If you go to Disneyland on the week of Thanksgiving, you will probably regret it.

The month of November at Disneyland has some of the busiest days of the year. After the Halloween season ends in October, the wildly popular holiday season takes over in November. A trip to the parks this month doesn’t have to be a miserably crowded experience, however. If you go on the right day, you can avoid most of the big crowds, skip the long lines, and enjoy a mostly manageable Disneyland even during the holiday season.

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in November.

This is what a miserably crowded Disneyland looks like. bjwilson34

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

Best & Worst Days Crowd Forecast
TUESDAYS (except Thanksgiving week) Weekdays early in the month are the least crowded days. Weekdays on the weeks before/after Thanksgiving week tend to be moderately crowded
WEDNESDAYS (except Thanksgiving week) Check Calendar for best dates
THURSDAYS (except Thanksgiving week) Check Calendar for best dates
THANKSGIVING WEEK The week of Thanksgiving is very crowded. If you must go then, Thanksgiving Day is most manageable
VETERANS DAY WEEKEND This is traditionally the first weekend of the holiday season, attracting bigger crowds
WEEKENDS The holiday season crowds are worse on Saturdays/Sundays. Weekends earlier in the month tend to be better

Disneyland Crowd Calendar

We recommend going on weekdays early in the month for the most manageable crowds. It’s also better to go on weekends earlier in the month rather than later.

Be sure to check the Crowd Calendar for the exact best days of the week to go. Mid-week is generally most manageable.

Crowds/Attendance in November

The holiday season crowds are out for most of November, so attendance is usually moderate to heavy depending on what day you go on. Still, November offers some of the best days to visit Disneyland during the Holidays — and some of the worst, too Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Disneyland in November:

1.  The earlier you go in November, the better
It’s still a bit busy, but manageable in early November. JosieBeckerFC

The holiday season at Disneyland traditionally starts on the Friday on the week following Halloween. So, there’s usually a short transition period at the very beginning of the month as the parks get ready for the Holidays. Weekdays on the first and second week of November historically aren’t very crowded. The good news is that Disneyland starts putting up the Christmas decorations right after Halloween, so the parks are usually already spruced up for the holidays then. The bad news is that many of the holiday shows, attractions, and ride overlays won’t be open until the official start of the holiday season.

Even still, weekdays on the week before or after Thanksgiving (earlier is better) are some of the best days to visit Disneyland during the holiday season. Crowds usually pick up substantially by December.

2. Avoid Thanksgiving Week
The lines just to get inside Disneyland in November. cunningham_kris

The week of Thanksgiving is historically one of the busiest times of the year at Disneyland. Schools are out of session, and it seems like everyone heads to the parks to enjoy the holiday festivities. To make matters worse, most of the lower tier annual passes are valid early in the week, so locals flock to Disneyland in droves before Thanksgiving. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone will be out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, either. Disneyland is very crowded on Black Friday.

If you absolutely, positively must go this week, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) tends to be the most manageable day of that week to go. It’s also vital that you arrive early this week (at park opening if you can). It gets so crowded on Thanksgiving week, it’s possible that the park will reach maximum capacity — forcing Disneyland to shut its gates until it’s safe to let more guests inside. Yeah, it’s that bad.

3. Mid-week is most manageable

The best general advice about visiting Disneyland in November is to go during the middle of the week. The holiday season crowds are just about always worse on the weekends, so Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays are generally your best bet. Be sure to check the Crowd Calendar for the exact dates.

Don’t be afraid to go on weekdays on the very last week of November (after Thanksgiving week). It’s one of the last chances to visit the parks while it’s still somewhat manageable during the holidays.

Lines/Wait Times in November

Haunted Mansion Holiday is one of the most popular rides in November. DisneyParks

For the shortest lines in November, go on a weekday before the holiday season officially starts (during the first or second weeks of the month). Around 20min waits is the norm then. On Fridays and weekends after the holiday season starts (excluding Thanksgiving week), be prepared for 30-60min waits on average.

Expect some of the longest waits of the year if you go on the week of Thanksgiving. 60-120min waits is the norm. For more moderate waits, go on weekdays on the weeks before or after Thanksgiving. The lines are around 30min on average, some of the most manageable waits during the holiday season.

We recommend arriving to the parks early, no matter what day you go on. The lines are just about always shorter in the morning and pick up by around noon.

Weather in November

Crowds at Disneyland on the Friday after Thanksgiving. brookayyy

The weather in November in Southern California is mostly mild. Temperatures during the day are in the mid 70°s on average. Evenings can get a little chilly, with temperatures in the mid 50°s at night. A few rainy days are possible this month as well, but the good news is that wet weather tends to keep the big crowds away.

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

Image: brettkiger

Best & Worst Days to Go to Disneyland:

  1. Never go to Disneyland on the first day of the holiday season. It is beyond crowded!

  2. Disneyland is insanely crowded on Thanksgiving Week. It’s the worst time of the year to go.

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