When is the best time to visit Disneyland? This is one of the most common questions that guests have when planning their trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. There are a number of different factors to consider like crowd levels, weather, entertainment options, and seasonal activities. Our 2019-2020 Disneyland crowd calendar is here to help you make the best decision on when to visit Disneyland!
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There are two major factors to consider when navigating crowd levels at Disneyland: events happening at the resort and school holidays. Those are often are our most two reliable Disneyland crowd indicators. So with that in mind, let’s answer the question: “When will it be crowded at Disneyland?” Answering this question will also largely help you decide when to visit Disneyland.
Weekends have a tendency to busy at the Disneyland Resort due to the large population of Annual Passholders that visit the resort on weekends. Annual Passholders at Disneyland have a big impact on crowd levels at the resort since over 1 million people make up the Annual Passholder population. For this reason, we often turn to the Annual Passholder Blockout Calendar to help us determine crowd levels at certain points in the year. For example, a weekend before a long period of block out dates may turn out to be busier than normal due to many passholders visiting the parks before their block out periods begin.
Take a look at our discount Disneyland tickets page for information on how to save money and info on how long you should visit.
Since Disneyland is much different than Disney World with being a vacation destination and a popular place to hang out from local populations, predicting exact crowd variations can be difficult to determine. We base our calendar below on events at the resort, past crowd trends, and school holidays to help us determine when to expect crowds. Most guests really want to know crowd levels before they decide when to visit Disneyland.
Busy, But Not Overrun
January through the beginning of May, aside from Spring break, is often called the “off season” due to the low crowd levels the park sees. There will also be scattered holidays to factor in that may bring spikes in crowds during this time such as Martin Luther King Day. While the park may not be as crowded, Disney cuts back on entertainment since the crowds are lower than peak months so that is also something important to consider. Fireworks may only happen on weekends and daytime entertainment will be reduced. This is also a common time of year for Disneyland to work on refurbishing popular rides that see a lot of activity during peak months. So there is a hit or miss with that option for when to visit Disneyland- you will experience smaller crowds but also less entertainment.
If you are considering visiting Walt Disney World in Florida, be sure to look at our guide to when to visit Disney World 2019.
If your Disneyland hotel prices are coming up high during a time period that we list as not crowded, be sure to check out the Anaheim Convention Center schedule. During large conventions, the prices for hotels can skyrocket.
We put together a Disneyland attendance calendar below that details all of our different pros and cons of the different months of the year on when to visit Disneyland.
Be sure to check the Disneyland calendar on the official Disneyland website for more info on closures, entertainment schedules, and other information to help determine when to visit Disneyland
Below we have compiled a large list of all the Disneyland events and special calendar items to be aware of when picking when to visit Disneyland.
All of these openings and special events will greatly affect the 2019-2020 Disneyland crowd index.
Throughout the year there are a few huge special events that make the parks extra magical centering around the seasons, the holidays, and more. Here are the top celebrated events and holidays you must know about when planning when to visit Disneyland.
At Christmas time you will find Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up with icicles, Main Street laden with decorations, and the rest of the parks beautifully decorated to celebrate the season. Regular shows and experiences are altered to match the holiday theme. Disneyland at Christmas offers so much to see and do for guests including themed attractions, a holiday parade and fireworks, fantastic holiday food, festivals, and breathtaking decor!
Disneyland pulls out all the stops for two of its most classic rides it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion. These fantastic holiday overlays is one of the best parts of Disneyland at Christmas. Both of these rides get busier than usual this time of year due to the popularity of these themes.
I highly recommend this time of year as a top contender on when to visit Disneyland, but expect to be joined by lots of crowds if you are there the week of Christmas through the first week of January. The best time to visit and see the Christmas decorations is the first two weeks of December or the second week of January.
During Halloween time, the parks are decorated with jack-o-lanterns and the feeling of fall and Halloween is in the air. See all of the information on Disneyland Halloween in our huge guide to help you decide if Halloween is the answer to your question of when to visit Disneyland.
The Haunted Mansion becomes the Haunted Mansion Holiday for the Halloween and Disneyland Christmas seasons. This special holiday edition features the story of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and characters from the film including Jack Skellington, Zero the Ghost Dog, and Sally
NEW this year for the 2019 Halloween season- for the first time in nearly a decade, all guests visiting Disneyland can see a version of the popular yearly Halloween Screams projection and special effects show. In previous years guests had to have a ticket to the Halloween party at Disneyland to see this special show.
This year Disneyland’s California Adventure will be hosting the coveted Halloween Party! The Oogie Boogie Bash will take place on select dates through Sept. 17th- Oct. 31st 2019 at Disney’s California Adventure. This party will run in conjunction with the Disneyland Halloween season.
The party consists of fun entertainment, attractions, and candy, all while you wear your Halloween costume inside California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.
NEW: Mickey’s Halloween Party will take a break this 2019 Halloween season as the party moves to California Adventure with the new ticketed event- Oogie Boogie’s Bash.
Disneyland hosts a separately ticketed party on select nights throughout September and October that features a special Halloween theme with extra entertainment, costumes, and Halloween decorations.
During Mickey’s Halloween Party, Disney characters are out in full force with the classic characters like Mickey Mouse and the gang donning their own Halloween costumes and rarely seen villains creeping out. During the event you can find characters in meet and greets scattered throughout the park and in a special character cavalcade parade twice a night. Regular park guests get to join in the fun by wearing their own costumes to the event. This is the only time that adults are allowed to wear costumes of any sort to Disneyland. In almost every land of the park, kids and adults alike can receive candy on the trick or treat trails. To finish off the night, the spookiest fireworks show of the year brings the castle to life.
In Summertime, Disney will open new experiences and attractions making it a great time to visit Disneyland to see any new offerings at the resort. There are some significant pros to visiting in summer such as most rides are open, new attractions tend to open this time of year, the summer hours being the longest of the year, and summertime can also mean beach time!
Summer can also be a busy time of year but with some careful planning you can manage summer crowds.
The rest of the year Disney has shorter weekend events going on that celebrate certain cultures or smaller holidays like the Lunar New Year, high school graduation, or the 4th of July.
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