Over the last year we have had the opportunity to travel to Disneyland during several school breaks. We always try to go to Disneyland at a time when our kids won’t miss school. Now that they are in Jr. High and High School, missing a week can really set them back academically. What does this mean for us? We are usually traveling at the busiest times of the year. Which is the busiest?
We decided to go over the 4th of July and stayed until July 9 th because it was also my daughter’s 16 th birthday. If you look up crowd forecasts before you go, the 4 th of July is shown as one of the busiest times to go. Because of that we prepared ourselves for the worst! We were however pleasantly surprised. It was busy, but not so busy that we felt like we were packed in like sardines. The ride times weren’t bad at all. We never had to wait on any of the rides for more than 45 minutes, and that was on the most popular rides. The weather was hot but manageable and cooled down nicely in the evenings. (If you get cold easily you may want a light jacket.) All around it was a great trip so great in fact that we ended up upgrading our 5 day park hopper passes to annual passes.
Diva Tip: There are hardly any ride closures during mid-summer. They usually try to have the majority open by the 4th. This year we went June 24-28 and there were still 4 rides closed. But by the 4th there was only one and it is going through a major renovation.
This school break is usually in mid-October, which means that it is during Halloween Time at Disneyland. There are a lot of local Californians that also head to Disneyland for their school breaks and last year the deluxe annual pass had no block out dates during October. So it was BUSY. So busy in fact that the fast passes started running out and the feeling of being corralled around the park was definitely there. One night it was so bad that I nearly had nervous breakdown (the crowds were really overwhelming) and we ended up heading back to the hotel early. Weather wise California has very mild weather and we were good with jackets and hoodies.
Diva Tip: If you decide to go at this time you will get to see Disneyland’s fall make-over and you also have the option of buying tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party which is Spooktacular! But because it is such an awesome time of year to visit, everyone else wants to visit too.
This covers a large time frame mid-March through mid-April or so depending on when Easter falls. This was our biggest trip from March 28- April 8. The crowds during this time make the crowds from the other two seem manageable. The crowd index hovered near or reached capacity almost every day. The fast passes did run out daily and that makes the wait time with out 60+ minutes on your most popular rides. My parents came with us this time and my father had to be in a wheel chair, this was very difficult to maneuver through crowds and we often had to have two of us walk together just to make a path for him to get through. The weather was beautiful but very cool at night we were still cold in jeans and hoodies once the sun went down.
Diva Tip: This was the worst time for ride closures! During this trip between the two parks there were at least seven rides closed which included Indiana Jones, It’s a Small World, The Little Mermaid, and Grizzly Bear River Run.
We have not yet had the chance to go for the Thanksgiving and Christmas school breaks but they are on my list of things to do someday…
My favorite time of year to go was during the fall for Halloween time even though the crowds were harder to manage the change of atmosphere sucks me in and I can’t resist. In fact my husband and I went back again this year to celebrate our anniversary! But to take my whole family again I would probably go over the 4th of July again for some many reasons but mostly because you get the whole experience with more rides, great weather, and the crowds were manageable. With all of that and the timing of it being during the summer where you have the largest chunk of time to get away.
Diva Tip: Keep in mind when planning your trip that no matter when you go the weekends will ALWAYS be busier and since most school breaks are over a weekend you will be there during the craziness. I have found though that if I plan for the worst what I actually get is never as bad as I imagine. No matter when you decide to come to Disneyland you will be sure to have a magical time.