For locals, rain doesn’t “ruin” a Disney trip. Locals can come and go as they please and avoid nasty weather conditions when needed. For us travelers, however, we don’t have that luxury. Our dates are (mostly) set in stone, and we would lose a great deal of money if we tried to reschedule due to poor weather.
So, you planned a Disneyland trip. You’re excited, counting down the days, and looking forward to all the amazing things you’ll do. You go to check the weather before packing your bags, and there it is...DUN DUN DUN. Rain. Now what?
Well, rain shouldn’t affect your trip too badly. I, for one, am a huge fan of rain. Some of my favorite Disneyland trips have actually taken place in the rain. Both as a child and an adult. But now that I have a toddler, I can definitely understand why the rain could be worrisome to parents, or to people who just don’t enjoy getting rained on. So here are all my different ideas for your rainy day(s) in Disneyland.
One of my biggest tips would be to buy a rain poncho. While you may love the rain, sometimes wearing wet clothes all day can be a tad uncomfortable. I would definitely recommend bringing a rain poncho with you, or buying one in the park (the more expensive option). I know of two in-park locations that sell these rain ponchos, and that’s because I actually bought ponchos from them.
The first is Pooh Corner in Disneyland. If you walk deep into Critter Country, you’ll find the store nestled between Splash Mountain and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
The other location I’ve purchased ponchos from is “Rushin’ River Outfitters,” which sits right next to Grizzly River Run. Basically, when in doubt, look for rain ponchos next to the water rides. I last bought these ponchos in 2016, and I believe they were $9 each. I want to say I got the kid’s size as well, which reached the tops of my knees.
For more locations that sell ponchos, I would try asking Guest Services or checking in Main Street shops.
If you have a small child who will be in a stroller, I definitely recommend buying a rain cover for the stroller. These will ensure that they too are protected from the rain and will enjoy their day in Disneyland. You can find these here.
You will undoubtedly be walking in the rain at some point, whether that be between attractions, or from the parks to the hotel. The rain ponchos and rain covers for the strollers will prove useful to any guest who goes to Disneyland on a rainy day.
If your hotel is far away from the Disneyland Resort and has a shuttle system available, it’s definitely worth splurging on a transit pass. After spending a day in the rain at Disneyland, the last thing anyone wants to do is walk for 20 minutes in the rain. It’ll transport you to where you’re going faster and helps you to avoid any of the complications that come with rain!
Go Hard or Go Home
Now, this section is for my rain lovers. I can’t explain it, but Disneyland has a different atmosphere when it rains. It’s just...unique. It’s an experience that I think all Disney fans should have. If you love the rain, these rainy days should be extremely fun for you.
Take advantage of the shorter lines. Every time that I’ve visited in the rain, I’ve been surprised by the shorter lines. Now I can’t guarantee that this will always be the case, but it has been in my own experience. Usually when it rains, the majority of locals will choose to just come in on another day when it’s not raining. Since they have the ability to just reschedule their plans without cancelling flights/hotel reservations, they’re able to schedule around weather. So usually, it’ll be mostly travelers that are in the parks on these days, since we can’t reschedule our trip.
Also, this obviously also depends on how bad the conditions are. If it’s a light drizzle, I wouldn’t expect much of a change in the lines. If it’s pouring down and very stormy, I would definitely count on the parks being emptier than usual. The lines for rides should be significantly shorter depending on the severity of the weather, so enjoy!
If you’re looking to make a relaxing day out of the rain, you can! I would recommend that you take advantage of all of the shows and experiences that Disneyland Resort offers. I know that I personally don’t take advantage of those offerings too often, as I’m usually riding rides. But these rainy days give you some time to slow down and do things you wouldn’t normally do.
Disneyland has many inside experiences and shows that you will enjoy. One of my very first recommendations is to take the Grand Circle Tour on the Disneyland Railroad. While you’ll be protected from the rain, you’ll also be able to just watch Disneyland in a very beautiful setting. Rain is beautiful, and we don’t often get to see the park in the rain. Watching it from the train is even better.
The Monorail is also another option that can be fun for many. I haven’t been on the Monorail for as long as I can remember, so that’s one thing that I would definitely take advantage of the next time it rains during a visit.
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, The Tiki Room, and Main Street Cinema are also other shows and experiences that I’d definitely recommend on a rainy day.
Along with those ideas, I also recommend taking the time to do some shopping and eating! Nearly all of the Main Street shops are connected, so you don’t even have to exit into the rain. It should be emptier than it is on normal days, so you may have an easier time walking around popular shops like the Emporium.
Disney California Adventure (DCA)
This may be the best place for those looking to relax on a rainy day. My number one recommendation in DCA would definitely be the Animation Academy in Hollywood Land. Here you can learn to draw your favorite characters (characters change each session), you can meet Anna and Elsa, enter the Sorcerer’s Workshop, and talk with our favorite turtle - Crush! He so totally rocks...dude!
Even if you get around to doing all of these things, there’s nothing like sitting in the main area and watching the clips that show the animation that went into some of our favorite Disney movies. You can easily spend a good part of your day inside Animation Academy.
Sunset Showcase Theater is also placed in Hollywood Land and often has a sneak peak of a new movie. I would check and see what they’re offering during your visit.
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is an amazing place to kill time...I mean...watch a show. Look, even if you don’t have young ones with you, it’s a Broadway-caliber show worth watching.
For my adults of legal-drinking age: Lamplight Lounge and Carthay Circle are two places I recommend you spend your time at when it’s raining. They’re beautiful, protect you from the rain, and have some yummy drinks.
Aside from those options, I also would say that Buena Vista Street offers you a better rainy-day shopping experience than Main Street does. Like Disneyland’s Main Street, each side of the street has connecting shops. So you can shop on the left or right without exiting to reach the next (aside from Mortimer’s Market, but c’mon, that’s not a shop).
Things to Keep in Mind
If the conditions are truly bad, there are some things you may not be able to experience. I wouldn’t expect to see the fireworks show, a parade, or ride any outside rides (aside from Matterhorn and Splash Mountain). Fantasyland Theater has also been known to close due to rain. Disney closes down experiences and attractions not only for our safety, but the safety of Cast Members. It may not be ideal, but it’s better than someone getting hurt. For closure updates, please visit City Hall on Main Street, or the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.
Attractions typically closed in the rain:
Alice in Wonderland (Fantasyland)
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (Critter Country)
Gadget’s Go Coaster (Mickey’s ToonTown)
The Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland)
Main Street Vehicles (Main Street, USA)
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island (Frontierland)
Storybook Land Canal Boats (Fantasyland)
Golden Zephyr (Paradise Gardens Park)
Goofy’s Sky School (Paradise Gardens Park)
Jumpin’ Jellyfish (Paradise Gardens Park)
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (Cars Land)
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (Grizzly Peak)
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a little rain. Or a lot of rain. You can still enjoy the Disneyland Resort, regardless of the weather conditions. I promise that you’ll still be able to find something that you’ll enjoy.