When Will it Be Busy at Disneyland - 2011? We Can Help!
Disneyland can be a crowded place to visit. Because of this, people frequently ask when will it busy, is this a good time to go to the park, what will wait times be like, etc.
While we here at MiceChat can’t predict the future with regard to crowds (at least not with much certainty), we have asked our good friends at TouringPlans.com, who make a science out of crowd and wait time predictions, to assist us with helping you determine the best times of year to visit the Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com has agreed to provide us with some tips for avoiding the peak crowds at Disneyland, and for maximizing your time in the parks by recommending the best order for visiting particular attractions, and providing a wait time app for your mobile phone that will keep you up to date on wait times in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as they are updated!
When planning what dates you’re going to visit, we highly recommend checking out the TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendar - to help avoid Disneyland crowds. For each day of the year, TouringPlans.com offers a crowd-level index based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least crowded and 10 being most crowded. To view some sample crowd calendar dates, visit the Crowd Calendar. The incredibly accurate Crowd Calendar is created and updated by a team of professional statisticians, and it takes into account historical conditions, all holidays, special events, and more. For more information about the factors that impact the crowd-level index, be sure to check out the Disneyland Crowd Level FAQ.
In the weeks just prior to arriving during your chosen dates, check out the TouringPlans.com Touring Plans. Because choosing the least crowded days to visit, but not having a good plan of attack for avoiding crowd concentrations is like ordering Diet Coke with three Big Macs, we highly recommend that you follow a Touring Plan. Avoiding crowd concentrations involves being able to predict where, when, and why they occur. Concentrations of hungry people create bottlenecks at restaurants during lunch and dinner; concentrations of visitors at new and popular rides, and at rides slow to load and unload, create bottlenecks and long lines. The Touring Plans beat all of these concentrations by advising you when to visit which attractions.
Finally, during your trip we recommend using the TouringPlans.com Lines - Mobile Wait Times Appfor the iPhone, Android, and other mobile phones. Because the best laid plans often go awry, and sometimes you get a late start to your day or visit an attraction out of order on your Touring Plan, or for whatever reason that circumstances may change, Lines has you covered. Lines displays current and future statistically-based wait times as predicted by the TouringPlans.com professional statisticians, and also provides user submitted wait times, for every attraction in Disneyland Resort. Get the wait time for Space Mountain when you're in line for Splash Mountain, the FASTPASS time for Tower of Terror when you're waiting for California Screamin', or the what the wait time will be for Pirates of the Caribbean while you're in Toontown!
Even if you don't have a wait times app in the palm of your hands during your trip, here is some general advice we offer when planning with regard to when it will be busy:
Whenever the Deluxe Annual Pass IS blocked-out, it will be busy. The parks are generally in high-capacity mode when Deluxe AP's are blocked out. You can see Deluxe block out days here. Disneyland Resort® - Annual Passholder Blockout Calendar
Whenever the SoCal Annual Pass is NOT blocked-out on a Sunday. Expect an influx of SoCal AP's. You can see SoCal block out days here. Disneyland Resort® - Annual Passholder Blockout Calendar
Other days to watch out for SoCal passholders is the last day before they are blocked out for the summer. This would be July 1st. And also the first Sunday they are allowed back in. This would be August 21st.
During the Disneyland Southern California Discount. Disneyland is not doing a 2fer this year, instead there is a Southern California Discount. You can find the information regarding the discount in this thread:Southern California Disneyland discount for 2011 No more 2fer
Here is the link to the official Disneyland page for ticket information: Disneyland Tickets
During Spring Break. Spring Break times run from Mid-March to the end of April. Couple that with the 2fer and you have a busy park. Looking at the Blackout Day calendar, Disneyland is expecting the peak Spring Break days to be from April 16th to April 30th.
During any major convention in Anaheim. You can find all convention information here:Welcome to the Anaheim Convention Center
Conventions are always subject to change and I would check the events link to make sure. Anytime a group takes over the “Entire Facility” or Arena or multiple halls generally means it’s a big convention.
Here are some of the major ones:
- American Specialty Toy Retailing Association - 06/20/11 to 06/21/11
- HOSA National Leadership Conference - 06/22/11 to 06/25/11
- Disney's Martial Arts Festival - 06/25/11 to 06/25/11
- Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company 2011 Summer Dealer Meeting
- CCA Global Summer Convention 2011 - 07/23/11 to 07/30/11
- D23 Expo - 08/19/11 to 08/21/11
- Microsoft SharePoint - 10/02/11 to 10/06/11
- ESPN 2011 Anaheim Classic Basketball Tournament - 11/24/11 to 11/27/11
- National Staff Development Council 43rd Annual Conference - 12/04/11 to 12/06/11
But as you can see, there is pretty much something ALWAYS going on at the convention center. Which means for people who have to travel, they will bring the family who will spend time at the parks while Mom or Dad is at a convention.
During Major Disneyland events. The weekend of July 17th (It's on a Sunday this year)
- D23 Convention - This runs from August 19th through 21st this year and is also coupled with the first day SoCal Passholders are allowed in after the summer. Expect this to be a VERY busy weekend.
- Disneyland 1/2 Marathon Weekend - Labor Day Weekend
- Gay Days weekend - Generally the first weekend in October
- Candlelight - Offered various dates during the Holiday season
Around Holidays. MLK Weekend; Valentines Day Weekend; Presidents Day Weekend; Easter week (week before and week after); Memorial Weekend; July 4th weekend; All of July and most of August; Labor Day weekend (but usually the least crowded of the holidays); Columbus weekend (increasingly busy the last few years); Veterans Day weekend; The week before and through Thanksgiving weekend; From the week before Christmas and through the first weekend after New Years; Weekends in October (Halloweentime); November and December.
What to do if you’re going when it’s busy? We recommend using the TouringPlans.com resources, namely the “Park to Avoid” feature on the Crowd Calendar, so at least you visit the less-busy of the two parks each day of your trip; the Lines - Mobile Wait Times app, so you can have an up-to-date idea of wait times for each attraction in the park, and; the Touring Plans themselves, so you visit attractions in their optimal order to avoid longer waits.
Additionally, here is a number scale devised by the MiceChat team. As you will see on the next pages, many days are given a "Number Scale" as to how busy it "might" be. Remember, we are not psychic, but we do try and give you an idea based on our experience and observations.
The Number Scale:
- 1-2: Rainy Days
These are the lightest of the light. If you don't mind dealing with the rain, those are the best days to go. Some rides will be closed, but crowds will be VERY low. Expect wait times to be less than 20 minutes, even on the E-tickets.
- 3-5: Off-season weekday
If you don't want to deal with the rain, Off-season weekdays are the other good days to go. Some rides may be closed for refurbishment. Expect wait times to be less than 40 minutes. Note: Some school districts have odd-days off, so some off-season weekdays may be busy.
- 5-8: Weekends and Spring Break Weekdays
Weekends during non-holiday seasons and Spring Break Weekdays can REALLY fluctuate. Due to the 2-fer, most weekends until July will be busy. Generally the best weekends to go are early September through early October. But now with the Halloween festivities and the AP Payment program, this may not hold true so much anymore. If you will be going during Spring Break, weekdays are your best bet, but it may still be busy. Expect wait times to be 60 minutes for the bigger E-ticket attractions and low capacity rides.
- 9-10: Holiday periods and Spring Break Weekends
These are the busiest times of year. Examples of such busy times are Thanksgiving Weekend, Week between Christmas and New years, Weekends in December, July 4th Weekend, during big convention periods. Expect wait times to be AT LEAST 60 minutes for most attractions, if it's warm, water attractions can get up to 120+ minutes.
You'll find more information and calendars below.