Use our free Disneyland crowd calendar
Our free Disneyland crowd calendar can help you choose the perfect week to visit the parks. There are many benefits to choosing a slower time to visit the parks but the main one is smaller wait times. Nobody likes standing in line for Space Mountain for 90 minutes. On busy days you can end up spending at least 3/4 of your day just waiting instead of riding. That’s where our free Disneyland crowd calendar comes in.
Avoid the most obvious crowds
Let’s cut to the chase: Summer – This is always the busiest time of the year. Kids are out of school and families will travel; thus summer is consistently busy and crowded. You can expect long wait times for the major attractions and the smaller attractions. Lines for food will also be long. Seating for select entertainment including fireworks and parades will require you to show up much earlier to get a good seat.
Christmas and New Years
Historically New Years Eve and Day have been the busiest days of the year at Disneyland. The two weeks leading up to Christmas Day through New Years Day are going to be very busy. As we mentioned above, long lines for everything. Another thing to keep in mind during these times is hotel prices. They are going to be much higher thus making your vacation more expensive. We’re guessing like Walt Disney World tickets, at some point Disneyland will go to date-based pricing. This is Disney’s way of leveling out the crowds. There’s no historical data from this so only time will tell if it actually works.
March and April bring in the school spring break crowds. It tough to say one week might not be as busy as another because spring breaks are happening all over the county at different times. So unless you’re tracking every school district out there..try to avoid the second half of March and all of April.
Holidays like Labor Day, Presidents Day, MLK Day etc draw in crowds, though they don’t typically hang around of the entire week. The actual holiday will be busy and maybe the day before and after. The rest of the week should be fine for smaller crowds…until…
Disneyland is notorious for having large crowds of So. Cal Residents on the weekends. It starts Friday and goes through Sunday. Disney has been trying to tame this by getting rid of the cheaper annual passes..but it really hasn’t made a dent. It’s something they need to continue to address.
Special events can be tricky
One of the strangest experiences that we’ve ever had happened during the summer time. It was the D23 Expo, an event that draws in a massive crowd to Anaheim and the parks. However, we were not attending the expo but instead were in the parks. To our astonishment it was one of the slowest days we’ve ever seen! Because everyone was at the Expo, the parks were empty!
Of course when the Expo got out for the day, the parks started getting packed. But until about 5-6pm, it was very slow.
Some events that you want to avoid for sure are the runDisney events. They bring in big crowds for the entire week. We’re talking a TON of people. Avoid at all cost!
So when should you go?
On the days and weeks that are left! There are plenty! Our favorite time to go is in later January or February. Avoid the two holidays and the rest of the weeks and days (minus weekends) are great! Monday through Thursday are the perfect 4 days to attend the parks. If you need all 5 days then go Monday through Friday. Avoid those weekends!
If you want a little bit more detail on crowds, we highly recommend Touring Plans, a website dedicated to tracking crowds and advising the best days via a 1-10 scale.