There are many ways to do Disneyland. Before you book your trip, you want to have a good understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. Just checking it off your “must visit” list and want to pack it all in to one weekend? Want to savor the experience, enjoy your resort, and feel less rushed? Plan for 3 or 4 park days. Looking for a full vacation experience with theme park time, pool time, dining experiences, shows, and maybe even visiting local beaches and other attractions? Plan for a full week!
Not all times of year are created equal. If you have no choice but to travel over Christmas or Spring Break, by all means do so, just be fully aware that the parks will be at peak crowds. The best way to manage this is with very well strategized plans. Flexible dates? Avoid school breaks, long weekends, and even weekends in general for lower crowds.
While we can’t control the weather and there’s never a guarantee of perfection, some times of year are clearly better than others. If you hate when it’s really hot, avoid the summer months and most of September. If it’s not vacation without hot days by the pool, in general, you’ll want to avoid December, January and February which have a lot more cool days. January and February are also the rainy seasons for the area. Generally, later March, April and May are very pleasant as are late September through mid-November.
While mid-week can be much less crowded than weekends, in less traveled times of the year, these weeknights also don’t usually have Fantasmic! or fireworks running. If these two items are MUST dos for your family, you’ll want to plan for at least one weekend day during your trip.
The difference between long lines, long waits to get a seat at a restaurant (or finding no availability at all), getting to all the shows you want and accomplishing what you hope to accomplish without a lot of stress in the parks, and having a smooth, laid back, low line, easy going experience is to have the details figured out in advance. You’ll want your dining arranged, a good understanding of what the parks have to offer and preferably customized touring strategies to get the most out of your day. (Want some help with that? That’s what we do!)
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Since 2012, the Enchanted Traveler has become the go-to travel agency for moms and dads who want to save time and relieve the stress of planning a family vacation to Disney destinations and beyond.