Monday, February 6, 2012

Rain, rain, rain...

It’s raining where I’m at today and it got me to thinking about rainy days in the parks.  What do you do, how to plan around it, and what happens when you are caught in it.  
It’s very rare to not experience rain on a WDW vacation, especially during the summer months.  Often called the “Rainy Season”, there is a scientific reason for these daily rain showers.  For those of you who are meteorologically challenged, here’s a brief summary that explains the weather pattern:
The timing and distribution of daily showers and lightning storms during the summer months is closely tied to the north/south migration of the "Bermuda" high pressure ridge.  The position of this ridge controls the low level wind flow and dictates where the Gulf and Atlantic sea breezes collide each day.  This collision often produces storms with frequent lightning and heavy rainfall.  The regularity with which it occurs is also the main reason that the inland area between Tampa and Cape Canaveral is often called the "Lightning Capital of the United States."  
The “Rainy Season” typically ranges from June to September, when there is a noticeable return on humidity.  Once the higher humidity arrives, there is an increase of showers and lighting storms within a few days.
So, suffice to say that there’s a high probability it will rain on your vacation.  Now what do you do?  I think it’s funny to see people scramble when it rains.  Will you melt?  Do these people not take showers or swim?  I know it’s about not getting your clothes wet and I totally sympathize with that.  Walking around a theme park in wet clothes is no fun.  Your shoes are squishy, wet shorts will chafe thighs, shirts become see-through, and you end up freezing inside attractions.  Plus, you don’t want to get your camera or phones wet.  Electronics and water do not mix.  All that being said, there is still no reason to freak out over the rain.  A little preparation goes a long way.  Here are a few tips to consider:
  • Wear shoes that are water resistant or dry quickly.  Neophrene sandals are a good option.  I personally despise Crocs on adults, but for kids, I adore it.  Good choice for little feet.
  • Keep a hat handy to keep your head dry, or water off your glasses. 
  • Don’t use an umbrella; use a poncho instead.  For one thing, these seasonal pop-up showers usually bring lightning with them.  You don’t want to be holding on to something that’s equivalent to a lightning rod.  Plus, umbrellas are annoying to those around you.  They are big and bulky, no one can see around them, and you bump people with them.  It’s just rude.  Seriously, people, bring a poncho.  
I've had these ponchos for years
and multiple Disney trips!
  • Carry a pair of dry socks.
  • Wear clothes that dry quickly.  Jeans and heavy jersey fabrics are not good options.  
  • Carry a small hand towel or Aqua-Towel to wipe off wet seats, benches, or strollers.  An Aqua Towel is somewhat like a shammy.  Absorbs lots of water and dries quickly.  They can also serve as a cooling towel when it gets hot and sticky.  These are my favorite “must-have” for taking into the parks.

That blue scarf is not a fashion statement.  It's my aqua towel!  
  • If your kids are small and need a stroller, consider using the park-rental strollers.  These strollers are made mostly of plastic and can be dried quickly using a hand towel, paper towels, or that new aqua-towel you just bought at my prompting (hint, will love it!).  Wet fabric strollers are no fun, but if you do bring your own, cover it with a poncho or large piece of plastic when it's parked.  Don’t forget to bring clothes pins or binder clips to keep the plastic over it.  Otherwise, you’ll have a big wet mess.
  • Bring a light jacket or hoodie.  Even during the hottest summer months, when it rains, the inside of attractions will get extremely cold.  Even if you’re not wet, it will still seem cold.  Otherwise, you’ll end up buying a sweatshirt, beach towel, or some other item to keep you warm.  My little daughter turned into a popsicle during Festival of the Lion King, after getting wet earlier in the day.  We bought a beach towel to keep her warm.  
Rain moving into the Lights! Motor! Action! show.

Don’t let a little rain ruin your vacation.  The rain can be refreshing on those hot summer days.  The rain tends to drive the crowd levels down.  And when the rain is over, enjoy the crispness of the air and wait for that rainbow to appear.  There’s nothing more special than that!

No comments:

Post a Comment