This post was updated March 2016
While planning a Southern California vacation, it’s natural to have visions of sunshine and short sleeves. When days are filled with gray clouds, do not fret; most attractions remain open when it rains. Some attractions with outdoor tracks, parades and outdoor shows may close, but there are still plenty of indoor attractions and activities to stay busy.
Please note that because this is a “reference” post and not a “time sensitive” or “news-related” post, we do not discuss which attractions or shows may be temporarily closed for remodeling or refurbishment. This post is intended to provide solid visitor information and tips for many months or even years. Should an attraction listed in this post be permanently closed, we will update the post as needed.
(Please note that the transportation attractions listed below may close in the case of heavy rain.)
On rainy days, my family and I board the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park and use it as transportation around the Magic Kingdom. (This attraction is closed until 2017.) The train stops at Main Street, U.S.A.; New Orleans Square; Toontown and Tomorrowland, which allows us to go from land to land without getting too terribly wet.
Over in Disney California Adventure Park, the Red Car Trolley provides transportation from the entrance of the park on Buena Vista Street down Buena Vista with stops at Carthay Circle (the end of Buena Vista Street), Hollywood Boulevard (near the Animation Building) and Sunset Boulevard at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
If you are staying at the Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier Hotel, you can utilize transportation to and from Disneyland via the Monorail and its depot in Downtown Disney.
If you don’t have reservations (or the budget) for an indoor, table service restaurant, there are plenty of options for indoor dining while visiting Disneyland Park.
Hollywood Land offers guests a lot of ways to stay dry all within very close proximity.
Just like at Disneyland, if you don’t have reservations (or the budget) for an indoor, table service restaurant, here are your options for a quick-serve meal where you can stay warm and dry.
The best part of a rainy day is that it is always less crowded (even during a busy times of the year), so if you don’t mind getting wet and the cancellation of some of the shows and closure of some of the outdoor attractions, it is hands down a really great day to visit! And trust me when I tell you that there is still plenty to do even if a few things must close!
The Disneyland Resort provided me complimentary admission and meal vouchers so that I could update this pot in March 2016.
The Disneyland Resort’s Diamond Celebration will surely dazzle guests from rope drop to closing many most exciting activities will take place after the sun goes down. With the new nighttime shows set to debut on May 22nd the late nights may pose some challenges for parents with young children. There’s so much to see and do that careful planning and preparation is going to be essential. In order to help parents maximize their time and experience all that the nighttime spectaculars have to offer we at the Babes in Disneyland Blog have some helpful tips.
Tip 1: Know Before You Go
Websites such as the Babes in Disneyland Blog and Disneyland Resort official site are excellent sources of information. When planning a trip both of these websites used in conjunction will not only help guests understand what is being offered, but also when it will be offered. In order to make the most of your day we highly recommend doing your research and making an itinerary.
The Disneyland Resort website generally posts the entertainment with dates and time at least 60 days from today’s date. As an example, if you’re traveling on May 23rd the Disneyland Forever fireworks showtime is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and the Paint the Night Parade has two scheduled times one at 8:50 p.m. and the other at 11:00 p.m.
Learn more about:
Tip 2: Stay Overnight or Arrive Later in the Day
With so much to do and see guests may consider staying one or even two nights in order to see all of the sparkling new shows. While we realize that staying overnight might not be an option for some an alternative might be to arrive at the parks later in the day (after nap time) in order to see as many of the evening entertainment offerings as possible. Given the timing of the shows at both the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s California Adventure park- seeing all of the shows in one night is close to impossible for parents with young children (especially if your kiddos normally have an early bedtime and have spent the entire day having fun in the sun in the parks). Sure, it might be possible with some advanced planning and of course depending on the showtimes on the day in which you visit (and your kids’ stamina).
Tip 3: Two Shows in One Spot & Dining Packages
You might notice from our “Know Before You Go” tip that two of the nighttime spectaculars are offered almost back to back. We highly recommend arriving early for the parade and planning on staying in that spot all the way until the fireworks are over. The masterminds behind the Disney Parks parades and spectaculars have reported that guests in different areas of the park will have unique and immersive experiences based on where they are watching from. For example, those watching Disneyland Forever from the Rivers of America will see and experience different projections and lights than those who are watching from “it’s a small world.” While different areas of the park will offer different vantage points and theming, we suggest getting a seat either along Main Street U.S.A. or near “it’s a small world” for the best view of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle once the Paint the Night parade is over. Be sure to arrive along the parade route early to stake out a good spot.
The best way to get a prime viewing spot for World of Color is to get a FASTPASS, especially for those guests with young children. There are two options for obtaining a FASTPASSES at Disney’s California Adventure. The first is to head over to the FASTPASS kiosk near Grizzly River Rapids (as early in the day as possible), and the second is to book a World of Color Dining Package. Booking a dining package is a great way not only to get a yummy meal but also to obtain a voucher to one of the best World of Color viewing areas. Participating restaurants include Ariel’s Grotto, Carthay Circle Restaurant, and Wine Country Trattoria. Reservations are required and can be made up to 6o days in advance. This option ensures that guests get a great viewing spot and don’t have to hassle with getting right to a FASTPASS kiosk upon arriving at the park.
Although not new to the Resort, Fantastic! is a long-time guest favorite and if you want to see that show, you can also book a dining package or get a FASTPASS, just like World of Color. It is also a prime location for viewing fireworks (more on that below).
Some other things to think about as you consider the nighttime spectacular:
Tip 5: Gear Up & Don’t Be Afraid to Split Up
When traveling with young children the difference between exhausted melting down kiddos and content happy kiddos could be as simple as what you travel with. Bringing or renting a stroller would be especially helpful for naps and carrying blankets, snacks, warm changes of clothes, and sweatshirts. To help pass the time when waiting for the shows to start consider packing an age appropriate game or activity such as cards, stickers, or a color book. You can also pass the time by eating dinner curbside with take-out from your favorite park restaurant. Also, be sure to have your phone or camera charged and ready to capture all of the magic.
And when it comes to that long wait, don’t be afraid to layout out your blanket (and such) and have one adult wait and hold your spot while another takes the kids on rides.
Which nighttime spectacular are you most excited to experience? Let us know in the comments below or via the Babes in Disneyland Facebook page.
|Just a few of “it’s a small world” Holiday’s more than 300,000 twinkling lights|
The holiday season is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort and the parks and hotels could not be more beautifully decorated.
|Main Street U.S.A.’s Christmas Tree and Garland|
|Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Lights Up the Night Sky|
|Olaf in “World of Color – Winter Dreams”- Photo Courtesy of Disney|
|Evan and the Grand Californian Christmas Tree|
November 13th marked the kick-off of the holiday season at The Disneyland Resort, which will continue through January 6, 2015, and promises to have plenty for the whole family to enjoy!
To kick off the start of Disneyland’s Just Got Merrier holiday makeover, The Disneyland Resort hosted a special lighting ceremony of the “it’s a small world” holiday overlay.
The current Disneyland Ambassador, Sachiko White (pictured above, left), hosted the ceremony and invited Vice President of The Disneyland Resort, Mary Niven, on stage to speak briefly on the many offerings that Guests can experience this holiday season.
At Disneyland, there’s Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, “it’s a small world” and Holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday and the “Jingle Cruise” that has set sail in Frontierland. Over at Disney California Adventure, Mary mentioned that “World of Color – Winter Dreams” would return, as well as Disney Viva Navidad celebration. Both parks will be decked out in holiday flowers, colors, and decorations. Learn more about
After Mary’s presentation, and with the help of Siemens (a proud sponsor of Disney since 2005) and City of Hope, one of the country’s leading research and treatment centers for diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases, Sachido then invited the Gallardo family from Orange County on stage with a few Disney friends. Daughter Maya was the recipient of a life-saving stem cell transplant from her brother Aaron at the City of Hope eleven years ago. With the help of Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto, The Gallardo family ushered the holiday season into the Disneyland Resort with a flip of a switch, lighting the “it’s a small world” holiday attraction.
Watch this heartfelt moment! (Sorry for the small camera glitch in the middle!)
The Gallardo family answered questions after the ceremony, including what their Christmas wish would be this year. Mayra Gallardo responded, “This is our Christmas wish,” referring to the opportunity to have her family all together in one place, celebrating at The Disneyland Resort and being treated like a celebrity. Her sister chimed in, “Yeah – our Christmas wish came true – to be famous!”
Then, the beautifully lit “it’s a small world” attraction became a wonderful backdrop for the 2014 Christmas Fantasy parade. As Lisa mentioned in her blog post earlier this month, the holidays were going to get a bit “Frozen.” This year, “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” celebrates its 20th anniversary by welcoming Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” into the cast. The float, which is similar to the one from the Soundsation Pre-Parade, makes an appearance among the other 100-plus parade performers that also include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Santa Claus!
If you’re a fan of the parade, you’ll notice some changes to A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Check out the photo recap below!
|First float of the evening|
|Toy soldiers – a familiar site at the Christmas parade|
|Minnie and Mickey Mouse now reside on a festive float|
|Dancing snowmen are still around, but no skating snowflakes|
|Tigger is enjoying his sled|
|A very “Frozen” Christmas tree|
|Snow flakes now replaced with these ladies on skates|
|Anna and Elsa heading up the front of their parade float|
|Goofy and Pluto on their own sweet tent|
|Anastasia, Druzilla, and Lady Tremaine make a boisterous appearance|
|The Royal Float – so divine!|
|Geppetto, Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket|
|Wrapping up the parade with Santa Claus!|
Hope you enjoyed this first glimpse at the holidays in 2014 at Disneyland! Tell us! Are you planning a trip to the Parks this holiday, and are you excited for the season at The Disneyland Resort?