Typically the best time to visit Disneyland are weekdays – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – as these are the least busy days at Disneyland. Therefore, mid-week is a great time to visit Disneyland. But certain weeks or months of the year can be more or less busy. It’s essential to be aware of this when planning a Disneyland itinerary.
Disneyland is located in Anaheim, Southern California. In 2023 celebrate 100 years of Disney at Disneyland Resort. If you are planning a family vacation to Disney but you’re wondering about the best time to visit Disneyland, keep reading!
In this guide, we’ll cover what time of year is better for Disneyland and the busiest times of the year at Disneyland. We will discuss the most affordable time to visit Disneyland and the best age to take children to Disney. We also share our 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar to help you see at a glance when the Disneyland theme parks will be most busy and more expensive or less busy and least expensive.
You may also be interested to read our other articles, such as our Disney Genie Plus Review or Which Is Better, Disney World Or Disneyland? Or do you want to know, Can You Bring Food Into Disneyland? And don’t miss these Games To Play In Line At Disney to help keep your kids entertained.
What Time Of Year is Better For Disneyland?
Generally, an excellent time to visit Disneyland is in January and February when there is pleasant weather and fewer crowds. But the parks will have shorter hours and scaled-back entertainment, so fireworks may only happen on weekends, and some rides may undergo refurbishments.
Spring break in California and the surrounding states impact March and April. If Easter falls early, then crowds are much higher in late March and early April, but if Easter falls later in April, this spreads out the spring break crowds over a more extended period.
Other good times to visit Disneyland is weekdays in May (excluding Grad Nights or Memorial Day) and the first half of June when temperatures are more comfortable. After kids return to school in mid-August is another excellent time to visit if you don’t mind the heat. Once fall arrives, the best time to visit Disneyland is during the week (not Fridays or weekends).
When planning your Disney itinerary, keep in mind that when schools are in session, then crowds might be bigger on weekends as families flock to Southern California for a weekend getaway.
However, the best time to visit Disneyland is in the fall. Tourists are scarce, and it’s not too hot outside, so you can enjoy all of your favorite attractions without overheating. It’s also an excellent time for shorter lines since fewer people visit the parks, and most kids are back in school.
Although, be sure to avoid the first two weeks in October when schools in California and nearby Arizona and Utah typically have a 1-2 week fall break.
Ultimately, find a time that works for you to visit the happiest place on earth. Don’t overthink it. Whenever is a convenient time for your family to travel is a great time to visit Disneyland and enjoy the magic!
When is Disneyland Most Busy?
The best way to know if it will be crowded at Disneyland is to ask yourself two simple questions. 1) Are most children out of school? 2) Is it a major U.S. holiday? If the answer to one or both of these questions is “yes,” there will be bigger crowds at Disneyland.
Since the pandemic, Disneyland has been operating a reservation system. In addition to purchasing an admission ticket for the date(s) of your visit, you will also need a park reservation for the date you wish to visit each park. Go here for Disneyland park reservation availability which is released 120 days in advance.
Many Disneyland locals are Magic Key holders (annual pass holders) who may experience block-out dates during very busy periods when they are not allowed to enter one or both of the parks. This is a strong indication that the parks will be heavy with tourists. But crowds are higher before and after these block-out periods as Magic Key holders try to squeeze in another visit to Disneyland.
The parks feel more crowded on weekends and holidays when people arrive early at Disneyland and stay all day long to make the most of their admission ticket. When Magic Key holders visit the parks, they are more likely to only visit for an evening or a portion of the day, so the park won’t feel so crowded.
Another factor on crowd levels is the occurrence of Dance Competitions at Disneyland when dancers and their families flock to the parks. And also convention attendees at the Anaheim Convention Center right across the street.
Many Special Events at Disneyland are popular and draw large crowds. These include Disneyland After Dark, runDisney, Grad Nights, Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party, and more. The Disneyland theme parks will close early to regular park attendees who will need to leave before the special event begins or make sure to purchase a ticket to attend the special occasion.
Disney World is busy during school breaks, especially during spring break (mid-March to late April) and summer break (mid-June through Labor Day). The busiest time of year at Disneyland is during Thanksgiving week and Christmas week through January 1st as families celebrate the holidays.
When is Disneyland Most Affordable?
At Disneyland, lower admission prices coincide with fewer visitors and shorter lines. The most affordable times to visit Disneyland are on weekdays in January (after New Year and excluding MLK Day), early February (before President’s Day weekend), May (before Memorial Day weekend), late August, September (after Labor Day weekend), and early November.
To choose when to visit Disneyland and to see pricing for individual days, click here. You can make Disneyland theme park reservations and purchase Disneyland tickets up to 120 days in advance (or 90 days if you are a Magic Key pass holder). To calculate when your booking window will open, count the number of days until your visit.
If you are currently outside of the booking window, set yourself a reminder for the date your DL theme park reservation and tickets will become available to purchase.
Disneyland Crowd Calendar 2023
Below is our Disneyland Crowd Calendar for 2023. This is our estimation of the daily crowds at Disneyland based on the popularity of holidays and events, which are reflected by Disney admission ticket pricing. This is a prediction, and crowd levels are subject to change. You will also notice we have included the average temperature High and Low for each month of the year.
When is the Best Age for Disneyland?
Every kid dreams of taking at least one trip to Disneyland during their childhood.
Once you’ve decided on the best time of year to visit Disneyland, you want to consider what the age of your child(ren) will be at that time. My recommendation is to plan a visit to Disneyland while your child(ren) are between the age of 5 to 9 years old.
Certainly, kids older or younger than the 5-9 age group will still enjoy Disney, but there are two main advantages to this age group.
Firstly, there’s the all-important 42″ height restriction, which children will typically pass around the age of 5. There are plenty of rides that children under 42 inches can enjoy, but at that height, they can do everything except the Indiana Jones Adventure (which is 46″) and the Incredicoaster (which is 48″). That means a child who is at least 42″ can do most of the main attractions like Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, and Matterhorn Bobsled.
Plus, there are other popular rides with a shorter height restriction, such as Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT, Soarin’ Around the World, and more. Use the Attraction Height Guide pages to see ride height requirements at the Disneyland theme parks.
Secondly, children aged 3-9 years receive a reduced child admission ticket rate. Once a child turns ten years old, they require an adult admission ticket. It’s not much more expensive (approximately $10 extra per day). But when you are buying admission tickets for multiple days and multiple people, this extra cost can add up. We learned the hard way when we took our kids to Disney on fall break, which was a week after our daughter turned ten!
There is no charge for children under the age of 3 years, but doing Disney with a toddler is a whole different experience.
Disneyland Planning Guide
Use our Disneyland Planning Guide with Printable Worksheets to help your family plan a fun, easy, stress-free, and magical vacation to Disneyland Resort in California. It includes a Park Day Backpack Packing List and a list of Kid Friendly Snacks for Disneyland.
Ultimately, any time your family can make the trip to Anaheim is a great time to visit Disneyland. Whenever is a convenient time to travel with your family is the best time to visit Disneyland and make memories at the happiest place on earth!
We hope this article has helped you consider some of the other factors that can impact the best time to visit Disneyland, such as the crowds, the age of your children, and the affordability of Disneyland for families.
Watch this video about the Best Time to Visit Disneyland Resort.
For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Disneyland Planning Guide with Printable Worksheets
Tips and Tricks for Disney World
Games To Play In Line At Disney
Disney Genie Plus Review
Which Is Better, Disney World Or Disneyland?
Can You Bring Food Into Disneyland?