Crowds or Rain

Please help me decide what to do.
Plans to visit MK on Friday. Dining and FP+ res made months ago. A number of weather outlets calling for 60-90% chance of thunderstorms. The storms will be bringing in a cold front so it most likely won’t be the quick afternoon shower. Traveling with DH and our two young daughters.
We can possibly move things around and go to MK on Thursday. Weather suppose to be gorgeous except crowds higher and we won’t have any FP+ reservations. Also, MK closes at 8.
We typically break mid day
Cannot decide if it’s worth dealing with the crowds and no FP+ for beautiful weather and chance to do out door meet and greets, dumbo, etc (even tho we may be waiting in long lines). Or we take our chances with the weather Friday, use ponchos and a stroller cover and leave when it gets really bad.
Also, in bad weather does a bus operate between GF and MK since the little boats will not be operational?

Most people will say poncho up and carry on but I think touring in the rain is tough with a little one. I personally would trade. With the exceptions of 7D and Anna/Elso I would bet that you would be able to switch the other fast passes. I would also just not take a break and forge on to 8:00 if that is doable with your family.

Although I just did a quick check of my weather app (because Disney World is always one of my cities) and it looks like the Weather Channel is only giving Friday a 10% chance of rain and Thursday 50%. Maybe wait and see - the weather can be crazy.

We did MK for 2 days last Sept with our 5yo and 3 to boys. It rained really hard the morning of the first day. (CL 3) We had a stroller with rain cover so the boys were dry, but really wanted to get out and see things. The good: low crowd levels made lines super short. The bad: wet clothes and shoes (we changed mid day when rain stopped) and kids who really didn’t want to ride in the stroller.

The next day the weather was beautiful, but crowds were noticeably higher (CL 7). But with a good TP, we still didn’t have to wait in line much.

I would say if little ones are in a covered stroller, don’t be afraid of the rain. Plus, what kid doesn’t like splashing in puddles?

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It’s hard to tell how a group will react to rainy days without experiencing one. You’d have a better handle on that than we would. I know that’s not very helpful, but I know people who love to visit the parks in the rain and others who it’s not worth the limitations. What I can offer is a few things I’ve found helpful when touring in the rain:

  • Wear shoes that dry quickly: I bought waterproof sneakers after a trip when rains came for days without stopping, while others have their suggestions. Since your trip sounds like it’s soon, you probably don’t have time for shopping, but having an extra pair of shoes may give you something to wear while another pair is back in the room drying out
  • Wear fast drying clothes: A lot of athletic “tech” fabrics dry out really quickly and comfortably, unlike cotton or other fabrics that can be soggy and miserable to wear. The poncho doesn’t keep all the rain out
  • Have a change of socks (or don’t wear them)
  • Carry a towel (so you can dry off when you go inside for meals or rides)
  • Consider a touring plan that minimizes walking (so you’re not outside very often)
  • Use Photopass (if you’ve purchased it): Normally, I have my camera ready almost all the time, but since it’s stuck in a bag or in the room on rainy days, I’ll seek out the photographers who are stuck out on the weather. The shots of folks in their ponchos will help tell the story (whether it’s of all the fun you had or one your family will laugh their crazy day in the rain)

You asked about the boats and there will likely be buses running, though I’d probably take the monorail to GF from MK, since it’s closer to get under cover and it’s easier to roll a stroller onto the monorail. Also note that the boats will still run in the rain. They just pull them out of service if the “seas” get too rough.

You also mentioned giving up character meets. A lot of those are already under cover and many others get relocated to nearby locations under cover. I’m not an expert on where those alternate locations are, but maybe others here (or Kenny the Pirate?) have some suggestions about character meets on rainy days.

I don’t think I would change plans because Florida weather can be so unpredictable! The last time we went, we checked the weather before heading to Epcot (that same morning!) and we thought we were in the clear, so left our ponchos in the hotel. It rained. :frowning: So, I would say just anticipate rain and prepare to deal with it, and hopefully the forecast will be wrong in your favor!