Going to Disneyland can be stressful and overwhelming even before stepping foot on property. Planning is what causes a good amount of the problems for people and that all starts with one question – when should we go? Lucky for you, that’s why blogs like this one exist! In this post, we’ll go through each month and rank them based on when the best time to go to Disneyland is.
Everyone’s taste is different so taking my rankings as a hard and fast rule isn’t the way to go. Instead, take this post as a recommendation. Another way to look at this post would be to try to stay away from the bottom 3 or 4 months, the middle grouping would be a fine time to travel and the top 3 or 4 would all be excellent. Naturally, a trip to Disneyland Resort during the worst month is better than no visit at all! Many travelers have a small window to make trips work so the giant caveat to this post is “go when you can.” That said, we do think there’s a large difference in the experience between the top and bottom months on this list. If you’re wondering about the best months to visit WDW then we’ve got you covered here!
I considered a few things when ranking the months to travel to Disneyland – weather, crowd levels, prices and events going on. The crowd calendar is ever changing at the parks, especially considering the pandemic. But I’m giving it my best guess based on the patterns of the last few years. As usual with Disneyland, visiting on weekdays is very beneficial considering the large local base. Sunday night through Thursday will see lower crowds during the school year. Now, let’s get to the months!
All of the reasons that make July one of the most popular months to visit also make it one of the worst months to visit. July is the peak of summer, meaning it’s when people take the most vacations and the heat can max out. While Disney Parks summer seasons are a little less crowded then they were about five years ago, I’d still avoid July if at all possible. Typically, there’s no events going on. One plus is that sometimes attractions debut around this time of year.
There’s not much difference between July and June except that June can be a little cooler and the first week or two of the month has lower crowds. In the past few years, Disney has debuted new attractions and lands in June multiple times. Otherwise it can be a hot and crowded month, especially the latter half of it.
August sneaks ahead of the other summer months solely based on the last two weeks of the month. There is absolutely no one at the park for the last week since most schools in the area start in mid-August. Summer vacations have usually wrapped up around this time, as well. If you can deal with somewhat high temperatures then this is a really good time to go. On the other hand, early August is a bad time to go and that’s why this comes in at number 10.
Spring is the new summer when it comes to Disney Parks as spring break crowds are often worse than summer crowds at this point. Stay away from early April if at all possible and Easter can also get very busy. Late April can be a beautiful time to go as the parks are quite colorful. California Adventure typically has a Food & Wine Festival that runs through part of this month and it is pretty fun!
I was pretty split on whether to flip April and March because of the aforementioned spring break crowds. Your mileage may vary there. March ended up 8th because it typically has the Food & Wine Fest for the entire month and it’s a little cooler. I’d suggest early March but even then the crowds will be evident compared to January and February.
There are some mid-winter break crowds to deal with here but otherwise it’s a pleasant time to visit. Outside of President’s Day week, there is hardly anyone at the parks and the temperatures are a perfect escape from the cold winter. One downside is that Disneyland Resort has a round of refurbishments they typically do in the early months of the year so there’s a chance you might miss out on a marquee attraction or two.
February and January are pretty identical. Like President’s Day week, avoid the first few days after the New Year here. Otherwise, there will be next to no crowds. It’s an excellent time to go to the parks honestly, especially if you like to visit when it’s a little cooler. I know that’s not everyone’s preference though so that’s why, along with a lack of special event, January doesn’t rank in the upper tier.
A huge pro for October is that you’re in the heart of Halloween season. The parks are in all of their fall décor and the temperature actually feels like autumn at times. The downside is that the month is surprisingly crowded with a few school holidays and then Halloween. Ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons due to Pumpkin Mickey, attraction layovers and other unique surprises. The Oogie Boogie Bash at DCA is also ongoing if you’re lucky enough to get tickets.
Similar to October, November is great because the Christmas decorations come up mid-month but there’s Thanksgiving and Veteran Day crowds to compete with. If you can avoid those two holidays then this is a great time to visit. This sneaks in above October mainly because I like the Christmas décor more than Halloween at Disneyland Resort, but it’s a close one!
May is one of the prettier months to visit any Disney Park! The spring break crowds have dispersed in May and the summer crowds haven’t quite descended. Memorial Day weekend can be very popular but otherwise this is a great month to go as the temperature is relatively cool and the rides are typically back from any winter/spring refurbishment.
Outside of the first few months of the year, September is the only true off-season at Disneyland Resort anymore. The crowd levels are so low that you’ll encounter incredibly low waits and not have to worry about crowds at all. Forget the itineraries and just go ride whatever you want! On top of that, the Halloween festivities start at the beginning of the month so you get all of the fun without the crowds. The downside is that you’ll still see some summer temperatures but it’s mostly pleasant.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Going to Disneyland over Christmas probably isn’t a great idea from a crowd level perspective. I’m sure it’d be a lovely day though. The decorations are beautiful, the cheerfulness is turned up even more than usual and the conditions are perfect. The first few weeks of December are void of crowds and that’s ultimately what we recommend, it’s the best time of the year to visit! There’s plenty of seasonal entertainment and decorations to enjoy in both parks.
What are your favorite months to visit Disneyland Resort? Let us know your thoughts, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Top 10 Lists, Vacation Tips
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