Tips to Enjoy & Survive Walt Disney World in the Rain

Yep. We tackled the Magic Kingdom in the rain. Actually, make that a total downpour!  This advice will give you some good tips & tricks to help you survive and enjoy your rainy day at Walt Disney World. The plus side of rain is that crowds are low and lines will be very short to non-existent. We never even needed to use a fast pass and never waited more than 5 minutes for a ride on our wet adventure at Disney World. And my kids (ages 3 & 5) never once complained about the rain – in fact I think they thought it was quite exciting & the rain poncho was quite a novelty!

1. Long live the Rain Poncho

When the rain starts to fall, you’ll start seeing ponchos pop up everywhere. We highly recommend using the Disney ponchos you can buy just about everywhere in the parks. They are $8.00 (as of 1/18/11) and if it rips or tears you can return it to any vendor in the park and get a new one free of charge.  They are available in both child & adult sizes. A good poncho is essential as you need a thicker material and the right length with a hood to keep you dry.

2. Pack extra socks

The poncho provides such great coverage you probably won’t feel too terribly wet. Even in the torrential downpours we were in, they truly offered excellent coverage. However, our feet were another story. I mistakenly only packed extra socks for the kids so my feet were soaked through my wet sneakers. The kids LOVED me giving them new fresh socks mid-way through our sopping wet morning at the Magic Kingdom and trust me I was wishing I had thought to pack socks for Mom & Dad too.

3. Bring a Towel

Yes, really pack a small towel. Besides possibly drying off yourself at some point, you’ll really want this towel if you have kids in a stroller so you can wipe down the buggy in between rides to be sure you are keeping the kiddos dry and comfortable.  And if the sun comes out later after a quick shower, you’ll love this towel to dry off a park bench so you can sit and relax to enjoy the sunshine – and hopefully dry yourself out too!

Wordless Wednesday: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Photos galore from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney. For some video footage take a peek at this behind the scenes video of the Bibbidi Bobbid Boutique at Walt Disney World

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside Cinderella’s Castle at DisneyWorld was well worth every second of Mackenzie’s 45 minute experience. And price wise for Disney’s standards, I felt the value was fabulous if you go for their “budget” options vs the complicated cosutme and photo shoot packages. I paid $54.95 for the regular hair package which also included getting her nails and shimmering make up. And Kenzie was more than thrilled that she also got to take home 2 brand new bottles of blue & pink nail polish along with a palette of shimmering makeup with varied lip gloss colors and eye shadows, 2 hair combs, her tiara, and a studded Mickey barrette all in a shiny pink shopping bag. We loved it and will certainly book an appointment for our next visit.

Dancing with Cinderella at Disney World

Kenzie had her moment to dance with the beloved Cinderella on our Disney vacation last week.
The evening was thrilling for a 3 year old as we met the naughty Stepsisters Anastasia & Drisella, the Wicked Stepmother, Prince Charming and Cinderella.

I highly recommend this Character Dining opportunity with Cinderella and her family. We attended the dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian which was very convenient for us with little kids (ages 3 and 1).  A magical night for my 3 year old – and for all of us watching through her eyes.

They also offer a Cinderella Dinner at the Castle at the “Royal Table” – if you want to do it at the Royal Table you’ll definitely need to book far in advance as those spots fill up months in advance.

Disney World Top 10

So we just wrapped up day 3 of our trip to Disney. Here’s my top ten list so far – top 5 great things and top 5 not-so-great things.

Five Great Things
1) It’s Disney. The little ones truly think it’s all their favorite movies, books, and characters coming to life. It’s great to see Kenzie starstruck when the “real” Sleeping Beauty says hi to her.
2) The fanfare. The endless parades, fireworks, and general frivolity. It really is like a 12 hour party.
3) FastPass. It’s a Godsend when used well. You can “cut” lines legally which is priceless for the impatient kiddies and exhausted parents.
4) Serendipitous Disney employees. You just kind of run into them or they pull you aside – like the street sweeper who personally walked us out of the park when we were lost, the ride operator who gave us VIP front of the line pass to Pooh’s ride, and the train operator who pulled Kenzie aside and gave her a whistle to officially start the toy trains today at Epcot.
5) For the little girls, the hundreds of other little girls that you’ll run into all decked out in their princess gear. Kenzie has made many instant friends with fellow princesses and it’s a blast to see spontaneous ballroom dances emerge from a group of 10 little girl strangers in the main lobby as live Disney music is being played.

Five Not So Great Things
1) Getting here. It’s not Disney’s fault, but even just traveling from Philly to Orlando with a 1 year old and a 3 year old is a big hassle. Door to door it was 9hrs (with no naps!) As a result, you just kind of expect/hope everything to be perfect once you get here. You feel like you kind of deserve it after all that work and the money you spend.
2) The weather. Once again, not Disney’s fault, but we weren’t expecting weather in the 30’s for Florida in March. It has been warming up by late afternoon to the low 60s, but it just hasn’t felt like Florida. The beautiful pool has been serving as one big tease.
3) No wireless access is crippling for this Mommy blogger. It’s 2009 and the flagship Disney World Resort the Grand Floridian does not have in-room wireless? Epcot is all about future technology but the reality for resort guests is stuck in the past. Come on, get with it Disney! In room wired access is $10 a day and it kinda feels like they’re nickel and diming us.
4) Lack of attention to details, considering the “flagship” resort status (and pricetag!). A bunch of small things went wrong so far. Each one is small but all together they just kind of suck. Including, a broken down monorail this morning making a 10 minute commute to Epcot (to capitalize on the hour early opening for resort guests) take an hour and a half, a handful of rude/unhelpful employees, the Disney “Magical” Express (free resort transportation from the airport) added over 2 hours to our already long trip, a video game machine ate up $5 and no employee could help, our faucet was broken, our ice bucket was half full with water from the prior guest and we inadvertently spilled it, nobody offered to take our bags at check-in, getting double billed for our internet access and a very limited kid’s menu (except breakfast).
5) The crowds. Yeah, I guess there’s no avoiding it but the crowds are a real drag. All the people and the long lines are magnified with our little ones who exercise little patience. And who can blame them. On all the Disney commercials and brochures, they’ve been taught to expect that Disney is their kingdom just waiting for their arrival, so Kenzie has a tough time understanding why she always has to wait so long. You never see any crowds in any Disney marketing material – isn’t that funny!

Overall all, I’m a sucker for the manufactured “magic” and will come back in a heartbeat. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit more jaded and would be fine with never coming back again. But if his little princess and prince want to return, I know he’ll rally.

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