It’s a new year and there is a wide open calendar before us, just waiting to be filled with adventures! Perhaps planning a Disneyland vacation is part of your travel plans? Choosing a vacation date when the stars align and weather, crowds and park hours are optimal is ideal. But that might seem a bit like finding a needle in a haystack! However, there are some tips for choosing the best dates when planning a Disneyland vacation. Here are a few dates I’d recommend avoiding when scheduling your trip.
Planning a Disneyland Vacation? These are the Dates to Avoid!
Avoid January 12-16th
runDisney Star Wars Half-Marathon will bring in runners and their families, making the parks busier than usual in January. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is also that Monday and kids will be out of school. Any time there’s a school holiday, you can be sure that the parks will be more crowded. Other than these few days, January should be fairly quiet in the parks. The chillier weather and frequent rain will keep crowds low.
Avoid February 5th
Contrary to popular belief, Super Bowl Sunday is not a good day to go to Disneyland! In fact, the park crowds are usually very heavy with people who thought the same thing and skipped watching the game.
Avoid February 11-13th and February 18-20th.
Lincoln & Washington’s birthdays mean 3-day weekends and more crowds.
Other than possible rain showers, March is a pretty good month to visit. However, keep in mind that many schools celebrate their Spring Breaks starting in March so especially late in the month, the park crowds may increase. Even with the rain, you can still have a great Disneyland vacation. Check out my 10 Tips for Surviving a Disneyland Rainy Day.
Avoid Spring Break
Spring Break dates vary depending upon where you live. My Southern California kids have their break from April 10th – 23rd. Spring Break is traditionally a very busy time in the parks becasue the weather is generally agreeable.
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Avoid May 11-14
Not only is May 14th Mother’s Day (and lots of moms like to spend their day at Disneyland!) but it’s also the runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend.
Avoid May 29th
Two weeks later is Memorial Day. Don’t forget the rule about avoiding the 3 day weekends!
Avoid June 17-30th
School’s out! Which means Disneyland is going to be more crowded than ever. Early June is usually a great time to visit if you can make it.
Avoid the entire month! Or at the least, July 4th.
Okay, I know it’s not fair to say not to plan a Disneyland vacation in July but if you can avoid it, I’d recommend it! In fact, July is the only month I’ve never been to Disneyland because crowds are traditionally heavy in the summer months.
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Avoid August 1st-20th
Once local kids return back to school in late August, the park crowds will lessen considerably. Keep in mind that August is one of the hottest months!
Avoid August 31st
August 31st is the first day of the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.
Avoid September 1st-4th
Labor Day on September 4th is traditionally packed with local annual pass holders however the crowds will be even heavier than usual because of the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon that weekend. The rest of the month is usually one of the best times to visit in terms of crowds and warm weather (though it can still be extremely hot with temperatures over 100 degrees in September).
Avoid any day that hosts a Mickey’s Halloween Party
Guests who don’t have tickets to the Halloween Party will have to leave the park earlier than usual. Don’t buy a regular park ticket that day, especially if you plan on attending the Party and have a hard ticket to that event.
Pull out your calendar and figure out which dates work best for your vacation! Thomas Kinkade: The Disney Dreams Collection 2017 Wall Calendar
Avoid October 6-9th
Gay Days is an “unofficial” Disneyland event that brings in large crowds. It also falls over the Columbus Day 3-day weekend. However Disneyland does offer special things during the event, like multi-layer rainbow cake!
Avoid any day that hosts a Mickey’s Halloween Party
The operating hours will be shorter than on days without a party. Also guests with the hard ticket for the Party will be allowed into the Parks 3 hours before the event, making the Parks busier than usual.
Avoid November 9-12th
Early November is usually a fantastic time for planning a Disneyland vacation. However try to avoid these particular dates as the runDisney Super Heroes Half Marathon will bring in extra crowds.
Avoid November 18-26th
Many people get their Thanksgiving turkey dinner at Disneyland! The weekend leading into Thanksgiving, the entire week of Thanksgiving and the weekend after the holiday will be packed. I’ve been to Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day itself and for sure the mornings and afternoons had very heavy crowds. However the crowds seemed to lessen (a bit) into the evening as locals left.
Avoid December 16-31st
While the first few weeks of December have reasonable crowds, the second two weeks are the busiest of the year! Avoid those dates or at least go into them with a steady game plan and know that you may only experience a small handful of things on your visit because of heavy crowds.
Check out these additional posts on planning a Disneyland vacation, choosing a date for the trip and dealing with heavy crowds.
What month do YOU are you planning a Disneyland vacation? Share in the comments!