When it rains, the fun doesn’t stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Most of the park’s attractions are located indoors, and a significant number of the shows and rides will continue through the rain. But you might have to step out in the bad weather as you move between different attractions, so better plan on getting soaked.
Summer is hot and humid, and besides Christmas time usually the busiest months at Disney World. But this is also a time associated with plenty of rain and thunderstorms in Florida. If you are planning your Disney trip at this time, it’s a guarantee that you will be caught in the rain mid-afternoon especially.
From the word go, pack right, leaning towards quick-drying clothes and ponchos. At the studios, adopt a rain-embracing attitude and choose your rainy day attractions wisely. Stick to indoor attractions and activities.
Interestingly, there will be some parks that remain untouched by the wet weather. That is because Disney World sits on vast acreages of land. That means therefore that rain shouldn’t cast a shadow over the whole of your DHS trip. Beware though that some outdoor attractions/shows are shut down if lightning is detected within just ten miles.
What to Wear to Hollywood Studios When it Rains?
As discussed earlier, there is an everyday chance of it raining at Disney World over the summer months. It would be wise then to step out of your hotel well prepared. Here are some items that might save your day from coming to a crash when it rains:
Your clothes need to be light and made of fabrics that are quick to dry. Heavy cotton shirts and jeans will have you soaked for hours even long after the rain stopped. You will then be shivering miserably for the rest of your trip.
We usually roll in light athletic shirts like Nike or Under Armour and then shorts with short socks and comfortable shoes for walking. We avoid things like heavy jackets, long socks or anything that can get extra weight and be heavy while also taking longer to dry.
Ponchos and raincoats
An umbrella might not provide enough cover. Ponchos offer extra coverage on occasions of high winds that make a child play out of a regular-sized umbrella. If you stepped out of your hotel without a raincoat or poncho, you could quickly grab one at a Disney gift store.
Bringing your own saves a lot of money but you can easily find one if you decide it makes sense once the rain starts.
Stroller rain cover
You will also need a stroller rain cover to keep your baby dry as you walk through the rain. The rain cover also prevents the stroller from getting soaked if you leave it out in the rain. Remember to always keep it closed just in case a light shower comes out of nowhere. It can be disappointing to come back to a soaked stroller after having a pleasant time indoors.
If you rent a stroller a lot of the companies include this for free or with a small charge. It’s crucial to keep the little ones from being soaked.
A small towel will make it easier to dry yourself after stepping through the rain. Drying yourself fast could help to ensure that the cold doesn’t get to you.
Pro tip: In a pinch, you can use an extra shirt or jacket that you packed for a little one.
How to plan Hollywood Studio visits on a rainy day?
Unlike many parks at Disney World, Hollywood Studios has many indoor rides that work just fine through the rain. Your fail-proof options here would include the Rock and Roll Coaster, The Star Tours, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania.
Remember though that several attractions might get cancelled when it rains. These include live performances outside. Beauty and the Beast, Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Fantasmic!, and Slinky Dog Dash are some of the shows that often get closed for the rain. Alien Swirling Saucers is closed for lighting. Shows like the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and the Frozen Sing-a-Long carry on even when it pours. Toy Story Land is probably the ideal place to start in the morning before the lines get long and the any chance of mid-afternoon storms.
- Plan your tours for the morning
- Schedule in an afternoon siesta
- Settle down for a nice meal or shop for keepsakes
Plan your tours for the morning
It usually starts to rain somewhere between 3 and 5 pm. If you distaste the idea of getting drenched on a Hollywood Studios tour, consider getting up early. You can have the most fun at the parks before the afternoon showers and thunderstorms. That being said, the weather in Florida can be a bit unpredictable so go out with an open mind.
Schedule in an afternoon siesta
If you hit the parks early, you will have gone through most of the attractions by afternoon. Before the rain clouds open up at around 3 pm, head back to your hotel for a nap. There is beauty in sleeping through the rain, staying warm under covers satisfyingly exhausted from your explorations. After that, you can grab dinner and prepare for a fun-packed evening. If it rained heavy you might get lucky and have light foot traffic for the evening.
Settle down for a nice meal or shop for keepsakes
If it starts raining while you are still at the parks, it would be time for a rain check with indoor activities. Consider taking that time to shop for souvenirs or settle down for a meal with your family at one of the restaurants. There are many fantastic table service restaurants at Hollywood Studios, each serving delectable dishes.
Remember though that getting a table at these restaurants can be a hassle, an early reservation could help. If you don’t get a table, consider a quick-service restaurant. There are many of these at Hollywood Studios, and they serve equally exciting cuisines that will keep your mind off the nasty weather. There is always plenty of indoor space at Backlot Express or ABC Commissary, to mention but a few.
Hollywood Studio Indoor Tours and Shows for a Rainy Day
When it rains at Hollywood Studios, you could also just get into a queue for an indoor show. The rain shall have stopped by the time the show ends. The beauty of Florida weather is that it goes back to being sunny quickly shortly after the rain.
As the rain clears out the crowds, you may be able to get quicker access to the attractions. Armed with your raincoat and waterproof boots, don’t let the rain stop you. Here are some of the attractions for rainy day fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
- Starr Tours
- The Muppets
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show
- Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster
- The Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Hyperion Theater—Frozen
- Walt Disney Presents
A ride on Star Tours could make you forget the bad weather outside. This is an indoor ride, and the queue is indoors as well. It is also a good thing that the experience changes with every single ride; you could cycle through this attraction many times as you wait for the rain to abate.
One other fantastic attraction when it rains at Hollywood Studios is the Muppet*Vision 3D. This attraction starts with pre-show, eventually guiding tourists through the Muppet Studios. The queue for the Muppets is indoors as well. It’s an exciting line, winding through the Muppets labs and hallways featuring the Muppets posters and props. Because of the big theater here, it is almost a guarantee that you will get a seat for the lengthy show.
Star Wars Launch Bay
One cool place to wait for the rain to stop is the Star Wars Launch Bay. It is a large building that can accommodate many people. This walk-through attraction at Hollywood Studios hosts many meet-and-greets. It’s a chance for fun interactions before the rain stops.
Disney Junior Dance Party
This live show used to be the Disney Junior-Live on Stage! It was an attraction featuring characters from favorite Disney Junior TV programs. December 2018 Disney World went with the Dance Party direction, choosing characters from Vampirina, Mickey and the Roadster Racers and Doc McStuffins. Part of the queue to this show overflows outside so try to get in line early enough to stay dry.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show
This live show attraction is located just across the Disney Junior Dance Party. Its waiting area is indoors, but if there are many people, it might spill to the outside. The show itself is indoors, and it uses several mind-bending special effects such as light and laser projections. It starts with a pre-show of King Triton’s trident. You then enter a large theater where the show begins.
Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster
This is an indoor roller coaster that might take care of adrenaline junkies when it starts to rain at Hollywood studios. It is a banging ride, featuring appearances by Aerosmith. The coaster moves at 92 km/h. You get to travel through three different inversions including the half-corkscrews, sea-serpent roll and half vertical loops. You might get a special welcome from members of the Aerosmith band on arrival.
The Tower of Terror
As it pours outside, you can get your freak on at the Tower of Terror and take photos for Instagram while at it. You might not like the fact that the queue overflows to the outside, but it could be all worth the trouble. Inspired by the Twilight Zone, this park is a drop tower ride. This building is the tallest at Disney World and houses the Guardians of the Galaxy. Through this ride, you will stay pretty dry even as the elevators open to a rainy world.
Toy Story Mania
This 4D theme park attracts the masses, and may just be the right place to be when it rains at Hollywood Studios. It’s a fun experience. You get to wear 3D glasses as you ride on spinning vehicles, cruising through virtual worlds. There are also 5 mini-games and music while queuing for the ride. These include:
- The Pie Throw Practice Booth –the pie toss game
- Hamm and Eggs – the egg throw game
- Rex and as well as Trixie’s Dino Darts- the Dart throw game
- Green Army Men Camp – baseballs throw and plate breaking game
- Buzz Light year’s Tossers – the ring toss game
- Woody’s Rootin’ Shooting’ — the cup shooing game
These games feature Toy Story characters including Hamm, Woody and Rex, among others. On top of that, the sophistication and the mesmerizing technological innovation at the park will make you forget about the bad weather.
If you are a fan of Frozen, then the rain shouldn’t bother you anyway. Head over to the Hyperion Theater for a sing-along celebration with Queen Elsa, Kristoff and Princess Anna Frozen. The show takes about 30 minutes, giving you a chance for IRL interaction with Frozen’s real characters. The rain should have subsided by the time the show ends.
Walt Disney Presents
This museum attraction at Hollywood Studios, detailing the life of Walt Disney from his early childhood to the point he created the animations and theme parks. It only makes sense that as you marvel at all the wonders in the parks, you might have asked yourself who made all that possible. Walt Disney Presents is an attraction with all the answers, and an excellent way to pass the time as it rains.
Among the things on display here includes Walt’s artifacts, a short movie on Walt Disney’s life, and Oscars for several Disney movies. Here is also the place to catch trailers for upcoming Disney movies. You will get to meet characters such as Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. This tour can take as long as one hour.
What Is Closed at Hollywood Studios When it Rains?
While a lot of things stay open some are closed when the weather becomes inclement. The live performances outside can close during the rain:
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucers
When it rains, the fun doesn’t stop at Hollywood Studios. There are plenty of things to do, and luckily most of this park’s shows and attractions are indoors. You could shop, eat at a restaurant or hop from one indoor attraction to another. By the time you are done, the rain would have subsided, allowing outdoor shows to continue.