Worried about what do to at Disneyland in the rain? Find out my top tips for surviving (and even enjoying) the Happiest Place on Earth when it’s raining. Scroll for all the info!
This Disneyland in the rain post was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
When we decided to book a trip to LEGOLAND a few years ago, you had better believe we took advantage of being that close to Disneyland!
I was so excited to get to visit one of my favorite places on Earth…until I checked the weather.
Rain. It was supposed to rain every day we had planned to be at Disneyland.
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Where to Stay at Disneyland
- Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (it’s expensive but has a private entrance to Disney California Adventure)
- Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground (the water park is pretty fabulous)
- Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance (amazing water park and has bunk beds)
- Fairfield by Marriott Anaheim Resort (it’s so close to the park, and the rooms are awesome)
- Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn (this is my favorite Disneyland budget hotel)
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Here is What You Need to Know about Visiting Disneyland in the Rain:
Fireworks Shows May Not Happen
If your little one is into fireworks, you might want to check on the status of the show before you promise anything. The weather can be a big factor for fireworks – and rain is usually not a good sign.
So before you send someone to save a spot for hours, check on your Disneyland App or ask the closest cast member if the show is still going to happen that day.
No Random Character Meet-Ups
You won’t see princesses around the Disneyland entrance or Goofy ambling down the street in the rain.
While the pre-planned character meet-and-greets will still be happening, don’t plan on seeing characters just walking around.
It does take away a little of the magic (probably mostly for ME!) when you know you won’t be randomly seeing Snow White signing autographs, but I would much rather take pictures inside where it’s dry anyway!
You never know, though – one of the best parts of our (rainy) trip was finding Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy doing an impromptu meet-and-greet under the awnings of the Town Square Building!
Anything Outside Will Be Wet
It makes sense – rain is water, water makes things wet. For some reason though, that concept didn’t really sink in until I sat down in one of the elephants for the Dumbo ride. Let’s just say I came away with a soggy bottom!
Learn from me – don’t ever assume that just because other riders have been in that seat that it will be dry! There is plenty of time between rides for the seat to get soaked again!
Pro tip: Bring a plastic bag or a poncho to put under your tush on outdoor rides!
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Some Disneyland Rides Can’t Run in the Rain
Another thought I didn’t consider was that some rides simply can’t be run safely in the rain. I guess electricity and water don’t really play nicely!
I wish I had known this ahead of time because my little guy was so excited to ride Gadget’s Go Coaster in Toon Town. He was pretty upset when we got there and it was closed.
Then, the same thing happened at the Mad Hatter Tea Party. I will say that it was the first time I have ever seen the teacups completely empty!
Pro tip: Make sure you use the app to keep updated on which rides are open or closed – preferably before you promise your little one they can ride it! And even if a ride is closed right now, it doesn’t mean it may not open back up later!
Don’t Count on Crowd Control
Since we booked our trip for a random weekend in October, I was thinking the already smaller crowds might be deterred by the rain. That was definitely NOT the case!
So, lesson learned, don’t count on any time around a holiday to be slower – even if it’s raining! I would always suggest a slow season or mid-week if your goal is to avoid long lines and crowded streets.
Go figure – it was actually less crowded on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning than it was on a grey, rainy Saturday!
It’s Still DISNEYLAND!
I started the weekend off a little bummed that it was raining (it was our friends’ first visit!) but we quickly turned it around and had a BLAST!
Almost everything we had on our must-do list was still open, and the lines weren’t as long as they could have been when it rained at Disneyland.
The best part was that Main Street was almost empty, which meant that we could do photos with the characters with just a 5 or 10-minute wait!
Disneyland Rainy Day Tips for Families
Before Going to Disneyland
Keep an Eye on the Weather
I know this is preaching to the choir, but make sure you stay aware of what the weather might do while you’re enjoying yourself at Disneyland.
I recommend checking a few times leading up to your trip so you know what to pack and then keeping an eye on the forecast the day before.
Being aware of what might be happening weather-wise gives you a chance to plan and bring things with you, as opposed to buying them in the park.
I like to bring a day bag with a mini umbrella, rain ponchos, and foldable rain jackets. I also always try to keep a lightweight water-resistant blanket that we can spread out on the ground to sit on and watch the parades go by.
If you are bringing a baby with you, I have learned from experience what to bring in my Disneyland Diaper bag. Check it out here!
Genie Plus is Worth It When It’s Raining at Disneyland
When it’s raining out, the last thing you want to do is wait in an outdoor line for hours. Genie Plus is a $25+ purchase that will allow you to manage all of your ride reservations on your phone – instead of having to run around the park.
Plus – it will help you avoid some of the longer, uncovered ride lines. I know my boys and I would much rather spend time ON rides instead of waiting in line for them!
Day of your Disneyland Visit Considerations
Get Through Security Quickly
For this step, you need to know that Disneyland considers anything with a zipper as a bag, even just a wallet. There is one security line at Disneyland just for people with no bags.
The trick here is to give all the bags to one adult, while the other adult goes through the “No Bags” line with the kids. Then, the “No Bags” line go-ers can wait in a covered area and stay dry!
We did the same thing for renting a stroller – sent one adult to go get it while the other stayed covered and dry with the kiddos.
Try to Stay Dry – Including your Stroller
We all know that if there is one thing that will ruin a happy, magical day at Disneyland, it’s a grumpy kiddo. And if my boys get wet, they will turn into grouches faster than you can say “Bippidi-boppidi-boo!”
We keep a change of clothes for everyone in a bag just in case. Nobody wants to spend the day in damp or wet clothes. Toss some extra tops and bottoms in your bag just in case!
The thing I did not think about last time (and regretted) was a stroller cover. We don’t use them at home – so it just slipped my mind.
Unfortunately, at Disneyland, there weren’t as many covered places to park as there are at home. Which meant a stroller that was wet, and two little boys who did NOT want to sit in it. And really – who can blame them?
So I would highly suggest a stroller cover or a poncho in a pinch!
DON’T Forget About Your Feet
I have these really cute tall rain boots that I love, but I didn’t want them taking up room in our luggage, so I didn’t bring them.
Instead, I wore lace-up shoes walking around Disneyland in the rain.
This meant my shoes got wet, then my SOCKS got wet, then my toes were wet and cold the rest of the day.
I really wish I had thought to compromise and get some shorter rain boots like these to keep my feet dry!
Luckily, I did pack boots for my boys – which meant LOTS of puddle splashing and no wet feet!
DO Forget About Your Hair
If your hair is anything like mine, misty drizzle will equal a frizzy mess in a hurry! While I had hoped to be able to rock some family pictures with straightened hair – it was not meant to be!
So, I grabbed my Minnie Ears and went with it! Between those and the new Minnie Mouse dress I was rocking, I bet no one even noticed my hair!
Disneyland Indoor Attractions
Not all rides at Disneyland are outside – so if it’s raining, use it as an excuse to try some indoor rides!
One of our favorite indoor rides is “it’s a small world,” so we went there first thing to give ourselves time to dry off.
The outdoor line is usually pretty short and tends to move quickly thanks to the large size of the boats that move through the ride.
We also hit up the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Again, most of the line was covered, then we got to be in a submarine!
At Disney California Adventure, we were able to find Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride – another indoor ride with a covered line. We had fun finding lots of ways to beat the rain!
Rides to Consider When Visiting Disneyland in the Rain:
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Pinocchio’s Daring Adventure
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Space Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- Star Wars Launch Bay
If you happen to be at Disney California Adventure in the rain, make sure you head to the Disney Animation building. This is where you can learn how to draw beloved Disney Characters in the comfort of an indoor lecture hall.
The lobby is a great place to snuggle and warm up if you’ve been out in the rain for a while. They play clips from Disney movies on a loop, so my boys were happy sitting and watching, which meant Mama was happy, too!
If you do have your kids with you, make sure you see Turtle Talk with Crush (in the same building) The kids will love being able to talk to the screen and have it be responsive and interactive!
Take in a Show
One great option to take advantage of when you’re visiting Disneyland in the rain is to take in some of the awesome shows available!
If you are looking for shorter shows, a good option would be to head to the Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre in Fantasyland. It’s a covered area – and the shows are short, live-action performances like Tangled and Beauty & the Beast.
Tale of the Lion King is another good option whether it’s raining or not. The amphitheater is covered, a bit larger, and the show features a lot of the more recognizable characters.
The Main Street Cinema is another option, as is Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Both would give a great place to relax and maybe dry off a bit before heading back out into the rain.
The new Rogers: The Musical in Disney California Adventure Park is a great option for ducking out of the rain for a bit.
And of course, if you have little ones, the Disney Junior Dance Party is a must-do. No better way to get those wiggles out!
Go See Your Favorite Disneyland Princess When It’s Raining:
The nice thing about going to Meet the Princesses at the Royal Hall is that the line is in a covered area. Even if the line is a bit longer, you won’t get soaked right before you take pictures.
Then you get to meet three princesses! Totally worth whatever the wait time was! (Or maybe that’s just me?)
Mickey’s House is Where It’s At!
Mickey’s House is a must-do, rain or not! It just also happens to be a great option to wait out the rain.
Even though the wait was 60 minutes, my boys were able to play in Mickey’s house, so the wait didn’t seem so bad. Then, Goofy and Pluto surprised those of us waiting in line with a surprise meet and greet. What better way to pass the time in line??
There were also clips of Mickey Mouse movies playing – which my boys loved! Once we got into the official waiting area, we were dry and ready to take pictures with Mickey!
Take the Time to Sit Down to Eat
I’m all about making the most out of our time at Disneyland, but we figured a rainy day was a great time to find a new, indoor lunch spot.
We found the Rose Red Tavern and were able to find a spot to sit even though it was a bit crowded. It was so worth the little bit of extra time it took to find a spot though – we got to be warm and dry without having to huddle under an umbrella while eating!
If I had thought of it sooner, I would have used the rain as an opportunity to book a table at the Plaza Inn for Breakfast with Minnie. It’s one of our family’s favorite character dining options because you get to see so many characters in one place!
Pro tip: Use the Disneyland App to make last-minute dining reservations!
Retail Therapy Time
As much as my husband hates this option – what is better than a little shopping on a rainy day? Especially at Disneyland?
I love everything from the little boutiques like the ones at Mad Hatter or “it’s a small world” up to the huge, well-known shops in Tomorrowland and Main Street.
No matter where you choose to go, looking for a new Disneyland treasure is a great way to spend a rainy day!
Rainy Day at Disneyland Park FAQs
Outdoor rides and attractions, like the Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, or Alice in Wonderland, could potentially close during heavy rain due to safety concerns.
Disneyland tickets are non-refundable. This applies even in case of inclement weather, as there are plenty of indoor attractions and entertainment options to enjoy.
Many Disneyland restaurants offer indoor seating. This includes the Blue Bayou Restaurant, Carnation Cafe, Plaza Inn, and the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland Park, and Lamplight Lounge, Carthay Circle Restaurant, and Wine Country Trattoria in Disney California Adventure Park.
This attraction may close in case of heavy rain as the surfaces could become slippery and pose a safety risk.
Tale of the Lion King, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln are some great indoor shows. Also, Rogers: The Musical at the Hyperion is a must-see at Disney California Adventure Park.
Main Street vehicles typically do not operate in wet weather for safety reasons.
Yes, Downtown Disney remains open in the rain. Shops and restaurants are indoors, so it’s a good place to explore during a downpour.
Have a Plan for a Rainy Day at Disneyland
There are probably not many people in the world who would PREFER to be at Disneyland in the rain, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as magical as any other day! All it takes on your part is a little expectation adjustment.
We decided that instead of trying to fit in as many rides and parades as possible, we would focus on meeting as many new characters as possible (we met a LOT!) and seeing shows.
My husband was also a rockstar at keeping an eye on the Disneyland App for short lines. Whenever we saw a line go below 10 minutes, we booked it over there. It was like a ride scavenger hunt! We felt like such pros – and my boys loved it!
I didn’t choose to visit Disneyland in the Rain, but I am so glad we did! We got to experience things we have never experienced before and got to have a completely different adventure!
After all, Disneyland in the rain is still Disneyland!
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