Best Time to Visit the Parks

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Pretty much everyone wants to enjoy a day at Disneyland without crazy crowds (an empty walkways like in this photo)! We have some info on best times to go for low attendance levels! These are TYPICALLY less crowded months, but with different school breaks, etc, attendance can vary.

Best months to visit:

  • Mid-January through Mid-March (President’s Day week can be crowded, but our favorite month is February aside from that weekend)
  • Mid-April through Mid-May, excluding Spring Breaks
  • Mid-September through Mid-November (with the exception of Halloween time – which starts early September). The second & third week of October are definitely ones to avoid due to Arizona & Utah Fall breaks (a couple of the most crowded weeks we’ve ever been)!

The best days with the lowest crowd levels are usually Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The park has shorter hours during these less crowded months, with the exception of a few days (weekends & select weekdays have longer hours – hours can be viewed on Disneyland’s website up to 6 weeks before your visit). You can expect cooler temps from Nov-Apr (60’s-70’s & coolest in the mornings & evenings).

Although Summer is more crowded & HOT, the parks have longer hours from June to August (8 AM – Midnight on most days, but always check the Disneyland daily schedule for exact opening times). You can decide if it’s worth it to have more time in the day to get everything in, although with young kids, we feel like those long hours aren’t always needed. We do, however, like the earlier open time because there are usually not as many people who can arrive that early vs. a 9 or 10 AM opening time. If your kiddo or baby is a good stroller or carrier napper, then the longer hours are more doable! If you’re staying at a nearby hotel, heading back for naps is a great idea.

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Just in case you missed this information in our busy season post, read on for MONTHS OR DAYS THAT BRING IN MORE CROWDS:

  • Halloween at Disneyland starts mid-September and ends October 31st. It tends to get more crowded starting the second week of October through the end of the month (also more crowded because of Arizona & Utah Fall breaks)! The separately ticketed Mickey’s Halloween Party nights start late September and fall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until October 31st. No dates have been announced for 2017, but if you’re wanting a full day at Disneyland on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday from late September to October 31, we suggest waiting to see the calendar (usually released end of July) for Mickey’s Halloween Party dates since the park CLOSES EARLY on the days the party happens. It closes at 6:00 PM on Mondays & Wednesdays and at 7:00 PM on Fridays. California Adventure stays open when Disneyland closes early for the party. If you ONLY have a Halloween Party ticket, you can get into the park at 3:00 PM on Monday or Wednesday and at 4:00 PM on Friday. Halloween Party tickets are cheaper than general admission tickets and you get a good 8 hours in the park if you arrive at the earliest time the park will let you in and stay until close!
  • Grad Nite – allows students into BOTH parks starting at opening & also into a special night at California Adventure from 10 pm-2 am (DCA closes a little early to general admission guests on Grad Nite days). 2017 Grad Nite Dates are May 5 through June 17 with most of the days falling on Wednesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s, except two days that fall on a Tuesday –Tuesday May 30 & Tuesday June 6.
  • D23 ExpoJuly 14, 15 & 16 at the Convention Center.
  • Holidays! Holidays tend to bring in more people, especially Thanksgiving week and Christmas week! There are sometimes holidays throughout the year that end up being randomly slower, but we can’t guarantee that will always be the case!

Independently organized events:

  • Dapper Day: 2 scheduled during the year – one in the Spring (usually April) and one at the end of the year (usually November)
  • Bats Day: Spring
  • Gay Days: October 6, 2017 – October 8, 2017

RunDisney weekends typically bring in more people.

 2017 RunDisney Races:

Jan 12-15 – Star Wars 1/2 Marathon – The Light Side

May 11-14 – Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon (during Mother’s Day weekend so it can be extra crowded).

August 31-September 3 – Disneyland Half Marathon

November 9-12 – Super Heroes Half Marathon

The parks have seasonal pricing – value days are the cheapest at $95, regular tickets are $105, & peak tickets are $119 (all to 1 park). Park Hopper tickets are a good value if you’re looking to spend multiple days at both parks. The daily ticket price drops for multi-day tickets.