Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022

by Leap on December 21, 2020 2597 Los Angeles

Best Time to Visit DisneylandLeap's Note: With a COVID-19 vaccine rolling out, we are hopful that Disneyland will reopen in 2021. For now, most of the resort remains closed. You can check the status of what's open at Disneyland here. For now, you can read through this post to get an idea of generally the best times to visit Disneyland. We expect that 2021 will be a bit different than past years, since so many people have gone without vacations or visits to their beloved Disneyland for far too long. Still, we have updated the dates in this post with the "expected" busiest dates for 2021 and 2022. Stay flexible, my friends!

It’s one of the most popular questions we get. I even have friends of friends message me and ask ... "Just when is the best time to visit Disneyland?" My answer is always "whenever you can!" It’s the truth. Whenever you and your family can make the trip to The Happiest Place On Earth is the best time.

But, of course, just like at Walt Disney World, there are better times to visit Disneyland than others. In this post, we're outlining the best times to visit Disneyland in 2021. We'd be toadally remiss if we didn't talk about the biggest unknown the theme parks have perhaps ever faced — and that is COVID-19. With the parks closed longer than they have ever been, we're now in new territory in terms of predicting crowds. While we do have years of experience and data collection under our belt, there are many more factors at play, including how long the parks are closed, the virus, the economy, unemployment and continued travel restrictions (international and domestic).

We know so many people just want to get back to normal, and with so many locals, who have a bigger influence on crowds than at Disney World, we know crowds will return to Disneyland once it reopens. Now, we will talk more below about passholders and how they influence crowds during "normal" times, but these are not "normal" times.

Let's first state that we don't know when the Disneyland parks will reopen. When the Disneyland parks do reopen, though, the majority of the visitors will be locals or those visiting from within a few hours' drive. Based on pent-up demand for all things Disneyland, including how people have reacted to the reopening of Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street, we expect Disneyland parks will be very, very busy in the immediate days after reopening. And the majority of park-goers are likely to be Californians, who have been under some of the toughest COVID restrictions in the nation. We'd expect lower capacity limits to be in place for some time, and that will curb crowds, but it will likely make getting into the parks more challenging. Disneyland has confirmed a park reservation system, like the one now being used in Disney World, will be used to help with this. As soon as we know more, we'll share more, but expect things to be different for quite some time after Disneyland reopens.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Los Angeles Crowd Calendar

Is It Packed at Disneyland During Normal Times? Here's the Easiest Way to Tell

This post is going to dive into all the nitty-gritty details, and the whys and hows of crowds, but let's just cut to the chase. The easiest way to know if it will be crowded at Disneyland is to ask yourself:

  • Is it a major U.S. holiday?
  • Are most kids out of school?

If the answer is yes to one or both of these questions, there will be bigger crowds. Another thing to be aware of is major school breaks, such as when many Arizona schools have breaks about the first half of October.

Want to Know for Sure?

  • Hop straight to our Disneyland Crowd Calendar. You can view the busiest times on the Disneyland Crowd Calendar for the day, month or year.
  • If you're planning a visit, but don't see your particular dates discussed below, leap down to the comments. We frogs — and some of the hardcore Disneyland community — are hoppy to share answers.

Visiting During a Busy Time? Don't Fret!

Even during the busiest times, there are ways to skip the lines and make the most of your time. Here are our best tips to reduce waits!

Factors That Influence the Best Time to Go to Disneyland

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in - Millennium Falcon

If you’re more familiar with Cinderella Castle than Sleeping Beauty Castle, it's important to know that the best time to visit Disneyland isn't the same as at Disney World. The biggest difference is the locals. Disney World has a good amount of locals, but not nearly as many as those in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. Many of those Disneyland locals were annual passholders.

One of the biggest changes to occur during the Disneyland closure was the cancellation of all annual passes. That means that during the Disneyland reopening period, all guests will have to purchase tickets. That may change the way even locals visit the parks. For some time, the annual passholders have thought of The Happiest Place on Earth as their second home. In other words, they would pop in for a few hours here or there — maybe on a weekday, or on a spring or fall Sunday morning before heading to the beach — assuming their pass wasn't blocked out. They'd hop in on Friday nights to catch fireworks and meet up with friends for some of their favorite Disneyland snacks.

Disneyland will eventually release a new type of membership offering, so eventually these guests will once again affect the crowds. In the past, depending on the passport, a passholder might find himself or herself blocked out of the park on certain days or weeks, particularly those times that are especially popular with tourists — namely summer, spring break and holidays. The Disneyland blockout calendar provided a fairly good idea of the very busiest dates of the year, because those are the times when most passholders were not allowed to enter the parks. For example, during most of June through mid-August, the Southern California Select and Deluxe passholders were typically blocked from entering at least one or both parks, a strong sign that there would be tourists! One important thing to keep in mind: Crowds are higher right after major blockout periods such as summer when the locals could get back in. Keep hopping back for updates on the annual passholder situation and how knowing their patterns can help you plan your trip.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022 - Mickey in Red Car Trolley

Another factor that has more influence on crowds at Disneyland than at Disney World are the conventioneers. The Anaheim Convention Center is right across the street. What out-of-town visitor wouldn’t enjoy popping over in the afternoon and early evening for some Disney magic? It’s generally not necessary to rearrange your vacation based on a convention, but there might be one exception. Disney’s own D23 Expo, held every other year, brings flocks of fans. Those folks will plan to spend some of their hours before, during and after the Expo playing in the parks. The next D23 Expo has been postponed until September 2022.

Keep in mind that special events and holidays also influence crowds. Many people visit during Disneyland Halloween Time or the holidays to experience the magic of these seasons, and there are special events at different times throughout the year. This is yet another reason to review our Disneyland crowd calendar — we list the holidays and special events!

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022 - Main Street USA

Disneyland's tiered pricing for one-day tickets also has some impact on crowds since more people make one-day visits to Disneyland than they do to Disney World. Each day is has a different price based on the expected crowd level. During the off-seasons, Tuesdays through Thursdays are generally value priced. Saturdays and holiday periods have the highest peak prices. If you add a one-day ticket to your cart, you can view Disneyland's pricing calendar, which gives you a hint of how busy the parks may be. Generally, the higher the price, the higher the expected crowds!

Disneyland 1-Day Pricing Tells You the Busiest Days at Disneyland

Based on all of this information, and historical crowd levels during holidays and other data, we have a pretty good idea of the very busiest dates of the year at Disneyland. But there are variables, especially depending on the reopening of Disneyland.

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2021

  • Jan. 1-5, 2021
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 16-24, 2021
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 13-21, 2021
  • Spring break and Easter - March 13 to April 4, 2021 (elevated crowds March 6 to April 11, 2021)
  • Weekends in May (Grad Nites have been canceled for 2021)
  • June 3 to Aug. 11, 2021
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 21-28, 2021
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 18, 2021 to Jan. 4, 2022

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2022

  • Jan. 1-9, 2022
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 14-27, 2022
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 18-21, 2022
  • Spring break and Easter - March 13 to April 10, 2022 (elevated crowds March 5 to April 24, 2022)
  • Weekends and Grad Nites dates in May
  • June 3-Aug. 21, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 19-28, 2022
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 17, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023

*The fall of Easter impacts Disneyland crowds in the spring. Some school districts base their spring break around Easter; others do not. When Easter falls earlier in the season, March or early April, it has the effect of making a more intense, but shorter spring break season. When Easter falls later, as it does in 2022, the effect is a longer but less intense spring break season. Many California universities consistently have spring break at the end of March, which can affect crowds then.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022 - GotG: Mission - Breakout

Other Dates That Will Likely See Higher Crowds

Here are other days that see higher crowds, but not as high as the absolute worst days. Some of the dates listed are isolated, with the days around them generally fine, but they do bring in more locals. July 17 is the exception to this, as it is already a busy time. Know of other dates that are popular with locals? Share in comments below.

  • Mid-August - Many annual passholders are back in after summer blackouts
  • Labor Day - Sept. 6, 2021 and Sept. 5, 2022
  • Yom Kippur (when it falls on a week day) - Sept. 16, 2021, and Oct. 5, 2022
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 11, 2021, and Oct. 10, 2022
  • Utah Fall Breaks about mid-October*
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) -  Nov. 11, 2021, and Nov. 11, 2022
  • Memorial Day - May 31, 2021, and May 30, 2022
  • Disneyland's anniversary - July 17, 2021, and July 17, 2022

*The Utah Education Association Board will no longer hold its annual convention, although Utah school districts may elect to hold a fall recess about mid-October.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022 - Small World Exterior

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021*

*Pending reopening and subject to change. While these are traditionally the best times to visit, we expect higher crowds around these times if the park has reopened.

  • Weekdays in January starting Jan. 6 (minus the the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 6, 2021)
  • April 12-30, 2021
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays see higher crowds with passholders expected to be back in)
  • The first half of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and the second half of October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 4, 2022)
  • April 25-29, 2022
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays see higher crowds with passholders expected to be back in)
  • The first half of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and the second half of October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December

Ta-da! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022! Don't froget that a solid park plan can be almost as good as traveling on a low crowd day. Check out our Disneyland Plans and Disney California Adventure Plans before your visit! Here are more tips to skip the lines at the theme parks.

Related: The Ins and Outs of Disney's MaxPass

Related: 36 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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451–500 of 1615 comments
May 15, 2018 at 5:29 p.m. Ashley Says...

Can’t wait for our trip in December!! Very helpful information here :)

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May 15, 2018 at 5:26 p.m. Heather Says...

Thanks for the helpful tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:26 p.m. Abby M Says...

I want to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:25 p.m. FrogFansAndDisneyFreaks Says...

We travel often and would not think of getting our tickets from anywhere else but the coolest frog on earth. We love Undercover Tourist!!

The Loupe Family

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May 15, 2018 at 5:23 p.m. Laura Ugueto Says...

I would love to visit Disneyland, never been there before. Would love to take my boys ;)

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May 15, 2018 at 5:22 p.m. Nicole Says...

Early December is my favorite time to visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:22 p.m. Andrea Says...

Love Undercover Tourist!! ❤❤ Use you guys all the time for my WDW tickets! Havent been to Disneyland yet, excited about your contest!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:22 p.m. Kristen K Says...

We'll plan on going in October, then!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:21 p.m. Jenny Backster Says...

All this information is so helpful thank you so much!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:21 p.m. Renata Says...

Thank you for this! I can’t wait to see Disneyland, I’ve never been!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:21 p.m. Tricia F Says...

I have to assume any time of the year is great to visit Disneyland. Never been, from Ohio, been to Disney World 3 times, but would love to visit the original park someday soon.

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May 18, 2018 at 1:45 a.m. Charlotte Says...

Yep, then you can go to Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Tokyo, Disneyland Spain. You can tell everyone that you have been to every Disney in the world! Tokyo was great, Paris pick your dates carefully because it snows, and I still have to get to Spain. Wonder if Undercover Tourist can get discount tickets internationally?

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May 15, 2018 at 5:20 p.m. Shawn Turkopp Says...

Thanks for all the info!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:19 p.m. DJHeath Says...

This is so useful!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:19 p.m. Emily Says...

Yes!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:18 p.m. Shanté Dorrell Says...

Thanks for all the info!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:17 p.m. Christina s Says...

Cant wait to go this October!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:16 p.m. Marcus Franklin Says...

Traveled to Universal Orlando back in April and Undercover Tourist saved us a bunch of money on admission tickets! Great website!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:16 p.m. Cassidy Says...

This is really helpful. Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:16 p.m. Jose Martino Says...

Thank you for the information! Been to WDW but never Disneyland - looking forward to it!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:14 p.m. Melanie Jackson Says...

September is my favorite time to visit!! I love Halloween in Disney! It's also usually not extremely crowded either, but you run the risk of hurricane season.

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May 15, 2018 at 5:14 p.m. Desiree Says...

Love me some Disney!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:13 p.m. jenn Says...

Never been to California, so this would be AWESOME!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:11 p.m. Corie Says...

We absolutely love undercover tourist website and blog. Great savings and spot on tips for Disney lovers like us!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:11 p.m. Amy W Says...

Can’t wait to start planning my first Disneyland vacation for my family!! Thank you for all the helpful information and advice!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:09 p.m. Hospitality Princess Says...

I’ve never been to Disneyland before, but know I feel super prepared! Thanks for all the great info!! ????????????

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May 15, 2018 at 5:09 p.m. Kristine18 Says...

Thanks for all of the useful tips. We used your site many times while planning our last Disneyland/US vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:09 p.m. Morgan Deakin Says...

Thank you so much for all the helpful info! It makes it a lot easier to pick travel dates for future vacations.

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May 15, 2018 at 5:08 p.m. Amina Says...

The best n worse time tips r great! Personally we like to go to Disney world during the last two weeks of August when there is usually free dining plan package offer. Done that 3 times already!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:08 p.m. Christopher L Says...

Can't wait for our next Disney vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:07 p.m. Nas Says...

Awesome!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:06 p.m. Candace Seymour Says...

Such an amazing site. I'm so excited to plan my upcoming trip and I think your site will be one of the main places that I will get information from. Thanks guys!! <3 <3

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May 15, 2018 at 5:05 p.m. Sarah Says...

We went to Disneyland just before their 60th anniversary, and so many attractions were down for refurbishment to get ready for the big celebration. We want to make our way back and experience everything again, or for the first time!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:05 p.m. Jrowens Says...

I love all of your tips! We visited Disneyland the past 2 years and are currently looking forward to our first Disney World vacation this year!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:04 p.m. Emily R. Says...

Awesome info! Thank you :)

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May 15, 2018 at 5:04 p.m. SNLmom Says...

We are planning to visit Disney World in June and Disneyland in January. It's going to be a fun year; and this information is super helpful for planning! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:04 p.m. Alexia Says...

What a helpful post! Really helps to start vacation planning for Disney!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:03 p.m. Sasha Vlasyuk Says...

Thanks for the awesome information! Your posts are always so helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:03 p.m. Kavanaughsmom Says...

This is great information! I’m thinking of planning a Disneyland trip and this helps me decide when to start looking at our schedules! Thank you for keeping us up to date with valuable info!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. Preston Says...

This is awesome

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May 15, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. Eileen Says...

Love going during October for Halloween. That is my favorite time of year at Disney Land. Thanks for the info above.

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May 15, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. Misti Says...

Thanks for always having the best information!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. Rachel Says...

We're going for our honeymoon in the first half of December 2018. Hopefully the crowds won't be too bad!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. Josh Says...

We just came back from a trip to Disneyland May 9-11. The crowds were fantastic and we're strongly considering the same timeframe for next year!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:01 p.m. Becky Says...

Thanks for having all the information on your site. Truly one stop shopping.

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May 15, 2018 at 5 p.m. John Huseby Says...

Love Undercover Tourist. You saved my family a bunch of money on our upcoming trip to Universal this summer.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:58 p.m. marie mc Says...

I have been to Disney World many times but never to Disney Land-- it would be so fun to see it!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:57 p.m. Fidel Says...

Looking forward to being there soon

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May 15, 2018 at 4:57 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Commenting to enter!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:57 p.m. Kim Says...

Would love to visit Disneyland again. We have some great memories from there when our daughter was little.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:56 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Super helpful! Will keep this in mind for sure.

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