One of the best destinations for a family trip is the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. But while deciding to go on a Disneyland vacation is easy, it can sometimes be hard to decide when the best time to visit is. So here are the details you need to know to make help you decide when the best time to go to Disneyland is and how to get the most out of your Disneyland trip!We love Disneyland any time of year! So, there is really no “wrong” decision in planning a trip. The key is knowing what you’re looking for in your Disneyland trip. When you choose to go though might depend on what you’re looking for in your time at Disneyland. Hopefully these details will help you decide as you plan your Disneyland vacation.
Best Times for Less Crowds at Disneyland
Disneyland is of course popular year round. But, you typically have a few options if you’re looking for smaller crowds at the Disneyland Resort. And even among the months listed below, there are always exceptions to these suggestions January, February, May and September are all usually ideal choices if you prefer a less-crowded park. Just make sure to remember to check both the Disneyland and Convention Center calendars for any special events like conferences, marathons, holidays, or Grad Nights that could potentially mean larger crowds.
January and February are great times to go since the kids are in school and you won’t have to worry about high temperatures. Keep in mind that because these are slower times, the park will often use these months to refurbish rides. For example, you’re much more likely to see a ride being closed for refurbishment in February than you are in June. But they usually do a good job of making sure one or two key attractions are down at a time. The next option for the possibility of lower crowds is early May. May is perfect since you miss both the Spring Break crowds and summer crowds. You won’t have to worry about as many ride refurbishments either. Disneyland likes to have all refurbishments done in time for summer, which usually means the middle to end of May. The main “watch-out” in May are the grad nights. Sometimes those days get very busy with high school kids in the parks.September is typically another “lower crowd” option if you’re looking specifically for fewer crowds. Most kids will be back in school by this time and you won’t run into the crowds from the holidays yet either. However, the middle of September can get busier when the Halloween Time festivities begin. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Best Times for Celebrating Holidays at Disneyland
Every day at Disneyland is magical, but the holidays are even more so. The best part is you don’t have to visit the park on the actual holiday – they extend the celebration to make sure everyone can enjoy it throughout the season. The celebrations include Halloween and the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort.
If you love all things Halloween, you’ll want to visit Disneyland in either September or October. The dates change each year, but Halloween generally starts mid-September and lasts until October 31st. During Halloween at the Disneyland Resort, you’ll be able to experience haunting decorations and ghoulish overlays on some of the classic rides. Mickey’s Halloween Party will also be held on select nights – it’s a ticketed event, but includes trick or treating, wandering villains and even a specialty firework show.
You can check out our reasons to visit during Halloween Time here:
After the pumpkins have gone away, the Disneyland Resort transforms into a winter wonderland. The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort generally begin in mid-November and last through the first week of January. Your entire family will be amazed at the decorations, food and holiday ride overlays. This is said to be one of the busiest times, but also one of the most magical times for Disneyland. You won’t want to miss it if you love all things Disney and winter!
More about Holiday Time at Disneyland HERE.
Best Times for experiencing EVERYTHING!
In addition to the holiday months, you should consider spring break and summer months if you want to enjoy Disneyland to the fullest. These are peak times for Disneyland and always mean longer park hours and extensive entertainment options. On top of the many shows and parades, you’re likely to experience newly debuted attractions and little-to-no refurbishments if you visit during the early summer months. In fact, right around Memorial Day Weekend has often been a time where we see new things debuted frequently.
And if you’re wanting the best in food options, you might consider a visit during Disneyland’s Food & Wine Festival. The festival takes place each spring (usually going on throughout parts of March & April), showcasing delicious eats at various small food stands at Disney’s California Adventure. So much yum!
While there’s no denying that Disneyland will be busier during peak times and holidays, there are things you can do to help you manage the crowds. With a little more planning, you can still get the most out of your time.
First, take advantage of the Fast Pass system for popular rides and even shows. We also recommend the Disneyland app because it gives you ride wait times, character locations, and show times right at your fingertips – and it’s free to download! You can game plan your next attraction while you’re waiting in line, helping you save time!
And don’t forget a Park Hopper ticket. The ability to move freely between the parks is so nice if you find one park more crowded than the other! Saving money on your tickets is also a good idea! Read on to get a Disneyland package discount code!
Save money on your Disneyland Vacation…
Consider booking through Get Away Today and mention promo code MOMENDEAVORS for an extra $10 off your 2-night or longer Southern California vacation package! That’s who we use to book our trips and so we’re thrilled to partner with them as an affiliate! They love Disney and really make the whole thing so easy, as well as being great about getting you the best deal! You can even start planning for next year’s holiday season with their great layaway plan! Plus, use our exclusive Get Away Today coupon code: MOMENDEAVORS to save even more. You can book online or call their agents at 855-GET-AWAY.
For even MORE Disneyland tips, be sure to head over to Trekaroo’s post on 15 Tips to Save Money at Disneyland!
Do you have a favorite time to visit Disneyland? Let us know in the comments below!
We went the week after Thanksgiving this year, and it was perfect since most other kids were just back in school after the holiday break. No crowds at all and super short lines!
We’re heading down the first part of May. Fingers crossed that it’s slow!
We’ve been in January, May, August, and October. All good times! Christmas at the park is on my bucket list for someday.
Super helpful tips. Thanks!
We went last May and it was perfect! This year, we’re going in June because of family and I’m worried how crowded it will be, especially with Grad Nights.
Great info. As long as it isn’t hot I’m in ?
Great tips to know the best time to visit Disney.
I also recommend going on a day when it’s supposed to rain (lightly) as that tends to keep crowds away. Just bring rain pants for sitting on wet outdoor rides.
I like to go right when the parks open!
We live near disney world, so when we go we try to go midweek. Its always less crowded. If we go out to disneyland I really want to go in the winter so it will hopefully be cooler.
Great tips! We always go during peak times due to school vacations, but have found a way to make it bearable with shows, tours, fast passes and child swaps. Thanks for all the advice!
Mother’s Day weekend is surprising calm! Great weather too. Also…we almost always go the first week of December! Miss the Thanksgiving crowds and beat the Christmas crowds! Plus it’s decorated.
Definitely worth going on off peak times
Less lines=happ kids
Thanks for the advice. We accidentally went on a full park day. Not fun!
I love to go during Christmas season
January and February are a great time to go — just avoid the Holidays – Martin Luther King Day & President’s Day when the locals have the day off from school 🙂 Thanks for all the tips!
I will be never go to Disneyland on New Year’s Eve again-miserably crowded!
Thanks for the good tips.
Thanks for writing this blog! I have always wanted to know about the best time to go!
We’ve only been once and we went the first week of March. My son was sick and didn’t really get to enjoy the park but our hotel was EMPTY so that was pretty cool:)
I love Disney at Christmas time.
Going this weekend, afraid it is going to be very busy especially since our hotel is sold out.
We went in the middle of April one year and it was perfect! Hoping to try a different month this time around.
I have never visited Disneyland! Thanks for the tips! I have been to Disney World twice. Halloween time and Christmas! It was amazing and I’m sure Disneyland is the same. We are able to travel off-peak so we will consider that. Happy Spring!
We love going to Disneyland around the last half of November and February. The overcast weather tends to keep the crowds lower.
I love visiting in February, but I always make sure my favorite rides aren’t down for refurbishment.
We went the in December this past year and I probably will never do that again. It’s pretty and all for Christmas and it was a lot less crowded than I thought it would be, but it was SO cold it was hard to enjoy ourselves.
Great advice! We went on a weekend on March and it was too busy!
We went near the end of September last year and it wasn’t too bad, we aren’t sure when we’re going back again but I would love to go at Christmas time to see all the decorations! If my grandkids lived closer to me I’d get some annual passes and I’d go many times!
Good tips. We are planning on going the week after Thanksgiving.
Have gone on the week between President’s Days .. workable. After Christmas was packed. Could not move as they were sold out!
Even the beginning of January is awesome.
Thanks for the tips! This is useful.
Any time is a good time!! 😉
I personally love all things Halloween. Be able to dress in costume, beat the crowd and southern California hot weather ?????????