For the most part central Florida has pretty good weather. But it is not perfect. It gets really hot in the summer with plenty of humidity. And there are rainstorms (better described as downpours), and an occasional all-day soaking rain.
And believe it or not there are usually a few cold days in the winter time where it is chilly in the evening and approaches freezing overnight.
When the weather doesn’t cooperate on your vacation, what should you do? It’s no fun just staring at the walls of hotel room. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun things to do at Disney World when the weather turns bad. Here are nine favorites:
1 – The Magic Kingdom Resorts
Consider taking a tour of the Magic Kingdom Resorts – including Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. All three are connected by monorail, so it is easy to get to each of them. The monorail ride itself is a form of fun. At the resorts, check out the sit down and casual restaurants. Wander into the arcades and shops. Compare the architecture and design of each resort. The best thing about this voyage is that it is completely free. You can spend as much or as little time as you like.
DisneyQuest is a five story indoor amusement part / video game center located in Disney Springs. DisneyQuest was once part of a grand Disney vision to build these centers across the country, but that never worked out. The location in Disney Springs doesn’t get much attention, and may someday close, but for now it can be a fun way to spend a day – or part of a day – playing all kinds of classic, standard, and unique video games. You can even record a song or learn now to draw a Disney character like Mickey Mouse.
All of the rest of our suggestions are in the Future World section of Epcot. Epcot tends to have large pavilions where you can spend lots of time inside, in one building. That’s perfect for days with bad weather.
3 – Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth is a Disney classic, retelling the story of communication. It’s a ride that is good for almost anyone (unless they are afraid of the dark), and it takes about 15 minutes. After you exit the ride you enter into Project Tomorrow where there are plenty of interactive games – from hockey-like games to 3D simulations. You could easily spend 30 minutes in this area.
4 – The Seas With Nemo And Friends
The Seas is another wonderful place to explore when the weather outside is frightful. Start with the Omnimover ride that takes about 5 minutes to see Nemo, Dory, and other characters projected onto the glass walls of a real aquarium. After the ride is over, there are still plenty of fun things to do. You can visit Turtle Talk With Crush and ask questions to your favorite talking turtle, visit the manatee tank, look at the fish in the aquarium, and visit the gift shop. The Seas is also home to the Coral Reef sit down restaurant.
5 – The Land
The Land is home to the ever popular Soarin attraction. As a ride, Soaring lasts about four minutes, but the wait can be up to an hour or even more during busy times. That makes it a good – and popular – candidate for FastPasses. In addition to Soarin, be sure to check out the Living with the Land boat ride where you can see plants growing in all kinds of high-tech ways – an experience that takes about 15 minutes. Also worth seeing is the 12 minute movie called Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable. The movie is a bit long in the tooth but still fun. The Sunshine Seasons food court is one of the best at Disney World with a huge array of options, and The Garden Grill sit down restaurant rotates and gives you a peek into the boat ride.
6 – Imagination
This is another Epcot ride / interactive area combo. The highlight is the Journey into Imagination with Figment ride that lasts about 11 minutes. After the ride, wonder around the ImageWorks labs that has plenty of interactive games – a little dated from a technology perspective but still fun. It’s easy to spend 30 minutes here. Finally, the movie Captain EO lasts about 17 minutes.
7 – Test Track
While the Test Track ride itself lasts only about 4 minutes (and goes at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour), there is plenty to do and see both before the main attraction and after. Before you get to the ride itself you will spend some time designing your own vehicle. And after the ride you can take your design for a spin on a racing table, take a photo with a car, and explore the gift shop. You can easily spend 30-45 minutes or more in the extensive post-show area.
8 – Mission Space
While the Mission: Space ride is just a little over 5 minutes, you go through several extensive pre-show briefings before you get on the ride itself. And after you exit the ride you can spend time exploring the Advanced Training Lab where you can play the Space Race and other interactive games. It is easy to spend 30 minutes in this area.
9 – The Universe Of Energy / Ellen’s Energy Adventure
Known as the attraction with the longest duration at Disney World, The Universe Of Energy takes 45 minutes to experience – from the first film (after the pre-show) to the ride through the dinosaur area to two additional films. There are no gift shops, interactive games, or restaurants – just one really long ride that will keep you comfortably inside and away from the elements.
What do you do when the weather turns bad at Disney World?