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Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022 and 2023

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Summary

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 2022 and 2023.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Partners Statue in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Planning the Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022

We'd be toadally remiss if we didn't talk about the biggest changes coming out of 2020 — and that the new theme park reservation system, which comes with some capacity limitations.

Many days sell out, but even so, there are more crowded days than others. While we do have years of experience and data collection under our belt, there are many more factors at play that put us in new territory when making our predictions. The good news is that there are many encouraging signs that things are heading back to "normal" in the parks, including the return of World of Color, Fantasmic! and the Main Street Electrical Parade. And guess what else? Traditional character meet and greets have returned as of April 18. Hooray for hugs!

With so many locals at Disneyland, who have a bigger influence on crowds than at Disney World, we knew crowds would return to Disneyland after its reopening — and boy, did they ever! Couple those locals with pent-up travel demand across the world, and Disneyland is set up for a hoppin' 2022 and beyond. (We will talk more below about Magic Key holders and how they influence crowds.)

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Cars Land Group

For the foreseeable future, capacity limits are in place using a reservation system, likely for some time; while it helps to limit capacity, it also makes getting into the parks more challenging. We've taken that into account when adjusting our Crowd Calendar. Keep hopping back because we will continue to update both this post and our Crowd Calendar as we learn more!

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Avengers Campus HQ

Avengers Campus made its epic debut June 4, 2021, which played a part in Disneyland's busy summer, fall and winter in 2021. But as we look into 2022 and 2023, there will be some sweet spots to time your visit if you're looking for the least busy time to hop into the parks.

Is It Packed at Disneyland? 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, and not just in California, and not just for spring or summer break. Many Arizona schools have breaks in the first half of October. Utah schools also have a fall break in mid-October. The spring breaks at major universities in California also influence crowd levels, making the second half of March the peak of spring break.

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 you don't see your particular dates discussed below, leap down to the comments. We frogs — and some of the 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! During Disneyland's reopening period, know that some traditional time-savers, such as Magic Morning, are temporarily unavailable, but expected to return in summer 2022. FASTPASS and MaxPass have been officially retired and replaced with the paid Genie+ system. Again, our best advice is to purchase your tickets and make your Disneyland theme park reservations as soon as possible to secure your spot. Reservation availability is released 120 days in advance (or 90 days for Magic Key holders).

Factors That Influence the Best Time to Go to Disneyland

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Family in front of Disney California Adventure

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 (now Magic Key holders).

One of the biggest changes to occur during the Disneyland closure was the cancellation of all annual passes. The Magic Key passholder program has debuted, though Magic Key holders still need to make a park reservation to enter the parks, and their availability calendar is also limited. Depending on the type of pass they have, Magic Key holders might find themselves 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 provides a fairly good idea of the very busiest dates of the year because those are the times when most Magic Key holders (especially for the more affordable passes such as Imagine and Enchant Keys) are not allowed to enter the parks. For example, during most of June through mid-August, certain Key holders are typically blocked from entering at least one or both parks, a strong sign that there will be tourists! One important thing to keep in mind in the future: Crowds are higher right after major blockout periods.

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Train Station

Even if the park capacity is the same each day, Magic Key holders influence the park crowds. During school days and workdays, Magic Key Holders might visit the park for just the morning or just the evening, making the park seem less crowded than a Saturday or holiday, when many more people arrive early and stay all day long, making the park feel more crowded.

Outside of the Magic Key holders, other limited-time local promotions can influence crowds for certain periods of time. When Disneyland offers special ticketing promos for California residents or Southern California residents, more locals flock to the parks. That can make it hard to predict crowd levels as it attracts more guests during typically quieter times. As the promo end dates draw near, everyone rushes in to use the tickets before they expire. Undercover Tourist typically offers these same promo tickets for an even steeper discount than the parks, so our Disneyland ticketing page can offer insight as to promo dates when available.

A more recent crowd forecaster is Disneyland's 1-Day Ticket Availability Calendar. Disneyland's 1-Day tickets are sold in tiers based on projected crowd levels, giving us a sneak peek at when Disney is expecting things to be busiest.

Another factor that has more influence on crowds at Disneyland than at Disney World is 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 is planned for Sept. 9 to 11, 2022.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Halloween Time

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! (We are so frogcited to get special event dates for 2022 and 2023 on the calendar — you'll see those reflected on the Crowd Calendar as soon as they are announced, so keep hopping back! Our Crowd Calendars also offer a look at the weather at Disneyland so you can pack accordingly for that May Gray and June Gloom :) )

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, as you probably guessed, there are some variables.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Cars Land Holidays

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2022

Here are the days we expect to be the busiest at Disneyland in 2022 and 2023.

  • Jan. 1-9, 2022
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 14-17, 2022
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 18-21, 2022
  • Spring break and Easter - March 12 to April 18, 2022 (elevated crowds March 5 to April 24, 2022)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 4 to Aug. 21, 2022
  • Oct. 1-15, 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

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2023

  • Jan. 1-8, 2023
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 13-16, 2023
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 17-20, 2023
  • Spring break and Easter - March 10 to April 16, 2023 (elevated crowds March 4 to April 21, 2023)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 3 - Aug. 21, 2023
  • Oct. 1-14, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 20-26, 2023
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 18, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024

*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.

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 the comments below.

  • Labor Day - Sept. 5, 2022 and Sept. 4, 2023
  • Yom Kippur (when it falls on a weekday) - Oct. 5, 2022 and Sept. 24, 2023
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 10, 2022 and Oct. 9, 2023
  • Utah and Arizona fall breaks from late September through mid-October
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) -  Nov. 11, 2022 and 2023
  • Memorial Day - May 30, 2022 and May 29, 2023
  • Disneyland's anniversary - July 17, 2022 and 2023

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

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022

While these are traditionally the best times to visit Disneyland, we expect higher crowds than usual around these times now that the parks are open and each day sells out!

Keep in mind that "off-season" low crowd levels can also mean shorter Disneyland hours and that less entertainment is available or that more rides undergo refurbishment. During some seasons, such as Halloween Time, weekdays are less crowded, but only weekends include fireworks, so take that into consideration as well.

  • 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 5, 2022)
  • April 25-29, 2022
  • Weekdays in May (except for Grad Nites)
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • The first week of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the second half 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 2023

  • 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, 2023)
  • April 21-28, 2023
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • 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

Avoiding Early Park Closures Due to After-Hours Parties

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Oogie Boogie Bash Overlay on Disney California Adventure Park Entrance

One other thing to be aware of is any separately ticketed events that may be scheduled even during the best time to visit. Here are the most common causes of early park closure:

These after-hours parties can cause the park to close earlier than usual. If you look forward to an evening at Disneyland with all the nighttime entertainment, then avoid visiting these days unless you have a party ticket. Otherwise, your fun may be cut short, and you may not get the most out of your visit for your money. Since Disneyland hours are generally released only up to six weeks in advance, keep an eye out for news of parties and note any upcoming dates to avoid (or to buy a ticket for). You can look to our linked posts for upcoming events or for guidance on predicting the next season's shenanigans.

Ta-da! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2022 and 2023! Don't froget that you can purchase discount Disneyland tickets from your favorite frogs! Ribbit!

Related: 40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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451–500 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 6:48 p.m. Constance L Says...

Wow! So much info to consider. Glad Undercover Tourist is there to help along the way.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:48 p.m. Nancy Says...

Love using your crowd calendars!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:47 p.m. Drewe Says...

Awesome, thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:47 p.m. Tommy Dean Says...

We live in Alaska and could use a great vacation.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:47 p.m. M.Y. Says...

Still haven't been to Disneyland yet! Looking forward to someday!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:46 p.m. kcannie04 Says...

Let's go now!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:46 p.m. Annie Coleman Says...

Anytime is a good time at Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:46 p.m. Shara Says...

Good to know - I'm heading to DW in November. Thanks for the info.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:46 p.m. Shannan Hohensee Says...

This would be great!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:45 p.m. HyperJessicus Says...

I'm trying to plan a trip for my husband and our daughter and this was actually very helpful. I didn't know about the peak seasons. Thank you!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:43 p.m. Sam Says...

Because we love the Christmas atmosphere, I'll be taking my kids out of school early December to avoid the crowds!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:43 p.m. Mel Kue Says...

I would love to visit Carsland so my son and daughter can go crazy over it!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:43 p.m. Jennisha Says...

Gosh I have never been to Disneyland. I want to go!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:39 p.m. Cayley Says...

CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:37 p.m. Emily Mae Says...

These are so wonderful! I will not plan a trip without reading your blog first!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:34 p.m. Tracy Says...

Thanks for the info!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:33 p.m. EB Says...

Too many trips to the World, but none to the Land. Need to fix that!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:31 p.m. Teri B. Says...

This is the best website for all Disney. I would love to go to Disneyland. It has been 48 years since my first and last visit.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Jack K Says...

Best times to go is not in July...but that's when we're going! Wife is a teacher. Can't wait to check out Disneyland finally. Been to Disneyworld numerous times.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:24 p.m. Melissa S Says...

Nice! We're going the last week of November into December, so that should be perfect. :D

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May 15, 2018 at 6:24 p.m. Nick C Says...

(Mouse) Fingers crossed.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:23 p.m. Meg8 Says...

So many changes going on at both parks! Would love to see all of these new attractions and areas... and skip the crowds! Great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:23 p.m. Lara Says...

Deciding when to go is the hardest part of planning a trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:23 p.m. Katie H Says...

So much useful information packed into one article! I’m very happy to learn my birthday is not considered a bad time to go!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:21 p.m. Laura S. Says...

I have personally used Undercover Tourist for 8 trips to Disneyworld in the past 4 years and they are awesome! I have never had anything but positive experiences and the tickets are a savings for us!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:20 p.m. Josh McD Says...

Great Information

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May 15, 2018 at 6:20 p.m. Atley Says...

the best advice is on this blog

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May 15, 2018 at 6:19 p.m. IndyAndy Says...

Also look out for the last weekend of SoCal discount tickets. We went in late may of 2017 and it was insane. The last weekend of the SoCal discount tickets + Grad Night = wayyy too many people. The week after once blackout dates started for APs looked like much better crowds.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:18 p.m. TmNa Says...

Lots of great info

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May 15, 2018 at 6:18 p.m. Jasmine Seivright Says...

Planning for 2019!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:16 p.m. Elizabeth Hernandez Says...

This is such an informative site!!! Always get the best prices in park tickets too!! Thanks for being awesome:)

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May 15, 2018 at 6:15 p.m. Isa R Says...

I was there in 2007 and would love to go back someday. Next time I’ll be sure to be better prepared before I make travel plans. It’s good to know what days are best to go and which ones are not.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:14 p.m. Linda C Says...

Great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:13 p.m. Ryan Says...

Our family loves Disneyland! We try to go during off-peak times and it’s been great!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:12 p.m. Molly Says...

We can only go during school vacations but still manage to have a great trip as long as we plan well!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:12 p.m. Stephanie Schroeder Says...

I would visit DL anytime! Particularly love the fall.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:09 p.m. Elizabeth Resch Says...

Great info, Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:07 p.m. Cindy Yinger Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. Raquel Bialek Says...

Good info

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May 15, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. eRiKa Says...

Can't wait to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:04 p.m. Natasha Rodriguez Says...

Wow I didn’t know a lot of this information. Next time I go, since my travelling is limited to summer only, end of August it is!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:04 p.m. Nadia A Says...

I love Disney.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:01 p.m. Susan Says...

The crowd calendar is always my first step in planning a Disney/Universal trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 6 p.m. April Says...

Would love to go back!!

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May 15, 2018 at 6 p.m. Shannon F Says...

Disneyland is definitely on my bucket list!

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May 15, 2018 at 6 p.m. Diane Says...

Thanks for all the great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:58 p.m. Jacob Shipton Says...

Disney is always a blast! Cannot wait to go again!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:58 p.m. Kandice hoen Says...

Awesome info!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:56 p.m. Brian JL Says...

Great tips. Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 5:56 p.m. carolyn evans Says...

Love going to Disney at Christmas!

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