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Nobody visits the Disneyland Resort expecting someone to rain on their parade. While the majority of days will be sunny and pleasant at The Happiest Place on Earth, Mother Nature has been known to put a damper on things. What can you do? If you happen to be visiting Disneyland in the rain, there is a bright side. We've experienced the park in our soggy froggy rain boots a few times and have picked up some Disneyland rainy day tips to keep you warm, dry and entertained. Plus, we have a list of our favorite Disneyland rainy day rides!
As they say in the Enchanted Tiki Room, "every cloud has a silver lining." The rain keeps many locals away, as they have a hard time navigating the freeways at the first sign of the wet stuff. (I'm kidding, Southern California. You know I love you.) With the locals off the roads, out-of-town visitors have more of the parks to themselves and can enjoy shorter lines. Knowing how the rain affects rides and entertainment can help you plan for a successful day without any disappointment. Being prepared with the right gear can keep you dry and happy. So let’s hop in this puddle and plan the fun with some Disney California Adventure and Disneyland rainy day tips!
8 Essential Disneyland Rainy Day Tips
1. BYORG (Bring Your Own Rain Gear)
Bring umbrellas and/or ponchos and other supplies. While selfie sticks are banned, umbrellas are welcome. You can buy hooded ponchos in the parks near the water rides, but you can save some money and pick up a sturdier rain poncho (at about half the price) at a Lowe’s or Home Depot. Dollar stores may have inexpensive ones, too. (We like to buy a multi-pack from Amazon and keep a couple in our backpack.)
When it comes to umbrellas, bring one that folds down very small. You can easily stow it when indoors or the rain lets up. One time I had a long umbrella with a large handle sticking out of my backpack. Let's just say it did not end well for some mugs in a gift shop when I walked by.
Stroller covers are also hopful "just in case" additions to a backpack or diaper back, though ponchos also work wonderfully for this in a pinch. At times, Splash Mountain hands out free plastic bags to keep your phone dry! We keep them for return trips.
Also, in a sea full of clear Mickey ponchos, you'll be glad to have colored ponchos that stand out from the crowd. Other essential rain gear ideas include hats and water-resistant shoes or boots that are good for walking and have a good grip (to prevent slips and falls). Keep your phone safe and dry in a plastic bag.
If you have a small towel with you, you will probably be able to put it to good use. Bringing a thin, waterproof tablecloth can provide you with the perfect ground cover to sit on if there are parades and the ground is still wet. You’ll never regret packing an extra pair of warm socks just in case.
2. Here We Are Now, Entertain Us
Plan your entertainment. If you know the hourly forecast for your visit, you can possibly look ahead to see your greatest possibility of catching each show listed in the Entertainment Guide. Are the fireworks going to be canceled? They could be canceled for rain, but heavy winds will definitely cancel the show. The fireworks are often canceled on dry nights due to heavy winds. You can usually get a good sense of whether (weather?) or not they will be canceled by talking to Disney cast members throughout the day. The parades might be modified. World of Color can still run in the rain (it is all water, after all), so planning to catch World of Color on the projected wettest night. And if you do miss anything, at least you can check it out on our YouTube channel. Keep an eye (and ear) out for alternate options, as well!
During a rainy day trip in 2019, we got to see “Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade” with some of the Main Street vehicles and characters.
3. Get a Locker
There are lockers in both parks, as well as in between the parks. You can rent a locker with in-and-out privileges for the day. Stash some warm, dry sweatshirts or jackets in the locker for later, and swap them out for damp clothes. If it stops raining, those thin ponchos can become surprisingly heavy and bulky once you stuff four of them in a backpack, so shake them out and stow them in a locker for a later time if the rain lets up. Jumbo lockers can sell out early, but you should have no problem acquiring a standard locker, which is plenty large enough for a standard backpack and collapsible umbrella. A large locker holds two backpacks. If you will have your backpacks out in the rain, you might consider lining them with a trash bag to keep your contents dry.
4. What Time Is It? Showtime!
Enjoy some live shows. Frozen—Live at the Hyperion at Disney California Adventure is completely indoors (but not its line), and the two daily shows at the Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre in Fantasyland at Disneyland are under cover. Mickey and the Magical Map is under a canopy. You can catch indoor live entertainment in The Golden Horseshoe, as well. The Enchanted Tiki Room also provides a dry escape to enjoy a show.
When it rains, the characters go under cover and you can find a variety of them inside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln building throughout the day. (We caught sight of Donald Duck, the Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil and later three princesses at once in there as we exited the show!)
5. Check the Forecast
One of our favorite Disneyland rainy day tips is a splashing good time. If rain is expected later in the day, experience the attractions that might close during rain before the storm hits. Rides such as Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Autopia, Storybook Canal Boats, Gadget’s Go Coaster and Pirate’s Lair at Tom Sawyer Island are good choices to hit before the skies open up. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, Goofy's Sky School, The Golden Zephyr and The Redwood Creek Challenge trail at California Adventure may also close in the rain. Other rides may close if is really coming down or there is lightning in the area. On the other side of that, if you're wet, get soaked! Enjoy the short waits for water attractions such as Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Grizzly River Run at California Adventure.
Toontown’s low entrance under the train tracks has been known to flood in very heavy rain, temporarily trapping guests there until the water can be drained, so it's wise to avoid this area during heavy downpours.
6. Hit the Shops
Spend some time souvenir shopping if it’s raining buckets. Perhaps a souvenir Disney umbrella, hat or light jacket is in order.
7. Dine Indoors
There are several indoor dining locations. You might want to make indoor restaurant reservations through Disney Dining. Coffee shops and quick-service restaurants may fill up more quickly in hard rain, but you’ll have no stress if you plan some indoor meals. Splurge on the elegant Carthay Circle Restaurant, romantic Blue Bayou or fun Lamplight Lounge. Carnation Café has some indoor seating, as does the River Belle Terrace and Café Orleans (though it's limited). You can also hop over to one of the Downtown Disney options. We have more tips on dining here.
Some quick-service Disneyland dining locations with a roof include:
- The Plaza Inn
- Red Rose Taverne
- Bengal Barbecue
- Golden Horseshoe
- Pizza Port
Some quick-service restaurants that will keep you dry at Disney California Adventure include:
- Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café
- Flo’s V8
- Smokejumper’s Grill
8. Let it Go!
Perhaps our top Disneyland rainy day tip is to make the best of it. Channel your inner frog: splash in puddles, ride water rides over and over, buy hot cocoa and sing in the rain. Don’t worry about the froglets. Pack some extra dry clothes and let them jump in puddles to their heart’s delight. Rainy days at Disneyland offer a special kind of magic and will certainly make your trip more memorable.
Best Disneyland Rainy Day Rides and Attractions
If the rain is really pouring down, we like to find rides with the lines that are mostly indoors or at least under cover. Most Disneyland rides are indoors, but some have outdoor lines. The best Disneyland rainy day rides have indoor lines.
The best Disneyland rainy day rides and attractions:
- Star Tours - The Adventures Continue
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion (some of the line has no cover, but the attraction is completely indoors)
- Splash Mountain (if you are already wet, why not?)
- Snow White's Enchanted Wish (formerly Snow White’s Scary Adventures)
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Minnie’s House
- Mickey’s House
- Space Mountain (all indoors if you have a FastPass; some parts of line may be outdoors)
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
- It’s a small world (this ride tends to have a short outdoor wait, but this slow mover keeps you inside for a long time)
- Visit Princesses at the Royal Hall
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (some parts of line may be without cover)
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Mickey and the Magical Map
- Main Street Cinema
The best Disney California Adventure rainy day rides and attractions:
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Monsters ,Inc.
- Frozen—Live at the Hyperion
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome
- Animation Academy
- Sorcerer’s Workshop
- Disney Junior—Live on Stage
- Toy Story Midway Mania (some outdoor line)
- The Little Mermaid
- Grizzly River Run (if you are already wet … if not, you will get soaked)
Chances are, you will get to experience something fun you might have passed up in nicer weather, so a rainy day can keep things fresh and exciting. Ironically, many of these attractions are also ones we turn to when we are trying to escape summer heat and sun because they offer air conditioning and shade.
Have you visited the parks during a downpour? Have any Disneyland rainy day tips to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: The Best Time to Visit Disneyland