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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, especially between November and March. What can you do? If you happen to be visiting Disneyland in the rain, there is a bright side (and it's usually lower crowds). 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. With the locals off the roads, out-of-town visitors have more of the parks to themselves and can enjoy shorter lines.
The Disneyland park reservation system means that you don't always have the flexibility of switching days at the last minute based on weather. 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 for fun with some Disney California Adventure and Disneyland rainy day tips!
1. BYORG (Bring Your Own Rain Gear)
Bring umbrellas, raincoats, rain boots, shoe covers, ponchos and other supplies with you when visiting the park. While selfie sticks are banned, umbrellas are welcome. A store clerk gave us a bag to put our umbrellas in for the rides and it was so hopful. You can buy hooded ponchos (about $12) and umbrellas (about $17) in the parks at most stores, but you can save some money and pick up a 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.) Have ears? Try PonchEars, which allow room for your ear headbands.
We frogs find raincoats a lot more comfortable in the parks than ponchos. Plus, you have to remove the poncho for some rides (but not all). But ponchos are hopful in keeping our backpacks and fanny packs dry too. In really bad rains, an umbrella with a raincoat or poncho is the way to go.
Keep in mind that winter rain in Disneyland tends to be much colder than rain in Disney World. Do your best to keep your family warm and dry to make the best of it.
When it comes to umbrellas, bring one that is compact and folds down to a small size. That way, you can easily stow it when indoors or when the rain stops. One time, I brought a long umbrella to the park and its large handle was 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 and accidentally knocked them all over.
Frogot your umbrella? You can purchase one in the park for about $17. Sometimes cast members keep them behind the counter.
Keep your phone safe and dry in a plastic bag. Speaking of plastic bags, if you line the inside of your backpack with a garbage bag, it will keep the contents dry. Have an extra plastic bag to hold wet items. 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 can also use it for seated viewing included in the Fantasmic! dining packages (a blanket is hopful too). That ground can get very cold in the winter.
If you have a small towel or some washcloths in a dry pocket, you will probably be able to put them to good use. If you wear glasses, having something dry to wipe them with is essential. Your iPhone screen doesn't work when wet, so use a towel to keep it dry. You can use a towel to dry tables and seats — even ride seats — before sitting down. We frogot a towel one visit, so we stuffed our pockets with some restaurant napkins, which really came in handy.
Wearing a baseball cap or hat with a brim can also protect eyes and glasses from raindrops. A rainy day is also a good day to skip eye makeup or switch to waterproof eyeliner and mascara. I've found braids and ponytails make hair easier to deal with in the rain.
In terms of clothing, we find that athleisure wear and hiking pants work well in the rain. They dry quickly. Jeans ... not so much. Avoid pants that hit the ground or have a flare at the bottom or they may start absorbing all the puddles.
Other essential rain gear ideas, besides raincoats, include hats and water-resistant shoes or boots that have a firm grip (to prevent slips and falls) and are good for walking.
I wear waterproof, all-weather Nikes during winter storms, and they keep my flippers warm and dry all day. Lily never turns down a chance to wear her rain boots! You'll want to keep your feet dry, so don't froget to pack an extra pair of warm socks just in case. Shoe covers have been increasing in popularity.
2. Bring a Stroller Cover
Stroller covers are also hopful additions to ensure your backpacks and diaper bags stay dry, though ponchos also work wonderfully for this purpose. Ponchos can prevent your tadpoles and your belongings from getting wet! In a sea full of clear Mickey ponchos, you'll be glad to have colored ponchos that stand out from the crowd.
Don't have a stroller cover? A large trash bag (or two) is a hopful item to have with you on a rainy day. You can place it over the seat or car seat when you park it. Later you can store wet items in it. Try to park your stroller under some kind of covering whenever possible if rain is in the forecast.
Now, let's talk about strollers in the rain. Of course, you want to keep your tadpoles dry and warm. But pushing a stroller in the rain while holding an umbrella over your own head and dodging other guests is nearly impossible. Trust me, you'll want hands-free rain gear for yourself when you bring a stroller. Whether that is a poncho or raincoat is up to you.
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 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 (as we already mentioned).
Carry as little as possible on you. A raincoat with zippered pockets is hopful. A small fanny pack or cross-body bag can hold the essentials. Again, bulky items are a pain in the rain.
4. What Time Is It? Showtime!
A covered show is a great way to get out of the rain. Catch a silly version of "Beauty and the Beast" or "Tangled" during Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire. That theater is under a covered roof, however, during big storms, the shows get canceled as the rain creeps into the outdoor theater. You can sometimes catch indoor live entertainment in The Golden Horseshoe, as well. The Enchanted Tiki Room provides a dry escape to enjoy a show. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a great indoor spot to hide from the rain.
When it rains, the characters go undercover, 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, Cruella De Vil and once we exited the show, three princesses!)
At Disney California Adventure, Hollywood Land is the place to be during the rain. Mickey's PhilharMagic will get you indoors. Across the street, the Animation Building is filled with indoor activities, including Turtle Talk with Crush and Animation Academy. You can meet Anna and Elsa in that building too! If you have little ones, they can get their wiggles out at the Disney Junior Dance Party.
Plan your entertainment. If you know the hourly forecast for your visit, you can look ahead to determine your greatest possibility of catching each show listed in the Entertainment Guide. Some outdoor shows will get canceled in the rain. Are the fireworks going to be canceled? Disneyland could cancel fireworks for rain, but heavy winds will definitely cancel the show. The fireworks are often canceled on dry nights due to heavy winds. But the good news is that projection and music shows can go on in any weather. You can usually get a good sense of whether or not fireworks will be canceled by talking to Disney cast members throughout the day.
Expect rain to modify or cancel parades. World of Color runs in the rain (it is all water, after all), so plan to catch World of Color either way! 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.
Parades and cavalcades are likely to be canceled due to rain. It's not safe for dancers to perform on wet ground. During one rainy trip, we got to see “Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade” with some of the Main Street vehicles and characters. But this may be a significantly smaller show with just Mickey and pals in smaller town vehicles, depending on the day. It does not always run, but it's a nice surprise when it does.
5. Check the Forecast
Check the hourly weather so you know what to expect throughout the day. If you expect rain later in the day, experience the attractions that might close due to rain before the storm hits.
Rides such as Alice in Wonderland, Mad Tea Party, Storybook Canal Boats, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Casey Jr. Circus Train and Pirate’s Lair at Tom Sawyer Island are good choices to get in line for before it starts pouring rain. Dumbo and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad run in the rain unless lightning is present.
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, Goofy's Sky School, the Golden Zephyr and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at California Adventure may also close in the rain. Other rides may close if the downpour is extreme or there is lightning in the area. On the other side of the coin, if you're already wet, you might as well get soaked! Enjoy the short waits for water attractions such as Grizzly River Run at California Adventure and Tiana's Bayou Adventure (once it opens later in 2024) at Disneyland.
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. If you are stuck, the new ride in the land — Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway — is an indoor attraction with an indoor queue, making it a great choice during the rainy season. The same applies to Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin.
6. Hit the Shops or Hotels
Spend some time souvenir shopping if it’s raining buckets. Perhaps purchasing a souvenir Disney umbrella, hat or light jacket is in order.
You can also hop over to the lobby of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to warm up (or dry out) by the huge fireplace. That hotel has some indoor restaurants such as Storytellers Café, GCH Craftsman Grill and Hearthstone Lounge.
7. Dine Indoors
Luckily, there are several indoor dining locations available for guests at Disneyland Resort! You might want to make indoor restaurant reservations through the Disneyland app ahead of time though. Coffee shops and quick-service restaurants may fill up quickly in heavy rain, but you’ll have no stress if you plan some indoor meals. Splurge on the elegant Carthay Circle Restaurant, the romantic Blue Bayou or the fun Lamplight Lounge. Magic Key holders can dine in the covered Magic Key Terrace. Carnation Café contains some indoor seating, as does the River Belle Terrace and Café Orleans (though it's limited). Oga's Cantina is indoors. 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 or covered areas include:
Some quick-service restaurants that will keep you dry at Disney California Adventure include:
8. Let it Go!
Perhaps our top Disneyland rainy day tip is to make the best of it. Tell yourself the rain never bothered you anyway! Channel your inner frog: splash in puddles, ride water rides over and over, buy hot cocoa and sing in the rain (or scream on roller coasters). 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. If the sun comes out, look for a rainbow!
9. Check Park Hours
Sometimes the parks close early due to weather conditions. The parks usually send a message out that day in the Disneyland app if the hours change. We also update park operating hours in our SoCal Severe Weather Updates post.
10. Bring a Towel
Carry a small towel or washcloth to dry off your phone, glasses, seats and other things that get wet. Keep it in a dry pocket. We cannot stress how much this small item helped us stay dry in the last storms!
If the rain is really pouring down, we like to find rides with the lines that are mostly indoors or at least under a cover. Most Disneyland rides are indoors, but some have outdoor lines. The best Disneyland rainy day rides have indoor lines. Some rides, such as "it's a small world," have an outdoor line but are long indoor rides.
The best Disneyland rainy day rides and attractions:
Sometimes, rainy days are the best days in terms of ride wait times. Especially if there is just rain and no lightning. We've enjoyed very short waits on some rainy days.
The best Disney California Adventure rain day rides and attractions:
Disneyland Rides that Close in the Rain
These rides close first in the slightest rain but others may follow in more severe weather, especially if there is lightning:
Disney California Adventure Rides that Close in the Rain
These rides may not operate in the rain. Others will close in more extreme weather or if there's lightning:
Keep in mind that you may face more ride closures on a rainy day. Be flexible and roll with the punches the best you can.
Chances are, you will get to experience something fun you might have passed up in sunnier 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
Los Angeles Family Vacation,
Disney California Adventure,
I always use a large crossbody purse to keep my hands and arms free for rides. If rain in forecast I bring an old Disneyland plastic bag to wrap around purse to keep it dry. I forgot one time and a cast member at The Emporium graciously gave me a plastic bag I could use.
Great advice, Dee - thank you for sharing!
Thank x the update.
Thanks for hopping by, Julia!
I have to share that if there is heavy rain, like we experienced in December of 2016 avoid Toontown! The entrance is lower and caused it to flood over our ankles. There wasn't even rain on the forecast, other streets were flooded as well. But the inside rides stayed open and when the rain stopped on and off (and we went back for dry shoes and pants) the rides were back up and running. Umbrellas do work great and their priority is to keep everyone safe and the rides going if at all possible!
This information is very helpful and I am feeling more relaxed about the trip. Thank you................
Don’t waste 10 bucks on one poncho get the ones on amazon they sell many
Personally I really liked the quality of lingito’a family pack.
I got the lingito family pack poncho for 80% cheaper than they sell in Disney !
You can get them on amazon extra thick and works great
I know it almost never rains in Anaheim during the
month of June, but if it were to pour buckets on the
day(s) I am planning on going to Disneyland (the
last week of June - only a few months away!!!), I
was just wondering if the Alice In Wonderland ride
ever re-opens later in the day once the rain stops
and the ground drys up, or do they have to keep
it shut down until the next day? Also, does rain
force the monorail and/or the train to shut down,
or are they only affected by winds and/or lightning?
It's usually a rare occasion to get rain in late June, so don't spend too much time worrying about it! If Anaheim does get some rare summer rain and Alice in Wonderland closed, the ride would reopen once it dried up. The monorail should not be affected by rain, but we have seen it shut down in summer heat because it is not air conditioned. Light rain should also not affect the train, but heavy rain and lightning might force them to close it since it is all open air and passengers could get wet. But again, this is an unlikely scenario!
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