fall. However, if you don’t mind getting a little wet, simply strap on a poncho and continuing with your touring plans. The sidewalks will be sparse and lines should be much shorter. Just be cautious of lightning – if you hear thunder, get indoors! See the Magic Guides Disney World Packing List page for poncho suggestions.
Go Eat Something
Some of our favorite Disney attractions to escape the rain involve food. When bad weather descends over Disney World, head to a nearby restaurant and enjoy some of Disney World’s delicious culinary delights. By the time you finish eating, the sky may be clear and you will be energized and ready to hit the rides again.
Head to Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a lively shopping, dining, and entertainment complex within Walt Disney World. It provides an eclectic mix of boutiques, unique eateries, and amazing entertainment that make you forget about the bad weather. You could spend hours exploring World of Disney (the world’s largest Disney character store), the huge Coca-Cola Store, Star Wars Galactic outpost, Once Upon a Toy, Disney Design-A- Tee, and other shops located within this area.
Additionally, Disney Springs has a wonderful assortment of restaurants to escape the rain, including Splitsville (retro bowling alley with great cuisine), The Boathouse (boat-themed bar/restaurant with excellent food), Homecoming (Southern cuisine), and T-Rex Café (a fun place for dinosaur-loving kids and adults). There is even has a 24-screen movie theatre on the premises – the AMC Theater at Disney Spring. This state-of-the-art theater offers the “Fork & Screen” dining package, where you can enjoy a delicious meal while you watch a film. Rainy days have never been so fun!
Shop outside of WDW
If Disney World’s weather forecast looks grim for the entire day, then it may provide a good opportunity to venture off-property…and go shopping! There are several outlet malls in the greater Orlando area where you can escape the rain for a few hours while browsing through discounted name-brand merchandise. Our favorite outlet is Character Warehouse, a huge Disney-themed store brimming with discounted Disney merchandise. While you are there, browse through a wide selection of official Disney character toys, collectibles, clothing, and other Disney World souvenirs.
Take a Resort Monorail Tour
For a less expensive way to escape the rain, consider taking The Resort Monorail tour. This fun mode of Disney transportation loops around Magic Kingdom and 3 Disney Resorts – The Contemporary, Polynesian, and The Grand Floridian.
As it makes stops at each resort, hop on and off and explore each of these fabulous hotels. It’s a great activity for a rainy day, and it’s entirely free!
Kids especially love The Contemporary because the monorail runs right through the middle of the lobby and there is a huge arcade on the lower level. The Polynesian – a Disney resort designed to resemble the South Pacific islands- – has several popular Polynesian-themed dining establishments (and free flower necklaces (leis) in the lobby). Finally, The Grand Floridian is an elegant AAA Four Diamond resort and spa. By the time you have explored each Disney resort, the rain may have stopped.
See our Disney World for Adults article for a fun monorail bar crawl route (21+).