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Dates to Avoid Disneyland (2024 Crowd Calendar)

Dates to Avoid Disneyland (2024 Crowd Calendar)

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What is the best time of year to go to Disneyland? Everyone wants to know when it’s the slowest time to go to Disneyland, when Disneyland lines are the shortest and when crowds are the lightest. Naturally there are a lot of factors that go into a crowd calendar prediction, but this full guide offers tips for choosing the best dates when planning a Disneyland vacation.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!
Don’t want to wait 90+ minutes to ride Radiator Springs Racers?

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This article originally published January 3rd, 2020 and has been updated and republished with a new date.

Special events, like the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, can draw additional crowds

Dates to Avoid Disneyland

It’s a new year and there is a wide open calendar before us, just waiting to be filled with adventures! If you’re planning a Disneyland vacation in 2024 you might wonder which dates to avoid Disneyland.

What does your ideal Disneyland vacation include?

Choosing a specific vacation date when the stars align is what every family wants. Great weather, low crowds, special events and decorations, along with extended park hours, all at the same time, would be most ideal.

When you’re trying to choose the perfect vacation date, it might seem a bit like finding a needle in a haystack!

Which days at Disneyland have the lowest crowds?

One of the biggest takeaways is that Disneyland rarely has a “slow” day. There are some tips for choosing less busy days of the year, but quite often the Disneyland parks are going to be busy.

You’ll need to expect that and make plans for using touring strategies that will maximize your theme park days.

This complete guide will detail tips for choosing the best dates when planning a Disneyland vacation. Here are a few dates I’d recommend avoiding when scheduling your trip.

What Are Your Disneyland Travel Goals?

There are generally several factors when planning a vacation, especially to a popular theme park. Weather, crowd levels and special events or activities are key components when choosing travel dates.

This article will mostly discuss crowds when correlated to Disneyland special events and holidays.

I’ve included additional posts to click through and read that will help you with your additional vacation plans. These include prepping for inclement weather and certain Disney celebrations that can affect the crowd calendar.

READ MORE: These are the best tips for families going to Disneyland this year including up-to-date information about discounted tickets, new events and more.

Dates to Avoid for Disney Travel

This article offers up specific dates to avoid Disneyland, and includes my reasons for why you might want to avoid these days. The Disneyland crowd calendar changes yearly, based on a variety of factors that might include holiday dates, new attractions, special shows and events.

There are additional aspects that may affect crowd levels in the California theme parks, including area conventions and dance competitions.

Naturally you may have to work around these days if it’s the only time you have available. But it’s always great to know ahead of time so you’ll have an idea when Disneyland will be most heavily crowded.

it's a small world at disneyland including the clock on facade

2024 Disneyland Travel Guide

This post has been updated for 2024 with dates that could potentially bring crowds. Naturally, nothing is a guarantee (as proven by the awkwardly-slow summer of 2019 that followed the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland).

These dates are just estimates on when it could be busy based on history and commonly crowded seasons. But if you’re looking for the best time to visit Disneyland, check out these tips, including the crowd calendar dates to avoid Disneyland when vacation planning!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge spires above the Millennium Falcon

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Disneyland tickets purchased now are good through January 12th, 2025. Purchase your multi-day tickets through Get Away Today today and lock in the best pricing of the year.

When you’re ready to book your Disneyland vacation, my friends at Get Away Today are ready to help! Mention code REWRITTEN to receive an extra discount off your SoCal vacation package (when booking 2+ nights with two or more tickets).

Dates to Avoid Disneyland in January 2024

January is usually fairly quiet in the parks when chillier weather and frequent rains keep crowds lower. However this year, guests should expect a busy month, as the holiday season trickles out late.

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday falls mid-month and kids will be be out of school. Any time there are school holidays or a three-day weekend, you can be sure that the parks will be more crowded.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

Avoid January 1st-7th, 2024

Many kids won’t go back to school until the 8th, which lets families extend their holiday break vacations into early January. It’s best to avoid booking a Disneyland vacation during the entire first week of January.

Avoid January 13th-15th, 2024

It’s expected that crowds will be heavy in the parks during the three-day weekend, making this one of the top dates to avoid Disneyland.

Weekends in late January through mid-February

Lunar New Year events at Disneyland will bring additional crowds, but this celebration is worth it! Weekends during the event will be very busy so if you want to enjoy the Lunar New Year décor, music and entertainment, I suggest visiting mid-week.

READ MORE on my guest post about the Lunar New Year Celebration on Trips With Tykes.

February Disneyland Calendar Dates to Skip

Several more three day weekends to avoid, otherwise February is a good month to visit. Rain storms often chase away heavy crowds when the weather is wet and cold.

Avoid February 11th, 2024

Contrary to popular belief, Super Bowl Sunday is not a good day to go to Disneyland! In fact, the park crowds are usually very heavy with people who thought the same thing and skipped watching the game.

Avoid February 10-12th and February 17-19th, 2024

Lincoln & Washington’s birthdays mean 3-day weekends and more crowds. Better to move your trip mid-week instead of visiting on these weekends. If your trip includes February 14th, these are a few ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Disneyland.

Little girl wearing Princess Aurora Sleeping Beauty dress at Disneyland

Is March a Good Month to Visit Disneyland?

Other than possible rain showers, March is a pretty good month to visit. However, keep in mind that many schools celebrate their Spring Break starting in March. From mid to late March, the park crowds will increase.

Weekends in early March and through April 2024

Take note that the annual Disney Food & Wine Festival, takes place during these time periods. This annual event is held in Disney California Adventure park and features dining kiosks and special activities, including live music. The event begins on March 1st 2024. It’s recommended to avoid this date in particular, as many will be there for opening day.

The festival can bring extra crowds in early March, especially over the weekends. If you aim to avoid the extra guests that these food festivals bring, stay at Disneyland or choose to visit mid-week.

Concerned about the weather? Even with the rain, you can still have a great Disneyland vacation! Check out my 10 Tips for Surviving a Disneyland Rainy Day.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

April is Always a Busy Month at Disneyland

Spring Break is traditionally a very busy time in the parks because the weather is generally agreeable and of course, the kids are out of school! I’d even venture to say that spring break is one of the biggest dates to avoid Disneyland, even more so than summertime.

Spring Break dates vary depending upon where you live. For reference, my Southern California kids will have spring break from March 23-April 7th, 2024.

Avoid Spring Break Crowds

Once kids return back to school crowds may lighten up again. Aim to visit later in April, in the weeks after Easter Sunday. For more tips about traveling during this time of year, read this ultimate guide to Spring Break at Disneyland.

Be Aware of New & Returning Special Events

There are two seasonal events coming to the Disneyland Resort, both of which start in April. These events are sure to bring in crowds, so be aware of the days (especially the opening days, as those dates will be particularly busy).

Star Wars – Season of the Force – April 5th through June 2nd, 2024. Taking place only at Disneyland, guests will be able to ride Hyperspace Mountain (the Space Mountain overlay), enjoy special treats and a new fireworks offering within Galaxy’s Edge.

Pixar Fest – April 26th through August 4th, 2024. This returning event will highlight all things Pixar in both parks. There will be a daytime parade at Disney California Adventure and a nighttime spectacular at Disneyland.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Best Days to Visit Disneyland in May at Disneyland

Go to Disneyland on a Weekend in May

The return of the Southern California Resident Disneyland ticket can make weekdays in May busier than usual. This SoCal Resident ticket is only offered to guests that live within determined area zip codes.

This seasonal ticket permits guests 3 days worth of park visits that do not have to be used consecutively. Most notably, the Disneyland SoCal Resident ticket can only be used on weekdays, from January to May.

This Disneyland ticket generally boosts weekday crowd levels, but no more so than in the month of May. The ticket expires at the end of the month. Therefore, locals will pack the parks on weekdays to use up the remainder of their 3-day ticket.

If you’re a southern California resident and can visit on weekdays, the discounted pricing of this ticket is an excellent value!

Not a SoCal resident? Aim to avoid weekdays during this time period and book your Disneyland theme park reservations for weekends instead!

Pixar Pal-a-Round sign and Ferris wheel gondolas

Avoid May 11-12th, 2024

May 12th is Mother’s Day and lots of moms like to spend their day at Disneyland!

Avoid May 24-27th, 2024

Memorial Day weekend is a long weekend, with many schools and workplaces extending the holiday into the Friday beforehand as well. Don’t forget the rule about avoiding Disneyland during the school breaks, they will be busy!

In addition, the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! will reopen on May 24th, 2024. This will definitely bring additional crowds to the parks, in anticipation of watching the newly refurbished show.

Little girl dressed like Elsa at California Adventure

Research the Grad Nite Schedule

Each year, graduating high schoolers celebrate with a day at Disney California Adventure park. These dates may affect your travel plans, as the theme park closes to regular guests earlier in the evening.

My friend Jessica at The Happiest Blog on Earth shares her tips for Disneyland Grad Nite, including the dates you need to know.

June is the Kickoff to the Summer Season at Disneyland

Here come the summer holidays – School’s out for summer! Summer break means Disneyland is usually more crowded with families throughout the entire month.

Of course, with kids out for school the summer months are one of the favorite times for families to plan a Disneyland vacation.

The summer season has its pros and cons when planning a Disneyland vacation. Park hours are extended and nighttime spectaculars including fireworks and World of Color are featured frequently. The closure refurbishment of Fantasmic! throughout the summer will divert evening crowds to other attractions.

Ride closures are generally at a minimum during the summer peak season, as refurbishment for the most popular attractions usually takes place during the earlier months in the year.

Keep in mind that Splash Mountain (always a summer favorite), is currently closed for reimagining into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Be aware of crowds in the entire month of June

Early June is better than later in the month if you can make it. Dates to avoid Disneyland would be summer weekends.

Want to know the Best Times of the Year to Visit Disneyland (and Why)? I’ve got lots of tips here on seasonal events and best weather advice.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

Disneyland in July is Heating Up!

Avoid the entire month! Or at the least, the week of July 4th.

Okay, I know it’s not fair to say not to plan a Disneyland vacation in July but if you can avoid it, I’d recommend it. Many visitors would say that July is the worst time to visit when it comes to the crowd and weather combination.

Crowds are traditionally heavy in the summer months. Weekends are always busier than weekdays, so schedule mid-week if summer is the only time you can go. Not only are the crowds usually larger but the temps are hotter in the summer too, so be prepared for that.

READ MORE: Disneyland park is busy and you aren’t sure how to handle it? Click through to this post about what to expect when it’s busy – Crowded Disneyland Day? Top Tips on What to Do!

Is August a Great Time for Disneyland?

There are several thoughts on August, including the return to school and the opening of some Magic Key calendar dates.

Once local kids return back to school in late August, the park crowds usually lessen. However, once that happens, certain Magic Key (annual passholders) block out days will be lifted. This can make crowds a bit heavier than usual. Compare your possible vacation dates to the Magic Key calendar to get a better idea when the parks will be busy.

Halloween at Disneyland kicks off in August this year, running from August 23rd through October 31st, 2024. It’s the earliest that the Halloween season has been offered at the Disneyland parks. Be aware of busier-the-usual crowds for at least those first few days of the seasonal start.

Keep in mind that August is also one of the hottest months to visit the Disneyland resort. Read all the warm weather Disney tips on my post, Disneyland in the Heat – Ultimate Summer Vacation Guide.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

Which Dates to Avoid Disneyland in September?

The fall season kicks off in August this year, marked by the popular Haunted Mansion overlay, Haunted Mansion Holiday.

This attraction featuring Jack Skellington and friends is inspired by the movie, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a can’t miss, so you’ll want a Disneyland ticket with Disney Genie+ to avoid long lines.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Avoid August 30- September 2nd, 2024

Labor Day on September 2nd is traditionally packed with locals and out-of-towners alike. Expect the entire Labor Day weekend to be extremely busy.

The rest of the month in September is usually one of the best times to visit in terms of crowds and warm weather. Anaheim can still be extremely hot with temperatures over 100 degrees in September, so keep that in mind.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!
Ideal Disneyland conditions…free and clear!

Avoid September Weekends

Halloween time festivities begin in mid-August 2024. This will mean extremely busy weekends and more ideal crowd levels on weekdays, all the way through to Halloween night.

Locals in particular will keep kids in school during the week. However guests tend to flood the parks on the weekends to experience Halloween at Disneyland parks. Dates to avoid Disneyland during the month of September are over the weekends.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

Parks will be busy September 13-15th, 2024

Gay Days is an “unofficial” Disneyland event that brings in large crowds. While not an official event, Disneyland does recognize it in a special way with offerings during the event, like multi-layer rainbow cake and rainbow-themed souvenirs.

Gay Days brings in thousands of additional guests to the parks over this celebratory weekend. If you’re aiming for light crowds, this popular weekend might be one of the dates to avoid Disneyland.

Do Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Dates Affect Crowds?

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is the popular seasonal after-dark event on select nights. Dates for Oogie Boogie Bash generally begin in mid-September and last through the entire month of October.

Check the dates on which Disney California Adventure is hosting Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party, then follow these tips:

Entrance to Disney California Adventure park during Halloween Time

Go to Disney California Adventure on Oogie Boogie Bash Party Days

Oogie Boogie Bash takes place inside Disney California Adventure park. The operating hours of this theme park are shorter than on days without a party.

Guests who don’t have tickets to the Halloween Party have to leave Disney California Adventure park at closing time (before the party starts).

It’s a great strategy to start your day at DCA on days in which Oogie Boogie Bash takes place. The park is usually less crowded in the mornings and afternoons on Halloween Party days.

What’s the Oogie Boogie Bash Mix-in?

Guests with the hard ticket for the Halloween party will be allowed into the Parks several hours before the event, making the Parks busier in the late afternoon. Once the party “mix in” happens, the park starts to get more crowded.

It’s recommended to leave Disney California Adventure ahead of the mix in time to avoid heavy crowds at the theme park gates. Guests can either leave for the day or move over to Disneyland if they have a Park Hopper ticket.

Is a Park Hopper a Good Idea?

If you are going to the Parks on a day when the Halloween Party takes place, I highly recommend purchasing a Disneyland Park Hopper. Only guests with a Park Hopper can move to Disneyland when Disney’s California Adventure park closes for the Party.

Oogie Boogie Immersive treat trail aat Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party

How Busy is Disneyland in October?

The combination of Halloween festivities with the Oogie Boogie Bash party makes October a popular month for Disneyland travel. Weekends and mid-week days in October are going to be pretty packed. Expect to find October busy throughout the entire month.

Read through the Oogie Boogie Bash party date tips in the section above to choose which park to visit.

Not going to the Oogie Boogie Bash? You don’t have to buy a Halloween Party ticket to enjoy the Disneyland Halloween festivities! There are a great many Halloween Time activities included with a regular park ticket.

READ MORE: Check out all the tricks and treats for Celebrating Halloween at Disneyland.

Planning a Disneyland vacation but not sure when to go? Check out this list of dates to avoid Disneyland before you plan anything!

Dates to Avoid Disneyland in November

Early November is when the holiday decorations begin to appear around the Disneyland Resort.

November 15th is the official start to the holiday season at the theme parks. The impending celebrations may usher in additional visitors eager to experience seasonal events, including the ride overlay for it’s a small world holiday.

However, early November is generally one of the best months for those looking for lower crowds. Expect shorter park hours during this time period.

Avoid November 22nd – December 1st, 2024

Want to know if it’s going to be busy at Disneyland for Thanksgiving? The weekend leading into Thanksgiving, the entire week of Thanksgiving and the weekend after the holiday will be packed. Guests on fall break will flood the parks in one of the busiest time periods of the year.

I’ve been to Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day itself. For sure the mornings and afternoons had very heavy crowds. However the crowds seemed to lessen (a bit) into the evening as locals left to get home for their dinners. 

Dates in December to Avoid Disneyland Crowds

The Christmas season is in full swing throughout the entire month of December! Fortunately there are some dates that are more ideal than others if you wish to prevent long wait times.

Aim to visit Disneyland on a weekday in early December. Weekends in December are busy times, so you’ll want to avoid them all together if possible.

Avoid December 16th – 31st, 2023

While the first few weeks of December have reasonable crowds, the second two weeks are the very busiest time of the year at Disneyland! Christmas break from school will bring families to the parks at what is definitely a travel peak season.

If you want to know the definition of “heavy crowds”, read more about what to do when it’s crowded at Disneyland.

For those that don’t like big crowds, these are absolutely the dates to avoid Disneyland. Or at least go into them with a steady game plan. Know that you may only experience a small handful of things on your visit because of extremely heavy crowds.

If the holiday time is the only time you can go to Disneyland, it’s best to have an itinerary and know what to expect. Be sure to read about the Holidays at Disneyland – Visiting Tips For Busy Days.

Celebrating Christmas at the Disneyland Resort is simply magical! Here are the top tips on maximizing your Christmas at Disneyland vacation.
A Christmas Fantasy parade grand introduction by trumpeting toy soldiers.

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Insider Tips -Make the Most of Your First Two Hours at Disneyland

Monday 16th of January 2017

[…] Check out my post about the Best Times of the Year to Visit Disneyland when trying to choose a vacation date as well as the Dates to Avoid When Planning a Disneyland Trip. […]

Anastasia Weis

Friday 6th of January 2017

Keeping this list as we are going to try to make the trek to Disneyland this year and I don't want to end up there on the wrong day!

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