2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (2023)

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (1)

Our free Disneyland crowd calendars cover best & worst dates to visit in 2023. This resource will help you choose when to go and days to avoid, since higher attendance means longer lines & wait times at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. These monthly guides offer info & tips about special events weather, prices, reservations, and more to help you save time…and your sanity! (Updated February 7, 2023.)

These 2023 Disneyland and DCA crowd calendars will help you choose when to go to the parks, based on a variety of variables: school schedules, holiday breaks, typical travel times to Southern California, and more. That “and more” part is the biggest key, as there are a lot of little things that have changed just in the last few weeks that will have a huge impact on attendance at Disneyland throughout 2023.

In fact, Disneyland crowds have been a veritable roller coaster since reopening, and it doesn’t appear that’s going to change in the foreseeable future. Although pent-up demand is starting to fizzle out, there are two new variables causing crowds to spike. We might as well start our February 2023 update, as the high wait times, congestion throughout the parks, and long lines–includingLightning Lane return queues will likely continue through Spring Break and beyond…

First, it’s impossible to overstate how bad crowds have been at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as compared to pre-closure. While not every day has been equally busy, attendance and wait times have been incredibly high by historical standards. As compared to 2019–the last “normal” year at Disneyland–the average wait time is up by 8 minutes per ride. That may not seem like much, but it adds up over the course of the day. On top of that, our subjective assessment is that congestion is far, far worse.

That was true last year during the holiday season, and it remains the case this winter during what would typically be the off-season. To be sure, Disneyland and DCA are slower right now than they were during Christmas-time. However, not nearly to the degree as normal. Whether Spring Break or Summer 2023 are worse than last year remains to be seen.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (2)

In terms of what’s happening right now, the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration just kicked off with the World of Color – ONE and Wondrous Journeys nighttime spectaculars. Consult our for everything you need to know about those and the Disney100 festivities. Additionally, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is now open, and this new attraction does not have a standby line (see our ).

On top of all that, Disneyland resumed sales of new Magic Keys Annual Passes. For almost a year, these had only been available for renewal, with the exception of a brief one-day window when they were sold last fall. There’s no telling how many new Magic Keys have been sold since becoming available again, but we’ve already felt and observed an impact on crowds and attendance in our visits to Disneyland in Winter 2023.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (3)

Suffice to say, there are unique and evolving variables that influence attendance and crowds at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. We’ll be blunt with you–we cannot perfectly predict crowds for 2023 and no one can. Any other Disneyland crowd calendar that claims clairvoyance is lying. Many of them don’t even try–they’re simply automated calendars based on school schedules and historical data that is not even relevant.

By contrast, we are on the ground in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure every single week. We pair our observations and knowledge of surrounding circumstances with things like Los Angeles and Orange County school schedules, holidays, airport travel stats, Disney’s reservation calendars, and more. With that, we have a better–but still incomplete–understanding of when Disneyland will be more and less crowded.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (4)

Not to fixate on the shortcomings of 2023 Disneyland crowd calendars, but we want to briefly discuss why our understanding of attendance is still incomplete, despite regular visits to the parks and all of that data.

First, issues persist with staffing. Disneyland continues to have an insufficient number of Cast Members, despite undertaking a hiring blitz and pretty much nonstop ads seeking employees. Because of this, Disneyland tends to allocate more resources (e.g. Cast Members) to weekends, while also releasing more park reservations for those dates.

The end result is a lot of day-to-day variance in crowds based on staffing and park reservation refills. Both of those things are inconsistent and not easily predictable, and the end result can be random weekdays that are or “feel” busier than their adjacent dates. Likewise, some weekends have felt less busy thanks to superior staffing or more limited reservations for locals. While weekends (Saturdays, especially) tend to be busier, it’s hit or miss.

(Video) The BEST Times To Go To Disneyland in 2023

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (5)

Second, reservation availability–or rather, lack thereof–has another huge impact. This is incredibly relevant to Disneyland crowd calendars because if reservations run out, there isn’t much variance in crowds at all. If every day is fully booked, there is not much difference among them in crowd levels. In that scenario, crowd levels are not dictated by organic demand, but rather, reservation availability.

With Magic Keys back on sale, we’re seeing this become an issue again, and it’s happening more and more.During peak season dates like Presidents’ Day and Spring Break, organic demand might be significantly higher than the number of available reservations. On a random Wednesday in May 2023, organic demand might only be 2% above reservations. In a normal year, without capacity capped, the former peak season dates would be far busier. In a capacity-constrained environment, both are equally busy. Sold out is sold out–crowd levels are the same for both dates. (In theory–see the above note about staffing which illustrates why this is not always true.)

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (6)

Finally, there’s the extent to which pent-up demand among tourists is actually declining. It seems increasingly likely that Disneyland will experience its own slowdown in visitors from out of state at some point in the not-too-distant future. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this actually plays out.Our expectation is that travel patterns and consumer behavior begin to normalize throughout 2023, but we don’t have a crystal ball.

As this continues to happen, the balance of attendance in the parks will shift way from tourists and towards locals. This is significant because the way each demographic ‘does Disney’ is different. Tourists prioritize rides, whereas locals and Magic Keyholders do more eating, wandering, and shopping. With the guest distribution skewed towards locals, a common scenario is that congestion is worse but wait times are lower.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (7)

Suffice to say, there are a lot of wildcards that make 2023 Disneyland crowd calendars less reliable than in normal years. All of this makes it exceedingly forecast the crowd levels on specific dates far in advance. What ispossible is offering projections about specific date ranges relative to one another.

For example, we know that the first week of April 2023 will be busier than third week of that month or the first week of May 2023. That’s because of spring breaks for major West Coast school districts that occur during those time frames. There are a lot of weeks throughout the year like this that we know will be better or worse based on various externalities.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (8)

With that in mind, our recommendation would be to look at the general ‘crowd contours’ for busy and less-busy weeks or months (or even refer instead to our instead of this post) and not day-by-day crowd predictions.

Accordingly, what we’re going to do here is give you the tools to choose the best days to visit Disneyland–and the worst days to avoid. Rather than making bold and definitive proclamations, we’ll cover the underlying variables that impact crowds so you can assess for yourself which dates are likely to be good or bad. If that’s more work than you want to do, we also have plenty of recommendations–with the asterisk that Disneyland crowds are subject to change!

Now, let’s discuss more specifics on when to visit California and offer some 2023 Disneyland crowd calendar advice. For more on this, and some of the less-intuitive times that might be busy, consult our resources and tips below…

Monthly 2023 Crowd Calendars for Disneyland

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (9)

As we’ve gained experience visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure throughout the years as Annual Passholders–and now Magic Keyholders–including multiple trips per week now as locals, we’ve noticed trends in crowds and analyzed patterns in wait time data.

Disneyland crowd calendars change regularly due to a variety of factors, including marketing, discounts, park hours, new attraction openings, special events, Anaheim Convention Center events, and even weather (good or bad). We strive to keep our Disneyland crowd calendars updated to reflect changes in attendance trends.

(Video) DISNEYLAND Planning Guide for March 2023 | Weather, crowds, events and more!

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (10)

It’s also worth noting that Disneyland typically does not release park hours more than a few months in advance, which means the reliability of crowd calendars is lower further out from any given month. Same goes for theme park reservations, both for Magic Keyholders and regular guests.

Moreover, the relatively new tiered ticket system gives Disneyland a greater ability to manipulate crowds by simply increasing (or decreasing) the prices of tickets on certain dates that would otherwise be more (or less) popular. This causes some people to visit on less expensive/less popular dates, normalizing crowds to some degree. Nevertheless, there still are better and worse days/weeks/months to visit Disneyland, all of which are covered in our monthly guides.

You can access our Disneyland crowd calendars and monthly guides via the links below, each of which will open in a new browser tab:

  • January 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • February 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • March 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • April 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • May 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • June 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • July 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • August 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • September 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • October 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • November 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar
  • December 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar

Each month is updated with final forecasts approximately 30 to 60 days before the start of that month. Predictions prior to then are less accurate, and don’t include current trends, park reservations, and recent wait time data.

To that end, we have some ‘red flag’ dates to avoid if you’re planning a visit to Disneyland in the near future…

Dates to Avoid Disneyland in 2023

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (11)

If you simply want a list of dates in 2023 that are likely to have the worst crowds, here’s when we’d avoid visiting Disneyland:

  • February 17-26, 2023
  • March 8, 2023
  • March 10-12, 2023
  • March 24-31, 2023
  • April 1-9, 2023
  • April 14-16, 2023
  • May 23-29, 2023

Between now and Memorial Day 2023, those are the biggest red flags.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (12)

If you’re looking for concise explanations as to why those will be the busiest dates at Disneyland in the first half of 2023, the key culprits are holiday breaks for school districts on the West Coast (Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, Spring Break, and Easter), new things debuting or returning (Toontown and Magic Happens), and the end of the SoCal ticket deal.

If at all possible, we’d recommend avoiding all dates between March 8, 2023 and April 16, 2023. That entire stretch is Spring Break season, and will be busier than dates in early March or mid-April through late May 2023. However, if you don’t have any other options, the gaps between the date ranges above should be better options.

We’ll add to this list of red flags as travel dates draw nearer. For now, below is additional advice about avoiding crowds at Disneyland, as well as days to visit and avoid. These general attendance trends for Disneyland can make ‘at a glance’ trip planning and choosing your dates to visit easier…

Attendance Trends for Disneyland in 2023

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (13)

Disneyland attendance and wait times are largely dependent upon tourist vacationing habits (which are largely dependent upon school breaks and California travel trends), park hours (historical data exists for that), Anaheim Convention Center events, Los Angeles & Orange County School District calendars, and a few other variables.

With that said, the biggest factor of all is local visitor habits. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure crowds are always worse on weekends. Fridays are especially bad due to the combination of people taking long weekends and the SoCal ticket deal not being blocked out. Sunday nights arenot as bad as the rest of the weekend–crowds tend to die down as tourists from within California start heading home about midday, but the parks remain open later than on weekdays.

(Video) Undercover Tourist’s Recommendations on the Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2023

Nevertheless, the single-biggest and most important piece of advice is avoid weekends if at all possible. If you learn literally nothing else away from our crowd calendars, have it be that. Visit Los Angeles, museums, beaches, or whatever on weekends–traffic will be better, but crowds at those spots will also be worse. (Not as bad as Disneyland, though!)

There are definitely other wildcards that make it more difficult for Disneyland crowd calendars to predict attendance or wait times on specific dates with accuracy far in advance. However, the variables above are knowable fairly far in advance, and make forecasting general seasonal trends much easier. As such, that’s what we’re presenting here:

Insanely Crowded

  • Winter Break
  • Martin Luther King Day weekend
  • Presidents’ Day weekend
  • Orange County Spring Break
  • Los Angeles Spring Break
  • Easter Week
  • Mid-March through mid-April (Spring Break season)
  • Thanksgiving week
  • Christmas and New Year’s weeks

Very Crowded

  • Memorial Day weekend through mid-June
  • Veterans Day week
  • During weekends of large conventions at the Anaheim Convention Center (click for schedule)
  • During Disneyland events: D23 Expo, Dapper Days, Gay Days, etc.
  • Christmas season in December with weekends busier (read our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Disneyland)
  • Entirety of Halloween season from mid-September through the end of October, with weekends busier (read our Ultimate Guide to HalloweenTime at Disneyland)

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (14)

Moderately Crowded

  • Early March
  • Mid to late May
  • Late June through mid-August
  • Third week of November

Least Crowded

  • Most of January and February, except holidays
  • Late April
  • Early through mid-May
  • Late August through mid-September
  • First week of November

Overall, we are expecting Disneyland “feels like” crowds to be heavier throughout at least the first quarter of 2023. If you’re planning to visit for Spring Break 2023, you should prepare for higher crowd levels. That’ll be especially true for weekends, holidays, and school breaks for local districts and nearby states.

Speaking of which, school schedules, weather, special events, park hours, and more may all affect when you want to visit Disneyland. Obviously, these variables will also influence crowds.

School Schedules

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (15)

If school schedules are something around which you must plan, chances are you’re going to go during one of the busier (or at least not one of the least busy) times of the year, as that’s the paramount consideration for many other families planning trips, too. It may seem like a convenient time to visit during one of the ‘holidays’ your kids have off from school, but it’s important to consider whether other schools have these same times off, as well.

Specifically, here are the school districts that have the biggest impact on Disneyland attendance:

  • Los Angeles Unified (CA)
  • Orange County – All Districts (CA)
  • San Diego Unified (CA)
  • Clark County (NV)
  • Long Beach Unified (CA)
  • Riverside Unified (CA)
  • San Bernardino City Unified (CA)
  • Alpine (UT)
  • Fresno Unified (CA)
  • Davis (UT)
  • Elk Grove (CA)
  • San Francisco Unified (CA)
  • Phoenix Unified – All Districts (AZ)
  • Mesa Unified (AZ)
  • Washoe County (NV)
  • Granite (UT)
  • Tuscon Unified (AZ)

Our crowd calendars take all of these districts into account, as their academic breaks and school schedules can have a significant impact on Disneyland attendance. There’s typically overlap among the top 3 districts in Southern California, which means their breaks are very bad, but confined to a small portion of the overall calendar.

Major districts in Northern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona all can have a noticeable impact on crowds, as well. (For example, most districts in Utah share a common fall break, and that long weekend gets really bad.) By contrast, we’ve never observed much of an impact from Oregon, Washington, or any other states. Texas and anything east of it are all pretty much Walt Disney World’s market.

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (16)
Of the traditional school holidays, summer break is probably the best time to visit, as it is the longest school break so you don’t have the concentration of guests all visiting during the same week of other holidays. Since summer break is largely blocked out to SoCal passholders, you can expect to see more tourists in the parks this time of year.

Most schools have the week before Christmas until the shortly after New Year’s off, making this week-plus an especially busy time. The same is true for President’s Day weekend, Easter week, Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July holiday, and Thanksgiving week. Although schools do vary their Spring Break schedules, don’t expect the parks to be any less busy because of somewhat-staggered Spring Breaks. March and April are also busy times at Disneyland.

(Video) The ULTIMATE Guide to Disneyland in 2023

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t visit during these times, as some people don’t have many other options, but if you do go, at least bring your patience with you, or at least a good plan for touring the parks!


2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (17)

Unlike Florida, Southern California has a pretty temperate climate. The typical hot seasons are hot, but humidity isn’t nearly as bad as it is in Florida. It can get colder at night, and in the winter months, but the weather isn’t nearly as much of a roller coaster ride like it is in Florida. Blue skies and puffy clouds are more rare in California, but overall the weather is much more favorable for vacationing than it is in Walt Disney World.

Rain isn’t as common in Disneyland as it is in Walt Disney World. It does rain in the fall months at Disneyland, but torrential downpours in SoCal aren’t too common. In fact, if you’re a Southern Californian trying to plan the best time to schedule a 1-day visit to the park, the absolute best time to go is while it’s raining.

The parks generally clear out (there are usually long lines at City Hall of people requesting refunds), and significantly shorter waits are common. So, if you have a poncho or umbrella and want lower than normal crowds, a rainy day is the perfect time to go. (By contrast, the day after it rains will be considerably worse than normal, as locals will postpone their visits.)

Make sure to pack some jeans, sweatshirts, and maybe even coats if traveling during the months of October through March. It won’t necessarily be cold during your trip, but the weather can drop below 50 degrees during these months. Consider your tolerance to cold, and weather you’re willing to purchase countless $70 Mickey Mouse sweatshirts during your trip when, inevitably, members of your family get cold!

Park Hours

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (18)

Not considering park hours when planning your trip is a huge mistake. Usually less busy days have shorter park hours and busier days have longer park hours. Thus, many feel they can basically get the same amount done in a shorter day during a less busy time of year than they could during peak season. With good plans for touring the parks or strategic use of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, this isn’t true. By strategizing well, you can accomplish more during a busy day with longer hours than during a shorter day with light crowds.

Also important to note is that on days with longer hours, Disneyland will have more entertainment scheduled. Even during short days and slow times of the year, Fantasmic and World of Color play to packed houses. However, on days that offer multiple showings of these entertainment offerings, the later showings are almost always less crowded. If you want to avoid waiting multiple hours for a good view of Fantasmic, go on a longer day with multiple showings!

Similarly, your sleep habits make a difference here. If you’re a night owl, days with shorter hours may be a bad idea, as by the time you roll out of bed, you may find that you only have a few hours to enjoy the parks. Conversely, if you rise early and generally want to leave the parks by 7 pm or so, the shorter/less busy days are great times for you to visit. Make sure you check Disneyland’s park hours calendar when planning your trip. While this calendar is subject to change, it doesn’t change nearly as much as Walt Disney World’s calendar, which is almost never accurate when first posted.

Special Events

2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (19)

Disneyland doesn’t have nearly as many special events as Walt Disney World, but there are some events worth planning for or around. Basically, these events are the D23 Expo (every other year, towards the end of summer or early fall), Gay Days (fall), HalloweenTime at Disneyland (late summer and fall), CHOC walk (fall), Holidays at Disneyland (fall and winter), and Grad Nites (spring).

On a personal note, our absolute favorite time to visit is during Christmas-time at Disneyland. The parks look gorgeous, there are special attraction-overlays, and lots of seasonal foods available. You can read more about Christmas-time at Disneyland in our in-depth guide.


2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar (20)

During Disneyland’s slower seasons, expect a lot of attractions to be closed for refurbishments and other construction to be occurring. Not only is maintenance and upkeep better at Disneyland than Walt Disney World, but Disneyland also has a few seasonal attraction overlays, which lead to popular attractions like it’s a small world, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain being closed for a few weeks each in the fall (and late-winter in the case of it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion).

Traditionally, January and February have been the biggest months for attraction downtime, as those are the low-season for crowds. However, it’s always smart to consult refurbishment calendars to make sure your favorite attractions are operational no matter when you visit.

(Video) DISNEYLAND Planning Guide for February 2023 | Weather, crowds, events and more!

If you must visit Disneyland when it’s busy (as is the case for many with kids in school), it’s important to have a good plan of attack when you visit the parks. Determine which attractions are best and the ones to experience, figure out where you want to eat in advance and dine at hours when the parks are busiest, and most importantly, arrive at the park before it opens and get as much done as you can in the first few hours of operation when lines are much shorter than they will be later in the day.

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 . 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 guidesbeyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

Your Thoughts

Do you have any favorite times of year to visit Disneyland? Which special events do you think are best? Do you agree or disagree with our advice about Disneyland crowd calendars, California weather, special events, school schedules, or anything else here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!


1. Our Recommendations for the Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 and 2023
2. The BEST Times To Go To Disney World in 2023
3. DISNEYLAND Planning Guide for April 2023 | Weather, crowds, events and more!
4. The BEST Time to Go to Disney World 2023
(The Park Prodigy)
5. Why Disney World Could Be Empty in 2023
6. Best Time to Visit Disney World and Crowds Compilation 2023
(MickeyTravels Amber)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated: 03/14/2023

Views: 6509

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.