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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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901–950 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. CQ Says...

Thank you for all the information you provide. It is very helpful in planning a great family vacation.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Laurie Pennington Says...

We would love to go this summer! Nothing like Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Stephanie Says...

This is such great information, looking forward to our time to go to Disneyland and glad it’s not one of the busiest.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Ctagg Says...

Man I wish I didn't have to abide by a school calendar! Someday!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Brittany Rumgay Says...

Great article!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Laura Buffit Says...

What a great article! Thank you for sharing so much valuable & detailed information!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Greg P. Says...

Thanks for the info.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. brigitte Says...

great info! We love going in the fall.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Pamela Manley Says...

Anytime is a great time to visit Disney :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Sue Bryan Says...

Any day is a good day with Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Lauren Says...

My favorite time of year to go to Disney is Halloween time! I’m surprised the week of October 31st isn’t one of the worst times to visit, and at the same time, relieved! ????

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Rosalie Says...

I haven't been to Disneyland in over 10 years! I can't wait to visit in the near future.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Melissa Says...

Thank you for doing the work to help plan a good time to visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Kyra Says...

I've only ever been to Disney World, but would love to go to Disneyland some day. The last trip to WDW had been a bit crazy. We had gone in October and unfortunately during the Wine and Food Festival (totally didn't realize), and every single park was packed. My brother and sister-in-law (who had never been before) didn't get to see and enjoy as much as I had hoped. But perhaps we could attempt another siblings trip again soon! Anyway, thanks for this post! I would definitely recommend taking a look at crowd calendars before booking!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Mrs. Guerrero Says...

Wonderful every time!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. ILona B. Says...

This would be AWESOME! Disney is my Happy Place!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Heather Mc Says...

I have yet to pick a time that isn't good to visit Disney!!! Love this blog!! Thanks for all the goodies that Undercover Tourist provides!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Laterica Says...

Thanks for the info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Tristen Says...

I hope to get back to Disneyland one day - I visited in 1993!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Karmen Says...

Thank you for this awesome information! We unfortunately do not have much of choice and have to come during Easter break next year but your article helped me choose the dates! So thank you!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Paul Says...

This is great. We are currently researching best dates and best costs for our honeymoon to Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Edmund Says...

I love the tips -n- tricks that you publish! (And of course the ticket prices!!) :)

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

I would love to go to Disneyland! I've never been!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Sam Says...

Looking forward to a trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. K.Satterfield Says...

I love Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Lou Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Tina Says...

I've been to Disney World lots of times but never Disneyland! Would love to go sometime!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Megan Mosier Says...

We always feel like weekdays Feb-March or in September are good as long as you avoid holidays for Disney World! Haven’t been to Disney Land yet!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Meredith Schneider Says...

We have heard late January is a great time to visit. This is when we are planning to go

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Sonia Says...

I loved using the Undercovertourist APP while at WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Adam Says...

Going to Walt Disney World in June! Disneyland is on our bucket list and we will head over to Undercover Tourist to plan that trip! Thanks for all you do!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Suzanne Schumacher Says...

Such a helpful post....haven't been in over 20 years and really want to take my kid for the first time.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. David Says...

Im going to Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Kirsten Tyson Says...

Start planning our family trip next month! Can’t wait to get started. Been wanting to visit for years! A first for me and my kids

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. John Perry Says...

It is true that the park is full during the time listed above but there are ways to make a trip during those time much better. Undercover tourist has those tips listed on their travel plans and we have used them on multiple trips. We are so thankful for all those time saving must do ideas when visiting Disneyland!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Michelle Kubitski Says...

Love your newsletters and deals! Thank you

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Courtney Tait Says...

Love this! So helpful to keep this in mind when trip planning!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Rochelle Koerbel Says...

Looking forward to our family trip in June!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Jen Says...

Thanks for the helpful info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Deanna Says...

Everyone should go to Disneyland at least once. It’s one of the most amazing experiences!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Sonia Says...

I loved using the app the last time I was at WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Tim Culverhouse Says...

Don't have a time picked yet, but would love to go back Thanks for the helpful info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Maria Lopez Says...

Hello

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Crystal Weber Says...

I used this site when planning a trip to Orlando. It was very useful as we planned to visit Sea World, Disney parks and Legoland. I was able to use the crowd calculator to decide which days were best for each activity, and it worked well. We had an amazing trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Julia T Says...

Would love to visit in 2020 with my family.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. stephanie Says...

this is so useful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Lana Kay Elmore Says...

Great site with very good information. I highly recommend them from my past vacation.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Lisa Says...

Great advice!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Nicole Morrison Says...

Every day is a good day to go to Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Katie McCarthy Says...

I love helpful entries like this! Really helps to plan a trip.

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