January 2023 at Disneyland Crowd Calendar

Our guide to January 2023 at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offers a free crowd calendar, days to visit & avoid, SoCal weather, seasonal events, new attraction openings, refurbishments, and more.

In a normal year, January and February are the slowest months of the year at Disneyland. It’s a bit of a chilly time in Southern California and the state’s “rainy season” (which means like 2 rainy days per month), and also a time when Disneyland focuses on refurbishments.

This results in a pronounced off-season vibe at Disneyland, one that has been tough to find at Walt Disney World in the last decade. There were two notable exceptions to this in the last several years, including the last January that Disneyland was open, which is when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance debuted. Unfortunately, January 2022 will likely be another anomaly for reasons we’ll cover in this info and crowd calendar post…

Before we get to that, let’s quickly recap what happened last time that January was bonkers, as history could always repeat itself. First came the announcement of Main Street Electrical Parade making its homecoming at Disneyland in a limited time engagement before it’d be retired. Then came the nostalgia-drenched parade ad plus billboards plastered all over–it was quite the marketing blitz in the Los Angeles and Orange County markets.

To no one’s surprise, Main Street Electrical Parade debuted to monster crowds, and those remained steady pretty much until the summer months when the Annual Passholder blockout began. Disneyland locals love anything new, returning, limited time, and nostalgic–this made for a perfect storm. This was exacerbated by cheaper tickets for Southern California residents, coupled with a surplus of attraction refurbishments that reduced park capacity.

With that backdrop set, here’s what you can expect in January 2022 at Disneyland & Disney California Adventure in terms of the crowd calendar, weather, refurbishment, special events, closures and new attractions…

January Weather at Disneyland

January is a great time to visit Southern California from a weather perspective. Temperatures are usually in the 50s and 60s, with the average high being 67°F and the average low being 47°F.

If you’re from a cold weather state, this might seem like t-shirt and shorts weather, but most locals bundle up. This is especially true in the evening, when California’s crisp air makes it feel even colder. We’d recommend packing (at least) jeans and hooded sweatshirts, plus a light jacket.

January is also Southern California’s rainy season–to the extent that it has one. On the rare occasions when it does rain, it’s typically not just a brief or isolated shower. Nevertheless, SoCal normally sees less than 3 inches of rain in January, so days of downpours are unlikely.

It’s more likely you’ll experience near-constant sunshine, with the marine layer being less of a problem during the winter months, and most days seeing plenty of sunlight. All in all, January is a good time to visit California (and by extension, Disneyland), so long as you don’t plan on sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the ocean!

Special Events & What’s New or Closed

Although no announcement has been made, we expect the Lunar New Year Celebration to return to Disney California Adventure in mid-January 2023. This celebration of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions that usually runs through early February. It’s always a great, under-the-radar event.

In terms of January 2023 closures, there’s a fairly long list in addition to the normal ones like Haunted Mansion and it’s a small world. Consult our Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar for opening and closing dates.

January 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar

We’ll preface this by noting that Disneyland crowd calendars for specific dates are no longer highly reliable due to changes in attendance trends, the new Magic Key passholders, ticket promotions, and other factors. General trends are a bit easier, but it’s difficult to say a particular day will have low, moderate, or heavy crowds–which is why we’ve eliminated our color-coded Disneyland crowd calendars.

As such, our crowd calendar exists of some best & worst date ranges that should be used as an approximation for patterns—not something you rely heavily upon when booking a trip to Disneyland. While other sites offer numerical crowd calendars for specific dates months (or a year!) in advance, we’d be weary of putting too much weight on those. There are simply too many inconsistent variables for Disneyland crowd calendars to be reliable so far in advance.

With that said, our methodology is based upon historic wait time information, anecdotal observations, special events, school schedules, dynamic ticket prices, and more. Second, expect Disney California Adventure crowds to almost always track Disneyland crowds—with a few exceptions—albeit with a proportionately lower number of guests.

While there’s the perception that holiday crowds die down after New Year’s Eve, this is only true to a degree. Post-holiday crowds will remain heavy through January 8, 2023 when local school districts go back into session following winter break. After that, they are supplanted by local Magic Key passholders who are no longer blocked out but are still on holiday break from work or school.

Magic Key blockouts for January 2023 do not perfectly coincide with Los Angeles and Orange County School District winter breaks, with one set of blockouts ending January 2, 2023 and lower-tier passes only blocked out through January 5, 2023. Expect there to be a surge that weekend (January 6-7, 2023) after blockouts end but before schools go back into session.

January 13-16, 2023 will likely be very busy due to the MLK Day holiday weekend. The following weekend, January 20-22, 2023 should also see higher crowds due to Lunar New Year. Non holiday weekdays typically will not be as bad during the month, up until January 27, 2023. That’s the day the winter “off-season” could go off the rails at Disneyland, with situations similar to those addressed above in the past.

On that date, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens and the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration kicks off at Disneyland Resort. That celebration brings with it new nighttime spectaculars to each park, plus character costumes, new merchandise, food & beverages, and everything else locals love. Expect the rest of the month–especially the weekend of January 28-29, 2023–to be bonkers. That’ll bleed into February 2023, too.

If you’re looking at the crowd calendar for the best dates in January 2023 to visit Disneyland, we’d recommend January 9-12, 2023 or January 23-26, 2023. These weeks gets you far enough outside the holiday season, with the post-blockout crowd wave having subsided, and local schools being back in session.

It’s important to underscore that these crowd calendar predictions are our best guesses, and lean heavily on the above assumptions. One of the greatest difficulties with forecasting Disneyland crowds is that so much of the audience lives in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, meaning they are not planning their trips to Disneyland months in advance. Many people are visiting on a whim, and can make last-minute trips if enticed by marketing, deals, or special entertainment.

With all of that said, there are a few sure things for January at Disneyland. Already mentioned are the chilly (but pleasant) weather and refurbishments. The other is that it’s still Southern California’s off-season in terms of tourism. Even if Disneyland and Disney California Adventure end up being busy, they’ll be busy with locals.

January Pricing & Discounts

Because its primarily a local audience, January is one of the cheapest months of the year in terms of off-site hotel prices. We rank our favorite (and least favorite) hotels in the area in our Disneyland Area Hotel Rankings & Reviews post. Check out discounted hotel + ticket vacation packages on Get Away Today to save money on off-site hotels.

Even if our moderate crowd predictions for January turn out to be accurate, we still recommend an efficient itinerary for touring Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Another great option is the Park Hopper ticket, which allows you to weave between the parks. Failing that, arrive at rope drop and try to get as much done as possible before 4 p.m.

Overall, January and February have fallen from their high-ranking slots that they previously occupied on our Best and Worst Months to Visit Disneyland, but they probably deserve to see their standing elevated once again.

If you’re an out-of-state visitor considering a Disneyland vacation at some point in 2023, and are looking for a low-crowd time of year that will also have cool weather, we would recommend taking a hard look at January 2023. While we only presented a limited number of good dates, those should be really good–with true off-season crowd levels. That’s something we haven’t seen at Disneyland in a while, and probably won’t throughout Winter and Spring 2023 due to the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration.

If you’re a local or can wait longer to book a trip, we’d advise taking a wait-and-see approach. Once Disneyland releases its SoCal ticket offer, we should have a much better idea of what crowds will look like. At that point, we’ll return to this post with a fresh look at the crowd calendar.

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

Have you visited Disneyland in January? Any predictions of your own to offer in terms of crowds in winter/spring 2023 at Disneyland? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!

23 Responses to “January 2023 at Disneyland Crowd Calendar”
  1. P burdie January 5, 2023
  2. Rachel December 9, 2022
  3. Celise October 14, 2022
    • Ariosto Manrique November 30, 2022
  4. Colleen January 13, 2022
  5. Kelli January 5, 2022
  6. Sea December 7, 2021
  7. Stephanie January 10, 2020
    • Tom Bricker January 10, 2020
  8. Carly January 6, 2020
    • Tom Bricker January 6, 2020
  9. Deb P January 18, 2019
  10. Drew Scarbrough August 7, 2018
  11. Liddy Sanders February 20, 2018
  12. Rachel January 9, 2018
  13. Deanna December 29, 2017
    • Tom Bricker December 30, 2017
    • Rachael January 4, 2018
    • Michael F January 4, 2018
  14. Jewels December 26, 2017
    • Tom Bricker December 26, 2017
  15. WDW1974 December 16, 2017
  16. Jane Highsmith Parker December 15, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.