How to Visit Disneyland in the Rain

January 5, 2016, 2:59 PM · It's raining again in Southern California, with about an inch of rain having fallen in Anaheim over the past 24 hours. Forecasters are predicting rain to continue for the rest of the week, making the first week back from the holiday vacation a very soggy time to visit the Disneyland Resort.

But should you still go?

If you've got the day off, of course you should. Rain is just about the only thing that manages to keep Southern Californians from visiting Disneyland, so if you want to see the park without its typical crowds, rainy days are the time to go.

Of course, there are a couple of good reasons why so many people avoid Disneyland, and the other Southern California theme parks, when the weather turns less than perfect. Many people around here aren't used to being out in the rain and either don't know how, or are not willing, to prepare for it. Also, visitors won't find the abundant rail shelter and covered queues that are typical in Central Florida's theme parks, where rain is an almost daily occurrence during the busy summer months.

But you can overcome both of these issues with a little bit of effort — and be rewarded with a low- or no-wait day in the parks.

Here is my advice for surviving Disneyland in the rain, from my Orange County Register column. If you invest in good rain gear (not an umbrella!) and bring it to the parks, then all you need to do is to be smart about which rides and shows to visit, and you'll be enjoying a great day at Disneyland. Longtime favorites such as Pirates, Mansion and Space Mountain are great in the rain, and with the rain holding down overall crowd sizes, this might finally be the week to get on to the Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain overlay with less than an hour's standby wait.

While the Rivers of America attractions won't run in heavy rain, rainy days provide a great opportunity to see the Aladdin show in its final week, without having to endure the large crowds that would have shown up for that had the weather been dry. When it's time to eat, stick with the restaurants with indoor seating, or take this opportunity to walk up and get seated at one of the normally popular table-service restaurants in the parks, such as the Blue Bayou or Carthay Circle.

Just be flexible enough to modify your expectations about what a day at Disneyland and California Adventure ought to include, and you can find plenty to fill your day at the parks, even when the rain is pouring.

What's your favorite tip for enjoying a theme park in the rain?

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Replies (5)

January 5, 2016 at 5:07 PM · Nice to hear California's finally getting out of it's drought. That was a bit of a pain when I visited San Francisco last year.

Wait, what am I saying?! I visited San Francisco in 2014! (Sigh) New Years problems!

January 5, 2016 at 6:45 PM · When I lived in Southern California I would always try and take advantage of rainy days at the park. The crowds would be so light most rides were walk-ons or max 10m wait. Plus the CMs seemed more relaxed and in a good mood. I don't know if its still like that but I would never hesitate to visit DLR in the rain.
January 5, 2016 at 7:06 PM · Visiting Disneyland in the rain is not for everyone, but if you're okay with getting a little cold and wet it can be a lot of fun. At least 80% of the resort's attractions remain operating in all but the most severe weather and you can generally find waits of 10-20 minutes on any rainy days outside of holiday periods. Just avoid the day before or the day after rainy days as those can see increased crowds.
January 6, 2016 at 4:27 AM · Californian problems.
January 6, 2016 at 2:45 PM · Haha, right? But we will gladly take the rain over another year of drought.

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