Disneyland is open 365 days a year but not every day is created equal. There are days that should be avoided at all costs and other days where you basically ask never to get off the ride because no one else is in line. Weekdays are better than weekends, summer days are hot, winter months can be rainy, and everyone goes when school is out, but here are a few days that stand out the most as good or bad days to visit Disneyland.
10. New Year’s Eve
Don’t Go! Its such a good idea to go to Disneyland to ring in the new year, but it is the number day not to go. On an average day there may be 50,000 people but on the eve that i worked there was an estimated 120,000 people waiting for the clock to hit midnight. You can get on about two rides for the day, and have to stand shoulder to shoulder, groin to ass for hours on main street waiting for the fireworks to go off.
9. 4th of July
Don’t Go! See number 10, but at 80,000-100,000 guests. Its genrally a bad idea to visit the park during the summer months due to people visiting for summer break but the just skip going on the 4th of July. You’ll just be standing in excessively long lines, next to excessively stinky people waiting until it gets dark to see the fireworks show.
If you insist on seeing the fireworks you don’t actually need to go into the park and the view from the The Disneyland Entry Esplanade.
8. Grad Nights
Don’t Go! For the last few weeks of June, Disneyland opens specifically at night for the current year’s Grad Night. This means that the park has to close early so that they can get the park ready again for teenagers to run amuck on their own. In 2012 i noticed that the kids are there during the day and just allowed to stay in the park into the Grad Night Party, and makes the park unbearably busy.
7. January through March
Go/Don’t Go! After the new year, and all the holiday decorations come down, Disneyland puts on their gloves and goes through a period of refurbishments and ride closers to get ready for the summer rush. This means while you’ll still be paying the normal rate, you’ll be visiting a park running at only 70%-80%. Every year at least one big ride goes down until summer rolls around so you maybe lose your chance to ride the likes of Matterhorn, or Thunder Mountain.
This is the time typically they also give discounts for Southern California residents
6. Themed Days
Go/Don’t Go! Disneyland is a very popular place for groups of people to meet up at. While not officially recognized by Disneyland, they are very accommodating to large groups of people with interesting types of hobbies and lifestyles. If you’re really into a certain theme it would be fun to join, and as a bonus sometimes they can even get group rate discount. Otherwise it may be best not to go if you feel uncomfortable being around such enthusiastic people.
I’ve personally witnessed Rave Day while working there, and attended the park as a guest during Bats Day, but here are some other that may or may not tickle your fancy.
The majority of these people are quite nice, and are more than willing to take pictures with you if you want.
5. Premium Days
Go! As a general rule if you are going for one day, check out the Disneyland Annual Passport Calendar and check out which days are Premium Pass days only. Its not a perfect system but at least you know you’ll avoid people with the lower grade pass.
4. Mother’s Day & Easter Sunday
Go! While most families sit shoulder to shoulder trying to get to a breakfast buffet, Disneyland tends to be quite light and you can have the run of the town for most of the day.
read: Easter Premium
3. Halloween to Thanksgiving
Go! Any day between Halloween and Thanksgiving is a great day to go to Disneyland. Its the eye of the storm as the shortened Halloween hours have come to an end, and followed by the time where people start taking off time for vacation. You’ll get to enjoy the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas, all the rides will be open and the weather is perfect.
There was one day working there that i remember a group of teenagers run in circles on Splash Mountain doing different poses for the camera.
2. Your Birthday
Go! If you really ever want to feel particularly special, go on your birthday (or close to it). If you tell a cast member when you buy your ticket, or city hall you can get a special Birthday Pin where they’ll write your name and draw some Mickey ears on them. All day you’ll hear a Happy Birthday from the majority of cast members and even random guests. Within a four hour day Joy got at least 14 greetings.
1. Christmas Eve
Go! During the two week winter holiday, Disneyland is a madhouse. Disneyland pulls out all the lights out of the closet and goes crazy decorating Main St. USA, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and of course it’s a small world. There’s also the special holiday parade, dressed up characters and don’t forget the “snow” after the fireworks. Amazingly the best day to go during this time is Christmas Eve. The main reason is that its not a federal holiday, and from what i’ve learned, many people who celebrate Christmas for religion do it on Christmas Eve. Back in 1998 they even closed down the park at 6:00pm so cast members could go home to celebrate (but not anymore).
That said, avoid Disneyland on Christmas Day.