This guide to November 2024 at Disneyland offers a free crowd calendar for picking the best days to visit and avoiding the busiest ones during the start of Christmas at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. Plus, info about weather, new attraction openings & closures, and more.
The holiday season is really a ‘tale of two seasons’ at Disneyland with some quiet periods followed by really intense stretches of crowds. There are two main reasons you can expect heavy crowds during November. The official start of Disneyland’s Christmas season, and school breaks in Los Angeles and Orange Counties that also coincide with Thanksgiving week, which is always a big draw for out-of-town tourists.
You can read more about what to expect during the holidays in our Ultimate Guide to Christmas 2024 at Disneyland. This nearly two-month seasonal event is one of the biggest draws for locals, which causes an annual spike in crowds starting in mid-November. This year, the holiday season arrives later than normal, which could cause some attendance anomalies, as discussed below.
To better distribute crowds between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, Festival of the Holidays will return again for 2024, as will other Christmas entertainment. With that said, it will still be really busy in both parks. Locals and tourists alike love spending time at Disneyland Resort during the holiday season.
There are many reasons for this, with weather playing a major role. Let’s start with a look at that…
November Weather at Disneyland
Mild weather also plays a role, as November is one of the mildest, most pleasant months of the year in Southern California. As we mention in all of our Disneyland crowd calendar posts, it’s pleasant year-round in Anaheim as humidity tends to be low and there’s not much precipitation, but November is one of the best of the best months in terms of weather. If anything, it’s too cold in November.
Due to the potential for frigid temperatures in the evening (or even during the day if it gets unseasonably cold), we recommend consulting our What to Pack for Disney in Winterpost. That might seem like overkill since this is California, land of eternal sunshine and endless summer, but it gets surprisingly chilly during the winter months, especially at night. Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Trust me, I’ve dropped a ton of money on gift shop sweatshirts on past visits when under-estimating the potential for cold weather.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Disneyland crowd calendar for November…
November 2024 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Before consulting this or any November 2024 crowd calendars for Disneyland, it’s worth reading our main 2024 Disneyland Crowd Calendar. That goes into extensive detail about why Disneyland there’s no color-coded calendar or numerical scores for each and every day of the month.
Suffice to say, Disneyland crowd calendars for specific dates are no longer highly reliable due to changes in attendance trends, reservation availability for 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–or how one day of the week will compare to days around it.
As such, our crowd calendar offers the best & worst date ranges. This should be used as an approximation for patterns and how certain windows of dates compare to others around them. 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.
With that said, here are the best and worst times to visit Disneyland in November 2024…
We’ll start predictions here with high-level advice and narrow it from there. As a general matter, earlier in November is better than later in the month, with the exception of the Veterans Day long weekend (November 8-11, 2024).
This far in advance, forecasting which days of each week will be busiest and least busy is tricky. Trends changed last year due to blockouts and date-based pricing, which is reflected in Best & Worst Days of the Week to Visit Disneyland & DCA. While accurate right now, we should not that a lot could change between now and November 2024. Not only that, but the Halloween and Holiday seasons are always a bit different than the rest of the year, anyway.
With that said, our expectation is that Wednesdays and Thursdays followed by Tuesdays will be the best overall full days of the week to visit in November 2024. Other times we like are Friday mornings and Sunday evenings. Monday has been the busiest day of the week for a while, and we don’t expect that to change. Weekends are the real wildcard–they’ve been slower due to AP blockouts, but that’ll likely change during the Christmas season.
Turning to specific dates in November 2024, the biggest red flag aside from Veterans Day is Thanksgiving. Veterans Day catches Disney visitors by surprise since it’s not a “high profile” holiday, but it’s always a busy one. That’ll be doubly true in November 2024 when Veterans Day occurs on a Monday, making it more conducive to long weekend getaways.
Thanksgiving crowds typically start arriving the Sunday beforehand, which would be November 24, 2024. They typically peak on Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday being slightly less busy. Tourist crowds depart over the weekend, meaning moderate crowds by Saturday, November 30, 2024. The week after Thanksgiving will be downright dead–but this year, that’s in December due to Thanksgiving falling late–so not relevant to the November 2024 crowd calendar.
Interestingly, Thanksgiving week was not terrible at Disneyland last year. It was above average, to be sure, but not close to as busy as the prior couple of years. This is likely due to higher hotel and ticket prices, coupled with more aggressive Magic Key Annual Pass blockouts (all but the top tier were blocked out for pretty much the entire week). We’d expect Disney to course correct to some degree for 2024, but it’s worth pointing out, as AP blockouts for 2024 are already set.
The even bigger wildcard is the impact of Christmas starting later. Disneyland has already released its full calendar of seasonal events, and Christmas kicks off a full week later than normal–on November 15, 2024. The why of this isn’t completely clear to us, especially as Halloween was extended significantly, but our top theory is that Disney is trying to stagger Veterans Day and Christmas kick-off crowds. That’s really the only way to make complete sense of this.
Regardless, the end result should be that Veterans Day weekend and the weekdays that follow are less busy than normal, and the following weekend is busier than normal. Shortening Christmas by a full week may also mean a consolidation of crowds for the holiday season, causing all dates starting November 15, 2024 to be slightly busier than they were last year.
The flip side, of course, is that all dates in the first half of November 2024 would be slightly less busy. The theory there is that locals in particular would shift visits from earlier in the month to the middle of the month or December 2024 in order to experience Holiday Time at Disneyland. (Most can’t go during the week of Thanksgiving, so that’s out.)
Even though we’re highly certain this will happen, we will do the same–postponing our visits and taking Christmas over (lower) crowds. To each their own, but we’d rather have the subjectively better seasonal experience than objectively lower wait times. An overwhelming majority of locals will make this same choice–but probably without thinking through the ‘lower wait times’ half of the equation. They’ll just be drawn to Christmas, because it’s their favorite time to visit Disneyland. Do with that info what you will, prioritizing what matters more to you, and planning your visit in November or December 2024 accordingly.
As mentioned above, pricing is highly variable for November 2024. You’ll notice for the first half of November, Mondays through Thursdays have Value Season pricing for 1-day park tickets. Normally, this induces more visits from locals, but for November, we do not anticipate it causing a large spike in crowds.
Again, most locals will delay their visits until the heart of the Christmas season later in the month (around Thanksgiving) or just prior to Christmas. The 1-day ticket calendar is not yet out for November and December 2024, but we also expect some Value Season dates in early December–when Christmas is being celebrated in full force.
Keep in mind that ticket prices are based on demand forecasts, meaning that those $104 days are when Disneyland expects the lowest crowds. Opposite goes for those $169 and $179 dates. Those are when Disneyland anticipates the worst crowds of the entire year. But when the prices swing too significantly and quickly (e.g. one day is $50 cheaper than the following day), that can change guest behavior and shift visits. That’s exactly what we saw last Thanksgiving.
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.
Beyond that, you have some of the normal trends. Friday night during Christmas season is the worst evening of the week to visit, and Saturdays will be busy despite the lower tier Magic Keys being blocked out.
Tourists with Park Hopper tickets should strongly consider mornings at Disneyland before Park Hopping to DCA. Locals from Los Angeles and Orange County who arrive after work tend to make Disneyland more crowded in the evenings.
It is worth noting that there is likely no hard ticket party for Christmas 2024 at Disneyland. This is great news in terms of crowds, as those events tend to create pent-up demand on non-party nights and lead to surges at Disney California Adventure. So, there’s at least one positive if you’re visiting in November rather than October. (Well, two. November should have lower crowds overall than October.)
The other bit of good news if you’re visiting anytime in November outside of Thanksgiving week is that it’s still Southern California’s off-season in terms of tourism. Even though Disneyland and Disney California Adventure can be busy, it’s primarily with Californians. In other words, people who drive home from the parks and don’t need hotels. As such, off-season occupancy rates will be reflected in hotel prices.
Overall, there’s a reason November 2024 is #1 on our Best and Worst Months to Visit Disneyland. Even though we’re a little apprehensive that crowds will spike beyond our predictions and the late start of Christmas will throw a monkey wrench into crowds, our current belief is that they will be fairly manageable. That, plus perfect weather, reasonable hotel prices, and Disneyland Resort’s incredible Christmas season makes November our absolute favorite month of the year at Disneyland. Holiday entertainment plus the low crowds of one of those ‘sweet spot’ days in mid-November is pure perfection!
If you’ve visited Disneyland during the month of November, what did you think of the experience? Did you experience Festival of the Holidays at DCA or the Christmas attraction overlays? Do you agree or disagree with our predicted November 2024 crowds at Disneyland? What are your thoughts on Holiday Time at Disneyland? If you’ve visited Southern California in November, do you have any tips to add? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!