Is Disneyland Busy In January? | 2024 Planning Tips
January brings one of the best, and worst, times to visit Disneyland just as we enter the New Year!
Our Disneyland Crowd Guide will detail what to expect when visiting Disneyland in January and how to make the most of a busy holiday vacation or empty theme park later in the month.
Questions We'll Answer About Disneyland Crowds:
- What Is The Best & Worst Time Of Year To Visit Disneyland?
- Is Disneyland Busy In January?
What Is The Best & Worst Time Of Year To Visit Disneyland?
There once were very clear "Busy Seasons" and "Off Seasons" at Disneyland where you would see extremely high crowds and then other times where the park sometimes felt empty.
However as Disneyland has become increasingly popular, and a ticket pricing structure was introduced that offers cheaper tickets if you visit during "slower periods" busyness at Disneyland has spread throughout the year.
We see less of a slow season and busy season these days (except a few weeks out of the year) and generally high crowding throughout the year, but some times of the year are better than others to consider visiting.
While there isn't ever a bad time to visit Disneyland you may want to keep in mind some periods of the year to avoid if you have flexibility.
To optimize your visit to Disneyland, we've provided some of the best and worst times of the year to visit Disneyland:
BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR TO VISIT DISNEYLAND
- January: Beginning the second week of the month and avoiding MLK weekend.
- February: All month.
- March: The first two weeks before Spring Break begins.
- May: All month.
- June: The first week before Summer Break begins.
- September: All month after Labor Day weekend.
- October: All month.
- November: The first two weeks before Thanksgiving Break begins.
- December: The first two weeks of the month before Christmas Break begins.
WORST TIMES OF THE YEAR TO VISIT DISNEYLAND
- January: The week of New Year's Day and MLK weekend. We especially recommend avoiding New Year's Day.
- March: The last two weeks of the month which kicks off Spring Break.
- April: A large number of schools are on Spring Break all month creating a lot of crowding.
- June: The first three weeks begin Summer Break for many schools. around the country, kicking off the continually busy Summer season.
- July: Most of the USA is deep into Summer Break at this point bringing many families to the parks. We recommend especially avoiding the 4th of July weekend.
- August: The first two weeks of the month are particularly busy as Summer Break is still in effect. Crowds begin to moderate substantially in the last two weeks of the month.
- September: Labor Day weekend is extremely busy and should be avoided if possible.
- November: Thanksgiving week is another extremely popular time and we recommend generally avoiding this time of year.
- December: The week of Christmas and the week following Christmas leading into New Year's Eve is one of the busiest times of the year at Disneyland.
Is Disneyland Busy In January?
The level of busyness at Disneyland in January is going to be very similar to November and December where we see very slow weeks and then very busy weeks.
Many families who have planned travel during the Christmas holiday are very likely to still be traveling come early January, and Disneyland remains an extremely popular destination during this time of year.
Adding to this is that many schools, including colleges, in the state of California will still be on their Christmas/holiday vacation as well.
The first week of January, surrounding New Year's Day, is often extremely busy.
Additionally, New Year's Day is often one of the top 3 busiest days all year at Disneyland.
But if you have some flexibility to visit Disneyland later in the month, then it's an excellent time to take advantage of lower crowd levels.
School will typically be back in session beginning the week following New Year's Day and as people are also starting to get back to work, attendance at Disneyland and California Adventure will take a noticeable drop.
With the exception of Martin Luther King Day weekend, every other week in January is some of the best to visit the parks.
MLK Day weekend will see a bit of an uptick in attendance as families will want to take advantage of this long weekend, but we don't find the parks to be as jam-packed as Labor Day or the 4th of July... though it will definitely be busier than usual!
While crowd levels will be low for the remainder of January the one major thing to keep in mind is that Disney will usually use this slow period to refurbish some of the more popular rides at Disneyland and California Adventure.
This may only impact one or two rides at a time, but it does often bring some of the more popular rides at the parks to a close so be prepared to potentially miss out on a couple of rides due to these refurbishments.
If you can avoid the period around New Year's Day and MLK Day Weekend, and don't mind a small handful of rides being closed for refurbishment, mid/late January is an excellent time to visit Disneyland and California Adventure!