No matter what time of year you plan your trip to Disneyland, here are the best tips on How To Enjoy Disneyland When It’s Crowded.
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Some of the busiest times of year to visit the parks are during the spring when many schools are on spring break. The holiday time celebrations like Halloween time and other special events, tend to bring in the crowds. And of course summertime when kids are out of school, mean a crowded theme park.
When to plan your Disneyland Vacation
Although the times above are the most busy, it seems like it doesn’t matter what time of year you plan on visiting Disneyland, it is always crowded. Which we totally understand.
We love going to the parks all the time too. Even though the parks may be crowded when you are on your trip, these tips are sure to help you enjoy your time at Disneyland anyway.
My biggest tip is to just plan the trip! There really isn’t a bad time to go to the park. Just make the plan and enjoy the trip.
Arrive early. Getting to the parks at least 45 minutes before the park opens is a great way to beat the crowds.
They will start letting people through the gates 30 minutes to an hour before the park officially opens. You are allowed to go almost all the way to the castle. Where cast members hold park guests back from entering the lands with a rope. At official park opening time, the rope drops and guests are allowed to head to their favorite attractions.
The parks tend to be more crowded in the afternoons. Utilize the morning to ride as many of the rides as you can, before the lines get longer and the crowds get bigger.
Purchase a Multi Day Ticket
Plan to visit the parks for more than one day. This is especially important if you are traveling with little ones who need to nap. Or can’t go, go, go without getting a little cranky. Visiting the parks for 2 or even 3 days will allow you to be able to do and see everything your party wants to do and see, without feeling rushed or flustered.
Sometimes 3 or longer park hopper tickets will come with a magic morning. This allows you to get into the parks an hour before it opens. This really helps to get a lot done before the crowds get to be too big. They haven’t brought this option back since reopening after covid. But I hope they do.
Purchase Disney Genie +
Disney Genie + is an additional cost to your park ticket. It is $20 a day per ticket. However, on a busy day in Disneyland, it is totally worth it. It allows you to schedule Lightning Lanes for rides in both Disneyland and California Adventure as you are standing in line for another ride. There is no need to run across the park to get fastpasses for your group. Like you did in the past.
Plus, your Disney Genie + comes with photo pass. You can utilize the Disneyland photographers and get your perfect castle pic, and those photos are included in the Genie + pass upgrade.
Disney Genie + is a great program, but can also be a bit confusing to learn at first. Read all about Disney Genie + at Disneyland so you are ready to use it on your next trip.
You can now purchase tickets through Get Away Today that include the Genie +. It really is worth the extra fee if you are planning a trip to Disneyland during one of the busier times of the year.
Always have a lightning lane. Once you grab a Lightning Lane, you can grab another one as soon as you scan in and use that lightning lane. Or 2 hours after you schedule your first lightning lane. Set a timer and make sure when you are able to get another lightning lane, you get one.
Where to stay when visiting Disneyland
Take a break in the afternoon. A good way to not get so overwhelmed with the crowds, is to take a break after lunch. Head back to your hotel for a nap, or visit the shops in Downtown Disney. This is especially important if you have little kids.
During your break you can rest, take naps, eat outside the parks (saving some money), utilize some of the amenities at your hotel, etc. Then come back in the evening, ready to shut down the parks. Or at least enjoy a parade and some fireworks.
Stay close to the parks. Staying close to the parks is probably the best way to have an enjoyable time at Disneyland when it’s crowded. There are so many amazing hotels to stay at around the Disneyland Resort, both on property and off property.
Most resort area hotels have shuttles that take you to and from the parks. You can avoid paying for parking at Disneyland as well as the crowds at the parking garage. Staying close to the parks will allow you to get to the parks early to get in as much as possible first thing before it gets too crowded.
Crowds at the parks can be a real bummer if you haven’t planned on fighting them. But these ideas and tips will help you and your family have a good time, and make the most of your time in Anaheim. Even though Disneyland is crowded.
Here are some other posts I think you might find helpful when planning your Disneyland vacation.