What Month to Visit Disneyland Resort
Disclosure: My “What month to visit Disneyland” post contains affiliate links.
When you’re making the investment to pay for you and your family or friends to travel to Disneyland Resort, of course you want to make sure you’re making the best choice of when to book your trip! Growing up as an Anaheim, California native and being an Annual Passholder for fifteen years, I often get asked what month is best to visit Disneyland. This can vary of course by each person’s vacation style. Perhaps you’re wondering what month is the least crowded? Or which month has the most variety of offerings?
To help answer this common Disney travel question, and so you can begin making the best travel plans for your needs in the new year, I wanted to break down this question by what each month offers, plus tentatively how crowded Disneyland is. This can vary too, if a new attraction is opening or based on blockout dates, so my breakdown is based on my experience from years past. I hope you find it helpful in vacation planning! And if you’re looking to get multi-day park tickets at a discount or help with a Disneyland Resort vacation package, you can visit the travel agency I partner with here!
Disneyland in January
January is one of my favorite times to visit! If it’s the last two weeks of the month. The first week of the month of January tends to be very crowded at Disneyland, since so many people are on winter break. Plus, this is the last week that the Christmas decorations are up (typically lasting until January 6th or so). The second week of January can also be crowded, since it’s when a lot of Annual Passholders aren’t blocked out anymore, and are eager to go. For 2020 in particular, I think you will see lots of crowds the week of January 17th due to Rise of the Resistance opening in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, based on Galaxy’s Edge opening months, the rest of the park was pretty empty with most of the crowds being in Galaxy’s Edge. So if you don’t mind skipping the new attraction, the rest of the park will probably not be as crowded.
At Disney California Adventure Park, you can enjoy the Lunar New Year Celebration, which includes a food festival, decor and performances that begin January 17th until February 9th. Haunted Mansion is closed after the decor goes away January 7th for refurbishment, and it’s a Small World Holiday stays open until around January 22nd then is closed for a few weeks. So bear these closures in mind if it’s important for you to have these rides open. Halfway through the month, you will start to see some of the park’s Valentines decor go up throughout Disneyland!
January in Summary:
- First week: Christmas decor is up, but the parks are VERY crowded.
- Second week: A bit busy from Annual Passes not being block out anymore, but not as bad as the first week.
- Third & Fourth Weeks: Begin to see Valentine’s decor. Typically a very quiet time at the parks (but I suspect January 17th and later might see heavy crowds in the Galaxy’s Edge area due to its new attraction opening)
Disneyland in February
As with mid-late January, in the first couple weeks of February you will get to enjoy the Valentine’s decor (check out my post on Valentine’s offerings at Disneyland here). Also until February 9th, you can enjoy the Lunar New Year Celebration at DCA, which has some amazing food! In February, the weather is perfect. It’s sunny, without being overly hot. It’s the type of weather perfect for travel! Another great reason February is one of my favorite times to visit? It’s typically one of the least crowded months! Coming this February is a brand new parade, called “Magic Happens” which opens February 28th. Also on February 28th the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure begins. Typically, the day before the food booths are partially open, and is a great way to avoid the opening day crowds. Overall, February is a fairly quiet time to visit Disneyland Resort
February in Summary:
- Valentine’s Decor
- One of the least crowded months (aside from February 28th, which will probably be busy due to the new parade and Food & Wine Festival
- Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park until February 9th
- The new Magic Happens parade opens February 28th
- Food & Wine Festival starts February 28th
- Lots of ride closures due to refurbishments, so be sure to check the ride closure list here while planning your trip, which is listed on the daily schedule.
Disneyland in March and April
One of my favorite parts of March and April? Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure Park (DCA), which is the whole month of March until April 21, 2020! There’s always so many yummy foodie foods to try, including more vegan and vegetarian options each year it seems. It’s a great way to really soak in the atmosphere of DCA, and taste some Californian cuisine. The first couple weeks aren’t empty, but I wouldn’t categorize them as crowded either. Friday and Saturday evenings can be a bit crowded at the food festival at DCA. The last couple of weeks at Disneyland in March start to begin to get busier due to Spring break travelling.
The first couple weeks of April are crowded, with the last couple of weeks moderate. During April, you can enjoy the Eggstravaganza egg hunt in each park and Downtown Disney which is a super fun park-wide scavenger hunt for only $5! It’s a great way to enjoy the parks without waiting in line for attractions.
March in Summary:
- Food and Wine Festival
- Moderate crowds (busiest the second couple of weeks due to Spring break travel)
April in Summary:
- Food and Wine Festival until April 21st
- Moderate crowds (busiest the first couple of weeks)
- Eggstravaganza scavenger hunt at Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney
Disneyland in May-August
May through August you’ll see almost all the ride refurbishments complete, and ready to be open in time for the summer crowds! While these tend to be the busier months (May due to Grad Nights, June-August during summer vacations), August is your best bet in terms of crowds during these months. Also come prepared to experience the heat! Which is manageable if you come prepared with misting fan, water, and duck into some of the more relaxing places Disneyland has to offer.
I would have to say though that if staying at a hotel during the summer months to visit Disneyland, that this is the best time for that! Because of the California summer sun, you can fully enjoy the pools at the hotel. One of my favorite places to take my daughter during the summer months to stay within walking distance of Disneyland is Howard Johnson Anaheim, which has a huge pirate-themed water playground! You can get a 15% discount off your stay using code LNLR or if you’re an Annual Passholder, get a 20% discount using code LNAP.
Disneyland in September
September, along with February is one of my favorite months to visit Disneyland! Near the beginning of September (normally the second week or end of the first week) Halloween Time starts at both the parks! Along with Halloween Time, which is full of decor, seasonal treats, season merch and great photo ops, there’s also the extra ticketed event Oogie Boogie Bash. I went with Amelia for the first time this past year, and it was well worth the money. All the rides had short lines, my daughter loved trick-or-treating in the park, and doing the rare character meet-and-greets was amazing. And the best part of September? Because people are going back to school the crowds are pretty minimal, all while enjoying the Halloween offerings!
Tickets for Oogie Boogie Bash went on sale April last year, so I am anticipating it will go up for sale around the same time this year. The lower cost nights sell out fast, so I recommend to get a jumpstart on planning your vacation if you want to visit Disneyland in September. You can start your planning by booking on Get Away Today here, or give them a call and mention The Healthy Mouse to get $10 off your vacation!
September in Summary:
- Halloween Time begins the end of the first week of the month
- Oogie Boogie Bash dates begin
- One of the least crowded months
Disneyland in October
For the whole month of October you can enjoy Halloween Time at DCA and Disneyland, plus a lot of dates for Oogie Boogie Bash. Another favorite thing of mine to do is visit the Disneyland Resort Hotels to enjoy their unique Halloween decor and treats, whether you’re a guest or not! You can check out my post of the Disneyland Resort Hotel’s complete Halloween offerings here. The last week couple weekends of October tend to get really crowded, since Halloween Time is arguably the most popular seasonal event Disneyland offers.
October in Summary:
- Halloween Time Offerings all month
- Oogie Boogie Bash dates
- Moderate crowds, but VERY crowded the last couple of weekends in October
Disneyland in November
Holiday Time at Disneyland Resort is my personal favorite time of year! I think the decor is super magical, and I love the Christmas Fantasy Parade (plus the holiday treats). It normally begins around the 2nd week of November, so the week between Halloween Time ending and Holiday Time beginning is super quiet in terms of crowds. So if you’re looking for minimal crowds, that’s a great week to visit, just bear in mind you’ll be missing some of the decor (some Holiday decor will already be up but not 100% of it). I find that November is a fairly quiet time, particularly during the week. Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving picks up a little. Over at Disney California Adventure, starting the same time as Holiday Time at the resort is the holiday-themed food festival, Festival of Holidays.
November in Summary:
- Holiday Time and Festival of Holidays begin the end of the first week of November
- It’s a very quiet time to visit, aside from the Thursday-Sunday of Thanksgiving week
- On Thanksgiving day, you can enjoy some exclusive Thanksgiving dining opportunities at the Disneyland Resort Hotels’ restaurants
Disneyland in December
For all of December, you can enjoy the holiday decor! This past December, it was very rainy in Southern California, meaning lots of days where the parks were quiet due to people avoiding the rain. While that might deter you, if you come prepared by packing light or wearing a raincoat, it can be very beautiful and relaxing to go to Disney in the rain, and worth it if you want short lines for the attractions! The week of Christmas and New Years almost all Annual Passes are blocked out, but the parks tend to be very crowded with tourists coming during winter break. If you want to enjoy the holiday offerings without the crowds, I suggest visiting the first two weeks of this month. And be sure to check out the holiday decor and treats at the Disneyland Resort Hotels as well!
December in Summary:
- Holiday Time decor and Festival of Holidays all month long
- The rainiest month
- Very quiet the first two weeks, then very busy the second two weeks of the month
Begin Planning What Month You Want to Visit Disneyland Resort
I hope you found these recaps helpful in choosing what month to visit Disneyland Resort! I recommend the earlier the better in terms of planning, so you can get the best hotel rates and ticket rates. And have fun throughout 2020 planning your trip leading up to it! To begin planning your Disneyland Resort vacation, I highly recommend visiting Get Away Today, a travel agency offering discounted multi-day park tickets and often discounted hotel/ticket bundles. If you use code HEALTHYMOUSE10 , or mention The Healthy Mouse while booking over the phone you can receive an additional $10 off a vacation package. Happy travels in 2020!