About the Column

Congratulations! You're going to Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth! Now what? Do you have a plan? Do you know what to expect? Are you determined to 'see it all' - or die trying? Lesley Sawhook has been there, done that so many times that in her sleep she counts marching Mickeys, not leaping sheep. Her years of experience as a Disney mom, a Disney planner, and now a Disney Certified Travel Agent uniquely qualify her to dispense the Happiest Tips on Earth. Learn from Lesley how to have the Happiest Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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FROM: Happiest Tips on Earth Published Fridays

Disney in the Rain

Rain can ruin any vacation, including a Disney vacation. Right? Wrong. Lesley Sawhook doesn't let rain ruin her Disney vacations - in fact, she welcomes the rain, and her newest crop of happiest tips will help you turn those droplets into diamonds.

What should I do if it rains?

This is a question I am asked quite often. My family usually travels to Disney in the summer months (as do most families who have school-aged children).

Unfortunately, there are two constants with Orlando's summer weather pattern: 1) It will be HOT, and 2) It will rain.

I have never had a trip to Disney World where it didn't rain. Did I let it ruin our fun?


We have learned to embrace the rain at Disney over the years, and here's how:

Happiest Tip: Rain is a Natural Crowd Reducer

The minute it starts raining, a lot of people immediately head toward the exits. But not us!

We put on our rain gear (which, as I've mentioned in previous columns, we buy before our trip), and we stay at the parks.

The good thing about the rain in Orlando is that it is a warm rain, so if you don't mind getting a little wet it isn't uncomfortable, and you can still have a lot of fun!

Happiest Tip: What to Do in the Rain?

Typically, the showers in Florida don't last long, and they're just pop up showers. In this case, we will shop around a bit, get a bite to eat, or enjoy a show in one of the indoor or covered arenas at the park.

If the day is going to be a total washout, you need to embrace it differently:

Ride a water ride! Hey, you are wet already, why not embrace it and just get a little more wet, right!?! We love riding Kali River Rapids or Splash Mountain in the rain. It heightens the experience for us. And my kids enjoy playing in the fountains at Epcot in the rain - they're wet anyway, and may as well have some fun!

My favorite park for a rainy day is Epcot because of the many indoor activities like Innoventions East and West, where you can have fun inside without getting wet. If the forecast calls for rain the entire day, we always head to Epcot.

Happiest Tip: Be Safe

Although Orlando does have pop up showers throughout the summer, it can also have some very severe weather. If a storm brings thunder and lightning, please remain indoors and take it seriously. The lightning can strike fast and furious, so be careful out there!

Happiest Tip: Don't Let It Rain on My Parade!

Some Disney World attractions close during storms or rain. The Fantasmic show at Hollywood Studios, for example, will cancel due to just a light rain (something to keep in mind when booking the Fantasmic Dinner Package ). Most of the parades will run if it's raining lightly, but in a wash-out, they'll be cancelled, too.

So, if you are headed to Orlando in the summer, expect a few showers here and there. But with the right attitude and the right game plan, you'll still have a magical Disney vacation, come rain or shine!

Lesley's Exclusive Food & Wine Festival Vacation Deal

The Happiest Tips on Earth can only get you partway to the Happiest Place on Earth. For the rest, you need Destination Magic. Drop Lesley a line and see what magic she can make for you when you're planning your next Disney trip!

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