Back when I worked at the Disneyland Resort, the most popular question on rainy days was: “At what time will the Dome appear?”
The first time a guest asked me this question, I was a Bambi in the headlights. I had no clue what coded message was being asked in my direction. I later learned that there is a myth that a massive Dome covers the entirety of the Disneyland Resort when it rains, so that guests can enjoy perfect weather year-round. I can promise you this…there is no Dome.
Here’s what I do know. You can still enjoy a magical day at the Disneyland Resort rain or shine. And right now, California is experiencing more rain than usual. So…let’s get you prepared for an awesome day!
WHAT TO PREP IN ADVANCE
*Weather App: We all have a handy dandy weather app on our phone that lists the hour-by-hour shift in weather in our hometown. A week before the trip, add Anaheim as a city on the app so that you can get a more accurate picture of what to expect during your stay.
*Dining Reservations: Consider booking a dining reservation. You might be the type of person who loves the grab n’ go style of eating at the resort, and I’m right there with you. But on a rainy/cold day, you’ll need breaks away from the rain. It’s not until you are tired or cold that you will notice that most of the dining locations are partially or fully outdoors.
Reserve online or by phone: (714)781-DINE
Dining options to protect you from the rain******DISNEYLAND
Blue Bayou (Accepts reservations, indoor location)
Cafe Orleans (Accepts reservations, covered patio)
Carnation Cafe (Accepts reservations, covered patio)
River Belle Terrace (Accepts reservations, indoor and outdoor)
Plaza Inn (Accepts reservations, indoor location)
-No reservation needed
Golden Horseshoe (My favorite!!, Indoors!)
Pizza Port (indoor restaurant)
Hungry Bear Restaurant (covered patio)
Rancho Del Zocalo (covered patio)
DINING OPTIONS–DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE****
Ariel’s Grotto (Indoor, Accepts reservations)
Carthay Circle (Indoor, Accepts reservations)
WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR THEME PARK BAG
I don’t know about you guys, but I get a rush of adrenaline, excitement and nervousness whenever I pack my theme park bag. I act like I’m packing for a zombie apocalypse. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind before you even start packing your bag. 1) Breathe. You’ve dealt with rain before. You already have the saavy to conquer this rain at the parks. 2) If you forget to pack something in your bag, the world won’t end. The lockers on Mainstreet are the best thing ever on the off-chance that you over pack or buy something in the park, etc. Don’t necessarily rely on the lockers, but heck…they’re there if you need them.
So now, let’s pack this theme park bag!
The main criteria for selecting a backpack is waterproof and closes by way of zipper. You will hate yourself if you have a cloth backpack that gets soaked and ruins everything inside. Also, a zipper is a fantastic way to keep everything nice and dry. I usually hate taking backpacks to Disneyland. I’m a large purse kinda gal, but if it’s raining, I want my stuff dry and secure. When selecting a backpack, there are a LOT of cute ones out there, but take a look inside before gushing over how cute it is. Remember, you’re gonna have to dig into this thing numerous times throughout the day. It needs to be your staple piece.
Yes. I’m telling you to pack an umbrella. Usually when I think of an umbrella, I think of the following: Inconvient, big, obnoxious, hard to maneaver, etc. After having lived in New York for a couple years, I learned that my views of the umbrella were incorrect. I just wasn’t used to needing one. After walking for years through New York streets gracefully and without poking anyone’s eye out, I’ve learned that you just need to be smart with the type of umbrella and how you use it. Get a small umbrella. You absolutely don’t need anything huge. Your walking neighbors will hate you. Get something small and compact (the size of a sports bottle). It will fit nicely in your purse, and in case it downpours, you’re set. If your backpack has a side pouch, you can store it there for the day. Also, pack a couple plastic bags in your bag as an umbrella cover. If that thing gets soaked, you don’t want it to dampen everything in your lovely bag.
#3: Water Bottle
Yes, I’m that water bottle girl. The girl who has a canteen on me at all times as if our water supply is getting cutoff. However, I have flawless skin and people are always shocked when they find out that I’m in my early 30’s, and it’s all thanks to my secret weapon. A water bottle. It will be the last thing that you’ll think to pack since it’s not a hot summery day. But please pack one. You will get dehydrated walking around all day and you won’t realize it because it’s chilly outside. Pack a bottle. Refill it throughout the day. Also, why pay for theme park water?
#4: Spare Socks
Having wet feet when you’re out all day is true hell. Pack a spare pair of socks. No matter how careful you are with selecting your footwear, one wrong move in a puddle and your feet could get soaked. Be one step ahead with the spare socks. As for the soggy pair, throw them out! Kidding. Pack a small ziploc bag with you and use it to zip up your wet socks so that your bag doesn’t smell.
#5: Bento Box
You don’t need to necessarily pack your lunch, but pack something with you. Rainy days can get physically and mentally exhausting. Having a ‘pick me up’ will help you get through the day. Bento boxes are perfect because they are small and flat, and they will separate your food items so that they keep well throughout the day (even if you decide to go on a marathon of Space Mountain). I suggest packing trail mix, blueberries and rice crackers. Also, if you’re feeling bold, pack some Vitamin D! Being without sunshine all day, you’re body needs that vitamin source!
#6: Waterproof Mascara
I don’t wear a ton of makeup on rainy days. I don’t want to deal with having to reapply stuff, however, I will put the focus on the mascara. And you need a good mascara. Something waterproof.
#7: Portable Charger
This is an absolute must for your bag. You will drain that phone battery the first hour of your stay, and this thing will be a GIFT. Make sure it’s fully charged at the start of the day and keep it in that bag so that it’ll be there for you when you need it.
It’s such a tiny detail, but a headache can ruin the day. Yes, Disney has first aid, but at least have this item on you to nip it in the bud.
#9: Lip Balm
Bad weather equals dry lips. Don’t deal with that on your vacation. Have a good lip balm handy. I’m a huge fan of Burt’s.
#10: Baseball Hat
I don’t usually wear baseball hats. Especially not to Disneyland. I have super cute pixie hair and I love nothing more than showing it off. But let’s think ahead for a moment. Let’s say you’re 8 hours into your Disney day (which is about halfway through for me because I’m nuts). Your perfect AM coifs are going to be having a day. There’s no shame in wearing a baseball cap. Pick something cute in advance that matches your outfit and makes you feel happy. Pack it as a backup. Then, if you decide to wear it, you’ll feel good about it.
WHAT TO WEAR
#1: Rain Coat
A waterproof jacket is a must. It doesn’t need to be something bulky (it is still California, afterall). However something with pockets that will keep you dry is key.
#2: Proper Footwear
I always recommend boots. Here’s the trick: A slip-proof boot that won’t allow water to leak in. You want your feet to stay dry, but you also want to be comfortable. And PLEASE. No rain boots. They are insanely uncomfortable and you will give yourself blisters.
#3: Thick Socks
Thick socks are key, because you need something to keep your foot from sliding around in the boots. Also, you don’t want your socks to slide down inside the boot.
#4: Disney Style
The only thing about the rain that makes me sad, is that I assume that my Disney Style has to be dampened. And it doesn’t! You can still represent the Disney Style that makes your heart sing. Some of my favorite brands are WhoSits Whatsits (pictured above), Cakeworthy and Adorkable Apparel.
#5: Shiny Leggings
I’m so insanely pro-leggings when it comes to terrible weather. They’re comfortable, they go with everything, and if they get damp, they’ll dry quickly. I’m a huge fan of shiny leggings, because they’re usually available at workout stores (think Lulu lemon), so they’re built to dry quickly if they get wet. Also, they’ll brighten up your outfit and add a splash of style.
I’m a huge fan of the rain, but when you’re forced to be in it all day long, you’ll need your breaks from it. There’s a couple no-brainer suggestions, such as pretty much all of the dark rides in Fantasyland, however, here are a couple not so obvious suggestions to keep you out of the rain for a little bit:
DISNEY ANIMATION BUILDING
I LOVE this place. You can hang out as long your heart desires. There’s different things to do and see. And there’s places to sit if you just need a breather. Plus, the ambience is spectacular.
GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN
This place is still considered a ‘best kept secret of Disneyland.’ At least in my book. Here’s a couple perks of it. INDOORS. You can take in a ton of Disney history, including: Signing a Disney guest book, seeing original props from opening day AND you can see a full-blown show inside the theatre featuring animatronics. You can literally kill as much or as little time as you want here.
The Disney Gallery on Main Street is a TREASURE. Featuring exhibits, paintings and artifacts representing both Disney history and present, this place will give you all the feels. PLUS, they feature sketch artists that you can watch sketch in person. It’s a wonderful way to get to the core of what Disney is all about.
Hope this rainy day blog was helpful! Visiting the resort in the rain is actually my favorite thing in life. I’m the type of person who LOVES going on Splash Mountain in the rain. I hope these tips helped you prepare for a safe, warm and magical trip. Have a great week you guys!