Southern California is expecting an unusual weather pattern as Hurricane Hilary moves its way up Mexico’s west coast bringing with it high wind and heavy rain. Unlike Walt Disney World, hurricane weather at Disneyland is rare and unexpected which may catch many Disneyland guests off guard.
This weather impact may result in early closures for Disneyland depending on the severity but will at least bring unseasonably wet weather to the resort.
UPDATE: Disneyland Will Close Early Sunday
Disneyland updated its website Saturday evening at 6PM PT to announce that the Disneyland theme parks would close early on Sunday, August 20th due to Hurricane Hilary (hours details below).
As of Sunday morning, the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center downgraded the storm from hurricane shortly before 8 am Pacific Time but warned of “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” in the Southern California regions that are not equipped to handle intense flooding.
Currently, there is ongoing rain in Anaheim at the resort but the scheduled charity Disneyland CHOC Walk continued on Sunday morning as planned. This is a charity event to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. A member of our team was at the walk from early in the morning on Sunday and shared that it went off smoothly and carried on pretty much like normal. The photos here are from the event this morning.
On Sunday, Disneyland will be closing at 10PM and California Adventure at 9PM. Downtown Disney will close at 11PM and all the Disneyland resort hotels will stay open.
According to Disney, they are closely monitoring Hurricane Hilary and may continue to make adjustments based on the latest information which could result in earlier closures of the parks. No updates have been shared to expand the closures into Monday or Tuesday.
Here is the notification on the Disneyland website as of 6:30 PM PT on Saturday.
Hurricane Hilary Moving Towards Disneyland
Hurricane Hilary is currently moving up the west coast of Mexico and heading toward Southern California. According to weather experts, it is likely that the area will see abnormally strong winds, waves, and rain Sunday and Monday. The Disneyland Resort is situated right in Southern California in Anaheim and is about 19 miles away from the closest beach.
The National Hurricane Center put out a public advisory that warns that the storm heading towards Southern California has strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane. The storm is not expected to be a hurricane by the time it hits Southern California and will likely tamper out to a tropical storm.
However, it is expected to bring heavy rainfall to Southern California after it hits Mexico. Flooding rain and strong winds are expected in areas of California including the Los Angeles Basin. The storm is expected to cause large swells along the California coast in the next few days.
When Will Hurricane Hilary Impact Disneyland?
Hurricane Hilary was located about 475 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this afternoon. It is expected to continue moving in a west-northwest direction until it makes a turn northwest Friday morning which is when we’ll start to see the weather impacts to Southern California.
Based on the hurricane’s current location and predicted trajectory, the timeline is said to begin with heavy rainfall starting Friday and peaking on Sunday and Monday, according to the hurricane center.
The storm is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rainfall with a possible maximum of 10 inches in the area which could bring flash flooding along with damaging wind gusts.
Can You Get A Refund At Disneyland If It Rains?
No, Disneyland’s tickets are non-refundable, and getting a refund due to rain is unlikely. If you’ve purchased your Disneyland tickets through our travel partner Get Away Today then you may have the option of moving your trip dates around. You won’t pay any fees for this if you opted for the Peace of Mind plan which allows for trip flexibility without additional fees.
Does Disneyland Get Hurricane Weather?
No, it is extremely rare for Disneyland to see the impacts of hurricane weather! Weather forecasters are already calling this unprecedented event to see a tropical storm move through Southern California. Weather patterns have been changing in recent years which has led to some unusual behavior for tropical storms. This is likely why we’re seeing such strange weather behavior with storms like Hurricane Hilary.
It is more likely to see the impacts of hurricanes at Walt Disney World as this is common for Florida. You typically do not hear ‘hurricane’ and ‘Disneyland’ in the same sentence!
Keep in mind that forecasters are not predicting for a hurricane to hit Disneyland and the storm will likely have tapered off into a large tropical storm by the time it’s close to Southern California. Tropical storms bring high winds, heavy rain, and large waves which are unusual for the region. In fact, August is one of the driest months of the year at Disneyland! Typically Disneyland only sees rain in January, February, and early March but even then the rain does not typically mirror the torrential downpours you see in tropical storms.
Will Disneyland Close If It Rains?
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