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Is Disneyland Busy In September? Best Days To Visit (2024)

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Want to have the best time at Disneyland Resort this September? Between the start of school and special events, you might want to know if Disneyland is busy in September. 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. And even better: if you know the best days to visit. While Disneyland is busy in September, there are some days that might be better than others! Here are the tips you need.

Disneyland In September: The Best Month?

We say YES! Or at least, one of the best months.

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

In fact, we should be packing up to go for our annual visit right… about… NOW!

October is a close second. Especially if you are looking to experience the sunny days and Halloween season- who doesn’t need that giant pumpkin in their life?

jane-and-patty-disneyland-halloween

Disneyland in September has a lot going for it, including the specially priced Oogie Boogie Bash event. You’ll need a party ticket for this one.

If you want to skip the long lines at attractions, this event is the way to go!

Read our best Oogie Boogie Bash tips here since this party is in full swing in September!

frightfully-fun-parade-oogie-boogie-bash-tips
The Frightfully Fun Parade happens every night of the Oogie Boogie Bash. Driving down Buena Vista Street

The temperature is usually mild in September and the large crowds from summer, spring break, and grad nites are gone.

And the ones looking to spend time at Disneyland’s Christmas season are patiently waiting for their turn!

If you know when to visit Disneyland in September, it can be a good time of year to plan a trip.

And you’ll never forget your September Disneyland vacation!

What Factors Impact Disneyland’s Wait Times In September?

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

First thing to know: Halloween starts early in Disneyland.

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort Ñ Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Pals Debut New Halloween Attire.
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort casts its spell throughout the entire resort from Sept. 2 through Oct. 31, 2022. Featuring festive seasonal dŽcor including the Mickey Mouse pumpkin and The Headless Horseman statue, Halloween-themed attractions like Haunted Mansion Holiday and Guardians of the Galaxy Ð Monsters After Dark, photo opportunities with favorite Disney characters and villains and specialty treats, there is something for everyone during this celebration. (Disneyland Resort)

Disneyland Halloween Time: How Long Is Disneyland Decorated For Halloween?

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

Seeing Jack Skellington, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and the Fab 5 dressed in their Halloween costumes is top on many people’s lists!

Disneyland’s Halloween Time starts September 1 and runs through October 31 in 2023.

Disneyland begins to get decorated for Halloween starting in late August (last week or so). It is completely decorated for Halloween by the official kickoff date of September 1.

Don’t forget to ride Mater’s Graveyard Jambooree, and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout after 3 pm!

how long are the halloween decorations up at Disneyland? Day of the dead decorations at Disneyland park

Can You See Halloween Decorations At Disneyland on September 1?

Disneyland’s Halloween decorations are quickly set up- essentially overnight- on September 1.

One note: we have been there in previous years where the Mickey pumpkins and bunting didn’t appear until the Tuesday after Labor Day.

So keep this in mind as it may be a bit too early for ALL the Halloween decorations to be in place on September 1. We’d say for maximum Halloween effects, you’ll want to plan a trip closer to the first days of the Oogie Boogie Bash parties (see below).

Disneyland is Decorated For Halloween until the opening of the park on November 1, 2023, with the exception of the Day of the Dead decorations that will stick around a bit longer.

things to skip at the oogie boogie bash

Know Before You Go: What September Dates Are the Oogie Boogie Bash Happening in 2023?

Is the Disney Halloween Party worth it? Absolutely.

The Oogie Boogie Bash is a specially priced party ticket special event that has replaced Mickey’s Halloween Party in recent years.

When the party is happening, you will feel bigger crowds at both parks, especially Disney California Adventure Park.

It takes place on select nights. This year it’s happening every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday night in September.

best days to go to disneyland in december: try to avoid oogie boogie bash nights.
  • Tuesday, September 5, 2023
  • Thursday, September 7, 2023
  • Sunday, September 10, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 12, 2023
  • Thursday, September 14, 2023
  • Sunday, September 17, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2023
  • Thursday, September 21, 2023
  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2023
  • Thursday, September 28, 2023
space mountain exterior sign. is disneyland busy in September? Best days to visit.

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 September.

And to answer the questions above: YES to both.

  • Labor Day happens on Monday, September 4, 2023. Kids and locals are out of work on that Monday for the long weekend.
  • Many school districts – including some local ones- don’t start until after Labor Day, so the first weekend in September is the last chance for a summer vacation trip.
  • LAUSD has a school holiday on September 25th.

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 September 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.

Disneyland park ticket

How Do You Find The Lower Crowds In September 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 September, 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.

Disneyland Best Days To Visit (2023)

We did some looking and have come up with some of the best days to visit Disneyland in 2023.

  • Avoid September 1-4, 2023 if you can. This is Labor Day in Disneyland and the start of the Halloween season. It will likely be pretty busy.
  • Within that time frame, September 5 could also be a busy day at Disneyland. That is the first Oogie Boogie Bash night and it tends to bring out the influencers and vloggers who need fresh content.
  • In addition to the first weekend of September, avoid the parks on Oogie Boogie Bash nights (specifically DCA where the party takes place) on the following dates:
  • Tuesday, September 5, 2023
  • Thursday, September 7, 2023
  • Sunday, September 10, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 12, 2023
  • Thursday, September 14, 2023
  • Sunday, September 17, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2023
  • Thursday, September 21, 2023
  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2023
  • Thursday, September 28, 2023
flaming head pumpkin magic shot disneys california adventure

What does that leave us with? There’s still a lot of wiggle room in the month of Septmber.

Here’s some good news. There are some low-crowd days projected for the end of September.

Magic Keys are blocked out on the following days in 2023:

  • Imagine Blockout days 2-4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
  • Enchant Blockout days 2, 3, 9, 16, 23, 30

Using this information, we think the best days to visit Disneyland in September 2023 will be most days after September 10th.

The end of October and the beginning of November may be another good time to visit (and you just might catch the Disneyland Christmas trees going up!).

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

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