It’s hard to imagine that it can rain in sunny Southern California, but occasionally it happens.
Many people see rain at Disneyland as an opportunity to take advantage of low lines and less crowds. However, when you have a disability, rain may cause widespread panic.
Disneyland is one of the few amusement parks that stay open during inclement weather.
Parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm will often close if they think attendance will drop due to the rain.
Although there are various rides and attractions that will temporarily close down at Disneyland, there is still much to explore and experience while staying dry.
Grey, gloomy skies don’t have to put a damper on your magical vacation. Here’s some tips for surviving the rain and getting the most of out your Disneyland visit.
Preparing for Rain
If possible, it’s crucial to carry essential items in preparation for wet weather. Many of the following items can be purchased outside of the park for less money, but can also be found in the park if necessary.
Ponchos. Amazon.com sells very durable, affordable rain ponchos that are better than what you’ll find in the park – and for less money. Many packages come with multiple ponchos in various sizes to fit kids and adults.
There is also a specific poncho for wheelchair or scooter users that will protect both you and your wheelchair from the pouring rain. Check that out by visiting this link.
Keep in mind that ponchos in the park are much more expensive. Be sure to have one packed for each individual in your party if you think it might rain.
Most ponchos come in a package that is as small as a wallet so they don’t take up much room in your bag. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Umbrella. An umbrella can be helpful in the rain or if you are sensitive to the sun.
One of my favorite, sturdy umbrellas is pictured below and sells for $21.95 on Amazon.com. If you are in a wheelchair or scooter, I recommend buying an attachment so that you do not have to hold the umbrella.
It’s a lifesaver, especially if you are weak in your upper extremities like I am. The attachment can also be purchased on Amazon.
Phone/Camera Protector. Electronic devices don’t fare well when they get wet. To protect your phone or camera, I like to use these handy zip-lock lanyards that conveniently hang around my neck for easy access.
These are available in multiple colors and fit a variety of phone types and models. Amazon has them for $11.99. Click the photo below or visit this link.
Shoe Covers. There’s nothing worse than walking around with soaked feet all day. If you’re not already wearing a water resistant shoe, you might want to consider purchasing little shoe ponchos.
These can be found on Amazon.com for $9.99 and are available in multiple sizes.
Small towel or blanket. In the event that you do get wet, I recommend bringing a small towel or blanket. If you’re staying at a hotel, consider bringing a few hand towels from the hotel.
A blanket might also be something to consider in case you need something warm and dry to wrap yourself up in.
Tylenol or Advil. Weather changes can have a detrimental effect on the body. For those with arthritis or other health challenge that causes pain, it’s a good idea to carry medications to help ease your symptoms. You don’t want to feel miserable at the happiest place on earth!
Water. It’s very important to stay hydrated. Rainy days can trick you into thinking you’re not thirsty, but you can actually get dehydrated on a cold, rainy day. Most restaurants at Disneyland will give you a free cup of water.
If you’re worried about where to store stuff, Disneyland does have lockers available to rent.
If you get stuck in the rain without being prepared for it, ponchos are available for purchase at Disneyland for $12.00 (adult) and $10.00 (child).
They also sell basic umbrellas for $15.00. You can find all of these items for sale at souvenir shops in both parks including Downtown Disney. These items usually sell out fast when the rain hits, so grab one quick!
Be prepared for a variety of attractions to shut down during inclement weather. Many of the outdoor rides are considered unsafe when there is rain or lightning.
However, once the storm passes, they should re-open. Cast Members will be present at all ride entrances to explain what is happening and provide you with more details.
Determining what rides will close is at the sole discretion of Disneyland Resort. The following rides may or may not close during inclement weather.
These findings are based on past experiences and reports from Disneyland’s official website. Always check the Disneyland app for up-to-date information on ride closures.
Here are the attractions you can expect to be closed at Disneyland:
- Alice in Wonderland (Fantasyland)
- Davy Crocket’s Explorer Canoes (Frontierland)
- Gadgets Go Coaster (ToonTown)
- The Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland)
- All Main Street Vehicles
- Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyers Island
- Storybook Land Canal Boats (Fantasyland)
- Casey Jr. Circus Train (Fantasyland)
Here are the attractions you can expect to close at California Adventure:
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
- Radiator Springs Racers
All outdoor shows, including parades and fireworks will likely be cancelled due to rain.
Wind alone has the potential to cancel fireworks due to safety reasons, so be prepared in advance to miss out on that even if there’s a slight breeze.
Attractions that Stay Open
There are plenty of attractions to experience on a rainy day.
Traveling to-and-from these attractions might be a problem if you’re not wearing your rain gear or carrying an umbrella, but if you are prepared, you can still have a magical time.
See the graph below for attractions that generally stay open in the rain.
California Adventure Park also has rides that stay open during the rain.
- Soaring Around the World
- The Little Mermaid
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Monster’s Inc
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout
Shows to See to Escape the Rain
Both parks have indoor/outdoor (covered) shows that do not generally close during the rain. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
Mickey & the Magical Lamp. This show plays at Disneyland inside Fantasyland. It lasts about 25 minutes and provides multiple viewing options for wheelchair users.
Showtimes vary; be sure to check the Disneyland app for your day’s entertainment schedule.
Fantasy Faire Theater. Located in Fantasyland next to Sleeping Beauty’s castle, this theater has two showings; first is Beauty and the Beast followed by Tangled in the afternoon. Each lasts about 25 minutes.
Frozen: Live at the Hyperion. This show is at California Adventure Park inside Hollywood Land. Times vary, so it’s important to check the Disneyland app for specific showings.
I believe this show now only plays on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Duration of the show is 1 hour.
Disney Junior Dance Party. Perfect show to let the kiddos run wild. Located inside California Adventure Park in Hollywood Land, this show lasts about 25 minutes and plays multiple times a day.
Where and How to Find Characters
When it rains, characters will usually move indoors to stay dry. They may be difficult to find if you don’t know where to look. Cast Members can give you information on where to find them, but here is a general list of where they go:
- Toontown (inside the character’s houses)
- Star Wars Launch Bay (Tomorrowland)
- Opera House (Town Square)
California Adventure Park
- Carthay Circle Restaurant
- Kingswell Camera Shop (Buena Vista Street)
Character Dining Reservations
The best way to still have a magical time in spite of the rain is to reserve a character dining experience.
This way, you get to stay warm and dry while gorging on delicious food and mingling with a variety of your favorite beloved characters. It’s also a great way to beat the crowds!
Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance, but if you’re caught off guard by a sudden rainy day, I encourage you to call last minute to see if you can snag a reservation.
It won’t hurt to see if someone has made a cancellation. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time).
Here are your options for character dining:
- Plaza Inn (Main Street)
- Storytellers Cafe (at Grand Californian Hotel)
- Goofy’s Kitchen (at Disneyland Hotel)
- Donald’s Seaside Breakfast (at Paradise Pier Hotel)
You do not have to be staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels to be able to reserve a character dining experience. Reservations are open to everyone.
Seek cover from the rain inside the shops on Main Street. Most of the shops are linked together so you can get from one to the other without going outside. Be prepared for it to be very CROWDED. If you are in a wheelchair, it will be difficult to navigate.
Disneyland has more to offer when it rains than California Adventure Park. But this means Disneyland will likely be busier.
If you’re in need of a plastic bag to put wet clothes in or cover your wheelchair’s control panel, most Cast Member’s inside the shops will gladly give you one for free.
First Aid is available if you need towels or minor medications for aches or pains. They also provide places to lay down and escape the crowds.
In Disneyland, First Aid is located on Main Street next to the Plaza Inn. In California Adventure, First Aid is located next to the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.