What Can You Ride at Animal Kingdom When It Rains? Your Complete Guide

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What rides close at Animal Kingdom when it rains?

If you’re traveling to Orlando and see rain in the forecast in the days leading up to your trip, DON’T PANIC! It rains over 50 inches per year in Orlando. Most of that rain falls in the summer and fall during hurricane season. 

The rain usually comes in the form of afternoon thunderstorms that move in and out of the area relatively quickly. Severe weather rarely continues for the entire day in Florida. However, it’s always a good idea to pack raincoats or ponchos in your backpack or stroller.

The Walt Disney World Resort is well aware of the climate and weather of Central Florida. They have a vested interest in keeping both cast members and park guests safe. 

With that in mind, some attractions are designed to minimize the impact bad weather has on guest experiences at Disney theme parks. And many of the rides at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are housed inside buildings so they can continue operating even in heavy rain. 


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But some outdoor attractions do close if it rains at Disney parks.

At EPCOT, Test Track will close in the rain. Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios closes when it rains. 

Magic Kingdom has several rides that close when it rains, including Splash Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

Animal Kingdom has rides that close in response to rain, too. The good news is that it’s a short list since Animal Kingdom only has a few outdoor rides.

Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is one of the few outdoor rides at Animal Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (closes for rain)

You’ll find this outdoor coaster in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. 

The thrill ride has a height requirement of 44 inches, and although it doesn’t go upside down, it does treat riders to some big drops and major twists and turns. 

The theme of this ride revolves around the age-old quest to catch a glimpse of the mysterious Abominable Snowman, and there are a few scary parts. 

It completely makes sense that the ride closes temporarily for rain. It wouldn’t be very safe or fun to ride in a tropical storm.

Kali River Rapids
Kali River Rapids is a river raft ride where you will get wet (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Kali River Rapids (closes for rain)

Also located in the Asia section of the park, this ride takes guests on a river raft journey. Riders must be 38 inches tall. 

Even on sunny days, you should plan to get wet. Riders will buckle up in a circular raft that spins and bumps along rapids. Some folks will get doused, and others sprinkled, but you can’t really know who the lucky riders will be until it’s all said and done. 

Pack a Ziplock bag for your electronics on this one, rain or shine. Given that this ride is outdoor and involves water, closing during anything more than light rain is a no-brainer.

Read Also: How do you pack a bag for a theme park? The theme park backpack list

TriceraTop Spin in Animal Kingdom
TriceraTop Spin is in DinoLand, U.S.A. (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

 3. TriceraTop Spin (closes for rain)

This outdoor ride has no height requirement, and it’s located in DinoLand, U.S.A. It’s like the Magic Kingdom’s Dumbo The Flying Elephant but with adorable green triceratops instead of elephants.

Although the queue is covered to provide sun protection, the ride is exposed to the elements and has to be closed when it rains.

Child on safari ride in Animal Kingdom
A baby elephant makes an appearance during the Kilimanjaro Safari experience. Kilimanjaro Safaris stays open during rain (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Kilimanjaro Safaris

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail may also close due to inclement weather, but Kilimanjaro Safaris stays open! 

That’s right, you can still drive through the preserve and see lots of animals in the rain. In fact, many of the animals’ activity level increases in response to the rain.

Therefore, Kilimanjaro Safaris is a great attraction to try during a rain shower. You’ll stay covered in line, and you may get a unique look at some incredible animals engaging in different behaviors because of the rain.

If you’re using the Disney Genie+ service (built into the app) and a ride closes for rain during your return time window, Disney will automatically apply a “multiple experience” return time to your account. This means that you can return to the original ride scheduled later in the day once it resumes operation OR you may have the option to skip the line on a different attraction.

Whether or not you’re taking advantage of Genie+ services, it’s always a great option to wait out the rain in a queue for one of Animal Kingdom’s indoor rides. Sometimes long lines are your best bet for staying safe and dry during a lightning storm. 

The Na'vi River Journey
The entrance to Na’vi River Journey (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Na’vi River Journey and Avatar: Flight of Passage

Two of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions have cool immersive queues that you won’t mind spending time in. Both Na’vi River Journey and Avatar: Flight of Passage have longer wait times and queues that will keep you covered.

My family recently experienced a heavy downpour at the Magic Kingdom. And we rode it out by ducking into a showing of Mickey’s PhilharMagic. While waiting to enter the auditorium, I placed a mobile order at Columbia Harbor House using the My Disney Experience app. 

We got a bit wet on the quick walk from Fantasyland to Liberty Square, but our rain gear kept us mostly dry. By the time we finished our lunch, the skies had cleared. If you know what to expect and prepare well, there’s no reason a little rain should keep you from having a good time on your Disney vacation.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has plenty of indoor options for entertainment that will keep you dry during an afternoon shower. This includes several indoor shows that are often overlooked but are a lot of fun. However, a pop-up thundershower is a perfect time to check out one of these indoor entertainment options.

Read Also: Animal Kingdom Breakfast: Where to find breakfast at Animal Kingdom

 1. It’s Tough to be a Bug (indoor)

This 3D movie show is housed below the Tree of Life on Discovery Island. It features characters like Flick and Hopper from Disney and Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life”.

The show only lasts about 8 minutes, but it has some dark and scary moments. If bugs creep you out, maybe skip this one and opt for a different show.

Festival of the Lion King
Visitors will recognize the familiar characters from this theatrical presentation (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King (indoor)

This theatrical presentation features familiar characters and music from Disney’s award-winning film “The Lion King”. The theater is in the Africa section of the park.

Shows begin on the hour and run for approximately 30 minutes. Check the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date schedule.

3. Feathered Friends in Flight (indoor)

This show isn’t indoors, but the open-air theater is covered. The show typically continues even in rainy weather.

The 25-minute show features a series of incredible birds showing off their special talents. The theater is located in the Asia section of the park and shows run every hour throughout the day.

4. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! (indoor)

This musical show will be returning soon with familiar favorite songs and characters.

Disney has announced it will also have updated content including characters from the popular sequel “Finding Dory”. The original show lasted approximately 40 minutes, and the theater is located between Asia and DinoLand, U.S.A.

What is your rain plan at Disney World and Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.

This musical show will be returning soon with familiar favorite songs and characters.

Disney has announced it will also have updated content including characters from the popular sequel “Finding Dory”. The original show lasted approximately 40 minutes, and the theater is located between Asia and DinoLand, U.S.A.

What is your rain plan at Disney World and Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of author


Kirby Russell

Kirby Russell is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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