It’s officially wintertime in Southern California, and we locals are feeling the chill, especially in the evenings. We don’t usually get much rain around here, so it’s usually a pretty big deal when it does start to rain in the winter months. For the past few weeks, it’s actually been pretty rainy, and on social media, there’s a growing concern amongst guests who have plans to visit Disneyland about the rain and how it will affect their trip. Sure, everyone wants nice, sunny weather for their trip, but I’m here to tell you that rain at Disneyland can be kind of fun, especially if you are prepared for it! Here are some of my tips for you on what to expect and how to have the most fun on a rainy day over at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.
- Bring an extra shirt or pullover, and don’t forget either a poncho or rain jacket and an umbrella. Let me tell you your experience won’t be as terrible if your clothes are kept somewhat dry! Nothing is worse than walking around in the cold rain when you have cold, wet clothes on as well. If you are kept relatively dry and have a good covering for your head, you will be more comfortable and may even appreciate how beautiful the park is in the rain!
- If you notice it’s supposed to rain during your visit, try and book dining reservations for an indoor restaurant such as Café Orleans, Blue Bayou, etc. We all know how hard it is to get a dining reservation at Disneyland these days, so if you are having trouble getting a reservation, fear not, you can always try just walking up once you’re in the park. Some spots even allow you to join their waitlist (I’ve had more success with this than anything). If you don’t succeed with a walk-up or making a dining reservation, you will want to eat at an indoor quick service dining spot like Alien Pizza Planet. They have tons of options and oversized windows so you can enjoy the rain while you dine. Other options include The Golden Horseshoe, Plaza Inn, and Carnation Cafe.
3. Some attractions, unfortunately, do close down when it rains. These attractions may include:
- Alice in Wonderland
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- The Mad Tea Party
- Main Street Vehicles
- Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
Disney California Adventure Park
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
If you don’t want to stand in the rain while in line, there are plenty of attractions with indoor queues such as Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit, Space Mountain, Star Tours, most Fantasyland rides, Jungle Cruise, and more. Over at California Adventure attractions with indoor queues include Guardians of the Galaxy, Monsters Inc., Soarin’ Over the World, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story Mania, and more.
4. You can shop till you drop while it rains at the parks! All shops are inside, so you can spend countless hours making your way down shops on both sides of Main Street U.S.A., Buena Vista Street, and all around the parks. Heck, there’s usually even candy, ice cream, or coffee shops in between stores, so you can sit to enjoy a hot chocolate or dessert if you need a break from all the shopping!
5. My absolute favorite thing to do at Disney’s California Adventure when it rains is to go to The Disney Animation Building in Hollywood Land. It’s an extremely magical building full of activities. You first enter into a big room with couches in the middle of the room and TVs that cover the walls. It’s a place to take a break, sit down, relax, and take it all in. Different clips from classic Disney and Pixar movies play, each screen playing something different from the films, whether original sketches, a closeup of characters or short clips. It plays on a loop with many other classic film clips, so it’s a great place to escape the rain and take in the magic.
Animations Academy also has different sections where you can go into different rooms for various activities. Sorcerer’s Academy invites artists of all ages to take a seat and join an actual Disney artist, where they will teach you to draw a Disney character. Visit the Sorcerer’s Workshop to create your own simple animation in the Magic Mirror Realm and uncover your “inner Disney self” in The Beast’s Library (one of my personal favorite things to do)! You can also step up to the “hydrophone” for a live chat with Crush, the totally tubular turtle from Finding Nemo—and meet his new pals from Finding Dory at Turtle Talk with Crush.
6. Unfortunately, when it rains, there is a strong chance there will be no firework show or parades. While this will be a disappointment for many, it just means there’s more time for rides! You can also take the opportunity to walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, where you can walk up the towers and witness a series of scenes from the wondrous fairytale. Between both the parks, there’s just so much to do, so if entertainment is canceled due to weather, don’t let it get you down and take the time to enjoy other available and open things!