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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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951–1000 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. torgelfi Says...

The best time to visit is anytime you can!

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

Can't wait to get my Premier Passport back and visit again this Summer and see all the new entertainment at Disneyland! Christmas is the best time to visit for me, I don't mind the crowds and love the atmosphere!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Stephen Shannon Says...

I've haven't been to Disneyland in over 30 years, has it changed?

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May 16, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephen,

Yes! You'll find many changes, especially at the newer park, Disney California Adventure (which opened in 2001). You should definitely make a trip if you can! We think you'll love it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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

So excited for Pixar Pier!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Lorenzo Says...

I have never been past the mighty Mississippi. It is a dream of mine to see Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Cory Corrao Says...

Thanks for all the tips and tricks. I love the crowd calendar

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Kara Snesko Says...

HALLOWEEN!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Karen Says...

anytime is a good time to visit

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Meagan Mier-Garcia Says...

Can't wait until our next Disney trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Lane Says...

In February or March!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Jason Says...

This is such a helpful calendar! We're planning a road trip to California in 2019 and will definitely base our Disneyland days around this!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Riana Says...

Between Hallloween Time at Disneyland and UEA, October can get almost unbearably busy. I know plenty of Disneyland Veterans who have gone during that time and said it was just as bad, if not worse as Spring Break.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:08 p.m. Alison P. Says...

About to go on my 3rd WDW trip in 2 years (thanks UT for the help!). But, I would love to go to Disneyland soon and experience it for the first time!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:08 p.m. Nicole V. Says...

Would love a chance to visit Disneyland and bring my family! We have never been before and would definitely use these tips/suggestions to plan our trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:08 p.m. Alex Says...

I love the "best time/worst time" information - it really helped planning our Feb 2018 vacation for my 50th, and it's certainly going to help in future trips.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Yadiel Nieves Says...

I love Disney World! I’ve seen the lowest crowd in mid May. Very good to see the parks qith not so much crowd. I wish I could ser Disneyland some day! I love Disney Parks but haven’t had thw opportunity to go to the original park.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Matthew Kohut Says...

This is great.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. JB Waite Says...

The crowd calendar was a priceless companion on our latest trip to WDW! Definitely recommended to anyone planning on visiting!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Alexandra Sedevie Says...

Thanks for all the info you always provide! The best time to go to Disneyland in my opinion is "whenever I can!" :D

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Katie Says...

We've been to Disneyland bunches of times during the week after Presidents' Day and never thought the crowds were too bad.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Derry Says...

Hope to visit Disneyland sometime! Have heard a lot about it but WDW is a lot closer to us. Thanks for the info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Alexis K Says...

It's been a little less than 3 years since I've been to Disneyland and I certainly to get back there soon! Hopefully in 2019 :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Aimee Hughes Says...

Thank you for these great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Eric Says...

Cool!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Kayleigh Says...

I have never been to Disneyland, but this post is making my miss my home, WDW. Maybe a little Disney magic in California is just what I need....

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Rachelle Says...

I'm really hoping to make it to DL in July, 2019!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. kmrada Says...

Used UnderCoverTourist for our recent visit in January! Great ticket prices and helpful planning.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Kristen Wexler Says...

Thank you for all your tips! They have made my trips to Disney parks so enjoyable.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Wanda Howard Says...

very Helpful site!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Dawn Panagos Says...

I'm going to bookmark this!! Perfect for if I'm able to plan a trip out there!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Jenna DeYong Says...

Are the parks busier during the theme marathons?

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Erin Perry Says...

I've never been to Disneyland before, but I'd love to see Disneyland with its Christmas decor; to avoid crowds I'd say the first week of December would probably be the best time to do this.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Heather Eavers Says...

Great tips! We've been several times, but not recently so this is a great reminder/helper.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 p.m. Steven R. Says...

Great advice and trip planning!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:04 p.m. Eugene Says...

Love the crowd Calendar.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:04 p.m. Ashley Says...

I don't mind if the parks are busy while I'm there! A busy day at Disney is still a day at Disney! I'll take it!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:03 p.m. Cindi C Says...

I would loveeee to go to Disneyland! We’ve gone to Disney World before but would love to go to California since we’ve never been ☺️

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May 15, 2018 at 3:03 p.m. Suzanne D Says...

Great article. I love Disneyland - really itching to get back there!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:03 p.m. Katie Says...

Hope to visit during Fall Break (October) 2019!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:02 p.m. Lori Says...

Love WDW - this gives me pause to make a trip to Disneyland!!! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:01 p.m. Malena Jackson Says...

Only been to DL 2x but been to WDW too many to count. Sadly, both times at DL Haunted Mansion was closed for various overlays. Hope to get back soon so I can finally see DL's version of the HM!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:01 p.m. Dawn Says...

The blog posts are so helpful! Helps me plan our vacation better

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May 15, 2018 at 3 p.m. Kristen Says...

I would love to go to Disneyland one day!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3 p.m. Whitney Says...

great information!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:59 p.m. Courtney Siemer Says...

Wow! I can't start to wait to start planning!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:58 p.m. Erin Han Says...

I'm hoping to make a trip out to Disneyland in 2019! Thanks for all the great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:58 p.m. Jon Says...

Really want to go back to Carsland!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:58 p.m. Alyssia Byers Says...

Rainy days are the best days to visit.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:57 p.m. Jason Bellflowers Says...

Love the crowd calendar. It was very useful during our last trip to Orlando!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:54 p.m. Torey Says...

great info!

Reply
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