Updated December 30, 2017
We don’t see a ton of super hot days at Disneyland, but when they happen, I want you to be prepared.
A crowded theme park is no fun with high temperatures and long lines. As with any day at the park, I recommend leaving mid-day to avoid this most difficult time. Hot days require this more than others. As tempting as it is to stay all day and get the most from your money, I suggest leaving and taking advantage of some off site air conditioning.
While in the parks, there are certain attractions that will provide relief more than others.
Let’s go through everything you need to know for a hot day at Disneyland Resort.
In this article
Average Temperatures at Disneyland
The weather at Disneyland is usually quite nice. Here are the average temperatures for Anaheim, California:
January – 48/71
February – 48/71
March – 51/73
April – 53/76
May – 57/78
June – 61/81
July – 65/87
August – 65/89
September – 63/87
October – 58/82
November – 52/76
December – 47/70
Check out what I recommend wearing to Disneyland at this link with tips on layering and being prepared for a range in temperatures.
Gear to Bring
I recommend buying ahead for any trip to Disneyland. This post shares what I think you need most.
For hot days, you’ll save a lot of money if you purchase some other things ahead of time. Consider the following:
Misting fan – the parks sell these for $20. Amazon has them for around $10.
Cooling towels – the parks run out of these quickly. Purchase from Amazon.
Multi Cool Wraps – head wraps that cool instantly when wet
Cooling Scarfs – similar to the head wraps, but more versatile
Small, portable cooler – pack with water bottles and wet wipes (see below for more on this and other tips)
Disneyland Attractions to Escape the Heat
The following attractions are my picks at Disneyland for hot days, organized by land.
Enchanted Tiki Room – long show in an air conditioned room
Indiana Jones Adventure – mostly shaded line and then long indoor queue to get to the ride
New Orleans Square
Haunted Mansion – long-ish ride with part of the attraction as an indoor walk through
Pirates of the Caribbean – long boat ride indoors
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – typically a low line with a cool, indoor attraction
Splash Mountain – the premiere water ride at Disneyland Park
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin – long indoor queue
Toontown Houses – covered houses for guests to run around in and play
it’s a small world – long, cool, indoor boat ride
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Snow White’s Scary Adventures – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough – indoor walk through attraction
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Disneyland Monorail – cool ride in and out of the parks (during extreme heat, the monorail will not run)
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage – covered ride “under water” (this one is shaded, but can feel muggy on particularly hot days)
Star Wars Launch Bay – lots to do inside – check out this post
Space Mountain – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Star Tours – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Lincoln – long show indoors
Main Street Cinema – continuously running cartoons indoors
California Adventure Attractions to Escape the Heat
The following attractions are my picks at California Adventure for hot days, organized by land.
a bug’s land
It’s Tough to Be a Bug! Theater – long show indoors
Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies – shaded queue and attraction for little ones
Soarin’ Around the World – indoor ride with mostly shaded queue
Grizzly River Rapids – the premiere water ride for California Adventure
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – mostly shaded obstacle course and activity center; includes a few water streams that kids run in; shaded areas for cooling off
Animation Academy – indoor attractions all under one roof including:
- Sorcerer’s Workshop
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Character Close Up
Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! – indoor attraction with mostly shaded queue
The Little Mermaid – indoor attraction with mostly shaded queue
Toy Story Midway Mania – indoor attraction with mostly shaded queue
Each park has indoor or mostly indoor shows.
Check these out:
(times vary; check the Disneyland app for your day’s entertainment schedule)
(times vary; Beauty and the Beast typically runs for the first few shows and Tangled is in the afternoon; check the app for times)
Showtimes typically include:
(times vary; check the Disneyland app for your day’s entertainment schedule)
Water Rides and Water Playgrounds
If you are so hot that you’re seeking actual water to cool off, check these out:
- Splash Mountain in Critter Country
- Grizzly River Rapids in Grizzly Peak
- Puddle Pads (splash pads) in bug’s land
- Water fountain in front of the World of Color water in Paradise Pier
Where to Go Mid-Day if You Don’t Have a Hotel Room
Downtown Disney has many shops and restaurants to peruse and a movie theater, too. Check out this post for lots to know about the Downtown Disney District.
For long breaks, visit the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel located just off of Downtown Disney. They have iced water near check in or by Hearthstone Lounge on warm days.
Tips & Strategies
It’s more important than ever to arrive early and get lots done in the morning on really hot days. Check out this post on how to start your day at each park, with what to do first and which direction to go in. Crossing off key attractions in the morning will make you feel better about leaving mid-day if the heat becomes too much.
Visitors that are familiar with Disney World should know that many of the queues at Disneyland are outdoors and considerably less detailed in comparison. Because the weather is nice here most of the time, Disneyland and DCA were built without the extravagant queues that WDW has.
All counter service restaurants will provide free iced water to any guests, regardless of if you are making a purchase or not. Don’t be shy to ask for what you need.
Water fountains can be found near most restrooms at both parks. Refill water bottles when you walk near one – don’t wait until you run out.
Baby Centers will provide a nice place to cool off for moms and dads. Know all about how they can help with your visit prior to arriving.
Freeze bottles of water the night before visiting the parks on a hot day. The ice will melt soon enough and you’ll have an icey drink when need it.
Pack a small cooler bag with bottles of water to carry with you or store in your stroller. Add a travel pack of wet wipes or handy wipes to the cooler. When you’re hot and sweaty, those wipes provide a nice way to cool off – for both adults and kids. Put sunscreen bottles in the cooler for super hot days.
During your afternoon break – if you return to your hotel – take a shower before returning to the parks. You’ll feel refreshed and ready for the night.
If your kids swim during your break, be sure to give them an hour or so of downtime after that before returning to the parks. I learned the hard way that kids going from the park to the pool to the park in high heat melt down quickly early evening.
Take whatever you need to feel put together with you to the park. I always have deodorant, essential oils, hair rubber bands and more with me. I would rather have these items than not, so I don’t mind the extra weight in my bag.
For guests with disabilities, review this post for a couple of alternative attractions that are air conditioned and comfortable.
Consider the following counter service restaurants at Disneyland that are air conditioned:
- The Plaza Inn (at the hub)
- Pizza Port (Tomorrowland)
- Golden Horseshoe (Frontierland)
- Village Haus (Fantasyland)
Consider the following counter service restaurants at California Adventure that are air conditioned:
- Fidler, Fifer and Practical Cafe (Buena Vista Street)
- Flo’s V8 Cafe (Cars Land)
- Smokejumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak)
Visit Disneyland First Aid if you are concerned with overheating.
As crazy as it sounds, early mornings and late nights at Disneyland do get chilly. Bring a sweater for both just in case.
If you know a particularly hot day is approaching and can work with your travel dates, take a break from the parks and visit an Orange County beach to cool off. This post shares my favorite 5 beaches within 30 minutes of Disneyland.
Save both of these images on your mobile device for easy reference during your visit. I’ve included attractions, shows, and indoor dining options that will all provide relief on hot days.
Stay cool, friends! Let me know if you have any questions.