So much for me stating over the weekend that “rain does very little to impact the actual operation of the park”. On Monday afternoon Disney announced that they would be closing Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park early by 3 hours, due to heavy rain. Disneyland would now close at 8pm while DCA will close it’s doors at 6pm. The park was already seeing low attendance numbers during this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday because of the heavy rains. Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland spokeswoman was quoted by the Orange County Register as saying “Unfortunately, current weather conditions do not allow us to provide the best possible guest experience.” Link
This is a rare event, and only occurs about once a year at the most. Visitors were already reporting low attendance numbers to DisneylandLive via twitter, and some are speculating that it may have more to due with the financial aspect of running a two theme parks with virtually no visitors. A neighboring ammusment park, Knott’s Berry Farm, didn’t even open their gates today in anticipation of the approaching storm.
It remains to be seen what will happen later this week when a second and third more powerful rain storm is expected to slam into Southern California.
Update: Tuesday, January 19
A second more powerful storm stuck the Orange County area. It dumped over an inch and a half of rain in just under 2 hours time. This storm moved much faster and resulted in more violent weather patterns. A small tornado touched down in the sea side community of Sunset Beach, approximately 20 miles south of Disneyland. It was powerful enough to flip an unoccupied SUV and do some damages to residences and business, fortunately no injuries were reported. Link. Despite all this wicked weather, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure stayed open as planned unlike yesterday when they decided to close the gates 3 hours early due to the extreme weather. As expected it made for a very low attendance at both parks.
Although there were some reports of flooding there were no major incidences that we heard of in this latest batch of storms.
According to our weather report there is still one big storm to head our way tomorrow evening.