How to spend a rainy day at Disneyland

February 1, 2019, 4:29 PM · Rain is back in the forecast for this weekend in Southern California, which means that many local theme park fans will be asking how to enjoy a rainy day at Disneyland.

Disneyland almost always stays open on rainy days, unlike other theme parks in the area, which will close if they think that attendance will drop below certain levels. Six Flags Magic Mountain closed for the rain earlier this week and Knott's Berry Farm shut early one day, as well. But at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, fans who are willing to endure the wet can enjoy some of the rare days left when crowds don't pack every street in the parks.

Still, plenty of people who show up at Disneyland in a rain storm end up miserable anyway. Don't be those people. Follow our latest tips for getting the most out of a visit to Disney in the rain.

Go mobile — Rainy days are the worst time to come loaded like Sherpas, with bags, backpacks, and strollers. Travel lightly on rainy days, bringing only a great rain jacket and your mobile phone. Leave the souvenir shopping for another day... or at least for the last thing before you head home.

What about the kids, you might ask? If you can't do Disney without a stroller and diaper bag, rainy days are ones to skip at the park, anyway. Having raised two kids and watched countless others in the parks over the years, allow to me suggest as diplomatically as I can that little kids and rainy theme parks are a bad combination for parents who do not wish to end up barking mad.

Get out of your routine — Rainy days blow up the normal crowd flow at Disneyland, so this is your chance to try something you typically would not on a usual visit. When was the last time you watched someone making candy? Or drew a character at the Animation Academy? (Okay, if you are like me, that's every trip to the resort.) This might be your best chance to enjoy some of those low-capacity Fantasyland rides without their usual long waits. (Especially if all those kids stay home, too.) It's not a normal day — so shake it up!

Embrace the wet — Wear good rain-resistant clothes, and you don't have to limit yourself to the big indoor rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean. If you're protected from the deluge anyway, why not enjoy the shortest waits of the year for Splash Mountain?

Use the app — Remember how I told you to bring that mobile phone? Yeah, even on a wet and low-crowd day at Disneyland, you will want to check wait times and use mobile ordering to maximize your time doing the stuff you want to do and not waiting in lines.

So do you need Maxpass on a rainy day? Need? Probably not. Just start by checking to see if the Fastpass return queues are shorter than the stand-by ones or not. If they are, you might still want a Maxpass, simply to be able to do Disneyland and California Adventure in hyperdrive. Could this be the day you set your new personal best record for most attractions in a single day?

Stay warm — Everyone who endured the polar vortex this week might laugh at the idea that any weather in Southern California might be considered "cold," but spending the day outside when its rainy and in the 50s can leave you pretty miserable. Warm up with layers of clothes and frequent stops indoors while you are playing in the parks.

And don't forget to drink plenty of water, too. The weather might trick you into thinking that you are not thirsty, but you can get dehydrated on a cool and rainy day at Disneyland, too.

Replies (4)

February 1, 2019 at 5:03 PM

My other piece of advice is to bring a complete change of clothes along with towels and put it all in a locker preferably the set near the Tram loop. Then at the end of your splashing fun day, you can dry off and change into some warm dry togs before the drive home.

February 2, 2019 at 6:03 PM

Rainy weather is blamed for Disneyland cutting 2 hours off Saturday operating schedule, originally till midnight. Now Disneyland will close at 10pm, same as Disney's California Adventure. Good thing "Groundhog Day" isn't a Disney film so shouldn't have to repeat it endlessly....;)

February 4, 2019 at 6:33 AM

Being a Brit I wouldn’t be put off by rain (we can’t be or wed never get anything done haha) Id definitely visit and make the most of the quieter days. In fact if it really makes that much difference to crowd levels, I’m hoping that it’s rainy during my 3 day visit in November :-)

February 4, 2019 at 10:15 AM

Rainy and in the 50's is indeed pretty miserable. Those were the conditions at SeaWorld Orlando on Sunday Jan. 27. If I lived locally I would not have gone to the park but insofar as I was flying back home on the following day I didn't have much of a choice. With 7 hours of heavy, relentless rain I got what was probably the worst drenching of my life. I tried to break things up between rides by watching orca and sea lion shows. The only good thing to come out of my visit was that the rides were walk-ons and full of empty seats. This was the 1st - and possibly last - time that I didn't need to purchase Quick Queue at a park owned by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Heck, no.

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