What to Pack for Disneyland in February

Soundsational Parade” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

Packing for any vacation can be a pain, especially when you add kids into the mix. Naturally, prepping for Disneyland Resort is now different. Nonetheless, when packing for your February visit to the parks, you want to be covered from head to toe, literally, in the right gear.

In these Disneyland tips, you’ll get an inside look at weather in Anaheim, the best packing list for that weather and your activities, and an expert guide at packing for your journey between all the lands and beyond!

February Weather in Anaheim, California

When you Google about this topic, you’ll find that the temperature range is 49℉ to 71℉ with a chance of rain. However, when you as a SoCal native, you’ll get answers that are perhaps more true to the matter of what to wear and when.

Disneyland weather tends to be beautiful and sunny most of the year. SoCal as a whole seems to have sunshine 95% of the time! As such, you’ll se locals out in shorts and t-shirts more than anything. When it does get “chilly” though, you’ll see everything from shorts/t-shirt ensembles to people in parkas and snow gear.

Typically, you can plan on the weather at Disneyland in February to be one of three things. One, on a really warm year, will be slightly cloudy skies with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 50’s. Two, on a rainy (El Niño year), lots of rain throughout the month, including particularly heavy days where the streets just about flood. 

Three, a mixture of the two, more of an average year, with scattered showers, cloudy skies, and temps in the high 50’s and low 60’s during the day and in the low 50’s at night.

No matter when you are traveling to DLR, you’ll want to check the local weather. Be sure to look at local stations like ABC7’s Accuweather for the most up-to-date weather tracking in SoCal!

Going Beyond Your Basics

Any vacation comes with the standards: outfits for each day of travel, personal accessories and toiletries, an extra pair of shoes, etc. However, going to Disneyland is slightly more unique in that the use of time is far more exact. 

You have from park open to park close to cram in everything you and the whole party wants to do; so, you need to prepare for your whole day (and trip) based around being away from a hotel room for more than 12 hours.

What to Pack Generally

  • All of your essentials
    • Don’t forget lip balm
    • Headache meds can be useful
  • An undershirt (preferably something light that can have layers added over it)
  • A regular shirt (Disney attire is always a plus!)
  • A heavy sweatshirt or jacket
  • A raincoat or water-resistant overcoat
  • Jeans or cargo pants (having a lot of pockets comes in handy for Disneyland)
  • A brimmed hat (during the day)
  • A beanie (for the night)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (even on cloudy days, you’re likely to catch UV rays that can cause skin damage)
  • Two pairs of shoes (especially if you are going for more than one day to the parks)
  • Umbrellas for everyone in the party

Additional Recommendations

If you are going for one day from either out-of-town or locally, consider packing at least a backpack with the following:

  • Small beach towel to dry off gear or self or cozy up in at night
  • Extra (oversized) jacket or poncho for extra warmth at night during spectaculars

You will also want to consider getting a locker to stash it away for big rides with tight spaces (think roller coasters).

If you are going for multiple days,especially if you’re staying at a hotel, consider bringing a backpack for the whole group to bring the same things. However, if you are planning on returning to the hotel, you’ll want to stick to the basics more or less. You might want to consider having everyone carry extra gear on their persons to save a little money on a locker.

Packing for Kids

As most parents have noted at one time or another, packing for an extra person means overthinking everything they could need. Worse than that, kids mean more stuff like toys, tech, and strollers, which mean your car will be packed to the brim!

Strollers in the Parks

These items are necessary for little, little ones like infants and young toddlers. However, they tend to be bulky and less than navigable in crowds. Here’s why you should consider going with an on-body carrier or no stroller at all.

  1. It is going to slow you down in the pedestrian traffic. 
  2. Stroller parking is not as available as you would think in Disneyland.
  3. Restaurants both within and outside of the parks often will not allow the strollers inside (even the Panera next to a hotel on the south side of the park has outside stroller parking!).
  4. They are bulky and heavy, making them hard to maneuver, fold, and deal with all around.
  5. You’ll really only need them when your kid/s fall asleep since you can’t take them in line with you.

As great as strollers are, be prepared to let them go! If that’s just out of the question, here are some quick tips to make your #momlife or #dadlife (and every other life revolving around a child) a bit easier when moving through Disneyland.

  • Fold up the stroller and carry it with you while someone else carries or walks with your child whenever possible. 
  • Visit the parks land by land to use stroller parking efficiently. Most attractions will have a region for stroller parking, but it will save you time and hassle if you can leave it at just one central location per part of the park.
  • Know the rules before you go. Strollers are allowed in specific circumstances throughout the parks, so if you know where you will be able to take them ahead of time, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and enjoy the magic just that much more.
  • Rent a stroller at Disneyland! They’re about $15 per stroller per day. That may even be cheaper than checking it with your airline. And if you’re driving into town, that will really save you a lot of space in the car.

Snacks and Drinks are a Plus

While there are great options around both parks to pick up an apple juice, chocolate milk, or apple crisps (featuring Mickey on the bag!), getting to them may be difficult and time-consuming with a stroller and/or crying child. This makes getting favorite kids’ snacks that much more difficult to access with the distance between them. As such, bring snacks and drinks with you for your little ones.

If you have those things on hand, you can stay in line, or at least in the same area, without having to worry about hustling to find a vendor with those items. Note that many of these vendors are not simple concession stands; they are mostly built-in store fronts like Tropical Imports (Adventureland) or fruit cars in Critter Country and Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom and Mortimer’s Market (entrance to Buena Vista Street) and Fairfax Market (Hollywoodland) in California Adventure. 

Pack for Their Schedule

Blankets or towels, toys and electronics, even just a favorite stuffed animal — these things may be a part of your kids’ regular schedules. Don’t be afraid to keep them on it for a vacay! 

If they still be take naps, be prepared. Book it into your day by heading to a show or a nice meal for the parents while they snuggle up! They may not want to miss any excitement, but letting them rest will certainly make your day (and everyone who’s around you) better when your little one is smiling and giggling during the fireworks.

Proper Disneyland “Backpacking”

While you don’t need to prepare for the potential of being lost in the woods or out at sea like other vacations, you do need to prepare for the worst case scenarios at Disneyland. These include blisters on toes and heels, little scrapes and scratches on little ones who might stumble, aches and pains in adults, and getting too hot or too cold throughout the day.

Choosing a Backpack or Daypack

Backpacks tend to be the best choice for everyone. They are comfortable, have numerous pockets, are stylish (for the most part), and can hold a lot of stuff. The downside: backpacks take up a lot of space because we tend to stuff as much in there as we can! Plus, it’s usually one person (gear up, dads and moms!) who ends up lugging the thing around all day.

Daypacks, like fanny packs and purses, rectify the issue of taking up too much space. Moreover, they tend to fit more conveniently in attraction holders or at your feet for a ride. The downside: daypacks are small and don’t fit a whole lot of clothing. You’ll probably need a locker to fit anything more than your bare necessities in the pouches.

Ultimately, when picking your DLR storage system, you’ll want to consider the following.

  • Am I carrying just for me or for more members of the party?
    1. Just you: take the smaller option
    2. Everyone and their stuffed animal: pick a big backpack and consider a locker rental
  • Are we going to be able to go back to the hotel? How frequently do we want to leave the park each day?
    1. Staying just for a few hours at a time: take a daypack and carry the jacket needed for the time of day and weather
    2. Not willing to leave for a minute: grab a big pack to put heavier jackets and extras in for a full-day excursion
  • Will we have a car? Are we willing to go back to the car for gear? (answers same as above)
  • Am I willing to lug around a backpack all day, or am I willing to just risk it? (that will be your ultimate factor, and that’s all on you!)

How to Properly Pack Your Bag

Work from the big stuff to the small accessories, and use your space wisely. If you’ve ever been backpacking or on a day hike, you most likely know that there are “must haves” and “emergency items.” As such, you make everything accessible but prioritize the “must haves” for easy access. 

Assuming you are using a standard backpack with a main pocket, front pouch and water bottle holders, you will want to pack along these lines.

Main Pocket

This should be where your bulky items go. Avoid food and beverages in this pocket at all times so as to avoid leaks! Special note: if your bag is not waterproof, consider lining the inside bottom with plastic of some sort, even if it’s just a bag, to prevent water rides from flooding more than the floor.

  • Heaviest jacket for nighttime use
  • Light jackets or sweaters
  • Extra pants 
  • Extra socks
  • Extra shoes (only if they are light, like sandals)
  • Hats (if it can be clipped onto the handle, always opt for that with hats to avoid crushing them and for easy access)

Front Pouch

You will want to keep your emergency-style items here along with snacks. This is also a possible place to stow a wallet or phones for some attractions; however, you should always try to keep valuables on your person to avoid potential theft.

  • Medications
  • Bandaids (blister bandaids are highly recommended)
  • Loose change
  • Napkins/tissues
  • Small snacks like crackers and fruit bites
  • Gum or mints
  • Sunglasses (you may want a case to prevent them from breaking)
  • Extra socks can fit here, too
  • Beanies may fit well, too

Side Pockets/Water Bottle Holders

While water bottle holders can carry the obvious (beverage bottles), you can also stuff them with supplies you’ll need for rainy weather! Consider putting a collapsible umbrella in the pocket or even a scrunched up hat or rolled shirt. This will help you make the best use of space in your bag.

The Magic of Extra Baggies

When you’re packing, consider organizing by type, use, and size. Pack things separately in plastic baggies or your favorite makeup bags (these are just small canvas or thick-plastic bags). Try these groupings for ease of packing.

  • Larger plastic bag (1-gallon): two extra shirts, folded
  • First Aid supplies (quart-size): small bottle of pain meds or several pouches with single-serve tablets, bandaids, safety pins, facial tissues, hand sanitizer
  • Tech supplies (sandwich size): extra charger for devices AND an extra place to put a phone when going on a wet ride!
  • Loose medications (snack bags): any pills you may need at certain times throughout the day that can be accessed readily without combing through every item in the pack

Bringing extra baggies is always a good idea to help organize and protect tech devices throughout the day.

February at Disneyland Resort

Special events mean special gear! For Disnerds of all ages, this means grabbing the right ears, shirts, and more to blend in with your favorite characters and have awesome photos to post.

February is an interesting time to visit the Resort because it’s just after the holidays (yes, sadly all of those beautiful lights and decorations will be gone in early January!) and just before the rush into spring break and summer. Nonetheless, the Imagineers and Cast Members are hard at work year-round to make every visit to Walt’s first Magical Kingdom amazing.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day gets turned into a whole month at the parks! Your favorite sweethearts can be seen in various decorations and often will be meandering the park together. Plus, the flowers and plants throughout the park will pop in shades of pink and purple (you’ll definitely want to check out the floral layout just beyond the gates in Disneyland Park itself).

You may also see an enhanced array of sweetheart gear featuring Mickey and Minnie and the princesses with their princes. In recent years, the parks have released heart-shaped dessert foods and Valentine flavors. Think about your favorite coffee shop’s selection, and that’s more or less what you’ll get in the parks with an extra dash of pixie dust.

Typically, these decorations are put out in late January and will be up through mid-month of February, just past Valentine’s Day by about a week.

Gearing up for these events is easy! Pack your favorite Mickey or Minnie ears (if you have them in pink, purple, or rose gold, even better to match the color scheme). Pair it with a cute Mickey and Minnie heart-hands shirt or your favorite couple (Lady and Tramp, anyone?) shirt. Even better, you can find lots of couples’ shirts in the parks and online featuring your favorite “his” and “her” moments. In the end, as long as you are celebrating love, you’ll fit right in!

Lunar New Year Celebration

Not only will you get a prime dose of Mulan and her gang, you’ll get to meet the Disney animal representative of the year! Throughout Disney California Adventure Park, you can celebrate the Chinese New Year in style.

The event, typically hosted for three weeks beginning in late January (around January 25 to February 15), features performances, mini-parades, multicultural feast options, and unique Lunar New Year gear. Join the celebration by dawning red and yellow or anything with Mulan or Mushu!

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