May 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Our free May 2023 Disneyland crowd calendar covers everything you need to know for choosing the best days to visit Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. This includes special events, weather, pricing, and of course, attendance levels at the parks.
With May 2023 falling between spring break and summer vacation during a time when schools are largely back in session throughout the country, it’s a potentially good time to visit Disneyland. Well, early May is a good time of year to visit, particularly on weekdays when Grad Nites are not occurring.
Mid to late May can be a different story as the parks start to get more crowded, but not unbearably so. Along with our crowd predictions for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, in this post we’ll offer other thoughts on what to expect during this month at Disneyland Resort.
May Weather at Disneyland
We’ll start with a look at weather. This section of these posts should just be titled “Another Day of Sun” because this is pretty much just a thinly-veiled opportunity to remark on how Southern California’s weather is perpetually nice. For May, you can expect humidity to be low as high temperatures hover around 75º most of the month. Lows will be around 55º early in the month, rising to around 60º by the end of May.
As you can see by the second graph on this page, May in Anaheim is comfortable for most hours of the between noon and 8 p.m. Temperatures are cooler in the morning and drop once the sun goes down, so we recommend packing a sweater or thin jacket for the evening hours. Spring can chilly outside the middle of the day, and the “feels like” tends to be cooler due to the lack of humidity.
May 2023 Additions & Subtractions at Disneyland
Let’s start with seasonal events, the most notable of which is the return of Grad Nites at Disney California Adventure (and to a lesser degree, Disneyland). This will be held on select evenings, and will impact crowds on the dates listed below. As the name suggests, it’s for graduating seniors. (Sorry to anyone wanting to relive their high school glory days, but it’s not open admission.)
It’s also worth mentioning the debut of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration at Disneyland Resort, both of which occur in late January 2023. (The reimagined Mickey’s Toontown is likely to debut in Spring 2023, too.) That celebration brings with it new nighttime spectaculars to each park, plus character costumes, new merchandise, food & beverages, and everything else locals love. Consequently, we’re expecting Spring 2023 to be a bit bonkers. However, hopefully by the time May 2023 rolls around, the new ride and entertainment won’t have much impact on crowds.
In terms of May 2023 attraction closures, we have what’s possibly a partial list on the Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar. Usually, Disneyland announces refurbishments a couple of months in advance, so that’s probably not the final list for May 2023 quite yet.
May 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Generally speaking, the beginning of May 2023 should be relatively moderate, as we’re in a relative lull between spring break and summer vacation. We also anticipate there will be a pre-summer lull, making much of May 2023 less crowded than the months that follow.
As always, Grad Nites throw a monkey wrench into these crowd predictions. These are something of a rite of passage for high school seniors in Southern California, as they participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event where they get to experience one final night of high school memories with their friends before they embark on their new adventures.
In May 2023, Grad Nites will occur on May 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 30, or 31. Generally speaking, Grad Nites cause a spike in crowds on those dates, particularly at Disney California Adventure, and most notably later in the day. Read our Grad Nites at Disneyland post for more info and thoughts on how these evenings impact crowds and the guest experience.
On the weekends, crowd levels will be fairly high regardless, but if you want the best chance at more moderate crowd levels during Grad Nites this year, we’d recommend doing Disneyland on Grad Nite days. Aside from that, the Bats Day events will also cause a slight spike in crowds on May 7, 2023.
We expect crowds to spike towards the end of the month, not because we’re drawing closer to the summer months and traditional vacation season, but because tickets purchased via the SoCal Resident Deal typically expire right before Memorial Day weekend.
Every year, the last couple weeks of this promo see a surge in attendance as locals want to take advantage of the offer before it ends, or use days on tickets they already purchased. We would expect this year to be no different.
May 26-31, 2023 will be busy due to Memorial Day (May 29, 2023). However, as far as holiday weekends go, this one isn’t nearly as bad as a lot of them. In fact, it’s likely that the lead up to the long weekend will be worse due to the aforementioned ticket deal.
While the weekend itself will be busy (just like any weekend), most school districts in Southern California are not out of session until mid-June 2023. That’s also around the time Disneyland starts seeing an influx of tourists.
For most of the month, dynamic ticket prices are at “value” or “regular” prices. Likewise, Annual Passholder blockouts are minimal outside of normal weekend blockouts, as well as Memorial Day. Even these factors are not enough to cause a precipitous spike in attendance.
Read our Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets post for multi-day ticket recommendations to avoid having to deal with seasonal pricing. On the plus side, there are some multi-day ticket discounts currently available for all guests.
As far as hotel prices go, rates should be fairly average throughout the month. We rank our favorite (and least favorite) hotels in the Anaheim Resort District 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.
If you visit on weekends in May, efficient touring plans for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be essential. Even if you during weekdays early in the month, having a solid itinerary is not a bad idea. Across the board, crowd levels at Disneyland Resort are higher than they were a few years ago.
Overall, we rank May near the top on our Best & Worst Months to Visit Disneyland. The main reason for this is because it’s a lull between spring break and summer seasons, and even the spikes caused by Grad Nites aren’t enough to upset crowd levels too much. The biggest impact on crowds outside of that will pretty much be locals taking advantage of the SoCal ticket offer at the last minute. If you can visit earlier in the month on one of those green weekdays (or even the yellow ones), you are going to have a far better experience–if we only factored in those days, May would be one of the best months of the year to visit!
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!
Do you plan on doing Disneyland in May 2023? Which dates are you targeting? If you’ve visited Disneyland during May, what did you think of the experience? Did you find the crowd levels to be manageable? Have any problems with Grad Nites? What about the weather? If you’ve visited in May, do you have any tips to add? Are you heading to Disneyland Resort during the month of May? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!
Thank you for this! Trying to go for my bday at the end of may and haven’t been in yrs so idk when is best! I got this article from a coworker! God bless!
Your link for the Disneyland and California Adventure touring plans takes me to Disneyworld touring plans. Please change that (it’s the same in April too) Thanks a ton! You Rock and I value your opinions.
I was getting ready to book tickets for May 8-11 (M-TH). Then I noticed a note that said “park closes at 8pm on the 8th and 11th for event”. I called D-land and they said it’s for a Star wars night. They said it lets them in the park at 6 pm, but it goes from 9-1 am. Knowing that- Would you still recommend going this week? Without that event you recommended those dates, but would you still? We are from Idaho, our kids have never been, (age 4, 8,11) and we won’t be able to afford to go again for a long time. We want to make the most of it. We are homeschoolers so we can go ANY TIME. When would you suggest? We unfortunately can’t go the prior week (first week of may). We don’t want to wait until the fall, but if that would be better it would be worth the better experience. short lines are most important to us. Please please give us your professional opinion!!!! This is a big splurge! We don’t want to waste it! The only reason we picked May is bc we’re excited, but if you think those dates wouldn’t be worth it we can go later.
The Star Wars Party day is always full. Avoid it if you aren’t staying.
Where’s the calendar? (You know, with a box for each day, like an actual calendar.)
Will the nightly (Summer) fireworks start on Memorial Day?
I am considering going to Disneyland the week of April 17-21 or the weekend of May 12-14? What is the better date to visit?
Almost certainly May 12-14. That is shoulder season, long after spring break but still before summer. By contrast, April 17-21 is at the tail end of spring break season. Most schools will be back in session by then, but a few won’t.
Neither set of dates should be bad by any stretch, but of the two, May 12-14, 2023 will be better.
Headed out May15-18. There is a grad night on the 18th, but we figured with four full week days we’d fine (and no Genie+).
Are there crowds associated with May the 4th? We are not actually huge Star Wars fans- perhaps that’s a good day for California Adventure instead?
Does Cinco de Mayo impact crowds?
We are going to Disneyland with our 3yr old granddaughter for her first trip to disney the first week of May 2023, we want her to be able to experience both the parades and the fireworks. We would like to go during the week but don’t want to miss the parades or fireworks if they are only doing it on the weekend. We will be doing the 3 day park hopper pass, I don’t mind going on one day of the weekend to make sure to see the fireworks but would like to get in all the different parades, world of color and fantasmic. Do you know if these are going to be going on during the week? I can’t find it anywhere online through Disney that far out, so it is making planning and reservations difficult. Hotels are already booking up for that time frame.
Thanks for any insight you can provide.
It’s likely that the parade will be running daily. That’s how they’ve always done parades, and it’ll have just returned a couple months earlier, so demand will still be high.
Fireworks are a wild card. New fireworks are debuting in early 2023, and it’s possible they will have nightly pyro instead of on weekends-only since they will also still be new and popular in May. However, that’s an unknown at this point.
You didn’t mention it, but Fantasmic’s schedule is another consideration–it’s entirely possible that it’s being shown nightly or only on weekends in May.
If it were me, I’d probably plan on doing a weekend. Unless the stars align, there’s a good chance all of the entertainment you want to see will not be shown on weeknights.
Why the heck has May 31st been sold out for such a long time now? I know Memorial Day is the day before, and grad night that night. But it has been one of the first sold out for a while and other grad nights have plenty of park availability. I keep checking calendar of events but can’t find anything. Just making sure I’m not missing something big happening.
I thought I read this is the last day that. Splash mountain is open before they re theme it. Maybe that?
We’ll be there May 1-6. We’re doing Star Wars nite while we’re there 🙂 Any tips for that event?
What are the chances of avoiding the big crowds? Do you have any predictions about when World Of Color dessert party might be back?
We are flying into Orange County airport what’s the best way to get to our hotel Taxi or Uber?
We are going to be in CA May 30-June 6. I know it’s right in the middle of Grad Nite’s. First timers at DL (we have been to WDW many times). Which two days would you recommend? Sunday 31 and Monday 1 do not have a Grad Nite but obviously is a weekend. The 4th is the only other day without one. Planning on doing both parks. Thank you.
Hi we’re planning a trip for Monday April 27 – Friday May 1. Do you think that will be a fairly low crowd time? We were hoping we would hit it after spring break vacationers are gone and before grad nights start. Thank you for this website and all your helpful planning resources! It was so helpful in planning our last vacation and I’m reading all I can to plan our upcoming vacation as well.
We are planning a trip in 1st / 2nd week of May. I am to go see Fantasmic and World of Color. For this time of year, Would they do the shows most/all nights, or only weekends? I understand their hours aren’t released yet, just curious what is typical.
World of Color will likely be nightly, but Fantasmic and the fireworks at Disneyland are far less certain. (Probably not.)