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Is Disneyland Busy In November? Best Days To Visit Including Thanksgiving (2022)

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Want to have the best time at Disneyland Resort this November? Between school holidays and the Thanksgiving holidays, you might want to know if Disneyland is busy in November. And, well, yeah. It is! But you can still have a great time at Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure if you know a bit about the crowd levels you can expect. While Disneyland is busy in November, there are some days that might be better than others! Hint: Disneyland isn’t too busy on Thanksgiving Day! Who knew? Here are the holiday season tips you need.

disneyland castle holiday overlay. Is Disneyland busy in November?

Disneyland In November: The Best Month?

We say it is one of the best months- so, YES!

As Disneyland Park lovers, we can’t really say there’s a bad time to go. But early November is truly one of our favorites.

Especially if you are looking to experience sunny days and the Christmas season. Santa Claus visits, the Christmas tree on Main Street, USA, and holiday magic- oh my!

mater in a santa hat disneyland in November

Disneyland in November has a lot going for it: generally mild weather, awesome Christmas decorations, and a fabulous Christmas Fantasy parade.

The average high temperature in November is usually in the 70s and doesn’t get colder than low 60s. But November falls into the rainy season in Anaheim, so your rain chances may increase through the entire month.

The large crowds from Halloween are gone and the big Christmas lovers don’t show up until mid-December.

We really think Disneyland is best in the fall months from early September when you can experience Halloween Time to mid-December.

If you know when to visit Disneyland in November it can be a good time of year to plan a trip to avoid long lines.

And you’ll never forget your November Disneyland vacation!

Is Disneyland busy in November? crowds love its a small world holiday at disneyland park
During the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., among the merriment, ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Park takes guests around the world as dolls and toys representing children enjoy the distinctive holiday traditions of their respective countries. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

What Factors Impact Disneyland’s Wait Times In November?

Trying to figure out the Disneyland crowd calendar for November may feel like a challenge, but we’re breaking it down for you.

Disneyland Holidays: When Does Disneyland Decorate For Christmas?

Christmas is definitely a draw for people visiting Disneyland in November. Ask any Cast Member and they’ll tell you!

Seeing ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and the Fab 5 dressed in their Christmas costumes is top on many people’s lists!

Disneyland’s Holiday Time starts November 11 and runs through January 8, 2023.

Disneyland begins to get decorated for Christmas starting at the stroke of midnight on November 1. It is completely decorated for Christmas by the official kickoff date of November 11.

Don’t forget to check out Christmas in Radiator Springs and ride Mater’s Jingle Jamboree & Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl over in Disney California Adventure Park.

radiator-springs rte 66 christmas time at disneyland

Can You See Halloween Decorations At Disneyland on November 1?

Don’t blink at midnight on October 31 or you’ll miss it!

Disneyland’s Halloween decorations are swiftly removed- essentially overnight- on November 1.

The Disney theme parks don’t waste any time moving on to the next season, and Christmas decorations will quickly take over the Disneyland Resort in preparation for the holiday crowds.

Are There Any Special Events For Christmas At Disneyland In November?

There is not an official Christmas party event in 2022.

There was a special event party in 2021 called Disney Merriest Nights After Hours Party.

But it will not be taking place in 2022.

Is Thanksgiving Busy at Disneyland? Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland Park
Among the merriment taking place during the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Walt Disney Animation StudiosÕ ÒFrozen,Ó along with Mickey, Minnie, Santa and many other friends celebrate the season in ÒA Christmas FantasyÓ Parade at Disneyland Park. This daily musical procession features floats, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies and more. Disney characters greet guests in their finest holiday attire. (Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Special Event: Dapper Day November 5-6

There is an unofficial event called Dapper Day that takes place at Disneyland during the first weekend in November.

And it is absolutely delightful! If you have any interest in dressing up in your finest and visiting Disneyland with other like-minded people, check out the Dapper Day website. This is a great way to make your November Disneyland trip special.

Dapper Day does bring in a crowd, however, so keep that in mind when you choose your November Disneyland vacation dates.

From the Dapper Day Story:

Eventually, one season we filled Disneyland to capacity and the park posted notices that if you left they couldn’t guarantee you’d be able to get back in. After that event, I received a call from Disneyland operations asking me if I know how many people had joined us that day. I said, “It’s your park, you tell me!”

He responded, “Based on our estimates, it appears your event drew between 30,000 and 35,000 additional guests to the parks yesterday.”

WOW.

While this is one of our favorite times to visit, if you are a first-timer you may want to look for a day of the week that may not hit maximum capacity.

dapper day. Fall event makes Disneyland busy in November.
This was a Disney World Dapper Day event. Yes- they do it at both parks!

Know When You Can Go: Are The Kids Out Of School?

Two things to consider for any trip to the Happiest Place On Earth:

  1. Is it a major US holiday weekend when you plan to visit?
  2. Are local kids off school for any reason?

Both of those issues drive wait times and the feeling of Disneyland being busy in November.

And to answer the questions above: YES to both.

  • Veterans Day happens on November 11, 2022. Kids and locals are out of work on that Friday for the long weekend.
  • Many school districts in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah have the week of Thanksgiving off from November 21-25 (Black Friday). This includes Thanksgiving weekend. It’s one of the worst weeks to visit from a crowd standpoint. It’s a small world after all when your whole school ends up vacationing at Disneyland at the same time! School holidays always make Disneyland feel busy.
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. Thanksgiving can be busy at Disneyland in the afternoons.
During the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, Disney California Adventure Park sparkles with holiday dŽcor throughout, highlighted by a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree in Buena Vista Street. During the holiday season, the Happiest Place on Earth transforms with festive fun and joyful dŽcor. During this magical time of year, friends and family will make merry memories together with treasured traditions and distinctly Disney experiences, such as seasonal nighttime spectaculars, transformations of favorite attractions, special food and beverages and more. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

The Disneyland Annual Passholder Effect

While Walt Disney World has a lot of Annual Passholders, they don’t have anywhere near the levels Disneyland does.

Annual Passholders (called Magic Key passholders) make up a large percentage of daily Disneyland visitors- hey, locals need to get away today, too!

But please note: Disneyland truly has a bigger percentage of locals visiting than Disney World does. Recognizing this will help you figure out the best day to visit.

Magic Key passholders at Disneyland tend to pop in and out of the parks for a few hours, which can make Disneyland busy in November in weird ways.

It may feel busy in the mornings at Disneyland but empty out a bit just before lunch. This is a Magic Keyholder effect as many locals pop in for a few hours but head out early in the day.

Conversely, Disneyland may also feel busy in the evenings once the locals get off work. They’ll visit Main Street USA for a parade or fireworks, and then head home soon after, especially on Friday nights. Using those annual passes to visit Disneyland in short bursts is definitely a local perk!

“Believe…in Holiday Magic” at Disneyland Park
“Believe … In Holiday Magic” fireworks is a dazzling nighttime display that brings a medley of heartwarming holiday music and culminates with a magical snowfall in several areas of the Disneyland park including Main Street, U.S.A., near the Rivers of America and in front of “it’s a small world.” (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

How Do You Find The Lower Crowds In November At Disneyland? Check The Magic Key Blackout Calendar

All magic comes with a price, as they say.

And beating those ticket prices with an annual pass comes with a cost: blackout days.

If you’re looking for the best time of the year for your first time at Disneyland, be sure to take a peek at the Magic Key Blackout Calendars.

Some locals are blocked out on Saturdays only in November, some for the whole weekend, and some for weeks at a time. Knowing when they cannot be in the parks will make Disneyland feel less crowded for you.

its a small world holiday christmas at disneyland

Disneyland Best Days To Visit In November (2022)

We did some looking and have come up with some of the best days to visit Disneyland in November 2022.

  • Avoid November 11 if you can. This is a big holiday for one. This is also the official start to the Christmas holiday season and theme park reservation for Disneyland Park are already booked up. Locals will arrive early and park themselves on Main Street to get the best spots for the parade and fireworks show, making Magic Kingdom park swell with big crowds. Now a lot of them aren’t riding anything, but it will make walkways and dining a bit crowded.
  • In addition to the official start of the holiday decorations, you’ll generally want to reconsider Thanksgiving week. This will be one of the busiest times of the year (minus Thanksgiving Day- more on that in a minute). If you do plan to go during this week, your best bet is to arrive early and to stay at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels for early park access.

What does that leave us with? The most wiggle room in November is early on.

We have some good news. There are some low-crowd days projected for the beginning of November.

Magic Keys are blocked out on the following days:

  • Imagine Blockout days: 5,6,11,12,13,19-27
  • Enchant Blockout days: 5, 12, 19, 20-27
  • Believe Blockout days: 24, 25, 26

Using this information, we think the best days to visit Disneyland in November 2022 will be November 1-10, and November 12-20.

Early December may be another good time to visit (it’s a nice time of the year and just before the peak season starts)

And please don’t forget to make those theme park reservations ASAP!

disneyland christmas parade

Is Disneyland Busy On Thanksgiving Day?

Thanksgiving Day is an odd exception during one of the busiest stretches of the entire year.

In terms of crowds, if you are a rope dropper or early riser, you’ll have a pretty empty park to explore.

At least until folks have finished their Thanksgiving dinner and decide to come out and play for a few hours!

Once football and turkey are all done, you’ll see crowd levels swell like Spring Break or summer vacation. So Disneyland can get busy on Thanksgiving day.

But in a normal year, Thanksgiving morning is a sweet spot to head into New Orleans Square for some beignets and enjoy less time in lines. Christmas Day, however, is different when it comes to heavy crowds at Disney parks.

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