Disneyland Resort’s opening hours vary daily. Make sure you check park hours and schedule on the official website before you go.
Estimated Attendance in Disneyland
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How to skip the lines in Disneyland
1) Get your tickets before coming to save time and avoid the queue to the ticket offices. Check the official Disneyland’s website for ticket options and prices.
2) Arrive early. The park is mostly empty and you can manage to knock out some popular rides before the crowds arrive. If you want to do the Fantasyland rides, better do them in the morning — the lines won’t be shorter than during these hours.
3) Come even earlier with the Extra Magic Hours. If you’re staying in Disneyland Resort, you can benefit from an extra hour in the morning, before the park gates open for everybody. It refers to Disneyland Park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and to Disney California Adventure Park (including access to Cars Land) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
4) Use Fastpass! That’s THE way of skipping the waiting lines, and there exist some tricks you can use to take out most of it! As a rule, Fastpass gives you a time slot to enter the ride wait-free (for example, from 11 AM to 12 PM) and you can’t get another fastpass until the beginning time started (11 AM) or there have passed two hours since it was issued. The Fastpass network is separate for Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure and World of Colour, so you can hold Fastpass tickets for all of them at the same time! Besides, to save time you can take the new fastpass before going on the ride.
5) Eat during off-peak hours. Eat meals earlier than usual, or after the lunch rush of 11 AM - 2 PM. Same concerns the dinner rush which usually takes place between 6:30 and 8 PM. This way, you can go on rides while everyone is eating and avoid lines when you’re ready to eat.
6) Break it up to cut the lines. If you are alone or with others who don’t mind splitting up, head for the Single Rider lines at selected popular rides. The wait in this line is much shorter.
7) Ride during parades. If it’s not your first time in Disneyland and you’ve already seen the parade, this is a good time to get on rides since most people stop riding to watch the parade.
8) Evening time is the best for the kiddie rides. As most families with small children leave early, the lines to attractions like Dumbo or Peter Pan are shorter at night. This mostly applies during the summer when the park is open from 8 AM until 11 PM or midnight.
9) Use the rider switch if coming with children, too small or to scared to join you on the ride. Just notify the Cast Member upon entering the queue line that you’d like to utilize the Rider Switch Service. You’ll wait in the normal line while the other adult will be watching the child(ren), then you can switch and the second person won’t need to queue once more.
10) Stay until the very last moment. Attractions don’t close when the parks close, meaning that you can get in a 90-minute line at 10:59 PM. when the parks close at 11 PM and be in the park well past closing. This is a great way to experience rides with perpetually long lines, like Radiator Springs Racers, without wasting “valuable” time.
11) For a photo with Mickey you should head to Toontown near the closing time. The line for photos is the shortest then.
12) If you want to see the show that takes place twice a day (like Fantasmic in high season) - go to the second showing, there are usually a lot fewer people.
13) Download a wait time app to help organize your day. Not only will you get wait times for all the attractions, but also a map and some tips for your visit. Check, for example, MouseTime or RideMax.
Photo credits to Doug Wertman via Flickr
How to choose the right day
It’s quite important to choose a date well, as the long waiting lines and big crowds can spoil the overall impression.
The calmest times are from mid-September to mid-November (except for the Halloween period), Mid-January through mid-March (except for President’s Day Weekend) and mid-April to mid-May (except for the Spring Break).
Avoid weekends, Fridays and periods of school holidays and bank holidays.
If the park has extended opening hours - it usually means bigger crowds, check the opening hours before you go.
If Disneyland is your plan for the federal holiday weekend - be prepared for big crowds, as you won’t be the only person with this idea in mind.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays are the calmest days of the week.
On rainy days Disneyland can be empty, with short or even inexistent waiting lines. As most attractions are indoors, they keep on working. Those that are outdoors will be closed for safety reasons. The firework may be cancelled because of the weather, but if the rain is not heavy, and there’s no wind, it can be held even under the rain.
Some rides can be closed for refurbishment, it’s particularly common during the low season, in January and February. Check the calendar before buying the ticket, to be sure your favorite rides will be open on the day of your visit!
Plan to arrive early and to do some attractions with longer waiting in the morning hours, before the crowds arrive.
Photo credits to Listener42 via Flickr
Busy days in Disneyland and dates to avoid
The first weekend of the year
Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend (third Monday of January)
The Super Bowl Sunday (first Sunday in February)
President’s Day weekend (third Monday of the month)
Fridays and Weekends (first two weekends of the month are less crowded, than the last two)
The last week of March (the Spring Break crowds start arriving in mid-March)
- One week Before Easter, Easter and a week after
Memorial Day Weekend (last Monday of May)
Days after the Memorial Day are busy (summer season starts, and the park gets crowded)
First week of the month (the days before a big blockout period in Southern Californian SAP)
Last week of the month (same reason for the holders of Southern Californian AP)
- 4th of July Weekend will see the biggest crowds in this month
Fridays and weekends
The later in the month - the less crowded it will be
Labor Day Weekend (the end of the summer season)
Columbus Day Weekend
Weekends are busy in October during the Halloween season
- The week and especially the weekend of the Thanksgiving Day
- Two last weeks of the month, particularly Christmas Eve and New Year Eve
Photo credits to Angelo DeSantis via Flickr
Disneyland Opening Hours vary a lot during the year: while in low season the park is usually open from 10:00 to 20:00, it often stays open until midnight in summer.
We advise therefore to check the opening hours for the date of your visit on the Disneyland website.