Rain in Walt Disney World is a pretty common occurrence. As long as it doesn’t rain all day, I don’t mind a brief storm. It’s a good time to grab a meal or catch a show, and it weeds out the weak, making the wait times shorter for us crazy hard-core tourists.
But maybe you’re someone who enjoys the rain for its own sake. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, because whatever the actual weather outside, stormy scenes and rain effects can be found throughout Walt Disney World.
Here are ten things to do in Walt Disney World if you love the rain.
1. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
“The rain rain rain came down down down in rushing, rising riv’lets…” This attraction has not only a scene with awesome rain effects but also a whole song about rain. My favorite parts are the rain washing away the words on the book page and how the ride vehicle “floats” through this scene.
2. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
I am so happy this attraction is no longer “under new management.” It reopened in August 2011 with a show much more like the original. At one point, the show is interrupted by a crash of thunder and the room goes dark, which, not surprisingly, tends to frighten some small children. For a brief time, simulated rain streams down outside the windows.
3. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
This rain effect is a little more obscure. It happens in the first scene. Sarah says she needs to take the laundry off the line before it rains, and John says it’s not going to rain because his lumbago isn’t acting up. Then there’s a flash of lightning, a roll of thunder, and you can see rain start to pour down outside the kitchen windows. “Oh well, the cistern was low anyway.”
4. it’s a small world
OK, this one is even more obscure. The roommate and I had to watch a ridethrough video to make the call. We decided that the incandescent streamer-type things in the rainforest scene are in fact representing rain, not waterfalls as I had remembered it.
5. The Great Movie Ride
The rain effect in this attraction happens in one of the first scenes, and again it’s accompanied by a song. It’s an Audio-Animatronic of Gene Kelly, swinging from a lamppost and singing “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Bonus: If you want to recreate that scene for yourself, you can find an umbrella mounted on a lamppost in the Streets of America. To get there from The Great Movie Ride, walk down Commissary Lane and walk up the Streets of America toward Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. The lamppost will be to your left. If you stand on the black square under the umbrella, water shoots out the top so it looks like it’s actually raining. The effect isn’t always working when I’ve tried it, but maybe that’s because I’m often there in the winter when it’s colder.
6. Studio Backlot Tour
In addition to the flash floods and fires, one of the less startling effects you experience in the Catastrophe Canyon scene is a rain effect. Sit on the right side of the tram if you want to stay dry!
7. Voyage of The Little Mermaid
At the beginning of this show, as you see Eric’s ship coming over the horizon, a rain starts to fall on stage. It serves as a transition from above to below the surface of the water, but I say it counts as a rain effect.
While the main thing you might remember from Maelstrom is the trolls, there’s also a brief scene toward the end with a storm on the North Sea.
9. Living with the Land
You can’t have crops without rain, so one of the first scenes on this boat ride is a storm scene, with plenty of thunder and lightning. “The approaching storm may seem violent and destructive to us, but to nature it is a new beginning in the cycle of life.”
10. Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe is a no-brainer for this list, since there are rain effects inside, but because you can find the same thing in your local mall, I don’t consider it a “Disney” experience. Still, if you want to experience all the rain effects on property, you’ll have to make a stop here.
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A rain-themed day in Disney World will involve three parks plus Downtown Disney. You can start at whichever park opens first, but I like to go from Magic Kingdom to Epcot (via monorail) to Hollywood Studios (via boat), because it involves no buses (and I love Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning!). You will have to take a bus to Downtown Disney, though.
This list turned out a lot longer than I thought it would be when I came up with this topic! Can you think of any rain effects that I missed?