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Don't panic, Disneyland in the Rain can be really fun! I'm sharing all our tips and tricks for how to plan for a rainy day at Disneyland!
Let's be honest, rain is pretty rare here in Southern California….and it seems to send all of us into a total panic. I promise, whether you're a local or a visitor to the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland in the rain can actually be REALLY fun and has some definite advantages (hello low crowds)!
With a little planning, you can have an amazing rainy day at Disneyland…..and will get a chance to experience attractions and experiences that you otherwise may have avoided.
Disneyland in the Rain
Disneyland in the rain tends to be a low crowd day (remember when I said us Southern California residents are scared of it? EVERYONE stays home)……and it's a great chance to get onto rides and experiences that you might otherwise skip due to long waits. We were at Disneyland in the rain last weekend on what was normally a fairly crowded day, and were able to walk RIGHT onto tons of rides (we even rode the Monster's Inc ride in Disney California Adventure twice back to back)!
What to Expect:
If you're visiting during a rainy day a lot of people wonder is disneyland open in the rain…..yes, it is although at times park hours can be adjusted. A few times recently during heavy rains the parks have closed slightly earlier than usual (10 pm instead of 11 pm). Be sure to install the Disneyland app, it will alert you immediately if any park hours are adjusted (we got the notice first thing in the morning).
Certain parades and character appearances may be cancelled or adjusted to protect the safety of the performers. Usually those announcements will be made over the speaker system or you can ask a cast member (often there will be cast members stationed in the viewing areas to update guests).
Most rides will run as long as it is safe and they don't fill with water. And they will reopen as soon as possible.
Gear and Equipment:
Shop all Gear and Equipment:
Having the right gear and equipment will make ALL difference when visiting Disneyland in the rain. We always bring: ponchos, rain boots or shoes, a waterproof backpack, a couple small washcloths or towels, and a change of socks.
Ponchos: Rain jackets are great, but ponchos are easier to wear in layers. When you're carrying a backpack and other accessories, ponchos are easier to drape over everything and they also fold up easily for storage. We love THIS Adult poncho and THIS kid version.
Rain Boots or Shoes: Depending on forecast, we've done rain boots or sneakers on rainy days at Disneyland. If it's scattered showers, we usually do sneakers and just avoid the puddles. On more consistent rainy days, we'll wear rain boots (these are my personal favorites). If it's hard to decide: bring rain boots and store them in the lockers at the front of either park…..you'll be happy you have them as an option.
Small Washcloths: Small washcloths or a towel will come in handy to wipe down seats and tables, or to help dry off wet kiddos.
Weather App: We've tried a ton of weather apps, but Dark Sky is my current favorite. You can set “precipitation alerts” and a notification will pop up on your phone to tell you when rain will start in your exact location and about how long it will last. It helps to plan when you'll head to a show or an indoor ride.
Indoor Rides and Shows:
The best way to enjoy Disneyland in the rain? Make a list of indoor rides and shows, that way you have options ready to go when the rain starts falling!
Indoor Rides, Shows and Experiences at Disneyland:
When visiting Disneyland in the rain, we tend to stick to Main Street to wait out longer periods of rain. Main Street Cinema is really fun to see Steamboat Willie Shorts, and we love to wander through the Disney Gallery and Disneyana, plus Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a great hide from the rain location.
The Disney Gallery
Disneyland Railroad (covered with a small roof, but sides are open)
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
Main Street Cinema
Alice in Wonderland (except for a very brief outdoor portion)
It's a Small World (boats MAY fill with a couple inches of water)
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Peter Pan's Flight
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough (currently closed for refurbishment)
Snow White's Scary Adventures
Storytelling at the Royal Theatre (great show for younger kids)
New Orleans Square:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Enchanted Tiki Room
Indiana Jones Adventure
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Donald's Boat (the lower level is covered)
Goofy's Playhouse (has an indoor AREA)
Mickey and Minnie's Houses (character meet and greet available)
Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin
Indoor Rides, Shows and Experiences at Disney California Adventure:
Our favorite escape the rain spot in Disney California Adventure is the Animation Building….you can take a drawing class (Animation Academy), visit Turtle Talk with Crush, check out the Sorcerer's Workshop (and the hidden Beast's Library), shop in Off the Page (they usually have a Disney artist sketching which is fun to see) and watch clips of Disney movies in the main area. It's great for killing an hour or two!
Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome
Disney Junior Dance Party
Frozen Live at the Hyperion
Guardians of the Galaxy
Monster's Inc, Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
Sorcerer's Workshop (and the hidden Beast's Library)
Turtle Talk with Crush
The Bakery Tour
Paradise Gardens Park:
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Under the Sea Adventure
Soarin' Around the World
Toy Story Mania
How to See Characters:
My biggest tip for seeing characters on a rainy day at Disneyland? BOOK A CHARACTER DINING EXPERIENCE. Trust me, it will be worth every penny. The Plaza Inn breakfast has indoor tables, the brunch at the Storytellers Cafe (inside the Grand Californian) is totally inside, Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel is inside (and is also a dinner option), and Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast (at the Paradise Pier Hotel) is also indoors. You'll get your fill of characters, and a chance stay nice and dry.
Other Fun Indoor Activities:
Rainy days are fun times to do a little Disney taste testing! Visit one of the restaurants with indoor seating, and try out ALLLLLL the fun Disney Foods you've been meaning to taste. Warning: best to make reservations if you can!
Disney Indoor Dining Options at Disneyland:
Alien Pizza Planet (Tomorrowland)
Blue Bayou (New Orleans Square)
Carnation Cafe (Main Street)
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (Main Street)
Plaza Inn (Main Street)
Rancho del Zocalo (Frontierland)
Red Rose Tavern (Fantasyland)
Disney Indoor Dining Options at Disney California Adventure:
Carthay Circle Lounge (Buena Vista Street)
Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe (Buena Vista Street)
Flo's V8 Cafe (Carsland)
The Golden Horseshoe (Frontierland)
Lamplight Lounge (Pixar Pier)
Smokerjumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak)
Tea at the Disneyland Hotel
Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian
Napa Rose at the Grand Californian
Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel
Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian
Surfside Lounge at the Paradise Pier Hotel
Final tip: Don't forget about Downtown Disney as an option for rainy days. Splitsville is a great experience, and they have TONS of indoor dining options!
Have you visited Disneyland in the rain? What are your favorite tips and tricks?