Visiting Disneyland in the Rain: A Guide to Wet Weather

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland, Disneyland Parks

Planning a trip to Disneyland in the rain? Here’s everything you need to know about how the Southern California theme parks handle the weather.

Rain doesn’t happen often in Anaheim – after all, there are roughly 320 days each year without any rainfall! But when the clouds roll in and rain does strike, it can make a visit to Disneyland a bit more complicated. With such infrequent wet weather, how does Disneyland handle rain? Should you still visit Disneyland in the rain? 

This is your guide to conquering rainy days at Disneyland Resort. Below, find out what happens when it rains at Disneyland, and what you can expect if you’re planning to visit the theme parks in wet weather. 

How Often Does It Rain at Disneyland?

The Happiest Place on Earth is also one of the sunniest, with a pleasantly mild and rain-free climate most of the year. Disneyland typically sees about 34 days of rain each year, meaning it rains quite infrequently.

If you’re hoping to avoid the rain when visiting Disneyland, you’ll want to be cautious about planning a trip during the winter. December, January, and February tend to be the wettest months of the year. February is the most common month for rain in Anaheim; on average, it rains about 5.5 days each year in February. Typically, the dates around February 19 are the wettest of the entire year (WeatherSpark puts the odds of rain on this peak probability date at 20 percent).

So, plan a visit to Disneyland any time in the months of March through November if you’re hoping for the best odds of dry weather.

Does Disneyland Close When It Rains?

Typically, Southern California doesn’t see a deluge of rain when showers do strike. Anaheim usually only gets a half inch of rain or so during the average storm, meaning there’s no need to worry about Disneyland closing.

However, there are always exceptions. Extreme storms, or excessive rainfall that leads to flooding, can cause a theme park closure. If severe weather warnings are happening ahead of your visit, you’ll want to keep an eye on the Disneyland app in case changes to the park schedules occur.

You’ll also want to double-check the theme park hours on rainy days at Disneyland. While the theme parks and Downtown Disney won’t automatically close when heavy rain starts falling, severe rainstorms can lead to early closures. For example, during rainstorms in February 2024, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park closed two hours earlier than planned. 

What Rides Close at Disneyland When It Rains?

King Arthurs Carrousel at Disneyland Park in the rain

Disneyland’s King Arthur Carrousel is covered and stays open in the rain. Photo by Dom Tabon

Many of the rides at Disneyland and California Adventure are outdoors, uncovered thanks to the plentiful pleasant weather in Anaheim. So, when it rains, the weather can directly interfere with many of the available attractions. Some rides can’t operate safely in the rain – but some can. Others will continue to run in wet weather, but will close if lightning is in the forecast.

If you’re planning to head to Mickey’s Toontown on a rainy day at Disneyland, you might want to do so early. Because Toontown sits lower than many of the park’s other lands – and has a low, sloped entrance underneath the Disneyland Railroad’s tracks – it can actually flood. When the entrance floods, the land will close, trapping guests who are already in Toontown inside until it drains! Plus, with so many outdoor areas and attractions, this one area that sees a lot of closures when rain really gets underway.

Additionally, plenty of Fantasyland’s outdoor rides also close, so guests with little ones will find a lot of their favorite attractions shuttered in the rain. 

What rides close at Disneyland and California Adventure in the rain? Here’s a full list:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats
  • The Mad Tea Party
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Remember, other attractions may close if lightning is in the forecast or occurs.

Be Prepared for Fewer Characters and Less Entertainment

While many guests expect Disneyland and California Adventure to see attraction closures in the rain, what’s a bit unexpected are all of the other park changes that happen in wet weather! Specifically, most of the usual entertainment, like character meet and greets, parades, cavalcades, and fireworks, gets canceled.

Rainy days can leave the theme parks pretty empty of characters. At Disneyland, there are very few indoor character meet and greet areas – you can meet Disney Princesses indoors at The Royal Hall, or greet Mickey and Minnie at their houses in Toontown, for example – as most characters hang out in outdoor areas along Main Street, U.S.A or Buena Vista Street. In the rain, you’re likely to see fewer characters standing outdoors waiting to greet guests. Some may move into covered spaces (the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is where the Fab Five usually head), but in general you can expect to see fewer characters overall.

Additionally, outdoor entertainment is likely to be canceled. Parades and cavalcades will likely be pulled off the schedule on rainy days at Disneyland and California Adventure, along with any other outdoor shows. Fireworks are highly likely to be canceled, too, since the weather is always a big concern. High winds paired with wet weather make it highly unlikely any fireworks displays will go on.

The one entertainment exception is World of Color, which will still go on in the rain! It is a water show, after all, so you can still catch a showing – just make sure you’re wearing your rain gear since you’ll be standing outside.

Tips for Navigating Disneyland in the Rain

Outdoor Rides Will Be Wet – So Wear Rain Gear!

When there’s rain in the forecast for Disneyland, you’re going to want to come prepared. There are many indoor spaces and covered queues, but for the most part, you’ll be spending the day outdoors – totally exposed to the elements. So, you’ll want to make sure you wear a rain jacket, bring an umbrella, and equip any other gear you need for wet weather.

While you can purchase rain gear in the parks if you need it, keep in mind that you’ll pay a premium. Ponchos and umbrellas run about $12 and $17, respectively, which can eat into your budget for the trip. Plus, coming with a true rain jacket will ensure you’re better protected from the rain (a jacket is much more protective than a flimsy poncho!).

Bring or Buy a Poncho

While ponchos aren’t exactly the best option for staying dry and well-covered at Disneyland in the rain, they can serve a handy purpose – and they’re still helpful to have on hand. Bring a cheap poncho with you, and you can use it to keep yourself dry on wet attractions, outdoor benches, or even at restaurants. That’s right: We’re suggesting using a poncho as a seat cover!

Seats, both for rides and in general around the park, are going to be wet on rainy days. You’ll want to ensure the seat of your pants stays dry, and laying down a cheap poncho is a great solution. You can lay it across any seat, keep yourself dry, and then pack it up or wipe it off for reuse later.

Seek Out Covered or Indoor Attractions and Entertainment

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in the rain

The Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough is a great indoor choice when it rains. Photo by Dom Tabon

Since much of what’s outdoors at Disneyland and California Adventure will either be closed due to rain or seriously wet, it’s always a smart idea to seek out some covered or indoor fun at the parks. On rainy days, you can stop by the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, where shows are performed underneath a large, fully covered canopy. Or, you can pop into Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and spend some time browsing the interior displays.

Other great indoor rainy day options that have mostly indoor queues or are entirely indoors at Disneyland include:

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mickey’s House
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Minnie’s House
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Over at California Adventure, some great indoor rainy day options that have mostly indoor queues or are entirely indoors include:

  • Animation Academy
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure

Head to Downtown Disney or the Resort Hotels

If you’re caught in constant downpours or heavy rain, you might want to step out of the theme parks and turn a Disneyland day into a Downtown Disney or hotel day. Throughout Downtown Disney, you’ll find plenty of indoor spaces to enjoy, from restaurants with warm interiors and dry places to sit down for a bit to shops with plenty to browse.

Plus, there’s a surprising amount to see, explore, and do at the hotels throughout Disneyland Resort. At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you can enjoy character dining or an expansive buffet at Storytellers Cafe, pop into Hearthstone Lounge or GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill for a drink or small bite, or spend some time in front of the warm and cozy fireplaces (which feature plenty of rocking chairs!). At the Disneyland Hotel, you can dine at Goofy’s Kitchen or Trader Sam’s (where even the outdoor terrace has some overhead cover) or pop into the lounge near the former Steakhouse 55.

The newly reimagined Pixar Place Hotel is full of cool spots to explore, too. Here, you’ll find options for small bites at the Sketch Pad Cafe or a full meal at Great Maple. Throughout the hotel, you can check out small details and nods to different Pixar characters and films – like Joe from Soul popping into the lobby to play some tunes, or Bing Bong greeting guests, or even fire pits themed around Anger from Inside Out or Jack Jack from The Incredibles. It’s well worth a place taking your time in! You can learn more about the hotel in issues of DLR Magazine.

Rainy Days Don’t Always Equal Fewer Guests

Lastly, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that while rainy weather may keep some locals home for the day, it isn’t a huge deterrent. Disneyland and California Adventure don’t typically see significantly lower crowd levels due to rain! So, if you’re expecting empty theme parks, you might want to rethink your plans. Unless it’s a serious storm, you can expect some crowds. 

How to Beat the Heat at Disneyland

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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