Surviving Rain at Disneyland

Surviving rain at Disneyland Resort is possible, even if El Nino Rain threatens during your Disneyland trip. What to do at Disneyland in the rain, including special perks and things you can only do when it rains at Disneyland!How to survive rain at Disneyland

Does is Rain at Disneyland?

A little bit about Southern California . . .  home to Hollywood, movie stars galore, self-made celebrities and lots of people looking for attention.  That’s why we like to make a really big deal about things— so people notice us. Think “Carmageddon” back in 2011 and 2012 when one of the nation’s busiest freeways was closed for improvements. People went nuts! We also want people to notice us when we get rain. When a rain puddle forms in Southern California we greet it with both celebration and dread.

Disneyland after rain


Even with our attention seeking tactics, El Nino isn’t some made up thing.  It’s totally backed by science and stuff. El Nino is basically warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean  occurring every 2-7 years (most recently 2016) that affects weather around the world and especially in Southern California. El Nino brings lots of wet weather to Disneyland and surrounding areas plus poisonous yellow bellied snakes to SoCal beaches (Ew, and I thought sharks were bad enough!).

Just because rain is expected during your Disneyland vacation, doesn’t mean you should pack up and head home. However, that’s what most locals do, so you have lots of reasons to tough out the rain. Today I’m going to show you how.

Does Disneyland close during the rain? Disneyland is open 365 days a year and stays open during rain storms. Certain outdoor attractions, shows and entertainment may not operate during the rain, but most things operate as normal. Keep reading for more details.

What’s Open at Disneyland in the Rain?

There are many attractions that remain open when it rains at Disneyland Resort, along with a lot of indoor options. Chances are good you’ll get to ride them all when crowd levels are at a minimum.


Rides open at Disneyland in the rain
That’s me, front and center!

Open at Disneyland Resort in the rain includes:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Haunted Mansion 
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • it’s a small world
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • The Little Mermaid ~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
  • Mr Toad’s Wild Rider
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pinnochio’s Daring Journey
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Pixar Pal-A-Round
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Red Car Trolley
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

Do parades run during the rain at Disneyland? During rain at Disneyland you might see special adaptations of Disneyland parades. In light rain, the main Disney characters will make a quick jaunt up and down Main Street in Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade so you can wave and say hello. It’s a small constellation prize when headliner parades are cancelled due to safety and weather, but an experience you will only see during times when rain hits Disneyland.


Disneyland rain cold
Photo Courtesy Tami Price


Do fireworks run during the rain at Disneyland? Fireworks will be cancelled during rain or wind at Disneyland, but there may be a small, alternate projection show instead.

Another special perk during rain at Disneyland is the amazing photograph potential. Always wondered how people get those “empty” looking pictures? Now is your chance to hit all the iconic photo spots without having tons of people in the background. Plus, snap away at the Mad Tea Party and capture all it’s beauty with no one on it! Then send your pics to me, because that’s my favorite :).

Discount Tickets

What’s Closed at Disneyland in the Rain?

Surprisingly, only a handful of attractions are closed during bad weather and while closures can change you can typically expect these attractions to close at Disneyland Resort during the rain.


Disneyland Rainy Day


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • The Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats
  • Golden Zephyr (also closes with wind)
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Incredicoaster
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Redwood Creek Challenge

Rides you might want to avoid to reduce rain smacking you in the face include:

  • Astro Orbitor
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings


Rides you definitely want to go on in the rain at Disneyland Resort:

  • Autopia, experience gridlock in the rain–what better way to experience life as a local.
  • Donald’s Boat in Mickey’s Toontown, not a ride but what a perfect photo op for a rainy day!
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, this is normally on my what not to ride list but it’s a go for any rainy day at Disneyland.
  • Grizzly River Run, you’re all water proofed for weather anyway right 😉
  • Jungle Cruise, it’s like a real life Amazon tropical rainstorm.
  • The Little Mermain ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Splash Mountain, what’s a little more water?

Do parades run during the rain at Disneyland? During rain at Disneyland you might see special adaptations of Disneyland parades. In light rain, the main Disney characters will make a quick jaunt up and down Main Street in Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade so you can wave and say hello. It’s a small constellation prize when headliner parades are cancelled due to safety and weather, but an experience you will only see during times when rain hits Disneyland.

Do fireworks run during the rain at Disneyland? Fireworks will be cancelled during rain or wind at Disneyland, but there may be a small, alternate projection show instead.

How to Escape the Rain at Disneyland

When you’re looking for more of an escape than a quick ride or two, head to an indoor oasis like The Enchanted Tiki Room, meet Disney Princesses and check out all the shops and galleries on Main Street, U.S.A. Here’s our complete list on how to escape the rain at Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Princesses


Disneyland Park rain escapes:

  • The Disney Gallery on Main Street, U.S.A. browse and buy beautiful Disney artwork indoors on Main Street.
  • Disneyland Monorail isn’t just transportation. Use it to view Disneyland in the rain from above (and inside) it all. Ride back and forth between Downtown Disney and Tomorrowland all you want!
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and indoor show on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Main Street Cinema for a continuous loop of classic Disney cartoons in an indoor venue.
  • Mickey’s House Meet & Greet in Mickey’s Toontown.
  • Minnie’s House in Mickey’s Toontown.
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough in Fantasyland.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay for everything Star Wars while we wait for Galaxy’s Edge to open!

California Adventure Park rain escapes:

  • Animation Academy to draw your favorite Disney characters, indoors and perfect for all ages.
  • Bakery Tour, grab a free sample and then actually read the signs about the process while you soak in all the yummy smells.
  • Blue Sky Cellar in Pacific Wharf has seasonal displays indoors.
  • Disney Junior Dance Party.
  • Frozen Live at the Hyperion.
  • Sorcerer’s Workshop inside the Animation Building in Hollywood Land, lots of hands-on, interactive activities.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush.

Disneyland Resort more escapes:

Best Comfort Food for Disneyland in the Rain

Disneyland is the king of comfort food and on a rainy day, it’s time to indulge a little!


Jolly Holiday Combo


My favorite Disneyland rainy day food includes:

  • Jolly Holiday combo pictured above feature grilled cheese and tomato soup from Jolly Holiday Bakery on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Soup in a bread bowl from various locations, but my favorite is at Pacific Wharf in California Adventure.
  • Hot Cocoa from various locations like Starbucks, but my favorite spot is from Jazz Kitchen Express in Downtown Disney.
  • Fried chicken from The Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Famous Disneyland corn dog from Stagedoor Cafe, then take it next door to eat inside at Golden Horseshoe. Head upstairs for more seating and even catch a show while you’re there.

Packing for Disneyland in the Rain

If you’re prepared for the rain you will have left most of your worries behind already! Stay comfortable in the wet weather with a long raincoat that covers your bottom. This will help keep you dry even when sitting on wet seats. You’ll also want to make sure your valuables and electronics are prepped for the rain puddles and drip, drip, drop, little April showers.

Here’s more of my favorite rainy day gear from The Disney Store. Like this Minnie Mouse rain coat. I’d also pick up a pair of these water proof shoe covers, so there’s no need for bulky rain boots.

Minnie Mouse Rain jacket

They have things in kids and adult sizes, so everyone can be on theme, even in the rain. Pair it with this Walt Disney Studios umbrella and you’re good to go!

My husband and I used these two simple waterproof cases on our cruise last year while snorkeling and regularly use them while swimming. The phone case keeps your cell phone dry and you can still take pics and video while it’s in the case. The second case we used for IDs, a credit card and some cash.


Shoes are another huge consideration. Crocks and flip flops are nice but will leave your feet wet. I love my pink rain boots and wear them any chance I get. At the very least pack two pairs of shoes and extra socks to change into when the water weighs you down. Keep them dry with a locker rental and change into them as needed.

Baby in a stroller? No problem! This stroller rain cover is the perfect solution, folds up easily and quickly sets up on most strollers. Another must have is gallon size ziplock baggies. Stash a few in your bag to protect anything you want to keep dry.

Weather's Nice? El Nino Rain Hits Disneyland.

More Rainy Day Tips

To round out this article, I want to add a few more things I discussed with a Disneyland Plan client who had to decide between a really rainy day or a sorta rainy day (spoiler: they both ended up being RAINY!). Here’s parts of that email from me below. 

I wish we didn’t even have to have this conversation. It probably hasn’t rained on Thanksgiving day in years, so crazy! It’s a hard decision and I’m trying to think what I personally would do, but that’s not always what other people should/would do. So let me map out those two scenarios and see where it gets us. 
  • Less park hours usually means less crowds, plus safety of staff. With less crowds you’ll get a ton more stuff done, so the hours don’t really matter. 
  • Rain can make for a really unique memory, as long as everyone is prepared to have a super good attitude. 
  • Bring a change of shoes and socks for everyone.
  • Bring towels for afterwards.
  • Get good ponchos (long, you don’t want to sit on wet seats), wear layers.
  • Buy hand warmers and/or these (you can find them at Target/Walmart in the foot/first aid area)
  • Rent a large locker or two when you first arrive and keep dry stuff in there. 
  • Almost all quick service places have coffee, hot cocoa so mobile order often!
Thursday will still have your ride or dies because they’ve planned a family trip and are here from out of town, but you will get everything on your list done and then some. Except night shows, those will be cancelled. Most dining has indoor space, but some like Jolly Holiday don’t. You can take your food from there and eat inside at Plaza Inn (just across the way on Main Street). Any restaurant that’s quick service, you can always just walk in to and sit or seek shelter. 
  • The forecast I see shows rain as well, but maybe not as much? I’d hate to have you wait until Friday and have the same/similar thing happen.
  • More people switching their Thursday visit for Friday
  • You were prepared for a crazy-packed day anyway, so this doesn’t really change much. 
  • I went on Black Friday one year and it was chill until like 1 or 2, but it was like 5 years ago. 
I would of course talk to your family and present these ideas. Now, if it were me, I’d take the memories. I’d hustle today to get the supplies we need and I’d take my kids anyway. We’d experience Disneyland like few people have. We’d maybe get a little cranky here and there, but I imagine we’d have a Thanksgiving we’d never forget. But if you know being cold and wet isn’t good for your group, try Friday. 
A couple more things:
Also, as a very last resort: your tickets do not expire. Yes, there may be an expiration date on the back, but if you don’t use them you can redeem them at any later date and pay the difference in whatever price increase. 

Did you brave Disneyland on rainy day? Tell us about how you survive the weather when it’s raining at Disneyland.

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