How bad does the weather have to get before you will bail on a theme park visit?
It's pouring rain in Southern California today, which seems to be the only thing that will keep people away from Disneyland anymore. Meanwhile in Orlando, Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay is closed due to (relatively) cold weather. Seasonal theme parks complain all the time about inclement weather keeping crowds away, but today illustrates that the year-round parks are not immune from weather challenges, either.
So how bad does it have to get for you not to go? And how do you deal with the weather if you do? Part of the problem here in Southern California is that the parks aren't really built for inclement weather. Rain doesn't bother visitors at Walt Disney World because the parks are built to deal with the frequent thunderstorms in Central Florida. When I returned to Southern California after working at Walt Disney World for years, and getting used to it, I was surprised to notice all the uncovered, open-air queues, waiting areas, and restaurants at Disneyland.
But cold? That'll send visitors away in both coasts, too — especially ones from up north or back east who just assumed that the weather in Florida or California would be warm, so they didn't pack any cool weather clothes. I once wrote about how guests crammed into Epcot's Land pavilion on the day it snowed at Walt Disney World. And it's always amusing to me to see tourists from Big Ten country walking around Pasadena in shorts in late December, when everyone who lives here is finally breaking out their sweaters.
Disney parks outside the United States are better built for the cold, because they deal with it more often. Disneyland Paris has those indoor passageways on the side of its Main Street, and Tokyo Disneyland's Splash Mountain doesn't splash much at all in Japan's winters.
Of course, extreme heat can keep fans away, too, as we saw last summer at Disneyland, where the temperature hit 113F. There's no safe way to deal with that kind of heat except to get out of it, which means either finding things to do indoor at the park or finding some other place to go where you can stay out of the heat.
But for this time of year, it's the rain and cooler temperatures that stand in the way of enjoying a day at the parks for some fans. While the Orlando parks are better equipped for inclement weather, here is our advice for visiting the Disneyland Resort in the rain:
The upside to bad weather often is smaller crowds, so for fans who would like to trade enduring bad weather for enjoying shorter lines, please share in the comments how you deal with bad weather in the parks.Tweet
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