Questioning which days of the week to go to Disneyland and Disney California Journey for the bottom crowds? This information covers which dates have the bottom and highest wait instances, plus commentary about weekdays vs. weekends, Halloween & Christmas seasons, how SoCal ticket offers impression day by day attendance, and extra.
On the subject of selecting the most effective and worst instances to go to Disneyland, there’s so much to think about. If you happen to’re planning a journey that may embody a number of days–together with weekdays and weekends, we suggest consulting our Disneyland Crowd Calendars to decide on journey dates as a substitute of this. That will get up to date pretty commonly, with every particular person month receiving a refresh proper earlier than it begins for optimum accuracy.
If you happen to’re extra involved with the standard of the general expertise, we even have one thing extra holistic and sensible, see our Finest & Worst Months to Go to Disneyland. Once more, although, that’s for selecting trip dates. If you happen to’re a Californian or are “solely” doing just a few days at Disneyland and wish to decide the optimum ones, this covers which days of the week to do every park…
For a lot of the final three years, standard day of the week knowledge for Disneyland has been irrelevant or flat out incorrect. Capability constraints and the introduction of park reservations had been massive elements. Regardless that park reservations are longer wanted to restrict attendance for normal ticket holders more often than not, they’re nonetheless getting used to redistribute crowds and normalize numbers.
That is most vital with Magic Key Passholders. Previous to 2019 when the Flex Move debuted, Annual Passes didn’t require reservations–they only had blockout dates. For the previous few years or so, all Magic Key APs have had each blockout dates and reservations. (With that mentioned, it’s attainable that ‘good to go’ days shall be added to Magic Keys in 2024, additional complicating the calculus.)
Even when you understand completely nothing about Disneyland and have by no means visited in your life, you possibly can in all probability guess which days native Annual Passholders would naturally gravitate to the parks. If not, the reply is Saturdays and Sundays. These are the times folks have off work and college, so these are the times they had been proportionately extra more likely to do Disneyland, all else being equal. A number of years in the past, Saturdays and Sundays (plus Friday nights) had been the busiest days of the week. You may discover assets that point out that’s nonetheless the case, however these are outdated. No less than, for a lot of the yr.
Even earlier than, Annual Passes had extra blockout dates that more and more tried to push locals away from weekends. That labored to an extent, and natural demand was manipulated and crowds had been unfold out all through the week. Emphasis on ‘to an extent.’ There was no good solution to handle attendance with surgical precision, and weekends nonetheless had been busier. That’s the pure finish outcome with theme parks which might be extra reliant on locals than vacationers a lot of the yr. Visiting patterns may solely be shifted a lot by way of blockouts.
In the previous few years, park reservations have provided far more surgical precision than up to now. These work in tandem with Magic Key Annual Passholder blockouts to additional restrict the times that many locals can go to. Usually, park reservations for weekends replenish first for Magic Keyholders. And once more, that is on high of blockout dates, throughout which they’re unable to go to completely.
These blockouts have gotten extra aggressive, with half of the tiers of Magic Keys being blocked out most (or all) weekends and one other tier having weekend blockouts in the course of the Halloween and Christmas seasons. Solely the highest tier doesn’t have weekend-specific blockouts, however it’s blocked all the two weeks round Christmas and New 12 months’s Eve.
These Magic Key blockouts and reservation limitations have really been too efficient and too aggressive. The top result’s that, on common, the busiest days of the week have now flip-flopped. Saturdays and Sundays at the moment are much less busy on common, whereas Mondays and Tuesdays have grow to be the 2 busiest days of the week.
So in case you’re planning a multi-day Disneyland trip and wish the quick and candy reply about when to go to that shall be true most of the time, the reply is to go to Disneyland or Disney California Journey Thursdays by means of Sundays and keep away from Mondays by means of Wednesdays.
Based mostly upon common wait instances over the course of all the yr, Fridays and Sundays are objectively the most effective days to do Disneyland and DCA, adopted intently by Thursdays and Saturdays. Mondays by means of Wednesdays are just about equally unhealthy. If you would like the comparatively fast reply with out studying the entire complicated caveats, there you’ve got it.
With that mentioned, there’s extra nuance to the suggestions than that, and these generalizations don’t at all times maintain true. That’s since you’re visiting on precise days and never an common of all days. These exceptions grow to be significantly necessary throughout
The following largest predictor of whether or not the above is true is blockouts. In a nutshell, the extra blockouts, the extra possible it’s that the above will maintain true. When Saturdays and Sundays are aggressively blocked out to Annual Passholders, the weekends grow to be much more engaging to everybody else. When they don’t seem to be blocked out, the weekends grow to be much less engaging.
We’re not going to run by means of all the calendar to inform you when that is or isn’t the case. That will in all probability find yourself being extra complicated and finally counterproductive. As an alternative, confer with Disneyland’s Magic Key Blockout Calendar. Particularly, you must search for the blockouts on the Consider, Enchant, and Think about tiers.
When the Consider is blocked out on weekends, these shall be good days so that you can go to; when the Think about tier is blocked out on Thursday or Fridays, these shall be good days. Conversely, the Mondays by means of Wednesday shall be even worse throughout those self same timeframes.
It’s not simply Magic Key APs, although. The opposite actually massive issue is low cost tickets for Californians. These are sometimes provided twice per yr, one within the winter and spring for Southern California residents and one other in the summertime and fall for all Californians. These are virtually at all times blocked out on weekends–both Saturday and Sunday or Friday by means of Sunday.
These low cost Californian tickets in tandem with the Magic Key blockouts additional exaggerate the distinction between weekdays and weekends. Throughout these offers, Fridays can grow to be far more engaging in the event that they’re blocked out.
The opposite main wrinkle right here is that crowds noticeably enhance over the past couple weeks that these tickets are legitimate. Californians scramble to make use of these tickets earlier than they expire, leading to a surge of crowds within the final couple of weeks (normally late Could and late September, as that’s when the ticket offers wrap up).
You may assume that this wouldn’t occur as a result of Disneyland nonetheless makes use of reservations to manage park attendance and forestall overcrowding. However you’d be incorrect. Whereas your logic could be sound, what we’ve really noticed in apply is that Disneyland “magically” finds extra capability and refills the reservations throughout these timeframes.
Different contributing elements are whether or not college is in session and if it’s California’s vacationer season. To ensure that Mondays by means of Wednesdays to actually be unhealthy, there must be an ample pool of individuals to go to the parks throughout these instances. If college is again in session for Southern California districts and out of state vacationers are much less more likely to go to, there may not be a lot of a distinction between weekends and weekdays.
illustrative instance is late January by means of mid-February, after MLK Weekend however earlier than Presidents’ Day. College is in session in the course of the week for Los Angeles and Orange County and it’s the least well-liked time of the yr for vacationers to go to Southern California. Throughout this stretch, there’s far much less demand for weekdays and there are fewer weekend blockouts. Consequently, there’s minimal distinction between weekdays and weekends. In actual fact, weekends may be busier.
Conversely, if many faculties all through California, the West, or all the nation are out of session, there are greater than sufficient vacationers to create a significant distinction between weekdays and weekends. These are additionally the instances of the yr when Mondays by means of Wednesday are absolutely the worst days to go to–vacationers usually arrive over the weekend and make their park days Mondays by means of Wednesdays.
Yet one more variable to think about is Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Occasion throughout September and October. On dates when this occasion happens, Disney California Journey closes early. In consequence, DCA affords much less worth to vacationers they usually are likely to flock to Disneyland on Halloween Occasion days.
The converse can also be true: on non-party days, vacationers disproportionately do DCA, and Disneyland is much less busy. We normally suggest Park Hopper tickets at Disneyland Resort as a result of Park Hopping is very easy, however that’s doubly true throughout Oogie Boogie Bash season. The optimum method goes in opposition to the grain–doing DCA on celebration days till about 4 pm, after which Park Hopping over to Disneyland for the remainder of the night. Then begin at Disneyland on non-party days.
Talking of Halloween, the guts of each that and the vacation season could be a massive exception. These instances of yr are tremendously well-liked with locals who will flock to the park on weekends. Conversely, outdoors of the vacation weeks and college breaks (which incorporates fall breaks in October–don’t overlook that one), it’s not vacationer season in California. The top result’s one other inversion of the new-normal, and busier weekends than weekdays in the course of the off-peak weeks.
Confused but?! An illustrative instance of instances when weekends are more likely to be worse could be mid-November or early December–home windows when there are not any adjoining holidays or college breaks. Against this, the Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will virtually actually be busier than the Sunday instantly earlier than that Monday, or the Sunday after it. (Does that make a bit extra sense?)
Lastly, there may be yet another caveat we’ve so as to add. Disneyland usually solely has nighttime spectaculars with pyro on Friday by means of Sunday nights. This implies a few issues, with the plain being that you must do one in every of nowadays if you wish to see the nighttime spectacular ‘with fireworks’ as a substitute of ‘with projections.’
The opposite is that there’s a ton extra congestion round Primary Avenue USA on these nights, as way more folks wish to see the ‘with fireworks’ model. So although weekends are sometimes much less busy, you’ll encounter the worst ‘appears like’ crowds of all the week on and round Primary Avenue across the fireworks. (Conversely, rides have decrease wait instances shortly earlier than, throughout, and after the fireworks on these nights as a result of numerous friends are congregating in just a few areas for fireworks.)
We acknowledge that this can be a lot to digest. That’s as a result of there are a ton of various variables that impression day of week suggestions, and no exhausting and quick rule all through all the yr regardless of what might be gleaned from averages. So we figured we’d run by means of the elements with some ‘educate you to fish’ pointers reasonably than doing the fishing for you.
With that mentioned, there are a pair extra issues we’re going to debate…
How A lot Does Day of the Week Matter?
Over the course of all the yr, the common wait time distinction between the worst day (Monday) and greatest day (Friday) is 5 minutes. That won’t seem to be a lot, however a 5 minute distinction on each attraction provides up. Over the course of the day, it could actually quantity to an additional few rides–at the very least, in idea.
Nonetheless, it’s not normally a 5 minute distinction. As famous above, there are some weeks of the yr when the variations are nearly nonexistent, and others when the hole is far more pronounced. It largely relies upon upon the diploma of blockouts and whether or not weekdays have college breaks.
Past that, there are additionally time of day variations. For instance, the common Friday isn’t going to see constant crowd ranges all through the day. It’s going to begin sluggish (particularly if college is in session!) and get progressively busier as locals get off work and head to the parks. So that you may encounter extremely low crowd ranges to begin the day, however average to excessive ones by the top of the evening.
There’s additionally sometimes far more of a distinction in crowds between weeks reasonably than inside them. Accordingly, selecting an excellent time to go to Disneyland is considerably extra necessary than the way you allocate your days inside the week.
Much more necessary is arriving early, which is the best solution to beat crowds at Disneyland. As a consequence of visitor demographics, wait instances enhance over the course of the day–Disneyland crowds are typically far more late-arriving than Walt Disney World crowds. And as talked about above, that’s much more pronounced when college is in session and it isn’t California’s vacationer season.
Simply as essential is having savvy technique. Selecting a terrific day or week to go to could make touring the parks considerably simpler, however so can also having an excellent itinerary that zigs when others zag. Then there’s the choice of shopping for your approach out of crowds with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, which is one other good fail secure choice. (Not like Walt Disney World, Genie+ works fairly flawlessly at Disneyland.)
Selecting the most effective days of the week–and avoiding the worst ones–at Disneyland is fairly low precedence within the grand scheme of planning and comes after all of these issues. Truthfully, if I had been doing a Southern California trip that included, for instance, days on the greatest seashores close to Disneyland or Common Studios Hollywood, I would prioritize site visitors (typically decrease on weekends) or crowds at these locations (typically increased on weekends) over Disneyland day-of-week crowd tendencies. In different phrases, there are numerous transferring elements to think about!
With all of that mentioned, these greatest & worst Disneyland day of week suggestions might be helpful for these boxed into lower than preferrred journey dates as a result of college or work schedules. Similar goes for anybody who realistically received’t have the choice to reach early or keep late. There’s a motive these instances are most advantageous–as a result of it’s merely not possible for a lot of households with babies.
Ditto anybody who doesn’t wish to pay additional for Genie+ on precept, or as a result of it’s not of their trip price range. For anybody this describes, rigorously selecting days of the week for every park can relieve some stress and end in shorter wait instances. The underside line is that selecting the most effective days of the week and avoiding the worst ones can matter, however normally not that a lot.
Furthermore, day of the week suggestions are fairly simple to disrupt. We already coated a number of the causes for this above. Different elements that can’t be deliberate round embrace unhealthy climate (Southern Californians are scared of rain) or inordinate attraction downtime. Both of these issues might be sufficient to show a “unhealthy” day right into a “good” one by way of wait instances, or vice-versa.
We understand that numerous that is conditional to the purpose that it virtually may be ineffective. (Sorry!) With that in thoughts, I’ll allow you to in on just a few of our favourite “secret” instances to go to Disneyland. (They aren’t actually secrets and techniques, however that sounds cooler, proper?!)
The primary is rope dropping the parks on Friday. As talked about above, that is sometimes the slowest day of the week and it’s disproportionately much less crowded early within the day. Do as many high-priority rides as attainable very first thing, after which change gears because the crowds begin to materialize. Do much less well-liked sights, a desk service dinner, or maybe a night outdoors the parks.
Second, do Sunday nights. In a approach, that is the “reverse” of the Friday recommendation. As an alternative of locals arriving late to begin their weekend, they’re leaving early to wrap up their weekend and put together for the upcoming college or workweek. This actually solely “works” in case you’re capable of keep till the bitter finish, however these closing few hours between round 9 pm and midnight are pure bliss!
Lastly, our absolute favourite days to go to Disneyland are when it’s wet. If there’s any quantity of precipitation within the forecast, disregard all different day of week recommendation, drop all the pieces you’re doing and head to Disneyland. That line about Californians being scared of rain may learn as a joke, but it surely very a lot shouldn’t be.
We attempt to make some extent of visiting when it’s raining–that is one massive approach that Disneyland could be very completely different from Walt Disney World. Floridians and vacationers are completely nonplussed by any climate in need of a hurricane. They continue to be undeterred, and proceed visiting in full power. In the meantime, Californians will keep dwelling if there’s even a slight drizzle. Clearly, you may’t actually plan for this–and it’s very rare–but when it’s even sprinkling a bit, you must get to the parks!
Truthfully, these previous few random time of day suggestions are in all probability higher and extra reliably good recommendation than the whole thing of the day of the week suggestions. However we’ve had lots of people ask about this, and the issue is that it’s not as easy because the averages indicate (and even as is the case at Walt Disney World) as a result of these pesky locals!
Finally, just by advantage of researching and studying a submit about the most effective and worst days of the week to go to Disneyland, you’ve performed extra to arrange and plan than 95% of friends–no due to this submit itself, however since you’re virtually actually not studying simply this technique. Whereas the recommendation right here is theoretically helpful, it’s fairly removed from make or break.
You’re significantly better off utilizing the different assets on this weblog to decide on good months or weeks to go to. If that’s not an choice (and even whether it is), keep in mind to reach early or keep late. Failing that, use our itineraries to prioritize sights in the most effective order. Don’t wish to do this for some odd motive, spend the cash on Genie+ and purchase your approach out of traces. If you happen to’d reasonably not spend cash and flow throughout a midday-only go to…I assume that is the most effective recommendation for you!
Planning a Southern California trip? For park admission offers, learn Ideas for Saving Cash on Disneyland Tickets. Study on-site and off-site resorts in our Anaheim Lodge Evaluations & Rankings. For the place to eat, take a look at our Disneyland Restaurant Evaluations. For distinctive concepts of issues that’ll enhance your journey, take a look at What to Pack for Disney. For complete recommendation, seek the advice of our Disneyland Trip Planning Information. Lastly, for guides past Disney, take a look at our Southern California Itineraries for day journeys to Los Angeles, Laguna Seashore, and lots of different SoCal cities!
Which days are your favorites for Disneyland and Disney California Journey? If you happen to’re an area, have you ever observed a shift from weekends being busier to weekdays being busier within the period of Magic Key (and different ticket) reservations? Do you agree or disagree with our recommendation? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!