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This is a rough outline of some of the busiest times at the Disneyland resort. Note that the busiest times are also the times when Disneyland Resort offers more (e.g. fireworks, special decorations). Please feel free to add any additional tips or info as need be.
Any three-day weekend or holiday will bring massive crowds to Disneyland. Some examples are
In general, weekends (Friday night through Sunday) are generally busier than weekdays. And three day weekends are very busy (see Holidays above).
Conventions/Events:The Anaheim Convention Center (http://www.anaheimconventioncenter.com ) as well as the Disneyland resort sometimes play host to conventions and special events. It might be good to call the resort and ask about the dates you are planning on being there to check for events.The largest Convention held is in late January, called the NAMM Show, which brings in over 100,000 folks to the event.
Disney knows when its parks will be busy. They typically compensate by extending park hours. You can check park hours by calling Disneyland Resort or by checking online at: http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disne... (this also shows tentative show schedules and ride refurbishment schedules). Normally the rule of thumb is the more hours the park is open, the more crowded it will be. For example in the middle of summer Disneyland is typically open from 8am-11 PM, and on a Tuesday in January it is typically open from 10am-8pm.
Another one is weather, which you really can't predict. Since the Disneyland Resort has a large percentage of its guests as "locals" (what Disney states is guests that can drive to and from the Resort in the same day) and sells many Annual Passports, a day with good weather will bring out more "locals", than a rainy day, since the "locals" can always come back another day.
The two slowest times at the Resort is most of the month of May (exception is the last weekend of the month, the Memorial Day Holiday), and September (once again, avoiding the Labor Day Holiday, which is the first weekend of the Month).