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Here’s How to Use Bad Weather to Your Advantage at Disney World

“When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles”

And boy, wasn’t Winnie the Pooh right!

We would all love to be able to bash out some of the biggest rides at Walt Disney World’s theme parks before the Parks even opened, but normally this is reserved for Guests staying at certain Disney Resort hotels.

Well, what if we told you there is a way for you to do this!

The crowds at Walt Disney World have certainly been increasing since its phased reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic, with Disney Guests noticing long wait times for many of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions.

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Credit: Disney Tips

In particular, fan-favorite rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Seven Dwarf Mine Train have seen incredible queues of sometimes over 3 hours!

Back on October 1, Disney rolled out a new early theme park entry benefit for Disney Resort hotel Guests and Guests of other select hotels, giving them the first chance to enjoy select attractions at every theme park, every day.

In addition, with Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration in full swing, Guests staying at one of Disney’s Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotels are also able to enjoy extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks.

These early theme park entrance benefits for hotel Guests take the fun out of the pre-pandemic “rope-drop” excitement, but on certain days, you can also enjoy some early morning theme park action –  if you’re brave enough.

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Credit: Disney Tips

This month has seen particularly cold weather for Orlando, Florida, and mid-January was no different. We were at the Parks and woke up to a torrential downpour that lasted hours.

Instead of staying in bed, we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and were parked by 8:20 a.m. The Park opened at 9 a.m., so we were basically in the front row of the parking lot.

We decided to run to the theme park entrance rather than wait out the rain in our car, and we were so happy we did!

Normally, Cast Members separate out the hotel Guests from us “normal” Guests so they can go ride the select attractions that are open for early morning access.

On super rainy days like this one, crowds were extremely light, and Cast Members informed us that they don’t like standing out in the rain to manage the separation process.

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Credit: Disney Tips

So instead of having to wait for 9 a.m., we were able to walk right up to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and ride it! We did Tower of Terror twice, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster all before the Park even opened.

So if you’re brave enough to endure the torrential rain and don’t mind being soaked and cold, then get up early and you may find yourself in the Twilight Zone before the Park officially opens its doors. We, of course, can’t guarantee this works every rainy day for every Park, but it’s certainly worth a try.

A rare frost advisory was in effect in the Walt Disney World area this cold January week, meaning mornings in the theme parks started off colder than usual. Guests were shivering as they made their way to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom wearing multiple layers in an unusually cold week for Orlando.

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Credit: Disney Tips

Tower of Terror was, in fact, the first theme park ride to be adapted into a movie, with a made-for-television movie released back in 1997 starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst.

The attraction itself has many incarnations across Disney’s theme parks, but all feature the terrifying elevator drop.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, the Hollywood Tower Hotel is located in Sunset Boulevard and takes Guests through a creepy library preshow to the service elevators featuring none other than Twilight Zone host Rod Serling.

Guests at Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris also enjoy different versions of the attraction, while in Disney’s California Adventure, the attraction saw a divisive refurbishment into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! that saw actors like Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana reprising their famous Marvel Studios roles.

So, next time you wake up and the sky is pouring, grab your poncho and get to the Parks early!

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book