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Disneyland Crowd Calendar 2020 – When to Visit, Crowd Tracker, Tips, and Events

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When is the best time to visit Disneyland? This is one of the most common questions that guests have when planning their trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. There are a number of different factors to consider like crowd levels, weather, entertainment options, and seasonal activities. Our 2020 Disneyland crowd calendar is here to help you make the best decision on when to visit Disneyland!

Disneyland Crowd TrackerMark Twain Riverboat reflecting on the Rivers of America at Disneyland

There are two major factors to consider when navigating crowd levels at Disneyland: events happening at the resort and school holidays. Those are often are our most two reliable Disneyland crowd indicators. So with that in mind, let’s answer the question: “When will it be crowded at Disneyland?” Answering this question will also largely help you decide when to visit Disneyland.

Weekends have a tendency to busy at the Disneyland Resort due to the large population of Annual Passholders that visit the resort on weekends. Annual Passholders at Disneyland have a big impact on crowd levels at the resort since over 1 million people make up the Annual Passholder population. For this reason, we often turn to the Annual Passholder Blockout Calendar to help us determine crowd levels at certain points in the year. For example, a weekend before a long period of block out dates may turn out to be busier than normal due to many passholders visiting the parks before their block out periods begin.

Take a look at our discount Disneyland tickets page for information on how to save money and info on how long you should visit.

Since Disneyland is much different than Disney World with being a vacation destination and a popular place to hang out from local populations, predicting exact crowd variations can be difficult to determine. We base our calendar below on events at the resort, past crowd trends, and school holidays to help us determine when to expect crowds. Most guests really want to know crowd levels before they decide when to visit Disneyland.

When to Visit DisneylandCalifornia Adventure Pixar Pier in front of a blue sky

Most Crowded

  • The weeks before and after Easter: mid-March through mid-April, or Spring Break Season
  • The week before Christmas through the first couple of weeks of January, Christmas Day and New Years Eve bring in some of the largest crowds the park sees all year long.
  • July through early August, during the time that schools have summer break
  • During June, most annual passholders are not blocked out yet (they are blocked for many peak summer days)
  • If July 4th falls close to a weekend, then it will be extremely busy
  • Check the Anaheim Convention Center website for large conferences. Busy in the late afternoon during these time periods.

Busy, But Not Overrun 

  • End of August through Labor Day
  • The month of December, leading up to Christmas week
  • Weekends throughout October and beginning of November while the theme parks are decorated for Halloween

Not Crowded

  • Labor Day through Thanksgiving, except avoid weekends
  • Late January through February
  • Late April unless Easter falls at that time

January through the beginning of May, aside from Spring break, is often called the “off season” due to the low crowd levels the park sees. There will also be scattered holidays to factor in that may bring spikes in crowds during this time such as Martin Luther King Day. While the park may not be as crowded, Disney cuts back on entertainment since the crowds are lower than peak months so that is also something important to consider. Fireworks may only happen on weekends and daytime entertainment will be reduced. This is also a common time of year for Disneyland to work on refurbishing popular rides that see a lot of activity during peak months. So there is a hit or miss with that option for when to visit Disneyland- you will experience smaller crowds but also less entertainment.

If you are considering visiting Walt Disney World in Florida, be sure to look at our guide to when to visit Disney World 2020.

If your Disneyland hotel prices are coming up high during a time period that we list as not crowded, be sure to check out the Anaheim Convention Center schedule. During large conventions, the prices for hotels can skyrocket.

We put together a Disneyland attendance calendar below that details all of our different pros and cons of the different months of the year on when to visit Disneyland.

Disneyland crowd calendar

Be sure to check the Disneyland calendar on the official Disneyland website for more info on closures, entertainment schedules, and other information to help determine when to visit Disneyland

When to Visit Disneyland: Crowd Calendar and Special Events

Below we have compiled a large list of all the Disneyland events and special calendar items to be aware of when picking when to visit Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort and California Adventure will reopen on July 17th for Disneyland’s 65th anniversary after the longest closure in the parks history due to COVID-19.

All of these openings and special events will greatly affect the 2020 Disneyland crowd index.

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened Summer 2019 and has added an entire new land to the park. While the projected crowds never appeared, this land will likely remain popular for awhile as guests get their full of the new experiences. Rise of the Resistance opened January 2020. This is the new highly anticipated attraction that is opening in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and is said to be the ‘best ride’ Disneyland has ever done.
  • Halloween season takes place September 6th through October 31st at the Disneyland Resort.
  • The Halloween party, Oogie Boogie Bash, will take place on select nights throughout September and October at Disney’s California Adventure Park. No dates for 2020 have been announced yet.
  • The Holiday/Christmas season takes place November through January at the Disneyland Resort.
  • The new parade Magic Happens will debut at Disneyland in February 2020.
  • Avengers Campus- the BRAND NEW Marvel Inspired land is coming to California Adventure!

January Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2021January Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Three Kings Day is celebrate in Disney California Adventure each year immediately following the ending of the Disneyland Christmas celebration.
  • Disney California Adventure celebrates Lunar New Year from January to February. This is a large cultural festival that will include special entertainment and dining options.
  • Valentine’s Month kicks off in late January- a celebration of the love of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Disneyland park will feature lovely, festive Valentine’s décor, including a new Mickey Mouse flower “portrait” on Main Street, U.S.A. Guests may also choose to partake in Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, a special scavenger hunt experience in Disneyland park.

February Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2021February Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Disneyland Lunar New Year Celebration continues until the middle of February.
  • Valentine’s Month continues until mid-February celebrating the love of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Disneyland park will feature lovely, festive Valentine’s décor, including a new Mickey Mouse flower “portrait” on Main Street, U.S.A. Guests may also choose to partake in Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, a special scavenger hunt experience in Disneyland park.
  • There are special menus at some of the table service restaurants for Valentine’s Day. You will also find lots of holiday-specific desserts and special treats all throughout the resort.

March Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2021March Disneyland Crowd Calendar: Chef doing a demo at the food and wine festival

  • March marks the beginning of the more crowded Spring Break season and the end of the renovation season where more of Disneyland’s attractions are schedule for maintenance.
  • The Disneyland Food and Wine Festival will return this month. The Food and Wine Festival features special festival food booths, cooking demonstrations, and lifestyle presentations. This festival takes place in Disney California Adventure park.

April Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2021Oswald at Disneyland for Easter - April Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Spring Break season continues in Disneyland with lots of crowds expected every day.
  • The Disneyland Food and Wine Festival runs into April in Disney California Adventure park. This event includes special cooking demonstrations, unique food booths, and special menu items throughout the resort.
  • There are also special ticketed events with celebrity chefs.
  • Disney has an Easter egg hunt throughout both theme parks. You can purchase a scavenger hunt packet from participating shops throughout the resort, find all the eggs, turn in your packet, and then receive a prize. Disneyland’s Easter Eggstravaganza will return from April 5-21st.
  • Dapper Day at Disneyland is on April 21st and 22nd. This is a celebration of the vintage style clothing that used to be worn to Disneyland and that was featured heavily in early concept artwork. About 1/10 of the park usually participates. It is lots of fun to be in the parks during the events. The Disneyland crowds in attendance are usually bearable as those who come out for the event are typically in the parks to take photos more than they are to experience attractions.

May Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2021

Cars Land at Disneyland - May Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Grad Nites at Disneyland are scheduled for select nights in May and June. These evenings will have certain sections of the theme parks shut down specifically for recent high school graduates. The students visiting the parks will also have access to Disneyland throughout the day. Expect big Disney California Adventure crowds especially later in the evening.
  • Enjoy Star Wars celebrations on May 4th in Tomorrowland like the transformation of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain, Captain Phasma and her storm troopers along with Star Wars themed souvenirs and food options.

June Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2020June Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Disneyland Grad Nites are scheduled for select nights in May and June. These events are extremely popular for recently graduated high school seniors and includes special private access to certain areas of Disneyland later in the evening. These dates mean that you’ll want to avoid Disney California Adventure at night where a majority of the event takes place.

July Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 20204th of July Fireworks at Disneyland - July Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Disneyland Resort and California Adventure will reopen on July 17th for Disneyland’s 65th anniversary after the longest closure in the parks history due to COVID-19! Downtown Disney opens July 9th with the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotel opening on July 23rd.
  • Disneyland is a fantastic place to celebrate the 4th of July. The fireworks show is massive and actually consists of all of the fireworks from the preceding six months that were not fired off due to wind cancellations.
  • Disneyland 4th of July can be very crowded due to the popularity of the fireworks show.
  • Disneyland opened on July 17th in 1955. On smaller birthday years–like this year’s 63rd anniversary–the park celebrates with a small ceremony on Main Street with characters and a replay of the original Walt Disney opening day Disneyland dedication speech.
  • Tickets for the popular Halloween Party usually go on sale in July. If you have a preference for which date you attend the party you should be ready to book.

August Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2020August Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • This month will not likely introduce anything new to the parks. The crowds will be big especially towards the end of the month when many of the Disneyland Annual Passports are unblocked. This will be a peak crowd season for buying one day Disneyland tickets.

September Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2020disneyland dia de los muertos halloween - September Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Disneyland Halloween officially begins September 6th meaning that beginning this date all Halloween themed attractions, food, and entertainment should be available.
  • The first nights of Disneyland Oogie Boogie’s Bash after hours event begin in mid September and occur on select nights throughout the month. The Halloween party will take place in California Adventure and will feature special Halloween focused entertainment, characters, the chance to wear costumes, trick or treating, and more.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood, another extremely popular theme park featuring the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter kicks off their Halloween Horror Nights mid September. You can read more about visiting Universal in our Universal Studios Hollywood guide and about Halloween events in our Halloween Horror Nights guide.
  • The yearly fundraiser for kids in Southern California, the CHOC Walk, will take place at the Disneyland Resort in August and both parks will have delayed openings for this event

October Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2020disneyland halloween decorations main street - October Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • Disneyland Halloween time continues until October 31st with special Halloween attraction overlays, themed food, Halloween decor, and entertainment.
  • Oogie Boogie’s Bash will continue on select nights throughout October in Disney’s California Adventure.
  • Every October, the fan-created Disneyland Gay Days are held. You can expect quite a few people in the parks wearing red to demonstrate they are members of the event. Disneyland offers rainbow merchandise and food offerings throughout the park in recognition of the celebration. The event usually takes place the first weekend of October.
  • In October, the state of Utah has holiday breaks for their schools. The Utah Education Association has a large convention in Anaheim and it can sometimes feel like the entire state of Utah is in Anaheim. Be aware of this seemingly innocent Thursday and Friday in October as they can be some of the busiest days of the year in Disneyland.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood continues their Halloween Horror Nights through the first week of November.

November Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events in 2020November Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • There is another Dapper Day event each year in early November. This day is a celebration of the classic clothing that used to be worn to Disneyland. Sometimes you can find discounted rates at the Disney property hotels for the event by looking on the Dapper Day official website. 
  • The Disneyland Christmas celebration officially begins November 8th and runs until the first week of January.
  • The week of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend the parks become crowded and stay that way through most of the Christmas season.
  • There are a wide variety of Thanksgiving food offerings at Disneyland including a large Thanksgiving buffet at the Disneyland Hotel. Read our guide to spending Thanksgiving at Disneyland for all the tips you need.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates Christmas with a fantastic Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter featuring beautiful decorations, live entertainment, and a breathtaking new nighttime spectacular. They also have their Grinchmas celebration featuring characters from the Dr. Suess classic.

December Disneyland Crowd Calendar and Events 2020December Disneyland Crowd Calendar

  • The Disneyland Christmas celebration continues and runs through the first week of January.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates Christmas with a fantastic Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter featuring beautiful decorations, live entertainment, and a breathtaking new nighttime spectacular. They also have their Grinchmas celebration featuring characters from the Dr. Suess classic.
  • The crowds are typically very heavy during this month with weekends being especially busy as locals turn out in droves to see the holiday decor. Enduring crowds are worth it though, the holiday season at Disneyland is spectacular. 
  • Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony on Main Street in Disneyland during the first weekend of December. This is the retelling of the birth of Jesus with hundreds of choir singers and a celebrity narrator. You can see video from last year here.
  • The two college football teams competing in the Rose Bowl visit Disneyland in the couple of days before the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California. The bands from both schools usually also play either marching in the parade or in Town Square in front of the Train Station.
  • Disneyland is always crowded on New Year’s Eve, but there are lots of special entertainment offerings including bands and the largest Disneyland fireworks celebration of the year. This fireworks show is made up of all of the fireworks shells that were not shot off during the preceding six months due to wind cancellation.

Disneyland Through the Seasons 

Throughout the year there are a few huge special events that make the parks extra magical centering around the seasons, the holidays, and more. Here are the top celebrated events and holidays you must know about when planning when to visit Disneyland.

When to Visit Disneyland During Christmaswhen to visit disneyland - castle at christmas at disneyland

At Christmas time you will find Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up with icicles, Main Street laden with decorations, and the rest of the parks beautifully decorated to celebrate the season. Regular shows and experiences are altered to match the holiday theme. Disneyland at Christmas offers so much to see and do for guests including themed attractions, a holiday parade and fireworks, fantastic holiday food, festivals, and breathtaking decor!

Disneyland pulls out all the stops for two of its most classic rides it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion. These fantastic holiday overlays is one of the best parts of Disneyland at Christmas. Both of these rides get busier than usual this time of year due to the popularity of these themes.

I highly recommend this time of year as a top contender on when to visit Disneyland, but expect to be joined by lots of crowds if you are there the week of Christmas through the first week of January. The best time to visit and see the Christmas decorations is the first two weeks of December or the second week of January.

When to Visit Disneyland at HalloweenHaunted Mansion Holiday- When to Visit Disneyland at Halloween

During Halloween time, the parks are decorated with jack-o-lanterns and the feeling of fall and Halloween is in the air. See all of the information on Disneyland Halloween in our huge guide to help you decide if Halloween is the answer to your question of when to visit Disneyland.

The Haunted Mansion becomes the Haunted Mansion Holiday for the Halloween and Disneyland Christmas seasons. This special holiday edition features the story of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and characters from the film including Jack Skellington, Zero the Ghost Dog, and Sally

NEW this year for the Halloween season- for the first time in nearly a decade, all guests visiting Disneyland can see a version of the popular yearly Halloween Screams projection and special effects show. In previous years guests had to have a ticket to the Halloween party at Disneyland to see this special show.

Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney’s California AdventureNew World of Color at Oogie Boogie Bash

This year Disneyland’s California Adventure will be hosting the coveted Halloween Party! The Oogie Boogie Bash will take place on select dates through Sept- Oct at Disney’s California Adventure. This party will run in conjunction with the Disneyland Halloween season.

The party consists of fun entertainment, attractions, and candy, all while you wear your Halloween costume inside California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

Mickey’s Halloween Party

NEW: Mickey’s Halloween Party will take a break this Halloween season as the party moves to California Adventure with the new ticketed event- Oogie Boogie’s Bash. 

Disneyland hosts a separately ticketed party on select nights throughout September and October that features a special Halloween theme with extra entertainment, costumes, and Halloween decorations.

During Mickey’s Halloween Party, Disney characters are out in full force with the classic characters like Mickey Mouse and the gang donning their own Halloween costumes and rarely seen villains creeping out. During the event you can find characters in meet and greets scattered throughout the park and in a special character cavalcade parade twice a night. Regular park guests get to join in the fun by wearing their own costumes to the event. This is the only time that adults are allowed to wear costumes of any sort to Disneyland. In almost every land of the park, kids and adults alike can receive candy on the trick or treat trails. To finish off the night, the spookiest fireworks show of the year brings the castle to life.

When to Visit Disneyland in the SummertimeWhen to Visit Disneyland in the Summertime: roses in Disneyland

In Summertime, Disney will open new experiences and attractions making it a great time to visit Disneyland to see any new offerings at the resort. There are some significant pros to visiting in summer such as most rides are open, new attractions tend to open this time of year, the summer hours being the longest of the year, and summertime can also mean beach time!

Summer can also be a busy time of year but with some careful planning you can manage summer crowds.

The rest of the year Disney has shorter weekend events going on that celebrate certain cultures or smaller holidays like the Lunar New Year, high school graduation, or the 4th of July.

Now You Know When to Visit Disneyland- So Start Planning!

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