Navigating Disney World in the summer can be challenging- it’s crowded, it’s hot, the kids are tired, you’re tired, and it rains. For those who don’t spend their free time tracking central Florida weather- although I can’t imagine who that would be- there is one vital thing to know- summer is a rainy, rainy season.
The days (for the most part) start off cool, quickly heat up to a sticky, oppressive heat that makes you question wearing clothes, then suddenly, mid-afternoon, the winds kick up, the torrential rains (often thunderstorms) come, and things cool off a little. Maybe it rains off and on for the rest of the day, and maybe it doesn’t.
But something magical happens when the rain moves in…There is an instant mellowing of what had, up to that point, been a frenzied buzz of energy. People slow down. Even as guests are sprinting for cover from the storm, you get a sense that the atmosphere has relaxed.
Rain ponchos become the great equalizer. There’s a sense of fellowship in sharing the experience of wearing a paper thin sheet of plastic as armor in a battle with the elements. Dignity, pride, and positive self-evaluation are all thrown by the wayside in favor of trying to stay dry.
And as this moving sea of plastic grows, so does the sense of community. The type of community that can only come from a shared experience.
As you shuffle into a theater to the repetitive spiel of “take it off and shake it off,” each person awkwardly peeling out of the now-stuck-to-you plastic and shaking the water out, giving a little shimmy in the process, chuckling because it’s a fun new defining mantra of your vacation…you look around and take in the soggy, smiling faces, the rain-soaked lands, the ominous clouds looming overhead, and the pure happiness of being forced to slow down and take a breath…and you realize it’s magical. THIS is magical. It’s what a Disney vacation is meant to be. And suddenly that wet, sticky piece of plastic doesn’t seem so bad.