Is there really a bad time to visit the Happiest Place on Earth? The place where the air smells like cinnamon-sugar; pirates brush elbows with princesses; and grownups become children again?
And these are those times.
Monday isn’t just the first and most dreaded day of the week. Along with Friday, it’s a prime-time ditch day. Extra burnt out from school or work? Wriggle out of your Monday duties and bam — three-day weekend. What better way to spend it than strolling Main Street U.S.A. with a single scoop from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor? The only trouble is, countless other ditchers are slipping out of business casual and into Mickey ears, too. To get the most out of your Disney day, bide your time and spare yourself the weekend spillover crowd.
The truth is, Christmastime at Disneyland is incredible. There’s a 60-foot Christmas Tree in the middle of Main Street; blankets of snow atop Sleeping Beauty Castle; 50,000 multicolored Christmas lights across It’s a Small World’s iconic facade; and faux snowfall at the end of each night. That catch is, the end of each night comes much earlier during the holiday season, particularly on days when the park is hosting employee Christmas parties. Park hours usually become available online about a month in advance. If possible, wait it out to get a better idea of park hours before you book your trip.
Typically, Christmas week through the first two weeks of the year are very crowd-heavy, so think twice about planning your visit for those dates, even if the park hours look good.
Although summer hours are some of the best of the year, with operation from 8 a.m. ‘til 11 or 12 at night, there are precious few moments in the 15-hour day that are light on crowds. Magnificent as Disneyland is, it is physically taxing and overstimulating on the best of days — never mind those spent brushing past 85,000 other people in 90-degree heat.
This one is probably a given at this stage in the game, but it bears repeating. The upcoming holiday that you think will make for a great Disney day? There are thousands of other people with the same idea. These are the public holidays you should definitely avoid at Disneyland:
· New Year’s Eve and Day
· MLK Day
· President’s Day
· Valentine’s Day
· The Fourth of July (U.S. Independence Day)
· Labor Day
· Veteran’s’ Day
· Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Week)
· Christmas Eve, Christmas Day… pretty much December 15 – January 8
When is your favorite time to visit Disneyland? How do you beat the heat and crowds? Let us know in the comments!