A Disneyland virgin's cold and disappointing trip report

We just returned form a 4 day trip to Disneyland. We are WDW veterans and have been a number of times in the last few years but never been to DL. It was the last part of Feb first part of Mar and to say the least the weather was horrendous. Highs only in the low 50’s high 40’s and the lows reaching the upper 30’s. This was colder than it was back home in Indiana. The cold would have been tolerable if it wasn’t for the rain and wind. We had a few moments of sun at times and the best weather was our morning at CA. Thankfully the rain held off just enough for us to see the parade one day.

Needless to say this was not the magic experience I was hoping for or looking forward to as my first visit to DL. I think the weather was effecting the cast members as well, bc just about everyone we interacted with was ill tempered and not very pleasant. To be honest we didn’t have a single good interaction with any cast member. In fact we had quite a few unpleasant interactions. This was not my experience with WDW.

Many rides were either closed or down for weather and other reasons and on average capacity was down about 20% minus not having some shows and parades due to the weather. DL is not designed for bad weather especially cold. Most of the queues are mostly outside and some of the dark rides even have their load areas completely outside uncovered. Also most of the buildings do not have heat. There was just no reprieve from the cold. We had multiple layers on and winter hats but could not stay warm with the wind and wetness.

One of my biggest complaints was that these nice (and expensive) sit-down restaurants we had reservations for also did not have heat. So here I am stuck. I cannot cancel the reservation because I will be charged a fee but I guess that would have been cheaper than the meal. For the most part we didn’t realize there was no heat in the building until we were seated. We enjoyed the Blu Bayou and Cafe Orleans minus the cold.

I know part of this was my attitude. I had saved up to be able to take my family for our first trip to DL and being such a parks fan I was really looking forward to this and it was so hard to enjoy with the conditions. It will probably be awhile until we get back there and that is disappointing.

I had pre-purchased Genie + with my tickets and it was a huge waste of money. The crowds were low with the weather and so most of the rides it was not needed. However, the few rides where it would have been useful the lightning lane lines were longer than the standby. So incredibly frustrating. Also just a tip if you don’t have really young ones do the single rider lines when you can. RSR was 90min wait and single rider was only about 5-10min. We will never make that mistake again. Rookie mistake. Also had two golden tickets that were basically useless bc nothing had lines anyways.

I enjoyed getting to experience the classic rides and attractions and to see the park I always dreamed of going to and the trip was memorable for sure, not always for the right reasons.

At the end I had wished I had spent the money on another WDW trip


I’m so sorry that the weather was so awful. What freak weather conditions! Who would have anticipated that.


Sounds like you got unfortunate with the weather. Sorry about that. If you do make another, I suggest avoiding winter so you don’t end up in the one week where it actually rains in socal. I hope you’ll find some time to enjoy Disneyland at its best! (Early November is usually good)

I must confess though, I love it when it rains at Disneyland. It’s just a completely different park, both with the crowd and the atmosphere. And if you are prepared well (12 layers, anyone?), you usually don’t end up that soggy :smile:


I am so sorry your first time was in the cold AND rain. Our last two trips in December & January we have had those cold temps, but no rain, and even my husband who hates the heat said he would rather have it be on the hottest end than the cold end. It really gets to your core & like you noticed, there’s nowhere to properly warm up.

DLR is definitely much better equipped for temperate to hot weather. I hope you do come back & get to see it without the cold. My favorite weather months are April-June & October-November. We go a LOT July-September too & those months are its hottest (and some of the most busy), but it’s definitely a lot easier finding AC or shade when needing to cool down than trying to warm up in DLR.


We winter in AZ. It’s an easy drive to the LA area. We’re starting to explore a future trip to DLR, maybe in fall '24. After this year’s cooler than normal Dec - Feb (for Phoenix and LA), and now your report, I definitely want to avoid the winter months. I, too, don’t deal well with cold rainy weather.

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This winter has been really unusual for SoCal. So much rain! Good for their drought conditions- the snow pack is amazing and the reservoirs should be plenty full! But I also hate to be there when it’s cold and rainy. Sorry the weather was so bad for you!


Thanks everyone for their consoling. It does seem like bad luck. But I will also say here is where Disney Park’s inflexibility is hurting their loyal customers and harming repeat visits. I wish there would have been more flexibility for me to change my ticket days or even best case get a refund if the experience was not going to be what I expected. With the dated tickets now and park reservations, etc. I could not cancel my trip once I saw what the weather was going to be like. So in turn I have a bad experience and I’m less likely to return there or WDW in the future. I guess that was one good thing about the pandemic was the cancelation policy.


For the future should you decide to go back but are worried about this happening again, you can change the dates on your park tickets and your park reservation if needed, as long as there is availability.

It is too bad so many of the buildings don’t have heat. I will keep that in mind for my early April trip. I shivered through plenty of outdoor winter meals during the pandemic, not something I feel like repeating. Can you share which restaurants weren’t heated.

In the past I loved Maxpass because you could use it for the same ride over and over. So, to me it is a bummer that you can only use genie plus once per ride. I hope an upside to not actually needing Genie plus was that you got to ride some rides multiple times with minimal waits.


I second this! I will go to DL any time but these months are all golden.

I’m so sorry you wound up visiting in the coldest time of the coldest year in recent memory. Very frustrating.