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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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651–700 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. Lyssa Says...

I'd rather go when it's not too crowded but I'll have to go in a week that fits into my husband and my work/school schedule. Great tips though! Very detailed and helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. McKay Says...

Thanks for the info

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. SP Says...

This is so helpful. Hoping to get to Disneyland in December!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. Angie b Says...

Crowds can really make a vacation frustrating!! Love these articles and the app and the calendar on the site. All helped us on our last vacation to Orlando! We would love to plan a trip to Disneyland next!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Debbie Benson Says...

I use Undercover Tourist whenever we go to Disney! It's a tool I can't go without! Thank you!!!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Martha Flanagan Says...

In the spring or fall! cooler weather so can enjoy all that disneyland offers

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. ds Says...

Thanks

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Vicki Says...

Great information!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Danyeall Williams Says...

This would be awesome for my 6yr old son soon to be 7 come August to experience!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Bay Says...

great advice

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Cassandra Says...

We went in October 2017, and it was great! Our family loved seeing everything decked out for Halloween, and the lines were short or at worst reasonable. We did see a huge difference between Thursday/Friday and Saturday. Even in October, I'd suggest avoiding weekends.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Kathy Noble Says...

Thanks for the tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Stacie Jenner Says...

Thank you so much for being you! i have used you guys lots over the years and will continue to! so helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. MissKate83 Says...

I want to say because of this website we were able to stay at the Port Orleans Riverside for a great price!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Wayne Says...

Never a bad time to visit Disney. Just have to learn to live with the crowds.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Mandy N Says...

This is AWESOME! We are hitting Disney World this year, but Disneyland is the plan for next year. The 2019 dates will be SUPER helpful in planning!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Nancy Says...

You guys were crucial for planning our trip to WDW last year. I'll save this post for our west coast visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Laura Mad-dog Says...

if you use Undercover Tourist plans and arrive early, even the worse weeks are manageable.

Thanks for all the good advice.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Morgan Christopher Says...

Thank you for this post, this is probably the best guide I have seen for information of what the best things are, when to go, etc.....

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May 15, 2018 at 4:20 p.m. Kara M Says...

Thanks for the helpful info! Love this blog!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:20 p.m. Yvette Says...

I am visiting Disneyland and California Adventure on May 29th and May 31st, are these high crowded days? I am going to Universal Studios on May 30th as well? any suggestions?

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Denise M Powell Says...

Very helpful information! Looking forward to my next trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Tameika Says...

Great blog and great info

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Nancye Taylor Says...

Can’t wait to visit the place that I loved so much during my childhood!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Mary Says...

I want to go SO badly. Miss it!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Maureen Says...

love the blog posts with the busy and slow times!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Sharon Drapeau Says...

This post is exactly why I love Undercover Tourist.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Fabs Says...

Super helpful article! I'm hoping to take my daughter to Disneyland for a graduation present!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Tammy Sue Bohne Says...

Great crowd calendar! Always accurate! And of course love the ticket deals!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Devra Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:17 p.m. paul lewis Says...

great resource...wonderful service

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 4:17 p.m. Vickie Glass Says...

Great information ... great company to work with!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:16 p.m. YKA Says...

Really love the planners. A lifesaver in the summer heat!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. Heather M. Says...

Disneyland is my favorite. I want to take my husband badly. He's never been to Disneyland, let alone California!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. Michelle Potchak Says...

Thanks for the tips! It is greatly appreciated!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. danivent Says...

Thanks for posting! We love Disney World but hope to make the jump over to Disneyland soon!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Bryan F Says...

????????Frog on! ????????

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. htepaige Says...

very helpful, thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Angelika Pienkowska Says...

Wow, thank you for such an insightful blog post! I reply on your content to dream plan my future first Disneyland trip :-)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Laura Says...

We've been going over New Year's the past few years (not the best idea, I know), but we plan it so we know what to fast pass and what to knock out while we wait. For the most part, we end up missing most of the crowds and since it's just my boyfriend and I with no kids, we usually finish everything in a decent amount of time, or can spend the rest of the day hanging out around the park. But it's always a good time, crowds or not

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May 15, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. Nicole Says...

I'm a little nervous to be going mid-June this year with the crowds, but you're right, anytime you can go is the best time to go and that is the time we could get away for an adult only trip!! I think one of the best times to go is when it is raining. :) We were there over spring break in March and it had poured the day we arrived and rained our first day in the park and it was empty! We walked on practically every ride. So much fun!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Sahil Says...

Great article. Very helpful tips for my family's plan next month!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Erika Says...

This blog is how i get my orlando fix while im stuck at work.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Jin Says...

Got lots of great tips when going to Disney world. Saving this for later.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Mandy Says...

Thank you for all the helpful tips and tricks! It helped my boyfriend's family and I plan our vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. PKS Says...

Love this site! Super helpful when planning a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World! I’ve been referring to them for the crowd calendar and ride refurbishments/closure schedules for years.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Luisa Mejicanos Says...

I love all these tips for Disney and it will help whenever we are able to go on a Disney vcay! I'll make sure I'llkeep checking for more info.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Rachel Masten Says...

Hoping to do a quick visit in two weeks when we’re in California!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Lisa Ziegler Says...

Had a great experience ordering through your company!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Janet Says...

Was there last summer and would like to return around Christmas time some day.

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