When and When Not To Visit Disneyland

Disneyland Resort July 10, 2016-39You have been itching to go to Disneyland.  You’re making plans to take vacation time to go.  But, there’s one question that you have in your mind.  Will it be busy at the parks?

The question is on a lot of people’s minds.  When is it and not going to be busy at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.  I wish I could say there’s an easy solution.  Yes, there are seasons when attendance is lower, but you’d be surprised at some things that can make the trip miserable still.  Here’s some tips on visiting on times less frequented.

Off The Beaten Season Path

The best time to plan a vacation is during off season times.  This can be as early as the end of August to the week before November, for one season of time.  Another is January, after New Year’s, to before March Spring Breaks.  Out of the two, I would pick that January to March time.  There’s less happening at the parks as far as promotions (more on this later), and people are not planning their vacations during that time.

Christmas at Disneyland - November 8, 2015-119Ok, Off Season…But What About Holidays?

Even those off season times have holidays.  There are some three day weekends that make the parks busy.  I wouldn’t plan on those weekends to spend at the Resort.  And, even though September through November is considered off season, it’s not as much anymore.  The reason?  Halloween.

September and October have Halloween decor and attractions and even parties to make the parks busy.  If you plan your vacation during a Mickey’s Halloween Party day, but aren’t going to that extra ticket event, you will be forced to leave Disneyland early.  Disney California Adventure is still open if you get a Park Hopper ticket.  Otherwise, with Halloween Time the parks can get fairly busy towards the night as Annual Passholders descend on the Resort to partake of it all.  Unless you really want to see the decorations and attractions, I’d avoid this time.

Christmas is notorious for being crowded, often having Disneyland reach park capacity.  Though it’s a really beautiful and fun time to go, it’s not the best time as far as it being light in crowds.  If you need a good suggestion to catch the Christmas season there and avoid some crowds I’d say week before Thanksgiving, and the week after Thanksgiving.  It’ll be busy, but not too busy.

Rain Rain Don’t Go Away

It’s rare in Southern California, but we do get rain here.  Really.

Mr. DAPs Rainy Day at Disneyland - Sundays with DAPs
Mr. DAPs Rainy Day at Disneyland – Sundays with DAPs

And a rainy day is a great day to go to the park!  “But, it’s raining!” you say.  Just remember Hakuna Matata and get to the parks as fast as you can.  Many will not go to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure when it’s raining, even if it was for an hour in the day.  There is hardly any line for attractions when that happens, and since most are indoors, there’s no worry over seats being wet.

If you are concerned about getting drenched, ponchos are available for purchase.  I know.  One more Disney purchase.  But, it’ll let you get from ride to ride without having to wring your clothes out.  Grab some dry tech running socks and you won’t worry as much about puddles either.

Unfortunately, it may be the best days to go, but it’s not predictable when rain will hit the parks.  If you are in Southern California it’ll be somewhat easy to go on these times.  Sorry for all other types of visitors, though you could risk some last minute planning a week ahead of time.  There’s still no guarantee a weather report being accurate, though.

Locals Come Out At Night

Days at the off peak times will provide the best for low ride waits, and even great seats for shows and daytime parades.  But, the night is a different story.  Annual Passholders have been known to hit the parks after work and can make restaurants a bit crowded too.  I’ve seen the parks relatively dead in the day and start to pick up around 4 pm.  Overall, just be warned so that you can plan your ride itinerary accordingly.

But, I Can Only Do Summer Vacation

DCAEntranceVacations are typically done in the summer time when kids are out of school.  It may be unavoidable to make vacation during the summer months.  Is there no hope?  I wouldn’t say that.  The parks won’t be “dead” where most rides have no line at all, but there are a couple times I would plan the vacations.

Mid to end of August is one of the sets of weeks I’d make summer vacation plans.  Some schools are back in session, but not all.  So, the parks aren’t quite as busy.  The last couple of years I’ve seen the beginning of July to be less crowded.  There’s not guarantee of it being that way, but it’s been something that has happened 2015-2016.

Construction Zone Ahead

Something else to check into and consider is when rides are being refurbished.  If there are dates that quite a few attractions are closed it will make the lines longer at all the others.  Try to go when there are less things closed.

These are just some of the tips to get to Disneyland on less crowded times.  If you have any of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.  And I hope all of these help to make your vacation at the Resort a fun and memorable one!

Murray the Bellhop

Murray the Bellhop covers Knott's Berry Farm, Marvel, and also helps with DAPs Magic's Disneyland coverage. He also hosts DAPscast and helps produce Geeks Corner.

Murray the Bellhop

Murray the Bellhop covers Knott's Berry Farm, Marvel, and also helps with DAPs Magic's Disneyland coverage. He also hosts DAPscast and helps produce Geeks Corner.

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