In November of 2011 we went to Disneyland right before Thanksgiving. The first day we went it was absolutely beautiful. We loved it and had a wonderful time- the weather could not have been more perfect. But when we woke up the next morning we looked out our window to see RAIN! Not just a drizzle, or even a rain storm. It was a torrential downpour! So we did what we could and got ready for a long rainy day. We were not prepared for this and all we had were long pants and hoodies. It was 50 degrees outside and pouring buckets. So off we went to Target, and $200 later we had jackets, scarves, umbrellas, gloves, hats and extra thick socks.
THIS DID NOT HELP!!!
After the first hour our pants were soaked up to our knees and our shoes and extra thick socks were soaked through. It was raining so hard that the umbrellas were no longer working, the water was coming right through the fabric. We went on California Screamin’ to start off with. (FYI don’t ride this in in the rain, it really hurts!) After this a lot of rides started closing, but we continued trying to be troopers and waited in the line at Toy Story Mania, which is mostly outside. The umbrellas they had in the queue did little to cover us in such a huge downpour. The line was still about 45 minutes long, even with the weather. Apparently we weren’t the only ones trying to stick it out.
I think we lasted maybe a total of 3-4 hours and we were cold, miserable, and my sons lips were starting to turn blue. We decided to call it a day and come back later if the rain let up. It never did. We went back to our hotel, stripped down, put on our jammies. Then we took all of our clothes and shoes to get washed and dried. In my rush I ended up washing my phone. Having this happen on vacation is a great inconvenience. I lost everything from communication to all of the Disney pictures we had taken. Super Bummer, lesson learned!
1. Check the weather before you go and be prepared. You may be thinking, Duh, I knew that one already. But, California is known for having beautiful weather all of the time and, some people like myself will assume that it will be nice while you are there. You might also see rain on the forecast and assume that it will be a shower or drizzle, but it could also be a torrential downpour. So, I’m just saying, be prepared.
2. It is a lot more expensive to buy all new things than to pack a bag of extras for just in case in the weather department. Do you really want to spend all of your souvenir money on new items that you won’t need once you get home? Say goodbye to those cute Minnie Mouse slippers or a new pirate hat you need warm clothes instead!
3. We always pack ponchos now and keep them in the bottom of our Disneyland backpack. As well as baggies for our phones and electronics for just in case. These also come in handy on the water rides, especially if you don’t like squishing around in wet pants and shoes all day.
4. Always search all of your pockets for any electronics, gum, or chapstick so that none of these item get put through the washer and dryer. I promise you’ll thank me for that advice later. Because sometimes when you are on a trip you get so wrapped up in what is going on round you that you forget about others things. (Like putting my cell phone through the wash.)
Looking back on this trip has made me realize that I had know idea what we were doing then. I have, however, learned a lot more over the past year. Since we became annual pass holders and have so far spent 12 days at Disneyland where we took our time as we wandered around and explored the park. These are some of the many things we have learned.
If you are at Disneyland during bad weather there are actually many things that you can do inside the park.
1. Take advantage of the indoor queues if you want to ride the rides. Lines are generally shorter during bad weather.
2. Take your time on Main St. there is really a lot to do there. You can visit the Disney Gallery, catch a show at the Main Street Cinema, watch Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, or take a ride on the Disneyland Railroad.
3. Can you say SHOPPING? Take this day to look for the perfect souvenir to take home for you or a loved one. There is no shortage of shops at Disneyland and so many of them are connected in both Disneyland and California Adventure that you can shop while almost completely escaping the weather.
4. Check out Innoventions in Tomorrowland, there is always something to do there and you can spend hours in there. Last time we went they had Iron Man flying simulations, video game stations where you could try out Disney Infinity, and Disney Innoventions Dream Home. Those are just some of the highlights of what you can find there. There is definitely something for everyone!
5. You can also play in the Starcade in Tomorrowland. There are many games to play such as Fix it Felix Jr. for FREE! How AWESOME is that!
6. Catch one of Disney’s many shows, at Disneyland my favorite is Mickey and the Magical Map, and at California Adventure it is Aladdin (which is a can’t miss in my book anyways, the show is AMAZING!)
7. Eat in- there are some seriously good restaurants at Disney. See if you can do a character meal at Ariel’s Grotto, or Goofy’s Kitchen both of which are fantastic (you will need a reservation so call ahead). Some of my other favorites are Café Orleans (can you say Pommes Frites?). For something less expensive you could try The Plaza Inn ( the fried chicken is to die for!) or Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port which has awesome pizza as well pasta and salad. If you really want to splurge I recommend the Blue Bayou it is an amazing experience if you can get in, (I absolutely recommend a reservation) it is an experience you will never forget.
8. In California Adventure you can catch Turtle Talk with Crush or Animation Academy, both of which I have always wanted to do but I always run out of time! There is also a 3D Muppets show that I would love to see.
There are so many ways for you to wander around in Disneyland hidden safely away from the elements and in the meantime as you wait out that storm think of all the wonderfully fun things you will learn and do. You might even get to cross some items off of your Disney bucket list.