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.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR 2023: Disneyland has announced yet another ticket promotion for early 2023 through May. The Southern California Resident Ticket Offer is valid on weekdays starting January 9 – May 25. The ticket deal is expected to attract bigger crowds during the week, while most weekends will likely be more manageable.
Higher attendance is now expected on weekdays (Mondays through Fridays) during the promotion. Most weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are expected to be less crowded through mid-May.
Here are the Best Days to Go to Disneyland in 2023:
|Best Days to Go||Crowd Forecast|
|January 15||The off-season begins a week after the Holidays|
|January 21-22||The days after MLK Day are historically quiet|
|January 25-26||The last week of January is hardly ever crowded|
|February 2, 7, 9||The off-season continues into weekdays in February|
|February 12, 16||Avoid going after Presidents Day (February 20) -- schools have mid-winter break|
|March 4-5||Early March (before Spring Break season) is historically very manageable|
|April 16, 22-23, 29-30||Crowds are anticipated to drop after Spring Break season|
|May 6-7||Before Grad Nite events begin for the summer|
|JUNE - AUGUST 2023|
|August 29-31||Check Calendar for best dates|
|September 6-7||The days after Labor Day are almost never crowded|
|September 12-13||Off-season continues before Halloween|
|October 25-26||Check Calendar for best dates|
|November 1-2||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 ends on January 8, 2023.
Crowds tend to spike again after the holidays for MLK Weekend (January 14-16, 2023).
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 2023
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 9).
The Spring Break season is expected to peak at the end of March (March 25-31) through mid-April (April 1-15). 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 2023:
May 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 30, 31
June 2, 4, 7, 9, 14, 16
READ MORE: MAY CROWD GUIDE | JUNE CROWD GUIDE | JULY CROWD GUIDE | AUGUST CROWD GUIDE
Halloween Time 2023
Halloween Time takes place on September 8 – October 31, 2023 (projected dates).
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 2024: Many schools in the area will still be on winter break on the first full week of the month, so January 2-7 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!
We love going to Disneyland in January/February. It’s always the best time to go! Just keep in mind that some rides might be closed for refurbishment, but we’ll take it over long lines and peak season madness any day.
September is my favorite time to go. It’s never crowded after Labor Day!
we will not be renewing our season passes. after having them for the past 8 years, its clear to us that disneyland does not give a damn about their guests. just this week, supposed to be a ghost town and they sell $50 locals only tickets. it was as crowded as mid august and just as miserable.
they have destroyed disney with their inability to offer flex ticketing or limited populations.
you cannot walk, you cannot get on the smallest of rides without a long wait
but you get to pay outrageous money for the experience.
nope. we will not let disney abuse us anymore.
I’ve gone several times over the last couple years on the so called “slow days” and nope still extremely crowded. Someone asked me the other day when is the best time to go I said just pick a day…. not gonna matter it’ll be crowded as hell….sadly it’s just the way it is.
YES! Every time they say it’s not gonna be packed it is. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Makes me want to not trust the calendar at all.
I know!! I am wanting to take my grandchildren for halloween (on the 31). According to the calendar it should be ok, but at $500 a day for the 4 of us to go, just not sure I want to spend the money and chance it!!!
We LOVE going in September! It’s not empty, but crowds aren’t too bad during the week.
I’m starting to feel the same. CMs are becoming more rude and park is insanely full. Too many rides down, not enough new rides to compensate for old closed rides like people mover, skyway, America sings, mission to mars etc… way too many so cal pass-holders filling up the park. It’s all about the Benjamin’s the more people the more stuff they sell. And seems to be less entertainment, places to sit and relax in a nice cool spot, and more places to buy food and merchandise. Cmon Disneyland fix this stuff!
DO NOT go on weekends in late September or October! Early September is okay, but the parks are insanely crowded once the Halloween season starts.
First week of October is okay as well, just avoid the weekends!