Dates to Avoid Disneyland
What is the best time of year to go to Disneyland? That’s the golden question when planning a Disneyland trip – everyone wants to know when it’s the slowest time to go to Disneyland, when Disneyland lines are the shortest and when crowds are lightest. 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.
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Disneyland, check out these tips including specific dates to avoid Disneyland vacation planning. I’ve included my reasons on why you might specifically want to avoid these days. 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 heavily crowded. I’ve included additional posts to click through and read that will help you with your vacation plans!
Planning a Disney Vacation? These are the Dates to Avoid at Disneyland!
This post has been updated for 2020 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.
Avoid January 1st through 5th, 2020
Many kids won’t go back to school until the 6th, which lets families extend their holiday break vacations.
Avoid January 17-20th 2020
Four little words that might completely change the usual crowds at Disneyland in January are Rise of the Resistance. This highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction has already opened at Walt Disney World and will be opening to guests at Disneyland on Friday January 17th. It’s expected that crowds will be heavy in the parks during the grand opening and the three-day weekend that follows making this one of the top dates to avoid Disneyland.
Expect a busy weekend. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is on that Monday and kids will be be out of school. Any time there’s a school holiday and a three-day weekend, you can be sure that the parks will be more crowded. January is usually fairly quiet in the parks when chillier weather and frequent rains keep crowds lower. Only time will tell if that pattern holds true in 2020.
Weekends from January 17 through February 9, 2020
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 decor, music and entertainment, I suggest visiting mid-week.
READ MORE on my guest post about the Lunar New Year Celebration from 2018 on Trips With Tykes.
Avoid February 2nd, 2020
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 7-10th and February 14-17th, 2020
Lincoln & Washington’s birthdays mean 3-day weekends and more crowds. Better to move your trip mid-week instead of on the weekend. If your trip includes February 14th, these are a few ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at 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.
READ MORE: Even with the rain, you can still have a great Disneyland vacation! Check out my 10 Tips for Surviving a Disneyland Rainy Day.
Avoid Spring Break
Spring Break dates vary depending upon where you live. My Southern California kids have their break from March 30th-April 12, 2020. 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. Once kids return back to school (generally after Easter Sunday) crowds lighten again.
READ MORE: Want to visit Disneyland when it’s not so busy and your looking for 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.
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Avoid May 8-10th, 2020
May 10th is Mother’s Day and lots of moms like to spend their day at Disneyland!
Avoid May 22-25th, 2020
Two weeks later is Memorial Day. Don’t forget the rule about avoiding the 3 day weekends!
Beware June 1st-30th, 2020
School’s out for summer! Which means Disneyland is usually more crowded than ever. Early June is better than later in the month if you can make it. The summer opening date for Disney California Adventure’s new Land, Avengers Campus has not yet been released. Not sure if summertime crowd levels will mimic 2019 in that guests largely stayed away, concerned about the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. More than likely, crowds will return for summer of 2020. Dates to avoid Disneyland would be summer weekends.
Avoid the entire month! Or at the least, 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. 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.
READ MORE: Not only are the crowds usually larger but the temps are hotter in the summer too! Read all the summertime Disney tips on my post, Disneyland in the Heat – Ultimate Summer Vacation Guide.
Once local kids return back to school in late August, the park crowds usually lessen. Keep in mind that August is also one of the hottest months! Annual pass blockout days will be lifted on August 17th, making crowds a bit heavier than usual.
READ MORE: So the parks are 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!
Avoid September 5-7th, 2020
Labor Day on September 7th is traditionally packed with locals. The rest of the month is usually one of the best times to visit in terms of crowds and warm weather (though it can still be extremely hot with temperatures over 100 degrees in September).
Halloween time festivities began in early September 2019 and I’d expect nothing different for 2020. This will mean extremely busy weekends and with ideal weekdays. Locals in particular will keep kids in school during the week but flood the parks on the weekends to experience Halloween at Disneyland parks. Weekend dates to avoid Disneyland are any after Halloween decor goes up in the parks.
Be Aware of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party Dates
In 2019, Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party replaced the popular Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Dates began in mid-September. Dates have not yet been released for 2020 Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party nights but these are a few things to be aware of.
Guests who don’t have tickets to the Halloween Party will have to leave Disney California Adventure park earlier than usual. The park is usually less crowded in the mornings and afternoons on Halloween Party days. If you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can move to Disneyland for the rest of the evening.
Beware October 2-4th, 2020
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.
More Tips for Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party Dates
The operating hours will be shorter than on days without a party. Also guests with the hard ticket for the Party will be allowed into the Parks 3 hours before the event (or 4 hours early on Sundays) making the Parks busier in the late afternoon. If you are going to the Parks on a day when the Halloween Party takes place, I highly recommend purchasing Park Hoppers so you can move to Disneyland when Disney’s California Adventure park closes for the Party.
READ MORE: You don’t have to buy a Halloween Party ticket to enjoy the Disneyland Halloween festivities! Weekends in October are going to be pretty packed but choose a mid-week day and you can still check out all the tricks and treats for Celebrating Halloween at Disneyland with fewer crowds.
Avoid November 21st – 29th, 2020
Some people get their Thanksgiving turkey dinner at Disneyland! Want to know when 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. the parks are decorated for the holiday season. I’ve been to Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day itself and 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.
Avoid December 19th – 31st, 2020
While the first few weeks of December have reasonable crowds, the second two weeks are the very busiest time of the year at Disneyland! If you don’t like big crowds these are absolutely the dates to avoid Disneyland. Or at least go into them with a steady game plan and know that you may only experience a small handful of things on your visit because of extremely heavy crowds. If you want to know the definition of “heavy crowds”, think about hour+ lines for security in the morning, sold out parks (ie: if you leave you won’t be let back in, even if you have a park ticket), and pressing crowds everywhere you turn.
READ MORE: If Christmastime is the only time you can go to Disneyland, it’s best to have a game plan and know what to expect. Be sure to read about the Holidays at Disneyland – Visiting Tips For Busy Days.
What month do YOU are you planning a Disneyland vacation? Share in the comments!