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The Seasons of Disneyland

When is the best time to go to the Disneyland Resort?

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland California

Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are open 365 days a year. The parks are most crowded in July and August, on weekends, school holidays and over the Christmas holiday. Each season has its advantages and disadvantages for a Disneyland Resort visit.

Winter

Winter in Southern California can be 55 degrees and rainy or 80 degrees and sunny. Usually it is somewhere in between. This can be a very enjoyable time to visit Disneyland away from the maddening crowds.

Pros:
  • Less crowded
  • shorter lines
  • Not too hot
  • Winter specials can make tickets less expensive
  • Hotels are less expensive
  • You don't have to keep the kids up so late to watch the fireworks.
  • Great Christmas decorations from Thanksgiving to New Year - read more about Christmas at Disneyland
Cons:
  • Shorter park hours so you can't fit in as much
  • Chance of rain
  • Some rides close for the season.
  • Some rides close for maintenance.
  • It can be too cool to enjoy water rides.
Winter Tip: If you live in Southern California, watch for "Buy a Day, Get a Year" offers in the winter.

Summer

Since most people take their annual vacation in summer, this is obviously the busiest season. You can offset the crowds by using RideMax to minumize your time waiting in line.

Pros:
  • Extended hours from 8 am to 11 pm or 12 am depending on the day
  • More rides are open
  • Warm enough to enjoy water rides
Cons:
  • Very crowded
  • Long lines
  • It can be very hot
  • Hotels are more expensive.
  • Fewer ticket discounts are available
Summer Tip: If you're planning to visit other Southern California sites as well as the Disney Resort, schedule your Disneyland and Disney California Adventure days on Tuesday through Thursday when it's less crowded and visit the beaches and Hollywood on the weekend.

Spring and Fall

The "shoulder seasons" can be the best time to visit Disneyland, especially if your children are not yet in school or if you're visiting without kids. The Disneyland Resort offers special Magical Beginnings program for families with toddlers to visit in the fall.

Pros:
  • Weather is usually comfortable.
  • Less crowded when kids are in school.
  • Hours are still reasonably long.
  • Ticket discounts may be available.
  • Hotel rates are lower than summer.
Cons:
  • Shorter hours than summer
  • Some chance of rain
Fall Tip: There are Halloween-themed activities through the month of October.
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