If you’re a fan of light crowds and short lines (who isn’t?), the month of January is traditionally a great time to visit Disneyland. Before you book that vacation though, there are some days that are better than others — and some days that you may want to avoid altogether in January.

January is historically a relatively quiet month at the Disneyland Resort. The frantic holiday season, the busiest time of the year, comes to an end and schools go back into session, resulting in a significant drop in attendance to the parks. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in January.

A sight to behold! An empty Main Street U.S.A. in January. myrnalitt

Here are the Best and Worst Days to Go to Disneyland in January:

Best & Worst DaysCrowd Forecast
TUESDAYS (after first week)With schools back in session and the holiday season officially over, mid-week in January offers some of the least crowded days of the year
WEDNESDAYS (after first week)Check Calendar for best dates
THURSDAYS (after first week)Check Calendar for best dates
New Year's WeekThe big holiday season crowds are still around during the first week of January
MLK WeekendThe holiday weekend attracts bigger crowds; the weekends before or after are more manageable

If you must go on the first week of January, check the Crowd Calendar for the best dates to go. In recent years, New Year’s Day has actually been the most manageable day to visit that week.

Crowds/Attendance in January

The month of January marks the start of Disneyland’s “off-season,” or what’s left of it. The parks have gotten busier over the last few years thanks to a rise in annual passholders and seasonal events, so the “off-season” has noticeably shrunken down to just a couple of weeks out of the year.

Still, the month of January continues to be one of the least crowded times of the year to visit Disneyland. On the Disneyland Crowd Forecast Calendar, January averages about 12 “Ghost Town” days each year. Sounds pretty good, right? There are, however, some things to keep in mind:

1. It’s still crowded after New Year’s
Disneyland still crowded on the week following New Year’s Day. rollercoasterphilosophy

One of the biggest mistakes vacationers make is thinking Disneyland will not be crowded after New Year’s Day. The holiday season usually runs through the first week of January though, so the big crowds are still around for a couple more days after January 1.

2. Avoid the first week of January

That said, the first week of January should be avoided. Unless you’re tying to catch the tail-end of the Christmas shows and rides, it’s best to wait until after the holiday season officially ends for lighter crowds. Schools in the area are also still out of session for winter break during this week, and some annual passes are unblocked as well, so it traditionally isn’t the best time to visit.

3. Off-season = ride closures

An unfortunate reality of going to Disneyland in January is that some of the rides will be closed for a few weeks as holiday overlays are taken down. We recommend going toward the end of the month (last week of January onward) to avoid some of these closures.

Lines/Wait Times in January

An empty queue for Indiana Jones Adventure in January. “Real rewards await those who choose wisely.” wttm

As for the lines at Disneyland in January, 10-20min waits is the norm on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after the first week of the month (those are “Ghost Town” days). You can expect waits to be a little more on Mondays and Fridays (around 30min).

If you’re going on New Year’s Week, be prepared for 60min waits on average, and as much as 90min or more for some attractions. For MLK Weekend, 30-60min waits is the norm.

Weather in January

A wet, but relatively empty Disneyland in January. ronlin

January is one of the cooler months at Disneyland, with temperatures usually in the 60°s to low 70°s during the day.

January is also the second wettest month on average in Anaheim (behind February), so a few rainy days here and there is not uncommon. The good news, though, is that wet weather tends to keep the crowds away at Disneyland, so you can expect even shorter lines on rainy days.

Have you visited Disneyland in January? What was your experience like? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Image: towers00

Best & Worst Days to Go to Disneyland:

  • AlAnoud M. AlThani

    I visited Disneyland on the first week of February 2015. some games was closed and there was no open outdoor restaurants due to heavy rains most of the time. yet it was very very cold.

  • Bobby García

    I used to go every year in January for my birthday, and aside from ride closures, it’s the best! Relatively empty (never completely) and being in SoCal you can still find sunny days. We just went this year in Jan30/31 and people were in shorts and t-shirts. Ride lengths were average 20 mins, the worst was Space Mountain for 55 mins, but we used Fast Pass on it and flew right in. Parking lot was even being “refurbished” so we had to park on the top of the structure. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4a4c03bd3630c7a84231a7507bf10418acfd258dccea7daab267d4ef1fce7e5.jpg