UPDATED FOR 2021: Check out our Disneyland reopening preview for the very latest updates. The parks are now back at full operating capacity. We’ll keep this post updated as things develop…
When is the best time to visit Disneyland?
If you’ve been to the Happiest Place on Earth recently, you’ll notice that the place is packed more often than not these days. Big crowds clog the walkways, wait times for rides stretch to over an hour, and ticket prices just keep climbing. Are there any good days left to go to Disneyland anymore?
Good days to go are unfortunately getting fewer and farther between. A high number of annual passholders and a seemingly endless parade of popular seasonal events throughout the year has made Disneyland and Disney California Adventure more crowded than ever. In fact, Disneyland now averages only about 40 “Ghost Town” days a year on the Crowd Forecast Calendar. That means the park is not crowded at all for just 10 percent of the year, a 50% drop from just four years ago.
The magical off-season at Disneyland, a time when crowds are light and lines are actually bearable, may seem more like fantasy than reality to many guests. We’ve been tracking Disneyland for years now, and while the off-season has definitely gotten shorter, there are still a few days left when the park is just about never crowded.
Let’s take a look at some of the dates we are projecting to be your best bets for light crowds and short lines at Disneyland this year.
Here are the Best Days to Go to Disneyland in 2021:
|Best Days to Go||Crowd Forecast|
|January 12-14||The off-season begins a week after the Holidays|
|January 20-21||The days after MLK Day are historically quiet|
|January 27-28||The last week of January is hardly ever crowded|
|February 2-4||The off-season continues into weekdays in February|
|February 9-11||Avoid going after Presidents Day (February 18) -- schools have mid-winter break|
|March 2-4||Early March (before Spring Break season) is historically very manageable|
|April 27-29||Crowds are anticipated to drop after Spring Break season|
|May 4-6||Before Grad Nite events begin for the summer|
|JUNE - AUGUST 2021|
|August 31||Check Calendar for best dates|
|September 7-9||The days after Labor Day are almost never crowded|
|September 14-16||Off-season continues before Halloween|
|October 27-28||Check Calendar for best dates|
|November 2-4||Crowds drop right after the Halloween season|
|No "Ghost Town" days projected||Check Calendar for best dates|
Keep in mind that the dates above are projections, so the forecast may be revised as conditions change. Be sure to check the Disneyland Crowd Forecast Calendar for updates.
We are projecting January and February to be the least crowded time of the year, and they are historically the months with the lowest attendance. You have to go after the holiday season though, which traditionally ends on January 4, 2021.
Crowds tend to spike again after the holidays for MLK Weekend (January 16-18, 2021).
Other than that, just go on a weekday and avoid holidays (including the whole week after Presidents Day). Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are historically least crowded.
READ MORE: JANUARY CROWD GUIDE | FEBRUARY CROWD GUIDE
Spring Break 2021
The Spring Break season crowds are expected to start arriving at Disneyland in mid-March. The earlier in March you go, the less crowded it tends to be. In April, go later in the month for a more manageable experience. It’s best to go after the week of Easter Sunday (April 4).
The Spring Break season is expected to peak at the end of March (March 27 – April 1) through early April (April 5-8). Many schools in the area will be out of session then so try to avoid going on these weeks if you can.
READ MORE: MARCH CROWD GUIDE | APRIL CROWD GUIDE
We recommend going in early May to take advantage of the relatively light crowds before things start to pick up for the summer. Late May through early June can sometimes get ugly, as schools begin summer break and Grad Nite events take place. There does tend to be a small break in the summer season crowds in mid-to-late June though.
Avoid going on a Grad Nite day if you can, as attendance spikes on these days due to large school groups attending the event. Here are the Grad Nite days for 2021:
Grad Nite dates TBA
READ MORE: MAY CROWD GUIDE | JUNE CROWD GUIDE | JULY CROWD GUIDE | AUGUST CROWD GUIDE
Halloween Time 2021
Halloween Time takes place on September 3 – October 31, 2021.
Go on a weekday in September, the first week of October, or the last week of October to avoid the big Halloween season crowds. Mid-October can be miserable, with many schools out for fall break. Avoid weekends (especially Saturdays) in October as well.
READ MORE: SEPTEMBER CROWD GUIDE | OCTOBER CROWD GUIDE
Go on the weeks before or after Thanksgiving to avoid the bulk of the of the holiday season crowds — stay away from Thanksgiving week, which is one of the most crowded times of the year. Otherwise, weekdays on the first or second (earlier is better) weeks of December are your best bets. The week before Christmas through New Year’s Eve is expected to be most crowded during the holidays.
One important note about January 2022: Many schools in the area will still be on winter break on the first full week of the month, so January 4-9 in particular are still expected to be crowded.
READ MORE: NOVEMBER CROWD GUIDE | DECEMBER CROWD GUIDE
We’ll keep this page updated as things change, so check back often. You can also look back at past years on the Disneyland Crowd Forecast Calendar if future dates have yet to be forecast.
When do you think is the best time to go to Disneyland? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!