July 20, 2024

August 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar

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Our August 2023 Disneyland crowd calendar predicts the best & worst dates to visit the parks, what's going on at Disneyland and Disney California, plus what to expect from the end of vacations and tourist

Our August 2023 Disneyland crowd calendar predicts the best & worst dates to visit the parks, what’s going on at Disneyland and Disney California, plus what to expect from the end of vacations and tourist season. Beyond wait times and congestion, we offer info about special events, weather, and more during August at Disneyland Resort. (Updated July 16, 2023.)

In terms of crowds, August is all over the place. Schools are back in session mid-month in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. However, Magic Key Annual Pass blockouts start to lift throughout the second half of the month, leading to pure anarchy (eh, more or less). Suffice to say, August attendance can be a veritable roller coaster, and one that we’ll “ride” in the updated crowd calendar section.

Before that, let’s start with a look at weather. Although August is one of the hottest months of the year in Southern California, it’s really not that bad. Humidity remains low even as high temperatures break 80º every single day of August. At the other end of the spectrum, expect lows of around 65º every day.

Even though the temperature will creep into the mid-80s and could peak at 90º some days, August in Anaheim is still fairly comfortable, as shown by these graphs. The chances of mugginess are 9 or 10% every day of the month, which is not bad. This is why a common refrain among Californians is “but it’s a dry heat.”

It’s the truth–90º and little humidity is much more pleasant than 80º and muggy weather. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s wise to pack a light sweater or a long sleeve shirt for evenings at Disneyland.

What’s New & Not Open in August 2023

On a positive note, there are a couple of additions you’ll be able to catch in August 2023. At Disney California Adventure, Rogers: The Musical is now playing in the Hyperion Theater. This Marvel-inspired stage show has already proven incredibly popular and offers a free virtual queue or paid package for seating. We highly recommend checking it out.

Throughout the month, San Fransokyo Square will debut in phases at DCA. This Big Hero 6 inspired land is a reimagining of Pacific Wharf, which is essentially a food court. If you’re visiting earlier in the month, expect new menus at few restaurants as the transformation continues. The full land including Baymax meet & greet, retail, and all dining won’t debut until August 31, 2023–but it’s possible some or all of that opens earlier as construction allows.

In terms of August attraction closures, we have what’s possibly a partial list on the 2023 Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar. The temporary ones of which you should be aware are Haunted Mansion, Disneyland Monorail, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and (maybe) Toy Story Midway Mania.

There are also a couple of very significant closures. First, Disneyland has officially paused Fantasmic until at least Labor Day and teased that alternative entertainment for Summer 2023 is on the way. What that entails, and the changes that might be in store for a reimagined Fantasmic, is unknown.

Second, Splash Mountain is now officially and permanently closed to be reimagined into a new ride based on The Princess and the Frog. There are already visible signs of the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. With August 2023 right around the corner, that’s likely an almost-final list, but a couple of last-minute additions are possible–especially if crowd levels continue to be below average.

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure crowds during the month of August…

August 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar

Unfortunately, Disneyland crowd calendars for specific dates are no longer highly reliable due to changes in attendance trends, Magic Key passes, the park reservation system, ticket discounts, and other factors. It can be difficult to say a particular day will have low, moderate, or heavy crowds—which is why we’ve eliminated our color-coded Disneyland crowd calendars.

This is a trend that began prior to the opening summer of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and has continued the last two summers as post-reopening crowds have been more unpredictable. None of the crowd calendar sites can boast a strong track record for the last two years that Disneyland has been open–and that includes us. That’s the bad news. The good news is that attendance is starting to normalize and falling back into pre-closure patterns.

With this, crowd levels are literally falling as “revenge travel” is ending. We’ve already observed that playing out since Easter, and recap numerical crowd levels, average wait times, and congestion as of the first half of July in Summer 2023 Crowd Slowdown at Disneyland.

Suffice to say, numbers are down about 25-30% as compared to the same time last year and reservation availability is easing up, making crowd levels much easier to predict. Thus far in July, crowd levels have peaked at 5/10, with many dates being even slower. That’s as compared to plenty of 7/10 to 9/10 days last summer. There is every reason to expect that the current trend will continue into August 2023, which is great news.

In broad strokes, the first half of August 2023 is fairly predictable, with a pattern dictated by summer vacations, ticket prices, and Magic Key Passholder blockouts. Last year, the worst of the month’s crowds occurred August 1-4, with those being 9/10 days. Following that same pattern, expect August 1-3, 2023 to be the worst days. It’s likely that August 7-9 will be slightly better, but still busy.

As a general matter, August 2023 crowds drop when Orange County and Los Angeles schools go back into session. This year, Orange County schools resume around August 10, 2023 and Los Angeles County resumes on August 14, 2023. That second date is key; there will almost certainly be a precipitous drop starting that week, with off-season crowds until Halloween kicks off in September 2023.

Unfortunately, that is partially offset by the summer Magic Key Annual Passholder blockouts for the lowest tiers of passes ending around roughly the same time. There will be a lot of pent-up demand for locals who have been blocked out for ~2 months, and they will return in droves that week.

Exactly how that plays out in August 2023 is unknown. Last year, the biggest drop occurred when local schools went back into session, and crowds remained relatively low even as AP blockouts lifted. However, the key difference this year is that Magic Key sales have resumed many times, whereas they were still paused last August. So in theory, the AP pool is larger this year and there could be a larger influx of locals. That is how things played out in 2019 and earlier, when things were more normal.

Still, we’re not talking 7/10 to 9/10 crowd levels for any days in August 2023. If current trends more or less continue–even with more of a spike for when AP blockouts lift–August 1-3 and 7-9 could peak at 5/10 to 7/10 so crowd levels. Other red flags are August 14 and 21, which are the days when two different tiers of AP blockouts lift. Those might also be in 5/10 to 7/10 territory.

Other than that, we’d expect crowd levels below 5/10. It’s likely that weekends will be even slower, with Saturdays and Sundays seldom having crowd levels above 3/10. Keep in mind that these are numerical scores based on wait times and relative to last year, which was an incredibly busy year as a whole due to pent-up demand. Crowd levels are not in absolute terms–August 2023 will be far less busy than last year, and more on par with 2019 or earlier.

Speaking of weekends, one thing we do know is that all Fridays through Sundays in August 2023 will be less busy than Mondays through Thursdays. This dynamic is almost entirely the result of blockouts for Magic Key Annual Passes and the Discounted California Resident Tickets. Disneyland’s expectation is that tourists and locals buying regular tickets would offset those blockouts, but that often is not the case.

This dynamic will become even more pronounced once summer tourist season winds down, meaning each weekend in August 2023 at Disneyland should get progressively slower. This will be true until August 20 and 27–those are both Saturdays, and they are not blocked out for the Enchant tier of Magic Key APs. Those two days are the outliers that will be busy! Other than that, Saturdays are a safe bet–and Sundays will always be the best day of the week to visit Disneyland in August 2023.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the Southern California locals visiting on weekdays have jobs, so the worst of these crowds will be in the afternoon and, especially, evening hours. If you arrive at rope drop and leave by 2 p.m., your perspective on crowds will be dramatically different from someone who arrives at 4 p.m. (By contrast, more locals can arrive early on weekends.)

Crowds should once again die down completely in the last week of August 2023, once locals get in their visits. This trend continues through early September, with more lulls early in the month. Post-Labor Day should see a significant drop-off in crowds. If you’re debating between a late August and early September visit, we’d suggest early September.

You’ll also notice that dynamic ticket prices start to drop substantially in mid to late August. Again, this is because summer visitors to Southern California are starting to head home by this point.

In both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, early August is a time when park hours are typically longer. Both parks regularly open at 8 a.m., with Early Entry starting 30 minutes before that for on-site resort guests.

Disneyland closes at midnight for the first half of the month, with Disney California Adventure regularly closing at 10 p.m. These are the “maximum” operating hours for each park–the longest either are open any day of the year, aside from New Year’s Eve and other outliers. Expect earlier closing times later in the month, but you should still be able to enjoy a fairly late night in the parks.

Anyone planning a trip debating whether to visit in August or later in the year can consult our When to Visit Disneyland in 2023 or our 2023 Best & Worst Months to Visit Disneyland posts. Again, we’d caution you against over-reliance on crowd calendar predictions for specific dates.

If you’re visiting between mid-August and mid-September, and have not yet booked a hotel room, your best option might be to wait until the last minute if prices do not look favorable at the moment. With summer tourist season ending and no major events scheduled for the Anaheim Convention Center, prices are likely to go down–not up.

In terms of ticket pricing, August has a range of rates. One-day park tickets are most are at “regular” season prices the first half of the month, with the exception of the first weekend being “peak” season. The end of the month then turns to “value” season Monday through Thursdays.

Read our Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets post for multi-day ticket recommendations to avoid having to deal with seasonal pricing. On the plus side, there are some multi-day ticket discounts currently available for all guests.

Even with below-average crowds, you’ll still want a solid itinerary for touring the parks. The downside to visiting during a more touristy season is that guests are more likely to arrive early in the day, and prioritize attractions. By contrast, locals tend to spend more time hanging out, and focus on attractions to a lesser degree. This can mean higher wait times despite the parks “feeling” less crowded.

Overall, we consider August a fairly average month in terms of our Best and Worst Months to Visit Disneyland. If you can schedule a visit during that third week of the month right when Los Angeles County schools go back into session, but before AP blockouts are lifted, that’s your best bet.

Not only will you have lower crowd levels, but you’re also going to have lower hotel prices, and fewer tourists than earlier in the month. There are also unique wrinkles, but it’s generally a quieter month, especially towards the end. If you can avoid the “bad” dates in August and can deal with some hotter weather (“IT’S A DRY HEAT!”), August can be a surprisingly good time to visit.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

YOUR THOUGHTS

If you’ve visited Disneyland during the month of August, what did you think of the experience? Did you find the crowd levels to be manageable? What about the weather? Did you notice a decrease or increase in crowds towards the end of the month? Are you visiting this August? Participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon? If you’ve visited in August, do you have any tips to add? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!

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