Your Guide To Visiting Animal Kingdom During A Rainy Disney World Day

Rainy days at Disney World can be a bummer, but don't let it ruin your day at Animal Kingdom. Some of the best memories are made when you're dancing in the rain. An inclement weather day doesn't mean you need to miss out on all the fun and adventure that Animal Kingdom has to offer. We have experienced several rainy days at Disney World, and our experience has led us to prefer them on occasion (especially as a reprieve from the Florida heat and humidity). In addition to our own experience, we researched other Disney World blogs and websites to see what they had to say about going to a theme park in the rain.

Understanding Disney's inclement weather policy and properly preparing for a rainy day is the best way to ensure you still enjoy your vacation. We'll tell you which shows and rides are still open during the rain and which characters you can also meet when the weather isn't favorable. We'll also suggest non-ride activities, dining options, and places to shop when it rains so that not a moment of the day feels wasted. 

Is Disney World Still Fun in the Rain?

Rainy weather may seem like a bummer at Disney World, but there are plenty of ways to still have an enjoyable experience. Animal Kingdom, specifically, offers several indoor attractions and covered queues that can keep you dry while allowing you to explore the park. Rainy days often mean shorter wait times for popular rides which is an excellent opportunity to enjoy them without waiting in long lines.

To fully embrace a rainy day at Disney World, it's important to come prepared with rain gear such as ponchos and umbrellas. Plus, some attractions may even offer a different experience in the rain. Don't let bad weather put a damper on your trip; instead, see it as an opportunity for unique experiences and new adventures. One of our favorite ways to escape wet weather is by taking in a show, which is easy to do at Animal Kingdom. Deciding to look at the weather in a positive light can turn your day around and make it a fun memory for you and your family.

Understanding Disney's Inclement Weather Policy

Disney's Inclement Weather Policy protects guests and Cast Members alike. While truly severe weather can close the theme parks, there are usually no closures or refunds for rainy days. To ensure a comfortable experience in rainy weather, we strongly recommend using ponchos or umbrellas, wearing water-resistant or quick-dry shoes, and bringing zip-top bags to protect items like electronics and cell phones. Ponchos are typically available for purchase in the theme parks, but you can significantly save by purchasing those before you arrive at the parks. Planning a visit to Animal Kingdom with potential inclement weather is vital and should include checking the forecast and adjusting itineraries accordingly.

Visiting on a rainy day can offer certain advantages, such as shorter wait times and fewer crowds. Plus, some of the attractions and shows may still operate during light rains, providing unique experiences that you wouldn't get on clear days. Keep in mind that some outdoor rides or attractions might close during heavy rain or thunderstorms for safety reasons. Also, remember to stay hydrated, which is easy to forget when you're soaked, and wear appropriate footwear when visiting during rainy weather to prevent slips or falls.

Preparing for a Rainy Disney Day

When planning a trip to Disney World's Animal Kingdom, it is essential to prepare for the possibility of rain. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that you have an amazing time even on a rainy day. As previously mentioned, packing ponchos or rain jackets to keep yourself dry while exploring the park is the simplest way to stay dry. Additionally, consider bringing waterproof bags or covers for cameras and phones to prevent them from getting damaged. Moreover, take advantage of indoor attractions like shows and exhibits during downpours, and use rainy days as an opportunity to experience popular outdoor rides with shorter lines.

Always check Disney World's official website for weather updates or the My Disney Experience mobile app for any updates regarding ride closures due to inclement weather. By being adequately prepared and flexible with plans, you can make the most out of your visit to Animal Kingdom regardless of the weather forecast.

Shows to See at Animal Kingdom When It's Raining

Animal Kingdom has a range of indoor shows that visitors can enjoy when outdoor plans are disrupted due to rain. The Festival of the Lion King is a popular attraction that features acrobatics and music performances in an indoor theater. Guests become part of the show by cheering for their section as warthogs, elephants, giraffes, or lions. Classic songs like "The Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" will have your toes tapping in no time.

 "Finding Nemo...The Big Blue and Beyond!" is another show that employs puppetry and live actors to bring beloved movie characters to life. This show includes favorite characters like Nemo, Dory, Marlin, Crush the Turtle, and Bruce the Shark. For a unique 3D experience, "It's Tough to be a Bug!" takes guests on a journey through the world of insects. "Up! A Great Bird Adventure," is an outdoor show featuring exotic birds hosted by Russell and Dug from the film "Up." It is the only show that may be affected by weather conditions. 

Thrill Rides at Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest is a fast-paced ride that takes you on an exciting journey through the Himalayan mountains. With its twists and turns, this roller coaster offers a thrilling experience that is sure to get your heart racing. Alternatively, Avatar Flight of Passage provides a 3D flight simulation that will make you feel like you're soaring through the skies on the back of a Banshee from the world of Pandora. For those interested in prehistoric creatures, the Dinosaur ride takes you on a journey through a jungle filled with animatronic dinosaurs. It is mostly a dark ride, and it can be quite intense in some spots. On Kali River Rapids, guests can cool off and enjoy getting wet on this white-water rafting adventure. If you're already wet from rain, a ride on the rapids won't feel any different!

Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids are the two rides that will be most affected by weather as the majority of each ride is outdoors. Be sure to check for any updates before planning your visit to these attractions.

Family-Friendly Rides at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is a great place for families with kids to enjoy exciting rides and unique experiences. One of the most popular attractions is Kilimanjaro Safari, which offers an up-close view of African wildlife in their natural habitat. This attraction can still operate in light rain, but it can close for lightning, heavy rain, or winds. Another must-try ride is the Na'vi River Journey. On this slow-moving boat ride, guests can journey through a bioluminescent Pandora and marvel at its beauty. 

In DinoLand USA, Dinosaur, as previously mentioned, is a bit more thrilling, but tweens and teens will appreciate its more mature ride experience. For younger family members, TriceraTop Spin is perfect because it has no height requirement and is a slower-moving ride with no hills or sudden movements. It's worth noting that TriceraTop Spin may be temporarily closed during rainy weather, so be sure to check ahead before making plans.

Which Characters Still Meet When It Rains?

When it comes to rainy days at Animal Kingdom, some of the character meet-and-greets may be moved indoors or to covered areas that will protect characters and guests from the elements. Mickey and Minnie, dressed in safari gear, meet indoors at the Adventurers Outpost so they will not be affected by rain. However, for safety reasons, other character greetings may temporarily stop during heavy rain or winds, including characters who wave to guests from boats that ride around the Animal Kingdom waterways. 

Characters who typically appear by boat include Rafiki, Pluto, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, and Timon. If you're looking for other character interactions on a rainy day, you can still find Donald, Chip, Dale, and Goofy in Dinoland USA. While some character meeting areas may offer covered protection from the rain, others may not have that luxury. It's always a good idea to check with a Cast Member or consult an online schedule for any changes due to inclement weather.

Where to Shop at Animal Kingdom When It Rains

If you're looking to shop for unique souvenirs while on vacation, Mombasa Marketplace is a great option. Located in the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom, this marketplace offers African-inspired merchandise that can be the perfect keepsake for your trip. If you're a fan of Pandora — The World of Avatar, Windtraders is the place to go for unique merchandise inspired by the movie. This shop is at the exit of the ride Avatar: Flight of Passage.

Over on Discovery Island, near the Tree of Life, Island Mercantile offers a wide range of plush toys and clothing. Opposite Island Mercantile, Riverside Depot offers home decor with Disney themes. Finally, Discovery Trading Company features a variety of clothing, jewelry, and toys that cater to all ages. Riverside Depot and Discovery Trading Company are connected stores within the same building.

Dining Options at Animal Kingdom When Raining

Animal Kingdom offers several dining options for visitors seeking shelter from the rain. Yak & Yeti Restaurant is an excellent choice with both indoor and outdoor seating options. It is one of our favorite places to eat. Tusker House Restaurant is another option that serves African-inspired cuisine and has indoor seating available. It also offers character meals that allow you to knock out a meal and meet characters all in one spot! Both aforementioned restaurants do require reservations, but they also accept walk-ups. For quick service options that can seat you immediately, try Pizzafari, on the way to the Africa section, or Restaurantosaurous, located in DinoLand USA.

For those interested in barbecue, Flame Tree Barbecue is quick-service and offers both indoor and covered outdoor seating. If you're looking for a unique dining experience, Satu'li Canteen has Pandora-themed food that's sure to intrigue your taste buds. It also has plenty of indoor and covered outdoor seating. If you want to take a break from dining and just want to enjoy some drinks, Nomad Lounge is the perfect spot. With views of Discovery River, it's an ideal place to relax while waiting out the rain.

Non-Ride Activities at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom offers a variety of activities that cater to all age groups. At the Affection Section petting zoo and Conservation Station, visitors can engage in interactive exhibits that allow them to learn about different animals and their habitats. For those who prefer to stay dry, there are walking trails like the Maharajah Jungle Trek or Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail that offer an opportunity to observe animals up close in their natural habitats.

One of the most popular activities at Animal Kingdom is Wilderness Explorers. Just like Russell from "Up," guests can earn badges by exploring different sections of the park and finding other Wilderness Explorer Leaders. This activity is ideal for families with children as it encourages them to be curious and learn about nature while having fun. With over 30 different challenges, the Wilderness Explorers program is an excellent way for kids to become Senior Wilderness Explorers themselves. 

Tips for Making the Most of a Rainy Day

Animal Kingdom is a fantastic destination to visit on a rainy day as it boasts numerous indoor attractions. Visitors can take advantage of popular shows like "It's Tough to be a Bug!" and "Finding Nemo...The Big Blue and Beyond!" that are not affected by the weather. They can also explore animal exhibits such as the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail or the Maharajah Jungle Trek which have spots throughout each experience to give guests a reprieve from the rain. Furthermore, shorter wait times for outdoor rides mean that visitors can enjoy them without enduring long lines.

A change in weather can also provide a unique atmosphere and experience within the park, so don't let the rain dampen your spirits! Make sure to bring appropriate rain gear like umbrellas or ponchos so you can fully enjoy all that Animal Kingdom has to offer. Additionally, there are plenty of dining options available where you can warm up and grab a bite to eat while waiting for the rain to pass. Overall, visiting Animal Kingdom on a rainy day can be just as enjoyable as any other day, thanks to its wide range of indoor activities and attractions.


We have experienced all four of Walt Disney World's theme parks on a rainy day. Of course, preparation is key to having a great time, and that includes dressing appropriately, checking the forecast, and knowing which rides and attractions will be opened or closed during a rainstorm. In addition to our hands-on knowledge, we also consulted other theme park expert websites to see if their suggestions were similar or different enough from our experiences to warrant inclusion in our story.