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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!

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751–800 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. afall Says...

can't wait for star wars land!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Jessica Padilla Says...

I love that there is a Disneyland crowd calendar. It is very helpful.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Kristy A Says...

Ah, having kids means we always have to travel in the worst times! But we will have a good touring plan under our belt!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. ALE9687 Says...

Would love to win and take my 1yr old son on his first Disneyland trip!!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Autism Mommy Says...

If you go during the school year it can be especially helpful when you have a child with Autism! The shorter lines makes a huge difference!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:52 p.m. The DisNerd Says...

Hoping to get back to Disneyland in the next few years! We just went in June of 2015 and it was fantastic! Our home park is WDW - we usually go there annually! Can't wait to go back :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Samantha Brown Says...

I would love to visit Disneyland especially since I've never been to California and my nephew who is a Marine is stationed there.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Alisha Gravette Says...

Thanks for the info! Planning a trip out for May 2019!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Aubrey hohman Says...

i think this article is helpful in planning a trip. It will allow me to know when the crows will be.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. CRYSTAL Says...

Love the post

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. Liz Says...

I love the reminders of when the best time to visit Disneyland are. I follow another blog/website that does some of the same stuff and I was find these tips to be very useful and spot on.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. Kristin Says...

I just wanted to say that I love all of your posts, the app is such a lifesaver, and we purchased hopper passes from your website and we were thrilled to get a day for free!! Awesome job and you make vacationing at Disney so much easier!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Alison Snow Says...

Great to know, thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Natalie Says...

This is very helpful!! I think no matter what there will be crowds so the best time to go is anytime. There is always something new to see or eat and rides are worth the wait!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Ivegotadream Says...

Love Undercover Tourist! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Kelly Elledge Says...

Can't wait for a trip back for MNSSHP this fall! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Amanda Bachman Says...

Disneyland and Disneyworld are the best vacation spots!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Jennifer Anderson Says...

My number one source for all things WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Polina Sheehan Says...

Very helpful information. Usually we are visiting Disneyland or DisneyWorld during summer time and it always very crowded but it's still fun!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Thomas Says...

Thanks for these tips! We're planning a visit to Disneyland for the first time this November!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. DanF Says...

Early February is best.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Gayle Chezick Says...

Great website!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. eviarar SCHWARTZ Says...

Thanks for the great tips!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Brent Says...

What a great thing!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Michael Says...

Was thinking Feb 2019, not considering May...

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Adam E Says...

Love the Undercover Tourist email updates, and looking forward to our next Orlando trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Susan Morris Says...

I've been a subscriber for a few years now. I always recommend you to my friends when they ask about Disney. Your best times to visit is a great help!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Jennifer Says...

I always follow the crowd calendar during my Disney vacations. It is very accurate and saves us time by not having to wait in longer lines.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Jody LeBlanc Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. Sharon Says...

Disneyland is a destination our family would love to visit. "Hopping" to visit soon!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. Karen Says...

Can’t wait to see how the crowds are Sept 6-10!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Mekalk1 Says...

Good info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Monika Says...

This is a great post! So much help especially because I’m trying to plan a trip for the end of this year! Thank you

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Kendall Says...

Thanks for all the tips! Can’t wait to go!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Susan Worley Says...

We can't wait to get to Disneyland! We're hoping the crowds are not too bad this summer while school is out.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Carol Lopez Says...

The best time to visit is when school is back in session. Or right after a holiday has ended and most are traveling back!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:43 p.m. Pete Says...

We love this site

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jonathn Says...

Eh, we'll see, I'm more of an Orlando guy. Especially with the new pyrotechnics, wink, wink!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jen Rickard Says...

We would love to win! We have always used and enjoyed UT!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Traci Palmer Says...

Love your touring plans!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Monica Lima Says...

Thanks so much for this info on Disneyland! We are very familiar with Disney World but, would love to make a trip to Disneyland and this is extremely helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jo-Ann Says...

Hoping to be able to visit Disneyland in a year or two - how crowded is it during the Christmas week?

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May 15, 2018 at 3:41 p.m. Keri D Says...

I live 2 hours from Disney World. I always use your crowd calendar to judge the best days for my family to visit the parks. We are planning to visit the Disney Land resort in 2019 and will be using you for that trip as well. Thank you very much.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:41 p.m. Bret L Says...

Love Undercover Tourist! have gotten the newsletter for years and is a great link for Disney Park Tickets!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:40 p.m. Francisco Carrillo Says...

Best advice: whenever you can!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:40 p.m. The Limpet Says...

The best time to go to Disneyland can depend on the refurbishment schedule. Several rides get holiday overlays and are closed for weeks at a time...

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. RahulD14 Says...

Good Information !!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. Lisa C. Says...

The most important thing is, regardless what time you go, you will have a blast!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. Caitbell Says...

Great article lots of tips to help pick the perfect time for a trip!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. FERNANDA Says...

I love all of the updates,tips and discounts you guys post. really helpful

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