When going on vacation, it is safe to assume that you likely hope the weather will be all sunshine and clear skies. This makes sense, especially if you are going to be visiting an outdoor venue like theme parks. Sometimes, though, the weather does not match up with our plans, resulting in some disappointing storm clouds sneaking into the picture. Luckily, Disneyland offers a plethora of events that make even gloomy days a little bit magical! Plus, the California weather is generally sunny, meaning storms pass quickly through the area and rarely last all day long!
Bring a Rainy Day Prep Bag
If rain is in the forecast during your vacation, try throwing together a rainy day prep bag so you have supplies on hand to help keep you dry and comfortable until the storm passes. A lot of people recommend bringing along a small drawstring backpack to hold all of your storm supplies so you can toss it back in once the storm passes and the items are wet. Throw in some basic rainy day items like ponchos, kid sized rain boots (you can bring adult ones too but they will probably be a bit bulky), extra dry socks for everyone (wet socks in a theme park can ruin a whole day), umbrellas, etc. Anything you would normally want to have to bring a bit of comfort in a stormy outing. Some people even pack some extra underwear to help keep themselves extra comfortable, which certainly is not a bad idea, especially if you are clumsy and may find yourself slipping into a puddle.
If you cannot bring your own bag along or the rain hits suddenly, you can pick up rainy day basics at many of the stores through the park, as well.
Enjoy A Show
If it is really raining, why not take the fun inside and enjoy one of the amazing performances offered in the park? There is a massive variety of different stylized shows to choose from and you can certainly find something for everyone to enjoy. Showtimes are the same each day so you can easily check online to find the nearest events. Some options include:
- The Enchanted Tiki Room
- The Dapper Dans: A Barbershop Quartet
- Meet Tinkerbell at Pixie Hollow
- Storytelling at the Royal Theatre
Other shows take place randomly so be sure to talk to a cast member and ask what is going on to be directed to the closest events!
Grab a Bite!
If you really want to get out of the rain, why not use the storm as an opportunity to go grab a meal? The restaurants remain open during bad weather and offer an air conditioned place to stay dry until the rain passes. This could be a great excuse to try something new and spend some time together outside of the hustle and bustle of the ride lines and storefronts! On rainy days the park is usually less busy so the wait for your food will likely be less than it is on a sunny day, which is an added bonus, too!
Catch up on Shopping
Like the restaurants, the stores remain open during rain showers. Take some time to go look through the stores and pick up some souvenirs. You will get to stay dry while still engaging in some Disneyland fun, plus once the rain has passed you will be able to enjoy the park fully for the rest of your time since the shopping is already out of the way! This plan lets you enjoy every aspect of the park regardless of the weather situation surrounding you!
Take a Breather
If the weather is really putting a damper on your park experience, why not take a break and head back to your hotel room for a quick nap? You can set an alarm and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go explore once the storm as passed! This is a great option for those traveling with younger kids who may need a break anyways, as the storm can help act as an excuse to get overstimulated children to willingly leave the park, avoiding a temper tantrum from kids who do not want to leave the fun but need to recharge for a bit. Since storms pass quickly in California, grabbing an hour nap would probably do the trick!
Go For The Rides
If it is raining, most of the rides in the park do remain open. Disneyland carefully engineered their park around the California climate and took weather hazards into consideration while creating each and every piece of the magical venue. Due to this, they can keep almost all of the rides in operation during rainstorms and rarely have to close everything down! Plus, since most people go inside during rainstorms, your wait times will be significantly shorter than usual, making it possible to get in some of the bigger rides that would normally take up a large chunk of time.
The rides that typically close in rainy weather are:
- 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
Some food stands, like the popcorn and churro carts will close as well. Many characters, especially the mascot style ones, will go inside to get out of the rain, too, but you can still catch some of them around the park exploring in the soggy weather.
The Animation Building
If you want to do something a little more fun than shopping while getting out of the rain, be sure to check out the Disney Animation Building. Hidden away in the Hollywood Land area of California Adventure, you can enter the building and get an in-depth look at the art and animation behind some of Disney’s most iconic scenes, films, and characters.
When you first enter the building, you will be in an area known as the Animation Courtyard. Projections of famous Disney scenes and sketches of characters and Walt Disney himself will surround you as you wander through the beautiful, breathtaking sights and sounds of the area. The Animation Courtyard is a sort of lasting testament to the work and artistry that comes with creating one of Disney’s beloved films.
A workshop offers you the ability to create your own moving cartoons with ease! Called the Sorcerer’s Workshop, this area provides a bit about the history of animation as an art form and showcases various styles and techniques. After learning a bit, take matters into your own hand and use one of the provided slips of paper and pencils to create your own scene. Draw out each movement of your character then pop it into one of the many spinning wheels in the Workshop. Your drawing will pop to life before your very eyes!
Other fun activities are available, including the chance to visit Beast’s Library and be told which character from Disney’s film archives you are most like by one of his enchanted books. Lessons are offered in the Animation Academy from Disney artists that take around fifteen minutes if you are interested in learning more about the animation process, as well.
As an added bonus, characters tend to hang out in the Animation Building. You can find quite a few in rainy weather since it is a large area where they can escape the pouring rain. Inside the Building they will still be in character and will be more than happy to snap some photos and sign your autograph books, usually without lines since the Animation Building is a bit of an overlooked gem within the parks. There are many other things you can do too, so be sure to pay this area a visit, rain or shine!
Related Questions: Disneyland when it rains
- Do parades still happen in the rain?
Sometimes. If the rain is light, the characters will come out in the weather for a brief time but if it is pouring, the parade will be postponed or cancelled for safety reasons. There are tons of other events in the parks, though, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Cancellations are incredibly rare in the first place but if they must occur the characters typically come out in full force elsewhere to make up for it.
- Do the fireworks still happen in the rain?
If it is raining, the fireworks and other similar events are cancelled for safety reasons. Water can cause malfunctions which can be catastrophic so it is better safe than sorry. Instead, Disneyland offers a projection show that is incredible in its own way and super special since it rarely gets used outside of rainy days!
- Will Disneyland refund tickets if it is raining?
Disneyland does not offer refunds in the event of rain unless there are significant closures. For the most part, the park remains open and active so you can still use your ticket and enjoy the day even with the inclement weather. There is no harm in checking, though, if you feel the weather is too bad to be out in. Sometimes they will work with you and offer a partial refund or tickets for a different day.
- Where can I find out about ride closures and other weather information?
If you have any questions or want to find out which rides are still open in the rain, try paying the information centers or guest relation centers a visit. They will be able to give you any information you need and help you decide what events you want to attend in the rain. Most of the park remains open unless the weather is incredibly severe but they will still be happy to provide a list of closures or special rainy day events.
Disneyland in the rain is still absolutely a magical experience. You do not have to worry about any shortage of fun even if the weather is dreary and grey; the park has carefully planned around weather events and provides an amazing day even in the worst weather situations.