Crowds at Disneyland: Predicting the Unpredictable

Crowds at Disneyland

Deciding when to visit Disneyland can be a challenge. Basing your visit on limited crowds can be even more challenging. Disneyland’s park attendance fluctuates greatly throughout the year.

And as history has shown, crowd levels can be very tricky to predict. 

Disneyland is the second most visited theme park in the world with over 18 million visitors per year! So no matter what, I wouldn’t count on having the park to yourself any time soon.

In my opinion, trying to predict how crowded the parks will be is not really worth all the time and effort.

However, I know it’s important to many people who come a great distance to experience all the magic Disneyland has to offer, without getting caught in a sea of people scrambling to get from one ride to the next.  

History has proven that there are certain times of the year Disneyland is not as crowded and perhaps easier to navigate.

By researching the last few years of park attendance and taking into consideration annual holidays and typical school schedules, I’ve hesitantly put together a “crowd prediction” outline that might help you decide when to plan your next Disneyland trip.

Important note: this crowd prediction is subject to change and simply based on past park attendance rates.

Deciding When to Visit

Disneyland’s Less Crowded Days

Mid January through mid-March, until Spring Break

Mid April through late May, until Memorial Day

Mid September (after Labor Day) through the beginning of October

November, excluding the week of Thanksgiving

Weekdays (specifically Tuesday-Thursday) are often less crowded than weekends (Friday – Monday are generally busier). Also, regular weekend are sometimes less crowded than holiday weekends.

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Disneyland’s Most Crowded Days

All school holidays and grad nights (President’s Day, Spring Break, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve/Day)

All weekends near a holiday or that allow for a 3-day weekend 

June, July, and August when school is out for summer

Other Considerations

There is never a right or wrong time to visit Disneyland. Honestly, deciding when to visit Disneyland depends completely on your personal preference and specific needs.

If it’s important to plan your trip when the park is less crowded, I would strive to go mid-week (on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) and on a “predicted” less crowded time, usually during the park’s off-season. 

Visiting the parks during the off-season has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, the park may be less crowded, but usually with good reason.

During the off-season, there may not be as many daytime or nighttime entertainment options. Because the park hours are generally shorter during this time, there may be fewer events such as fireworks and parades.

Also, rides or attractions may shut down for refurbishments.

Just because Disneyland is “predicted” to be more crowded during certain times of the year, doesn’t mean it will be.

Take the summer of 2019 for instance, everyone expected the parks to be super busy or at maximum capacity with the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. But in fact, it was quite the opposite! Disneyland experienced unusually low crowds. 

star wars land food

Weather conditions may also play a role in the crowds at Disneyland. If you’re anything like me, cold weather can wreak havoc on my brittle body so I’m less likely to visit the parks during the cooler months.

While I may despise cold weather, others may feel that way about the summer heat we experience here in Southern California. Keep in mind that temperature plays a role on crowds as well.

If you’re traveling to Disneyland in the colder months, I like to use hand warmers that fit perfectly in my pockets. They keep my hands super warm for over 10 hours. I love them and highly recommend them if you have bone or joint pain.

For more information on the hand warmers, click here to view them on Amazon.

It might seem overwhelming if you’re new to visiting Disneyland or even if you’re a Disneyland veteran; but rest assured, whether the parks are crowded or not, you will make magical memories that will last a lifetime.  

For a detailed look at a daily crowd calendar that can help you decide when to visit Disneyland, take a look at my friend Casey’s site by clicking here. She runs and provides a thoroughly researched, up-to-date representation of the predicted crowd’s for both Disneyland and California Adventure Park. 

This article may contain “affiliate links". Please read my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

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