Our guide to January 2024 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 once winter break has ended. At least, most years. There have been a few notable exceptions to this in the last several years, and January was completely chaotic during those years. 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 2024 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!
In terms of January 2024 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 Calendarfor opening and closing dates.
January 2024 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 7, 2024 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 2024 do not perfectly coincide with Los Angeles and Orange County School District winter breaks, and are much more staggered than in previous years. In any case, expect there to be a slight surge that weekend (January 6-7, 2024) after some blockouts end but before schools go back into session.
January 12-15, 2024 will likely be very busy due to the MLK Day holiday weekend. Non holiday weekdays typically will not be as bad during the month as later in the year. Beyond that, we don’t currently have any red flags. Unlike in 2023, Lunar New Year is in February and there currently is no major event (like the start of Disney100) scheduled for January 2024. Of course, that could always change.
If you’re looking at the crowd calendar for the best dates in January 2024 to visit Disneyland, we’d recommend January 8-11, 2024 or January 22-25, 2024. 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.
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, 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 2024. While we only presented a limited number of good dates, those should be really good–with true off-season crowd levels.
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.
Have you visited Disneyland in January? Any predictions of your own to offer in terms of crowds in winter/spring 2024 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!