Forget about Halloween. The scariest thing about visiting Disneyland in October is the long lines!
The month of October at the Disneyland Resort has become one of the busiest times of the year. The Halloween season is now well underway, attracting massive crowds on weekends. To make matters worse, some schools have fall break this month. Couple all that with a lack of annual pass blockout dates, special events, ticket promotions, and the extreme popularity of Halloween Time — it’s no wonder that October is the perfect storm for big crowds and long lines.
Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in October.
Here are the Best and Worst Days to Go to Disneyland in October:
|Best & Worst Days||Crowd Forecast|
|TUESDAYS (except Columbus Day week)||Weekdays are most manageable during the Halloween season|
|WEDNESDAYS (except Columbus Day week)||Check Calendar for best dates|
|THURSDAYS (except Columbus Day week)||Check Calendar for best dates|
|WEEKENDS||The Halloween season crowds are worst on Saturdays and Sundays|
|COLUMBUS DAY WEEK||Some schools are out of session this week for fall break|
Disneyland Crowd Calendar
We recommend going on weekdays (except Columbus Day week) for the most manageable crowds. Weekends are always more crowded in October.
Also, consider going to Mickey’s Halloween Party, which is a special-ticket event at Disneyland on Tuesday and Friday nights in October. Since only ticket holders can go (sorry, annual passholders!), crowds tend to be more manageable during the event, especially on Tuesdays. Tickets are limited and sell out fast every year though, so don’t be too late (they usually start selling in late July).
Crowds/Attendance in October
The Halloween season crowds are out in full swing in most of October, especially on weekends. Some days are better than others, though. Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Disneyland in October:
1. Avoid weekends (especially Saturday!)
Weekends in October at Disneyland are crowded. Very crowded.
Halloween Time has become one of the busiest times of the year at the parks, swelling attendance levels to rival those of the holiday season on some days. Unfortunately, annual pass blockout dates won’t bail you out from the big crowds on Saturdays and Sundays this month. Some of the lower tier passes (Southern California) are still valid on Sundays. Deluxe passes are valid all month long. Daily park tickets also aren’t priced at the most expensive level on weekends (maybe this will change eventually?).
On top of all that, the Mickey’s Halloween Party special event takes place on Friday nights in October. Since Disneyland closes a couple hours earlier for the event, locals and annual passholders (who frequently visit on Friday nights) are forced to go on Saturday or Sunday.
The result? Massive crowds and super long lines (especially on Saturdays and in the evening). If you must go on a weekend, we recommend going on the very first weekend of the month.
2. Avoid Columbus Day week
While weekdays are generally more manageable than the weekends in October, we recommend avoiding the week of Columbus Day. Some school districts (mostly from out of state) have fall break that week, so attendance traditionally spikes around then.
If you must go that week, the Columbus Day holiday itself (Monday) tends to be least crowded.
3. Mid-week is most manageable
With weekends packed with the Halloween season crowds, your best bet for a more manageable experience at Disneyland in October is to visit mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). Be sure to check the Crowd Calendar for the exact dates.
By the very last week of October, the weekdays are some of the least crowded of the month as the Halloween season winds down.
Lines/Wait Times in October
For the shortest lines in October, go on a weekday (except the week of Columbus Day). Waits are usually around 30min on average. If you’re visiting on Columbus Day week or most Fridays this month, be prepared for 30-60min waits. Weekends in October maintain some of the longest lines of the Halloween season. Expect 60-90+min waits on Saturdays and Sundays.
As for the lines during Mickey’s Halloween Party, waits tend to vary a lot from night to night. Since the event’s ticket sales are limited though, the lines are generally no longer than 30min. It’s not uncommon for there to be almost no waits at all on the last hour or two of the Party late at night.
No matter what day you go on, we highly recommend arriving at the parks early (at park opening if you can). Waits are just about always shorter in the morning, especially this time of the year. By noon and into the evening hours, crowds tend to pick up.
Weather in October
The month of October in Southern California tends to be on the warm side. Temperatures are in the low to mid 80°s on average. In the evening, expect temperatures in the 60°s on average. October also tends to be on the dry side, so wet weather is rare.
Have you been to Disneyland in October? What was your experience like? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!