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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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401–450 of 1698 comments
May 15, 2018 at 7:58 p.m. Suzanne Hill Says...

I hope I win the sweepstakes!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:58 p.m. AzDisneyFan Says...

We usually go the week before Labor Day every year, but made the mistake of going to Disneyland on a Saturday and it was very crowded.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:55 p.m. chris Says...

This info helped me so much in the past!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:55 p.m. Holly Says...

Can’t wait to visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:53 p.m. Woofie_h Says...

The crowd calendar is one of the most useful tools! I have never been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld but this has really helped gain perspective and planning! Can’t wait for my trip in Sep to DisneyWorld! Thanks for all the information!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:51 p.m. Sasha Lamb-Archuleta Says...

Great to know for upcoming reference!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:50 p.m. Kate Says...

Bookmarking this! Thank you!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:47 p.m. TracilW Says...

This is great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:47 p.m. Susan Connolly Says...

I don’t visit these theme parks without consulting the crowd calendars.

Excellent info!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:45 p.m. Heather Says...

This is such great info! We are hoping to take our twins in 2019 or 2020 and I can’t wait to use this I to along with all your other resources!! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:38 p.m. Stacie Clasen Says...

We have gone over New Year's Eve, Spring Break and middle of the summer. Everytime has been worth it and something different to see each time!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:34 p.m. Carolyn S. Says...

I love Undercover Tourist! Can always trust their info and their prices!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:32 p.m. dialane Says...

Always find the information on this website useful.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Lisa Coles Says...

This info is so helpful... great for vaca planning!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:29 p.m. Jennifer Says...

I was thinking of taking my kids in the summer.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:28 p.m. Audra M Says...

Love to bring our 6yo daughter & mom together at Disneyland!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:27 p.m. Mary Says...

I desperately need to get back to Disneyland!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:25 p.m. Liz Straayer Says...

I'm a teacher so I usually have to go during the busier school holidays. I like going the second week of Christmas break :)

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May 15, 2018 at 7:24 p.m. Kara willer Says...

Awesome! I would love to visit one day. Im a huge Disney fan.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:23 p.m. Phil Guerra Says...

Cant wait to visit in November

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May 15, 2018 at 7:23 p.m. Flutter Flight Says...

Since I've been to Disney World tons of times, but not yet Disneyland, this is good info. to have! Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:22 p.m. Charlotte Says...

Anytime is the best time to go.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. Angela Hartmann Says...

Good stuff!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. blackbird Says...

so excited for our trip next year. good info from the frog

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May 15, 2018 at 7:20 p.m. ALangan Says...

Planning our trip for late October!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:17 p.m. Chandra Moore Says...

This is so neat for me to be able to evaluate the best available times to enjoy yourself at the great attraction. Often when you attend an attraction of this magnitude, you end up departing not seeing the main attractions due to inadequate planning. Undercover Tourist takes the exhaustion out of planning and puts your mind at ease with accurate info so you and your family can relax and enjoy your vacation. Thanks for the help! ????

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May 15, 2018 at 7:17 p.m. Anne Says...

Awesome offer!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:16 p.m. Jeni Says...

So helpful! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:14 p.m. carriebeary29 Says...

Would love to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:13 p.m. Culbster13 Says...

We went before Presidents’ Day in February and it was quiet then the weekend came and it was bonkers. Can’t wait to get back.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:10 p.m. Stacy Bailey Louch Says...

So excited! I can't wait to go!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:10 p.m. Braydon M Says...

My girlfriends family uses you guys to plan their disney trips and now we use you to plan our little family trips to disney california soon

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:09 p.m. TraceHayden Says...

I love how simple they make it to book and plan out your vacation. Awesome service!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:08 p.m. Susan G Says...

Just got home--can't wait to go back! But there is no easy time to go to DL, it is always crowded more or less...

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May 15, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. Nikki Says...

So glad I found this info. I used info from undercover tourist to plan my Disney world vacation last year and it was extremely accurate. I loved the wait times app also!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. Wingo Says...

Does anyone have any experience visiting the first week of June? I'm trying to figure out why weekends in May, along with mid-June are crowded and prior to that is not listed as most crowded.

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May 16, 2018 at 3:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Wingo,

You'll see crowds start to pick up during this time, but as some schools aren't quite out yet and it's not the peak of summer vacation, the parks aren't at their most crowded yet!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. Ian VanKirk Says...

We've done Disney World twice and looking for the opportunity for Disneyland. It's a little harder from the northeast. Whenever we decide to go Undercover Tourist will factor heavily in our planning.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. George Says...

Very helpful. Looking forward to when we retire an can get away from those busiest dates

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May 15, 2018 at 7:05 p.m. kim ha Says...

Would love to experience the west coast!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:03 p.m. Dana G Says...

Definitely helpful information. As someone who grew up going to Disneyland, it is really hard to go there at all now because it is so crowded most of the time! Good luck, all!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:03 p.m. Hannah K Says...

Great! I hope to get out to Walt's park soon!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:03 p.m. Jennifer B. Says...

We will be going at one of the worst times in 2018. Oh well.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:01 p.m. Donna Says...

Oh I am doing some California dreaming right about now.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:59 p.m. Regina Says...

We have used the crowd calendar before to plan a trip to Disneyland. Our favorite time to go is the first part of December.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:58 p.m. Kristine Says...

We have always loved visiting Disneyland!! These tips are super helpful for anyone with an upcoming trip to CA. Thank you for the useful information!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:56 p.m. Tanner Scott Says...

We can’t wait to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:55 p.m. Ronnette Says...

Anytime is a great time

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May 15, 2018 at 6:50 p.m. Jenny Says...

We took our family in late February/early March and it was perfect! The weather was pleasant and the crowds were low during the week!

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May 15, 2018 at 6:49 p.m. Al Says...

Love the crowd callendar

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May 15, 2018 at 6:48 p.m. Nathan R Says...

The frogs are ALWAYS right when it comes to planning for and going on a vacation!

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