Disneyland: Best Time to Go

Best times to visit Disneyland - factors crowds, weather and special events.

Best times to visit Disneyland - factors crowds, weather and special events.

Are you wondering when it is the best time to go to the Disneyland Resort in California? Here is information about crowds, weather, and seasonal events to help you decide the best time to visit Disneyland.  Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have so many rides and attractions that we recommend that you allow a minimum of three days to really experience the parks if you do not live in the area or visit frequently.   We specialize in Disney destinations and can help you have a wonderful and memorable vacation whenever you visit Disneyland and there is no extra charge for our help when you book your trip through us.   

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Disneyland Crowd Information

The two Disneyland theme parks and hotels will typically be more crowded when the American kids are not in school and less crowded when the kids are in school.  Visiting Disneyland when crowds are lower makes it easier to avoid lines and experience more attractions but, you have to balance that with the fact that that Disneyland significantly reduces park hours and may not offer fireworks or parades when crowds are at their lowest.  Another consideration is that Disneyland typically schedules attraction refurbishments during low times.  For this reason, I feel that moderate expected crowds give you the best balance of longer park hours and open attractions to relative crowd levels.  We give Disneyland theme park touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines to all of our clients so you can have a great time whenever you go.

Low to Moderate crowds:

  • The second week of January through the beginning of March has low to moderate crowd levels, with the exceptions of Martin Luther King Jr., Super Bowl Weekend, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day Weekends.

  • The week after Easter through mid-May

  • Late August – September, except Labor Day Weekend, will have some of the lowest crowds of the year.

  • Mid-October and early November typically have moderate crowd levels

  • Monday after Thanksgiving – mid-December

  • Weekends: During low season, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure often decrease hours and may only offer World of Color, Fantasmic!, and Fireworks on select nights – typically weekend nights. This means that weekends are often more crowded than weekdays during the low season. Your travel agent will help you plan the best itinerary for your specific travel dates.

 Higher crowd times:

  • First week of January - it is still Christmas break.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

  • Super Bowl Weekend

  • Valentines Day through Presidents Day Weekend

  • Spring Break: Second Week of March through Easter Week

  • Summer Break: Memorial Day through mid-August

  • Highest Summer Crowds: July 1 through mid-August

  • Fall Break – first 3 weeks of October

  • Thanksgiving Week

  • Christmas crowds start building December 15 – Friday before Christmas

  • Highest Christmas Crowds: Saturday before Christmas through the Sunday after New Years Day.

Manage Crowds and Lines with a good theme park touring plan (itinerary):  You can have a great time at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks no matter what the crowd level but you’ll definitely benefit from having a good theme park touring plan that keeps you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines if you’re going during higher crowd times.  When you book your trip through us, you will receive your choice of either an online subscription to TouringPlans.com Disneyland or The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland (printed guidebook).  These well-researched and highly informative resources include theme park touring plans (itineraries) that will provide the wonderful help you need to get the most out of your trip, manage crowds and minimize lines.

Best Weather for Disneyland  

Some people enjoy the parks when the temperatures are cooler while others combine Disneyland with time at some of California’s beautiful beaches and want warmer temperatures.

  • Coolest Temperatures: December, January and February. Average high: 70-degrees / average lows 47 to 49 degrees. Definitely bring a jacket for the evenings.

  • Most rain: December, January and February – averaging 4 to 5 rainy days per month.

  • Moderate temperatures: March, April May and November – Average high: 73 to 77 degrees / Average lows: 51 to 58 degrees.

  • June and October: Average high: 81 to 82 degrees / Average lows; 58 to 61 degrees

  • Hottest Months: July, August, September: Average highs: 86 to 87 degrees / Average lows: 63 to 65-degrees

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Disneyland Holidays, Festivals & Special Events

For some people, “the best time to visit Disneyland” is during the magic and delight of the Disneyland special events.

  • Lunar New Year – Special water show at Disney California Adventure, Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, Unique holiday entertainment, special appearances by popular Disney characters dressed in colorful event costumes, delicious Asian food, special crafts and activities for the kids, and more.

  • Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – typically presented in March through mid-April with Festival Marketplace kiosks selling a delectable selection of small bites of unique foods, wines, and beers; Family-friendly seminars, Junior Chef activities, and live musical performances. There are also special meals, culinary demonstrations, wine and beer tastings, and Celebrity Chef events that require advance reservations.

  • Mardi Gras and Easter – Special character appearances, fun activities and specialty food items.

  • Halloween and Dia de los Muertos: Special Halloween overlays on select rides like Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Week, and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Enjoy Halloween decorations at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separately ticketed, kid-friendly event that occurs on select nights in September and October. The parks also incorporate aspects of the Mexican celebration of Dia de lost Muertos.

  • Christmas and Three Kings’ Day: Special holiday overlays on some of the rides like Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, Haunted Mansion Holiday, “it’s a small world” Holiday, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks, Christmas Lights,

Star Wars: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge - Opening May 31,2019

Disneyland already has some Star Wars themed experiences, there is a lot of excitement about the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land opening in May 31, 2019 at Disneyland park. The land, dining, shopping and one attraction - Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run - will open on this date. A second new attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open later this year. It is set on the Planet Batuu and will have two new signature attractions, characters interactions, dining and marketplace areas.  Click here to read more.  

Guests visiting Disneyland park from May 31 to June 23, 2019 with need an advance reservation to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; there will be no standby line to enter the area during these dates. The reservation is free but availability is limited. Guests staying at one of the three official Disneyland hotels (Disney’s Grand Californian, Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel) will automatically receive a reservation for everyone in their party to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Guest staying elsewhere will need to book a reservation, subject to availability. Reservations will open on May 2, 2019 and you must have or create an Disneyland account at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/registration/ before registration opens at 10 a.m. PT.

Expect very high crowds once this new land opens and it will be absolutely essential to have a good theme park touring plan to help you get the most from your trip.  When you book through us, you will receive your choice of either a subscription to TouringPlans.com Disneyland or “The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland” (printed guidebook).  These well-researched and highly informative resources include theme park touring plans (itineraries) that will provide the wonderful help you need to get the most out of your trip, manage crowds and minimize lines.   Hotel availability will definitely be an issue so definitely book early! 

By the way, you must be at least 38” tall to ride the new Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run attraction has a minimum 38-inches.  FastPass and MaxPass reservations will not be offered for Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run for the foreseeable future.

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disneyland!

You are probably beginning to see how helpful and valuable it would be to have someone who really knows and loves Disneyland help with your trip.   Did you know that our travel agents that specialize in Disneyland add a lot of value to your experience without costing you any extra?    When you book through us, you receive advice and information to help make your trip a wonderful and memorable time as well as a handy guidebook or online subscription (your choice) at no cost to you that will help you stay ahead of crowds and out of long lines.   We book both Disney and non-Disney hotels and we love helping our clients have a great trip.   Contact us today with your questions or to get a free, no-obligation quote.  

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