Sunny southern California is the perfect place for a year-round outdoor theme park. It’s no wonder that it is the birthplace of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. The Disneyland experience is virtually the same across the board with the exception of some hotter days during the summer. However, there are a few days when visiting guests must adjust to the experience of Disneyland in the rain.
When it rains at Disneyland, the day is far from ruined, but it definitely throws a wrench into your plans. Sometimes it’s best to just avoid going and postpone your trip until another time. Other times, that might be an impractical solution and you have to just work with the weather.
Here are some things to consider before you visit Disneyland in the rain.
Once you arrive at the parks, keep in mind that some outdoor attractions may close during heavy rain or thunderstorms. This is for the safety of guests and cast members. However, many of the indoor attractions will remain open, so take advantage of these options.
In Disneyland, some of the popular indoor attractions include:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s a Small World
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
At Disney California Adventure, you can enjoy these indoor attractions:
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
While you wait for the rain to subside, consider checking out some of the indoor shows and entertainment options. Disneyland offers a variety of shows, including:
- Mickey and the Magical Map
- Fantasy Faire Theatre
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
Disney California Adventure also has some great indoor entertainment options, such as:
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
If you’re looking for a place to take a break and grab a bite to eat, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure both have a variety of indoor dining options. Some popular options include:
- Blue Bayou Restaurant (Disneyland)
- Plaza Inn (Disneyland)
- Carnation Cafe (Disneyland)
- Lamplight Lounge (Disney California Adventure)
- Wine Country Trattoria (Disney California Adventure)
- Flo’s V8 Cafe (Disney California Adventure)
If you don’t mind getting a little wet, there are still some outdoor attractions that can be enjoyed in the rain. Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, respectively, may be open during light rain.
Keep in mind that you will get wet on these rides, so plan accordingly.
The benefit of Disneyland in the rain when it comes to rides is that there may be fewer crowds to contend with. Lots of local guests will cancel their plans.
If you don’t mind getting soaked, or come prepared with a poncho, you could take advantage of dispersed crowds as other guests look for shelter.
Indoor Dining at Disneyland While It’s Raining
Even with reduced crowds, the guests who do visit Disneyland in the rain will funnel into congested indoor spaces. Shops are difficult to navigate and it’s difficult to find an indoor table if you want to stop for a meal.
Outdoor dining spaces are useless in the rain, so you may find that you have trouble finding a convenient place to eat.
If you don’t have reservations anywhere and you can see that in-park dining is going to be a problem, try taking a short break from the park and trotting over to Downtown Disney. You can take the monorail from Tomorrowland to the Downtown Disney terminal to avoid a long sloshy walk.
Outdoor Entertainment is Usually Cancelled in the Rain
The absence of atmosphere entertainment in the rain has the biggest psychological impact on your overall Disneyland experience. Disneyland relies heavily on the atmosphere, so the missing characters and performers only augment the dreariness of a rainy day at the park. Rain also has an impact on huge draws such as parades and fireworks, which even further diminishes the experience.
If you encounter rain at Disneyland be prepared for cancelations and have a plan B so that you aren’t too disappointed when this happens.
Note: When visiting with kids, be aware that rising waters are of a bigger impact to them. Be prepared to slow down and stop frequently and make sure they have plenty of layers on and changes for soaked clothes.
There are plenty of things to do if you decide to stay in the Parks despite the rain! Throw on a rain poncho and hit your favorite rides! Like Disney California Adventure, the shops are connected so it’s easy to roam through and shop or watch the candy makers do their thing.
Hunt for the penny press machines to fill your pressed penny collection book with or for some of the hidden mickeys that are all over!
What to Bring to Disneyland While it’s Raining
If you’re heading to Disneyland and it looks like it might rain, it’s a good idea to be prepared so you can still have fun despite the weather. Here are some things you might want to bring with you:
- Raincoat or Poncho: A waterproof raincoat or poncho is a must-have item to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day. You can purchase a disposable poncho at the park or bring your own from home.
- Umbrella: A compact umbrella can also come in handy if you prefer to keep your hands free while exploring the park.
- Waterproof Shoes: Wear comfortable shoes that are waterproof or bring an extra pair to change into if your shoes get wet.
- Extra Clothes: Bring a change of clothes, especially socks and shoes, so you can stay dry and comfortable if you get wet.
- Ziploc Bags: These can be useful for storing electronics or other items that you want to keep dry.
- Towels: Pack some small towels or handkerchiefs to dry off and wipe down wet surfaces.
- Waterproof Phone Case: Protect your phone from the rain with a waterproof phone case or bring a plastic bag to store it in.