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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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1001–1050 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 2:54 p.m. Steven Says...

I've always wanted to go to Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:33 p.m. Theresa Hollers Says...

Disney is the greatest place on earth.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:33 p.m. Theresa Hollers Says...

Disney is the best place on earth!!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:31 p.m. Jessica Lear Says...

I would be so excited to take our kids to DisneyLand. We have been to Disney World twice and love the magic your experience. I will say that both times have been during October breaks, so lines were reasonable.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:18 p.m. Shannon Says...

I can’t wait to visit Disneyland.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:09 p.m. Q Says...

Just wanted to say thanks for all the great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:53 p.m. Sunnie Says...

Good to know , thanks for posting!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:38 p.m. Millie Says...

Went during Halloween week two years in a row. Mornings were ok, evenings were a nightmare when the Halloween party ticket holders arrived.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:35 p.m. Don Says...

Lots of info, thank you.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. Taylor C Says...

Can't wait to plan our trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:13 p.m. Lisa O Says...

We’ve been there the week after New Year’s in 2017 and 2018. 2018 was much more crowded. I think the parks are generally more crowded now, even in the “down” times.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:12 p.m. Delina Says...

This article is so helpful! Can’t wait for our trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:06 p.m. Savanna Griffing Says...

This would be my family dream trip! Thank you for hosting this sweepstakes!

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May 15, 2018 at 1 p.m. Shelley W Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:46 p.m. joe Says...

just hoping to win

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Trinity Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Doris Taylor Says...

Anytime is perfect, because there is always a theme and something to do, no matter what the season is.

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Cayman Says...

Great Blog!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:35 p.m. Steve Purtee Says...

We love Disney and can't wait to get back there.

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May 15, 2018 at 12:22 p.m. DCVsweep Says...

Looks Fun

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May 15, 2018 at 12:21 p.m. Patrick Jones Says...

great tips !

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May 15, 2018 at noon Jessica Bagwell Says...

I have never been to Disney, but I would love to take my boys! Thanks for all the helpful tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. Denise D Says...

I say anytime you can! I want to go! Never been! Want to go!! Saving my money for a trip to sunny California!!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:33 a.m. Says...

Never been to Disneyland! Hoping we get to go someday!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:21 a.m. WLong Says...

I can vouch for the crowd calendar helping us on a trip in 2012! Forced ourselves to go on a red, yellow, and green day at various parks to really see what that meant; red definitely sucked!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:03 a.m. KHinMN Says...

Would LOVE to win the Disneyland vacation, looks amazing!

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May 15, 2018 at 10:59 a.m. VMborrayo Says...

We love to first both parks during the September sand October Months! Always less crowded for us.

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May 15, 2018 at 10:49 a.m. Mikey A Says...

This is awesome, I figure during summer the park is super packed! Gonna have to wait for the kids to go back to school to plan my visit ;)

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May 15, 2018 at 10:42 a.m. Pam Muldowney Says...

Wow! I love the advice about when the park is the most crowded!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. Lynn Says...

Lots of great tips here! Thanks

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May 15, 2018 at 6:51 a.m. Erin Brown Says...

We love using Undercover Tourist! I really like the crowd calendar it really helped us plan our trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:30 a.m. Joshua JS Says...

I love love love Disneyland! I plan on visiting all the parks worldwide, it’s always been a goal of mine.

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May 15, 2018 at 5:10 a.m. Michelle Bartley Says...

Great tips on best times to go! Thank You!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:07 a.m. Kelley4306 Says...

Seems about the same as Disney world! Would love to visit Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:02 a.m. Kim Says...

Certainly a positive spin! Disney land is ALWAYS busy. But undercover tours has a ton of great information! I’ve used many of their tips in this and other parks and been very greatful for them!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 a.m. Wendy Says...

I was a passholder for two years, amd visited once every 2-3 weeks or so when we weren't blacked out, usually after work. I didn't see the place im daylight fpr months. I really got burned out with the crowds. Then they cut the SoCal resident pass for a couple years. They reinstated it this past year, I think attendance must be down. I have friends coming the week before Xmas and New Years this year. So i know im advance to get there before the gates open, because on busy days it would get full and they would close the gates for hours, sometimes as early as 1 PM.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:35 a.m. Lora P Says...

I like that you post the best days to go to avoid crowds

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 a.m. Marissa Says...

Great info, bookmarking!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 a.m. Arnie D. Says...

I haven't been to Disneyland in over 30 years! I would love to go and visit family in LA.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 a.m. Purity H Says...

Thanks for the Info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 a.m. andy Says...

I would really like to take the kiddos to disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:49 a.m. Leilani V Says...

These tips are great ! We haven't been to Disneyland always go to Disney World so I need all the info I can get ????

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May 15, 2018 at 2:43 a.m. Barbara Says...

The middle of the week while school is in session.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:38 a.m. Ljf Says...

We’re going in late September. Can take advantage of Halloween festivities and Food and Wine Fest!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:15 a.m. Starlyn Bigrope Says...

Thank you for the great tips! I am excited to plan our 1st family vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:12 a.m. Tammy Says...

Love all of the tips you share to help us get the most out of our time at the parks. Thank you for the hard work!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:09 a.m. Fina Says...

Planning our first trip this year! This website has helped SO much.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. Lauren T Says...

I’ve always wanted to see the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion overlay! Fall is honestly my favorite time at any Disney Park!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. Lyndon Murray Says...

I love disneyland and all the attractions.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:46 a.m. Julie Says...

A dream Cali Disneyland

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