Disneyland is the most magical place on earth, but what’s the most magical time to visit? Many people want to visit this iconic amusement park but would prefer to avoid the long lines and crowded hotels.
Consider this your complete guide to the best and the worst times to visit this famous park where you can create lifetime memories with your family and friends.
Why You Should Visit Disneyland
A better question is: why shouldn’t you visit Disneyland? Kids and adults love what this famed amusement park offers, including some history about the iconic film and TV studio started by the famous Walt Disney.
Disneyland in California was the first amusement park Disney opened, and it quickly became a vacation destination for families and couples.
It can be hard to plan a family-friendly vacation or a trip with plenty of activities and excursions. Disneyland has loads of events, attractions, and activities right at your fingertips! You can spend a day screaming on roller coasters or explore the magic of Sleeping Beauty’s majestic castle.
You have the opportunity to meet your favorite characters from nostalgic movies like Snow White or Mickey Mouse, making your childhood dreams come true. You can take beautiful photos to help you remember the fun you had on the trip.
While you may not expect the food to be a highlight of the trip, Disneyland has the best snacks in their parks and restaurants throughout the area. You can munch on the iconic turkey legs they serve to keep you full and happy while you take in the enchanting and massive amusement park.
The energy at Disneyland is enough to entice anyone. Unlike other vacation destinations, practically everyone at Disneyland is on vacation and in a good mood!
There’s always a reason to celebrate, whether it’s celebrating your wedding or just joining in on a joyous parade at the park, you’ll always be surrounded by positive and fun energy.
Even if you don’t like roller coasters, Disneyland has more than just fun rides, so everyone can find something they enjoy.
Overall Best Time to Visit Disneyland
The best time to visit Disneyland will vary for every individual, but overall, people say the most enjoyable time is toward the end of fall and the beginning of winter.
Many factors go into choosing the best time to visit Disneyland. Some people hate the crowds or want the best weather, or want to save money on their trip.
So early November is considered the perfect time. And why is this? There are many reasons, but the top factor is that this time is when Disney rolls out their holiday decorations, attractions, and events.
Even if you have some dramatic neighbors, no Christmas lights display can compare to what Disneyland has when Christmastime nears.
The magic of the holidays doubles the enchanting and mesmerizing feelings you get when you visit Disney. You can celebrate the spirit of the holidays with your favorite Disney characters like Cinderella or villains like Captain Hook!
Visiting Disneyland when the holidays approach means you can enjoy the nice weather that you may not have if you come from a cold, snowy environment.
It’s lovely to escape to a warm and exciting climate when the snow comes, and the landscape becomes dreary. Plus, many people find it tough to get out and do something as simple as having a date night at a restaurant when there’s a foot of snow and a chill in the air.
While many visit the park for the holidays, many do not because they spend time with family or friends. But if you aren’t committed to Thanksgiving traditions or gatherings, you can visit the park while the lights are dazzling and the crowds are slim.
If Thanksgiving isn’t a big deal in your family, this can be a great time to sneak away to a beautiful amusement park. You can spend the holiday eating all types of cuisines, flying through the air on the Space Mountain ride, or getting chills in the Haunted Mansion.
But the spooky kinds of chills, not the winter chills! And if spooky chills are your favorite thing in the world, plan your trip a bit earlier, and you can enjoy Disney during the Halloween season!
Cheapest Time to Visit Disneyland
The best time to visit Disneyland if you want to save money is typically the beginning of the year. The park is popular during the peak holiday season, from Christmas to New Year’s.
So going right after this time is usually the least expensive, but you should also aim to hit the amusement parks on the weekdays. Disneyland can be an expensive vacation, especially if you plan your trip during their busy season.
But you can save a lot of money if you plan your trip to align with the down season and discounts! Arriving and leaving on a weekday can drastically lower the price of room tickets, as well as your plane tickets!
Most people spend around ten days at the park to get the full experience, but if you want to go for a quick trip, avoid the weekends! It’s also wise to avoid going on summer vacation at all costs because the park gets extremely crowded with kids and families out of school for a few months.
To save money, you should also buy your park tickets as far in advance as possible. Waiting until you get to the park gate will cost you much more.
The prices at Disneyland can be overwhelming to people on a budget, but checking the park’s daily prices ahead of time and scheduling the trip to avoid the busy times can save you hundreds and possibly thousands.
Least Busy Time to Visit Disneyland
Disneyland is typically the least busy during the first two weeks of September when the kids start a new school year and the first two weeks of November, right before Thanksgiving break.
Conveniently, one of the best times to visit Disneyland is also the time when crowds are smaller!
Most parents and couples won’t want to travel right before the holiday season when large expenses are coming up, and they want to spend time with family. They also won’t want their kids to miss the first few weeks of school when starting a new grade.
Going to Disneyland when the crowds are fewer is one of the best ways to check out the park and experience what they have to offer without paying exorbitant prices or waiting in endless lines.
Disneyland has a lot of charm, but the crowds are not of them. And the long lines can be hard to handle for young kids or impatient people that want to enjoy every minute of their vacation.
When you visit during the off-season, you can enjoy more of the park, more rides, and more of everything the park offers. Your favorite characters will be more available for photo ops, the best rides will have shorter lines, and you can get better rooms at the hotels.
And the list goes on! But be prepared, even the off-season at Disneyland will still have many visitors. Don’t expect to have the park all to yourself unless a zombie apocalypse hits!
Worst Time to Visit Disneyland
All of December, July, and August will be the busiest and most expensive times to visit Disneyland, avoid these windows at all costs. People tend to plan Christmas time Disney trips, while on Thanksgiving, people typically stay home.
Like with the best time to visit Disneyland, the worst time will be subjective. If you hate crowds, the summer months and the end of the holiday season will be the worst. If you hate hot weather you’ll hate going in July and August.
Disneyland is open for fewer hours around Christmas, meaning the parks will be more crowded, and you’ll have less time to enjoy them.
Peak holidays like Christmas and New Year’s are a bad idea, but nothing is worse than the summer months. Disneyland is full of families, and most families vacation in the summer so they don’t have to pull their children out of school.
If the crowds and the heat are not your ideas for a blissful vacation, you should avoid the summer months. Remember, going on weekdays will not only save you money but will spare you from the crowds.
Most people work on weekdays, so they plan quick trips on the weekends, forcing prices to skyrocket and the lines to lengthen. Planning a trip, even a long one, that highlights the weekdays rather than the weekends will save you some cash and help you avoid the massive crowds.
Things to Consider
Before you plan out your trip to Disneyland, there are some subjective factors to consider, like your budget, who you’ll be traveling with, and what you are most excited to do at Disneyland. Keep these in mind when deciding the best time to visit is for you and your family or friends.
Disneyland can be an expensive trip, so if saving money is your main priority, you should account for this in your planning.
The beginning of January won’t necessarily be the best time to visit the park, but it will be the cheapest time. You’ll be able to save money on hotels and tickets to the park, so you’ll have more money to eat out and buy fun souvenirs!
The length of your visit will play a huge role in when the right time to go is. The longer you stay, the more the time of year matters. A ten-day or two-week vacation is best in early November.
But the shorter your vacation is, the more the time of the week or month matters. Most people plan vacations for the end of the month, revolving around weekends, so avoid these times.
Try to go within the first two weeks of the month and arrive and leave on weekdays. Ideally, going from a Monday to a Friday will mean fewer lines and cheaper park tickets.
Luckily, California usually has pretty perfect weather all year-round. But sometimes, the summer heat can be too much for people to handle. It is especially taxing when you’re standing in long lines for rides in the scorching sun.
Avoiding the spring and summer months can help you stay more comfortable throughout your vacation. If you hate the rain more than anything, don’t plan your trip in April or December, when California gets the most rain.
However, California is still not a very rainy place, so the odds of your entire vacation being rained out are low no matter when you go.
Are you traveling with kids or all adults? Do you have a big group, or is it just two people? Often you won’t be able to visit during certain times because it doesn’t accommodate everyone’s schedule.
But consider framing the vacation as an unorthodox Thanksgiving if it’s a family trip, so you can visit at the best time possible. If you have young children, you may want to plan out shorter days, so they don’t get over-exhausted or cranky.
Do you want to ride as many roller coasters as possible? Do you want to snap a photo with your favorite characters? Most people have an idea of their dream Disney vacation, so you should try to plan out your vacation to account for your goals.
If the rides are your priority, make sure you buy park passes ahead of time. If you want to lounge by the pool, pick one of the hotels with the biggest or the most pools, so you can spread out and enjoy the sun and water!
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on visiting Disneyland, consider the frequently asked questions and answers below.
How expensive are the amusement park tickets?
Disneyland has two parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Both parks cost roughly $100 for a day pass for both a child and adult. The adult tickets are usually $10 more, so there isn’t too much of a difference.
How many people typically visit Disneyland?
Daily, Disneyland sees about 44,000 visitors. But the parks each have a capacity of more than 50,000 visitors.
What is the typical weather in California?
The typical weather in California has an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit with partly sunny skies. So there’ll be a few clouds but a strong sun. The humidity is low, so the air is usually fairly dry but not as bad as deserts in the US.
What’s the most popular ride at Disneyland?
It’s hard to say as they add new rides all the time. Currently, the most popular ride is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. But overall, the most popular ride ever in the park is the iconic Space Mountain ride.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Disneyland?
Hands down, the optimal time to visit is early November. The weather is beautiful, the lines are shorter, and the tickets will be slightly cheaper. Whatever you do, try to avoid going amid summer vacation when everyone plans their trips.