November 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
This guide to November 2023 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 2023 at Disneyland. This two-month seasonal event is one of the biggest draws for locals, which causes an annual spike in crowds starting in mid-November…
To better distribute crowds between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, Festival of the Holidays will return again for 2023, 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 Winter post. 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 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Before consulting this or any November 2023 crowd calendars for Disneyland, it’s worth reading our main 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendars: Best Times to Visit & When to Avoid. That goes into extensive detail about why Disneyland there’s no color-coded calendar or numerical scores for each 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 2023…
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.
Additionally, weekdays are all better than weekends. Saturdays and Sundays will be the two busiest days of the week despite the lower tier Magic Key passholders being blocked out.
For the most part, Mondays through Thursdays are going to be the best overall days of the week to visit in November 2023. Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be your absolute best bets, but there’s not a huge difference among Monday through Thursday.
Turning to specific dates in November 2023, the biggest red flags are Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. In the case of the former, expect November 10-12, 2023 to have elevated crowds. 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 2023 when Veterans Day occurs on a Friday, making it more conducive to long weekend getaways. This year, that’s further exacerbated by November 10, 2023 being the official start of the holiday season at Disneyland.
Thanksgiving is more obvious, and it’ll cause colossal crowds November 17-26, 2023. This is typically one of the busiest stretches of the entire year at Disneyland–one of the 5 worst weeks.
While there are some Magic Key blockouts around Thanksgiving, the higher tier of pass is not blocked out at all, and the next tier is only blocked for November 23-25, 2023. The lowest tiers are blocked out November 18-26, 2023. It’s difficult to predict the degree to which these blockouts will offset crowds.
Last year, Thanksgiving was the busiest day of the week. Normally, the Wednesday beforehand, plus the Friday and Saturday after would be busiest, followed closely by Thanksgiving Day. (We’d expect a return to that normal trend.) November 17, 2023 should also be surprisingly busy due to the lack of blockouts for lower-tier passes.
Historically, outside of Fridays through Sundays during early November (and again after Thanksgiving), November has been a fairly ‘moderate’ month in terms of crowds. The emphasis there is on “historically” and “in the past.” In terms of what will occur in November 2023, we are not entirely sure.
Last year, November was busier than normal, but that was also a different scenario as the parks weren’t operating at full capacity or efficiency. On top of that, there was pent-up demand due to Disneyland being closed the previous holiday season. All of that combined for feels like crowds that were worse than normal. Whether that trend continues for Christmas 2023 or Disneyland works to redistribute crowds remains to be seen.
In terms of new offerings that could impact crowds, the major thing is Holiday Time at Disneyland—in particular the parade, and nights when the Believe in Holiday Magic nighttime spectacular features fireworks (mostly Friday through Sunday nights, but see the official entertainment schedule to confirm).
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.
Most locals will delay their visits until the heart of the Christmas season later in the month (around Thanksgiving) or just prior to Christmas. One-day ticket pricing should have a negligible impact on crowds during both November and December.
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. For the most part, Mondays through Thursdays are going to be the best overall days of any week to visit.
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 2023 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.
Consequently, you can find deals on off-site hotels, as well as Disney-owned ones during November–even when the parks are busy (outside of Thanksgiving week). 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 November 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. Failing that, arrive at rope drop and try to get as much done as possible before 4 p.m.
Overall, there’s a reason November 2023 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, 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!
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!
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 2023 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!
No calendar. Lame
Great information but, Where is the calendar?
Any idea why DCA has opening hours listed 8am-6pm on a Saturday November 12th? Is that a mistake or is there an event we don’t know about?
It’s their staff awards night for log service staff and they close the park early for it, as the event is hosted there
I plan to take my family on November 8th and 9th which is Tues/Wed. Veterans Day weekend is 11-13th. Should I expect large crowds for my dates? Thanks in advance
Tom. We are scheduled for Nov 16 thru 19, Tuesday thru Friday. AND we scored Merriest Party tix for 11/16. Having just returned today from WDW and having missed the recent sweet spot of low crowds, I’m thinking we should be good for these days understanding that Friday afternoon and evening will be the worst time. Any insight on this?
We are planning Nov 8-13. Veterns day is on a Wednesday this year. Will the whole week be busy or just the day (that day will be our beach day). Thanks in advance. We usually go in September but want to see xmas decorations and its our anniversary.
We go every Thanksgiving and 2018 was the best! Manageable crowds weds -sun. Monday was busier than Saturday.
So glad to see your comment! We are coming from Asia and arriving in LAX on 27th Nov 2019… I didn’t realize it’s the eve of Thanksgiving. We plan to go Anaheim Disney directly from airport but all the websites say traffic will be crazy and everywhere will be crowded.
Just to check, will the restaurants around the Disney area be open on Thanksgiving?
Y’all are crazy to think November is the best time to visit. We unknowingly scheduled our trip over Veteran’s Day weekend – I have NEVER seen the park so busy, not even when we went during summer vacation or over Easter weekend. Almost all waits were between 60 and 200 minutes, and Disney stopped giving out fast passes by 5:30 and DCA was only offering them for Grizzly, but by then it was too dark and cold to go on that one anyway.
The non-holiday weekends are probably fine but avoid Veteran’s Day at all costs. It wasn’t even fun – just stressful, constantly being in human traffic jams. In my experience, non-holiday weekends in February are the best time to go – no waits and all the rides were open! 🙂
I agree-avoid Veterans Day. We went this year and it was the longest we’ve waited for rides. Absolutely horrible.
I’m planning on going the Saturday after veterans day, hopefully it’s less crowded.
We are planning a trip to Disneyland from November 1-4. Since this is a transition period between Halloween and Christmas will there be limited things to do in the Parks? Example: more ride closures and limited access to the castle and such. Thanks!
Do you have a Disney World November crowd calendar? Thanks 🙂
We are planning a Disneyland vacation for November 2018 and want to avoid crowds as much as possible. Any thoughts on whether the first full week or second full week of November has lower attendance at Disneyland? Thanks! Love your posts, so helpful!
Hi all, has anyone been to Disneyland this week? We’re arriving this Friday for a four day weekend (Nov 17-21) and would love to hear about the current crowds.
So, for the week of Thanksgiving, specifically for the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which day is less busy? In the past it seemed like the day before Thanksgiving takes a dip. We are thinking of giving Maxpass a try because we could get a fastpass without having to walk through the crowds of people – but after reading some online posts about how crazy October has been and that Maxpass is making things worse – is Maxpass worth it? We are a party of 5 so it will cost us $50/day. We aren’t paying for our tickets (I have my old non-expiring cast member comp tickets that we are using to celebrate my daughter’s 16th bday).
We went the first week in Oct. Got the Fast pass maxpass on all tickets it worked great, only rides we had a hard time getting was for Guardians of The Galaxy at night. You really just have to be on top of it when they open it up to get fast passes for it as they go quickly. We had 6 total in our party, if someone didn’t want to go on a ride we would split the group and someone would go twice. In my opinion it is worth it and having the passes linked on mobile devices makes it really easy to use with the app.
I’m curious if crowd patterns have been changing for the Friday after Thanksgiving? We went the day after Thanksgiving in 2002 and I never saw it so crowded before in my life! I think the tickets sold out, it was crazy (although I have no idea if that happens regularly or not). Is it really a Yellow and not a Red day this year?
The biggest reason for the shift is the Annual Pass blockout calendar. It’ll still be very busy, but very few APs will be valid that day, which is a huge offset.
Don’t forget the Avengers Super Heroes weekend over Veterans Day, which coincides with the opening of the Christmas decorations.
That’ll definitely cause a bump in attendance. More importantly for out of town guests, it’ll spike hotel prices.
so i am assuming with the color coding on the calendar that red indicates crowded yellow is moderate and green is good ?
Don’t forget Dapper Day on the first Sunday of November. While not an official Disney event, it does affect crowds. Especially in regards to meetups at the castle and Mark Twain.
Wishing someone would do the same for disney world
Just read on the blog that you recommend the week before Thanksgiving or the first two weeks in December. Is the week after Thanksgiving busy? Per the calendar crowds look about the same. Our plans are flexible, and we will be a family of 5, 3 kids between the ages of 5-10…what week do you recommend would be ideal for lesser crowds? Thanks!!
Thank for posting this Tom! I have been waiting for your thoughts for this year’s November as we have already planned our trip based off your typical ‘best times’ recommendation (as well as our availability). We are scheduled for 11/5-11/9 in park. We last went 4 years ago the first week of December and managed just ok, it was a bit tough (kids were 2 and 5). So this time we have 5 days in park and hoping for less crowds. Though I don’t have a scientific method for judging crowds, I’ll let you know after our trip what we thought. Thanks again for your very helpful site!
Small World will be closed at the time, if that matters.
Thanks for this update! I have been patiently waiting for the November crowd prediction as we have a trip planned 11/26-12/1. Originally we had 12/3-12/8 planned, but after reading your blog, it seems like the week after Thanksgiving would be less crowded…we are a family of 5, with 3 kids. Thanks so much for all the advice:-)