Making the Most of It: A Rainy Night in Animal Kingdom

Making the Most of It: A Rainy Night in Animal Kingdom

A lot of people worry about rain ruining their Disney World vacations. Don’t let that be you. Rain in central Florida is common, but a good shower can help make your vacation more enjoyable. Why? People leave the parks. And that’s when you slam rides. Bring a poncho and have a great time.

We encountered a massive storm while trying to close Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago. We hid out in the Nomad Lounge, eating sliders and churros. I highly recommend this spot. The churros are the best I’ve ever had. That’s not hyperbole.

The photos in this story aren’t the greatest. I don’t take the good camera to the parks during torrential downpours.

Nomad Lounge ceiling in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Nomad Lounge churros in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Nomad Lounge is one of Disney World’s hybrid quick-service / table-service restaurants. You can’t book 60 days in advance, but you do have to reserve a table to eat there. And reservations can only be made once you’ve entered the park. Find it in your My Disney Experience app.

The plan was to head to Pandora after dinner and get in line for Flight of Passage a minute before the park closed. But the heavy rain was making that difficult. So we watched the radar and waited. At one point, I told everyone to run. Then I realized my mistake and told everyone to come back. The Nomad guests thought we were lunatics. But I needed to ride Flight!

It finally let up enough for us to head to Pandora. The only problem — the bridge was flooded. That’s a new one for me. Bridges usually have great drainage, but not this one. We stood there for a few minutes and contemplated heading to our room. But Flight!

Flooded bridge leading to Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Nobody was going in our direction, but many were trying to leave. Some splashed right through the 3-inch-deep water. Others took off their shoes and socks and went barefoot. Please don’t do that.

So we tiptoed through the mess. Our toes were soaked, but the payoff was spectacular. We walked on Flight of Passage. In fact, the Cast Members asked us which theater we wanted to be seated in. Center, please.

Scene from Flight of Passage in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Another storm cell hit while we rode, so the bridge flood was even worse on the way back. Our feet were completely submerged. So we sloshed back to the bus stop, passing many floods along the way. Florida storms do not play around.

Heavy rain caused flooding in Disney's Animal Kingdom near the Otter Grotto
Heavy rain caused flooding in Disney's Animal Kingdom entrance

The only drawback to our evening was the wet shoes. I spent an hour with a hair dryer before everything was back to normal. I contemplated using the DVC clothes dryer, but didn’t think people would appreciate drying clean clothes after my swamp water shoes had been in there.

Wet shoes thanks to a flooded bridge in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Embrace the rain! You’ll make great memories.