2024 Disneyland Crowd Calendar

Our free 2024 Disneyland crowd calendars cover best & worst dates to visit. This helps you choose when to go and days to avoid, as higher attendance means longer lines & wait times at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. These monthly guides also offer info & tips about special events weather, prices, reservations, and more to help you save time…and your sanity! (Updated May 2, 2024.)

These Disneyland and DCA crowd calendars will help you choose when to go to the parks, based on a variety of variables: school schedules, holiday breaks, typical travel times to Southern California, Anaheim Convention Center events, and more. Suffice to say, there are a lot of little changes have an impact on attendance at Disneyland throughout 2024.

First, it’s impossible to overstate how bad crowds have been at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure the last two years. Not every day has been busy, but attendance and wait times have been high by historical standards. As compared to 2019–the last “normal” year at Disneyland–the average wait time was up by 8 minutes per ride in the last two years. That may not seem like much, but it adds up over the course of the day. On top of that, congestion has been worse. With that said, there is a silver lining that’s starting to emerge…

After a roller coaster couple of years, Disneyland crowds are starting to normalize. Pent-up demand is exhausting itself, and with that, crowd levels are now down as compared to the same dates last year. There have been a few spikes, but average crowd levels and wait times have decreased year over year.

This means that even busier weeks in the first half of 2024–such as Presidents’ Day, Los Angeles and Orange County school district spring breaks and Easter week–were not as bad in 2024 as they were last year or in 2022. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Disneyland anticipated this slowdown, especially after Walt Disney World experienced its own exhaustion of pent-up demand last year. (Walt Disney World reopened nearly a year before Disneyland and pent-up demand at the latter has lagged, so trends at WDW essentially offer a sneak peek of what’s to come in California.)

Rather than being caught flat-footed, Disneyland prepared for the slowdown with more ticket deals and a full calendar of events and entertainment aimed at enticing locals and tourists to visit or return to the parks. Most critically, Disneyland reopened Magic Key Annual Pass sales and left them open. Before, these APs would sell out in hours or days. Now, there are signs at the front gate encouraging guests to upgrade their regular tickets to Annual Passes!

All of this has made a huge difference, and yet again disrupted the crowd dynamic. While 2024 has mostly been slower than last year, there have been exceptions to that–including during what was otherwise the winter “off-season.” There were many dates during the first few months that should have been slow, but Disneyland was able to boost attendance with deals, events, entertainment, etc.

Throughout 2024, it’ll be interesting to see what “levers” Disneyland pulls to attempt to lure locals, diehard fans, and even tourists back to the parks. Right now, both Star Wars Season of the Force and Pixar Fest are underway, and those are two offerings that have helped move the needle a bit–but not much. But Pixar Fest just started and more guests could be enticed to visit for that once school is out of session. (The marketing blitz for Pixar Fest has been aggressive and arguably effective, with lots of viral social media posts featuring it.)

Regardless of what Disneyland does to boost attendance going forward, it’s important to note that both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are still busier now than pre-closure. Not only that, but in-park congestion can feel even worse than wait times suggest.

To that point, one very important thing to keep in mind is that crowd levels are relative. They are based on aggregate posted wait times, as compared to the prior 365 days. This means that the current comparison is very tough, to a time when pent-up demand was off the charts. There have been a lot of 5/10 days in the last year, but they’re as compared to a very busy 2022. That context about what “slowdown” at Disneyland means is important. The parks are not going to be dead or ghost towns, or even on par with Walt Disney World.

Suffice to say, Disneyland is less busy by around 20%, which is a significant drop from year-to-year, but crowd levels are still very much elevated by historical standards. Hopefully this makes some degree of sense, and puts into context reports about the parks being “slow.” Because if you walk into Disneyland for the first time in a few years or ever, you’re very much going to be scratching your head about that. They don’t feel slow in absolute terms…just less busy than one year ago!

The other good news is that our Disneyland crowd calendars are becoming more accurate with each passing month. Some of the reasons for this are attendance normalizing, more slack in the reservations system, plus fewer capacity constraints and staffing shortages. Disneyland is still not totally back to normal and probably won’t be until mid-2024, but the monkey wrenches thrown into attendance dynamics over the last couple of years have largely worked their way out of the system.

Going forward, the monkeys might start throwing new wrenches that could disrupt crowd dynamics–everything from the economy to gas prices to household balance sheets and more. But even economists can’t agree on what’ll happen, so don’t expect Disneyland crowd forecasters to know. (As such, the further out the Disneyland crowd calendars go, the less accurate they are.)

Guest demographics also make a big difference. Tourist behavior is predictable, and it’s their attendance (or lack thereof) that makes crowd calendars useful. By contract, locals and Magic Key Annual Passholders are a whole different ball game. Between California resident ticket deals (or lack thereof) and park reservations (or lack thereof), there’s a huge element of unpredictability there.

You might think that park reservations would act as a hard cap on crowds, and that the parks would be busier when reservations run out. That is often the case, but not always. Despite using the reservations system for 3 years, Disneyland still doesn’t have fine-tuned control over crowds. Some days, the parks are fully booked and only moderately busy. Other days, the parks are slammed and reservations are still available.

Suffice to say, there are unique and evolving variables that influence attendance and crowds at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. We’ll be blunt with you: we cannot perfectly predict crowds…and no one can. Any other Disneyland crowd calendar that claims clairvoyance is lying. Many of them don’t even try–they’re simply automated calendars based on school schedules and years-old historical data that is not even remotely relevant anymore.

What we can tell you is that we’re on the ground in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure every single week. As soon as we notice changing trends, we report on them here. We pair our observations and knowledge of surrounding circumstances with things like Los Angeles and Orange County school schedules, holidays, airport travel stats, Disney’s reservation calendars, and more. With that, we have a better–but still incomplete–understanding of when Disneyland will be more and less crowded.

While we cannot quantify ‘feels like’ crowd levels, our recommendation for those who want to look at the general ‘crowd contours’ or base their decision on “vibes” and other qualitative factors, instead consult our Best & Worst Months to Visit Disneyland. That will help you choose the right time of year to visit–and also contains some specific recommendations. From there, you should still narrow down your travel dates.

For that, see our month-by-month crowd calendars below. Another helpful resource is our rundown of the Best & Worst Days of the Week to Visit Disneyland. (That also covers 3 specific times of day that are really great!)

DATES TO AVOID DISNEYLAND IN SUMMER 2024

Given that I’ve subjected you to a long and rambling preface–I want to “reward” you with a few quick-hit predictions for the near-term. If you simply want a list of dates this month through June 2024 that are likely to have the worst crowds, here’s when we’d avoid visiting Disneyland:

  • May 10, 14, 15, 17, 19
  • May 22 to June 2, 2024
  • June 5, 7, 9, 12, 14
  • July 1-7, 2024

Between now and mid-Summer 2024, those are the biggest red flags. Actually, they’d be more like ‘light yellow flags’ if we were using the stoplight system for crowd forecasting. Even the dates listed above are nothing as compared to the peak of spring break, which is now over. Many of the highlighted dates above will still see moderate crowd levels–they’re only listed because they’re likely to be worse than the days and weeks around them. (It’s all relative!)

As for explanations, the reason to avoid the first set of dates is because they’re all Grad Nites (see this post for a discussion of crowd dynamics during Grad Nites). On a somewhat related note, we’d similarly recommend being aware of Disneyland After Dark events, which occur May 7 and 9, as well as June 18 and 20.

The various Disneyland After Dark ‘nites’ also throw a monkey wrench into crowds, with Disneyland starting slower in the mornings on those dates and both parks getting progressively busier as the day goes on. Expect DCA to be very busy in the evenings, as Disneyland closes early and pushes more people to DCA.

The next set of dates spans from May 22 until June 2, 2024. This stretch will be busy for three reasons. The first is more Grad Nites. The second is the return of Fantasmic, which has been on hiatus for over a year and returns on May 24, 2024; there will be pent-up demand among locals to see it.

Also part of this range is Memorial Day weekend, which should be self-explanatory. This is normally not that bad by holiday weekend standards. Last year, the crowd level was 6/10 for that weekend. This year will likely be worse, but it won’t be primarily due to the holiday–that will be a contributing factor, but everything else will be the main cause.

Finally and most importantly, there’s the end of the Southern California resident ticket deal, which started way back in January and expires on June 2, 2024. To the best of my recollection, this is the longest that deal has ever run. Locals will be scrambling to use those tickets before they expire. Without fail, that happens every single year. The final week-plus that these discount tickets are valid sees significantly-elevated crowds as people rush to ‘use it or lose it.’

Following there, there are more Grad Nites in June 2024 and then the week leading up to Independence Day. Last year, this was not particularly bad at Disneyland, which was largely due to ticket prices and Magic Key blockouts. We’re expecting it to be worse this year, especially if Disneyland releases another ticket promo before then.

To that point, we hesitate to make any concrete crowd calendar predictions beyond early July. Admittedly, even our Independence Day forecast could end up being totally off depending upon what Disneyland does with park reservations. But the biggest driver of crowds and the x-factor that is as-yet unaccounted for is ticket deals. Another will be released for summer; it’s a question of when, not if.

Outside of those dates, we’re expecting a quiet shoulder season and start to summer at Disneyland. Crowd levels have been all over the place since the end of spring break, but mostly well below-average for the last few weeks. During the same weeks last year, the average was 5/10.

If wait times follow historical precedent, they’ll increase heading into the end of this month, decrease slightly the first week of June 2024, and then gradually rise over the course of the summer season. There are a lot of wildcards beyond that, especially with pent-up demand and the cost of summer travel, ticket deals, park reservations availability, and more.

The other reason we’re hesitant to make confident predictions for mid-June through late July 2024 is that Disneyland hasn’t had a “normal” summer since 2018. The story for the last couple of years has been pent-up demand and discounting. The year before that, the post reopening rush hit a wall due to the delta variant. The year before that, the parks were closed. Even back in 2019, there was the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which was surprisingly slow due to fears of a “crowdpocalypse.”

Summer 2024 is shaping up to be normal (knock on wood), but it’s been so long that Disneyland has had a normal summer that we’re not completely sure what that means in terms of wait times and attendance dynamics!

Monthly 2024 Crowd Calendars for Disneyland

As we’ve gained experience visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure throughout the years as Annual Passholders–and now Magic Keyholders–including multiple trips per week now as locals, we’ve noticed trends in crowds and analyzed patterns in wait time data.

Disneyland crowd calendars change regularly due to a variety of factors, including marketing, discounts, park hours, new attraction openings, special events, Anaheim Convention Center events, and even weather (good or bad). We strive to keep our Disneyland crowd calendars updated to reflect changes in attendance trends.

Note that Disneyland crowd calendars are most accurate inside 3 months. Beyond that, generalized predictions can be made on the basis of holidays, school breaks, special events, and past precedent. However, Disneyland park hours are only released a few months in advance, park reservation availability is unknown further out, and other variables like promotions, discounts, conventions, etc. all are not (fully) known far in advance.

You can access our Disneyland crowd calendars and monthly guides via the links below, each of which will open in a new browser tab:

Each month is updated with final forecasts approximately 30 to 60 days before the start of that month. Predictions prior to then are less accurate, and don’t include current trends, park reservations, and recent wait time data.  

Below is additional advice about avoiding crowds at Disneyland, as well as days to visit and avoid. These general attendance trends for Disneyland can make ‘at a glance’ trip planning and choosing your dates to visit easier…

Attendance Trends for Disneyland

Disneyland attendance and wait times are largely dependent upon tourist vacationing habits (which are largely dependent upon school breaks and California travel trends), park hours (historical data exists for that), Anaheim Convention Center events, Los Angeles & Orange County School District calendars, and a few other variables.

With that said, the biggest factor of all is local visitor habits. Historically, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure crowds are usually worse on weekends. However, even that is not always the case for the reasons discussed above–it wasn’t true for most of last summer, but weekends did get worse over the Halloween and Christmas seasons. We’d expect a similar trend in 2024.

There are definitely other wildcards that make it more difficult for Disneyland crowd calendars to predict attendance or wait times on specific dates with accuracy far in advance. However, the variables above are knowable fairly far in advance, and make forecasting general seasonal trends much easier. As such, that’s what we’re presenting here:

Insanely Crowded

  • Winter Break
  • Ski Week
  • Presidents’ Day weekend
  • Orange County Spring Break
  • Los Angeles Spring Break
  • Easter Week
  • Mid-March through mid-April (Spring Break season)
  • Thanksgiving week
  • Christmas and New Year’s weeks

Very Crowded

Moderately Crowded

  • Early March
  • Mid to late May
  • Late July through mid-August
  • Third week of November
  • First week of December

Least Crowded

  • January and February, minus holidays or school breaks
  • Late April
  • Early through mid-May
  • Late August through late September
  • First week of November

School schedules, weather, special events, park hours, and more may all affect when you want to visit Disneyland. Obviously, these variables will also influence crowds.

School Schedules

If school schedules are something around which you must plan, chances are you’re going to go during one of the busier (or at least not one of the least busy) times of the year, as that’s the paramount consideration for many other families planning trips, too. It may seem like a convenient time to visit during one of the ‘holidays’ your kids have off from school, but it’s important to consider whether other schools have these same times off, as well.

Specifically, here are the school districts that have the biggest impact on Disneyland attendance:

  • Los Angeles Unified (CA)
  • Orange County – All Districts (CA)
  • San Diego Unified (CA)
  • Clark County (NV)
  • Long Beach Unified (CA)
  • Riverside Unified (CA)
  • San Bernardino City Unified (CA)
  • Alpine (UT)
  • Fresno Unified (CA)
  • Davis (UT)
  • Elk Grove (CA)
  • San Francisco Unified (CA)
  • Phoenix Unified – All Districts (AZ)
  • Mesa Unified (AZ)
  • Washoe County (NV)
  • Granite (UT)
  • Tuscon Unified (AZ)

Our crowd calendars take all of these districts into account, as their academic breaks and school schedules can have a significant impact on Disneyland attendance. There’s typically overlap among the top 3 districts in Southern California, which means their breaks are very bad, but confined to a small portion of the overall calendar.

Major districts in Northern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona all can have a noticeable impact on crowds, as well. (For example, most districts in Utah share a common fall break, and that long weekend gets really bad.) By contrast, we’ve never observed much of an impact from Oregon, Washington, or any other states. Texas and anything east of it are all pretty much Walt Disney World’s market.


Of the traditional school holidays, summer break is probably the best time to visit, as it is the longest school break so you don’t have the concentration of guests all visiting during the same week of other holidays. Since summer break is largely blocked out to SoCal passholders, you can expect to see more tourists in the parks this time of year.

Most schools have the week before Christmas until the shortly after New Year’s off, making this week-plus an especially busy time. The same is true for President’s Day weekend, Easter week, Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July holiday, and Thanksgiving week. Although schools do vary their Spring Break schedules, don’t expect the parks to be any less busy because of somewhat-staggered Spring Breaks. Mid-March through mid-April are busy times at Disneyland.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t visit during these times, as some people don’t have many other options, but if you do go, at least bring your patience with you, or at least a good plan for touring the parks!

Weather

Unlike Florida, Southern California has a pretty temperate climate. The typical hot seasons are hot, but humidity isn’t nearly as bad as it is in Florida. It can get colder at night, and in the winter months, but the weather isn’t nearly as much of a roller coaster ride like it is in Florida. Blue skies and puffy clouds are more rare in California, but overall the weather is much more favorable for vacationing than it is in Walt Disney World.

Rain isn’t as common in Disneyland as it is in Walt Disney World. It does rain in the fall months at Disneyland, but torrential downpours in SoCal aren’t too common. In fact, if you’re a Southern Californian trying to plan the best time to schedule a 1-day visit to the park, the absolute best time to go is while it’s raining.

The parks generally clear out (there are usually long lines at City Hall of people requesting refunds), and significantly shorter waits are common. So, if you have a poncho or umbrella and want lower than normal crowds, a rainy day is the perfect time to go. (By contrast, the day after it rains will be considerably worse than normal, as locals will postpone their visits.)

Make sure to pack some jeans, sweatshirts, and maybe even coats if traveling during the months of October through March. It won’t necessarily be cold during your trip, but the weather can drop below 50 degrees during these months. Consider your tolerance to cold, and weather you’re willing to purchase countless $70 Mickey Mouse sweatshirts during your trip when, inevitably, members of your family get cold!

Park Hours

Not considering park hours when planning your trip is a huge mistake. Usually less busy days have shorter park hours and busier days have longer park hours. Thus, many feel they can basically get the same amount done in a shorter day during a less busy time of year than they could during peak season. With good plans for touring the parks or strategic use of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, this isn’t true. By strategizing well, you can accomplish more during a busy day with longer hours than during a shorter day with light crowds.

Also important to note is that on days with longer hours, Disneyland will have more entertainment scheduled. Even during short days and slow times of the year, Fantasmic and World of Color play to packed houses. However, on days that offer multiple showings of these entertainment offerings, the later showings are almost always less crowded. If you want to avoid waiting multiple hours for a good view of Fantasmic, go on a longer day with multiple showings!

Similarly, your sleep habits make a difference here. If you’re a night owl, days with shorter hours may be a bad idea, as by the time you roll out of bed, you may find that you only have a few hours to enjoy the parks. Conversely, if you rise early and generally want to leave the parks by 7 pm or so, the shorter/less busy days are great times for you to visit. Make sure you check Disneyland’s park hours calendar when planning your trip. While this calendar is subject to change, it doesn’t change nearly as much as Walt Disney World’s calendar, which is almost never accurate when first posted.

Special Events

Disneyland doesn’t have nearly as many special events as Walt Disney World, but there are some events worth planning for or around. Basically, these events are the D23 Expo (every other year, towards the end of summer or early fall), Gay Days (fall), HalloweenTime at Disneyland (late summer and fall), CHOC walk (fall), Holidays at Disneyland (fall and winter), and Grad Nites (spring).

On a personal note, our absolute favorite time to visit is during Christmas-time at Disneyland. The parks look gorgeous, there are special attraction-overlays, and lots of seasonal foods available. You can read more about Christmas-time at Disneyland in our in-depth guide.

Refurbishments

During Disneyland’s slower seasons, expect a lot of attractions to be closed for refurbishments and other construction to be occurring. Not only is maintenance and upkeep better at Disneyland than Walt Disney World, but Disneyland also has a few seasonal attraction overlays, which lead to popular attractions like it’s a small world, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain being closed for a few weeks each in the fall (and late-winter in the case of it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion).

Traditionally, January and February have been the biggest months for attraction downtime, as those are the low-season for crowds. However, it’s always smart to consult refurbishment calendars to make sure your favorite attractions are operational no matter when you visit. See our 2024 Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar for specific dates that attractions will be closed.

If you must visit Disneyland when it’s busy (as is the case for many with kids in school), it’s important to have a good plan of attack when you visit the parks. Determine which attractions are best and the ones to experience, figure out where you want to eat in advance and dine at hours when the parks are busiest, and most importantly, arrive at the park before it opens and get as much done as you can in the first few hours of operation when lines are much shorter than they will be later in the day.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

Your Thoughts

Do you have any favorite times of year to visit Disneyland? Which special events do you think are best? Do you agree or disagree with our advice about Disneyland crowd calendars, California weather, special events, school schedules, or anything else here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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