Our February 2023 Disneyland & Disney California Adventure guide offers a free crowd calendar for choosing the best days to visit, plus info about weather, new attractions & closures, seasonal events, discounts & pricing, and more. (Updated January 31, 2023.)
The good news is that February is off-season when it comes to travel to Southern California as a whole. It’s a low-volume month for LAX and SNA airports, which should be reflected on crowd calendars for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
The bad news is that a lot of people live within Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and the winter “off-season” has increasingly become a popular time for them to visit. On top of that, Magic Key Annual Passholders frequent the parks year-round, there’s new stuff for Disney100, and school breaks during February 2023. Accordingly, even though tourist volume will be low most of the month, Disneyland will still have plenty of moderately-crowded (and worse) days in February 2023.
We already covered this in our January 2023 Disneyland Crowd Calendar & Info post, but we’ll quickly recap it here again in case you didn’t read that. Basically, we’re expecting February 2023 to be a repeat of something that occurred a couple of years ago.
Back then, Disneyland was slammed with people the first two months of the year due to a confluence of circumstances: Main Street Electrical Parade’s return, SoCal resident ticket offer, and aggressive marketing campaigns in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
This was a significant departure from recent history. Normally, January and February are the slowest months of the year at Disneyland. February is also the holiday hangover, a stretch of nothing after the popular, back-to-back Halloween and Holiday Times at Disneyland. This is noteworthy because many in Southern and Northern California make their annual pilgrimage to Disneyland Resort between September and December.
In February 2023, we’re anticipating a similar confluence of circumstances “thanks” to pent-up reservation demand among Magic Key Passholders who have had a difficult time booking reservations since Halloween. On top of that, Magic Keys just went back on sale last month, so there’s also demand among new Passholders.
Additionally, there’s the 2023 Southern California Resident Disneyland Ticket Deal. This one is nothing out of the ordinary, and only offers weekday visits through May 25, 2023 that are subject to theme park reservation availability. It’s significant that this is not a better deal than in the past (if anything, it’s slightly worse), but many locals will still buy it to experience everything new for Disney100.
Speaking of which, the big draws at Disneyland Resort in 2023 are Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Toontown and the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration. This new ride is now open and the Disney100 event is now underway. We’ve been in the parks several days since it started, and crowds are definitely up–we’ll continue watching closely to see whether there’s a fall-off.
The celebration brings with it new nighttime spectaculars to each park, plus character costumes, new merchandise, food & beverages, and everything else locals love. Consult our Guide to Disney’s 100th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland & DCA for everything you need to know about the festivities.
With that preface out of the way, here’s what you can expect in February at Disneyland & Disney California Adventure in terms of the crowd calendar, weather, refurbishment, special events, closures and new attractions…
February WEATHER AT DISNEYLAND
If you don’t mind mild to chilly weather, February is a great time to visit Southern California from a weather perspective. Temperatures are usually in the 50s and 60s. The daily high temperature is 68°F, and rarely falls below 59°F or exceeds 80°F. Daily low temperatures are 50°F, rarely falling below 41°F or exceeding 56°F.
This might seem like t-shirt and shorts weather to out of state tourists, but most locals bundle up in coats…or parkas. This is especially true in the evening, when California’s crisp air makes it feel even colder. In addition to those t-shirts, we’d recommend packing jeans and sweatshirts, plus a light jacket. Layers are key this time of year.
February is also in the heart of Southern California’s rainy season. On the rare occasions when it does rain, it’s typically not just a brief or isolated shower. Nevertheless, the average February rainfall total for Anaheim, California is 3.1 inches, so days of downpours are unlikely.
It’s more likely you’ll experience near-constant sunshine, with the marine layer being less of a problem during the winter months, and most days seeing plenty of sunlight. All things considered, February is a good time to visit California (and by extension, Disneyland), so long as you don’t plan on sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the ocean!
SPECIAL EVENTS & WHAT’S NEW OR CLOSED
Over at Disney California Adventure, the Lunar New Year Celebration of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions runs through February 20, 2023. If you’re visiting before it ends, we highly recommend making a point of checking the food and entertainment–especially the Mulan processional.
At this point, it’s reasonably safe to say Main Street Electrical Parade won’t make an encore this year. It hasn’t yet been announced and February starts soon. While we have no doubts that it’ll return again at some point (Disney just cannot resist trotting this parade out for “farewell” runs every so often), but it’ll be too soon since the last “farewell” run for another.
On a positive note, there is one parade returning: the short-lived Magic Happens parade makes its highly anticipated return to Disneyland on February 24, 2023. Led by Mickey Mouse and his pals, the daytime spectacular celebrates Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Studios films with grand floats, artistic costumes and an energetic musical score. Magic Happens first debuted on February 28, 2020. Anyone with even cursory knowledge of world history knows what happened next, and why it ran for less than two weeks.
The beginning of the year is “refurbishment season.” For February, refurbishment season has returned in full force. Consult our 2023 Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar for opening and closing dates. One thing that is not on the calendar yet is the closure of Splash Mountain, but it seems highly likely to occur in February 2023.
With all of that established, let’s take a look at the February Disneyland crowd calendar…
February Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Disneyland crowd calendars are not reliable for individual dates due to shifting attendance, Magic Keys, and other factors. Generalized trends are easier to predict, but it’s 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.
As such, our Disneyland crowd calendar points out the best & worst date ranges. These should be used as an approximation for crowds relative to other dates in the same month or season. While other sites offer numerical crowd calendars for specific dates months (or a year!) in advance, we’d be weary of putting too much weight on those. Suffice to say, there are simply too many inconsistencies for Disneyland crowd calendars to be reliable far in advance.
With that said, our crowd calendar methodology is based upon historic wait time information, anecdotal observations, special events, school schedules, dynamic ticket prices, and more. We don’t separate the two, but expect Disney California Adventure crowds to almost always track Disneyland crowds—with a few exceptions—albeit with a proportionately lower number of guests.
Finally, we do not recommend using this crowd calendar as a proxy for wait times at other Los Angeles attractions or theme parks, like Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, or Six Flags Magic Mountain. Disneyland Resort crowds are unique; they’re sometimes artificially manipulated by Disney and also impacted by extraneous variables that do not impact the aforementioned theme parks to nearly the same degree.
Generally speaking, the best days to visit Disneyland in February 2023 will be Mondays through Thursdays. The holiday that really has a big impact on the crowd calendar this month is Presidents’ Day. Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras has a negligible impact on Disneyland attendance.
With that in mind, our favorite week to visit will be February 6-9, 2023. We’d also recommend February 13-16, 2023 as dates that should feature more moderate crowds. Weekends, including Fridays, are likely to be busier across the board. The one exception to this is Sunday nights–crowds tend to die down as tourists from within California start heading home about midday, but the parks remain open later than on weekdays.
Without question, the worst dates of the month at Disneyland will be February 17-20, 2023. The entire week following Presidents’ Day (so stretch that to February 26, 2023) are dates we’d avoid. Between the end of Lunar New Year and start of Magic Happens Parade, that entire stretch will be reasonably crowded.
The Saturday and Sunday of Presidents’ Day Weekend won’t be as bad as the Friday and Monday that bookend them. This has everything to do with blockout dates for most Magic Key Passholders. All of these days should be avoided if you can, but we feel the weekend itself is the better option should you have to attend during that 4-day long weekend.
If you also follow our crowd forecasts for Walt Disney World in Florida, you might know that we recently highlighted just how bad this will be in the Worst Week of Winter is Coming at Walt Disney World. In the Florida parks, this will be the busiest week of the first quarter and could be one of the 5 worst weeks of 2023–right up there with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the peak of spring break.
Thankfully, it will not be nearly as bad at Disneyland. This is for a couple of reasons. First, Los Angeles and Orange County schools do not have the full week of Presidents’ Day off. Same goes for most West Coast school districts. Some do have longer breaks, but nothing like the number of districts in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, and Northeast that have the entire week off for Mardi Gras or Presidents’ Day. There also are not colossal runDisney or youth sporting events at Disneyland to really spike crowds.
With that said, the aforementioned opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration could spike crowds across the board in February 2023. Consequently, expect crowd levels of around 8/10 during the peak of Presidents’ Day, 6/10 or so on the surrounding dates, and 5/10 or below during the rest of the month.
Another consideration is that the 2023 California resident ticket deal will only be valid for Mondays through Thursdays, making it entirely possible that crowd levels will be more consistent throughout each week in February 2023. We’ve seen this play out recently, and which dates end up being better or worse is almost random–like throwing darts at a board. Nevertheless, we’re offering these suggestions as the dates that are more likely to be better or worse.
Moreover, all of this is subject to change depending on park reservation calendars. If Magic Key reservations run out for most days–including weekdays–and reservations for regular ticket holders follow suit, there won’t be much variance in crowds at all. If every day is fully booked, they’re all equally busy.
These February 2023 Disneyland crowd calendar predictions assume that Disney will be able to increase capacity and/or pent-up demand will start to fizzle-out in the new year. If either or both of those things don’t occur, all bets are off. Even if they do occur, it really depends upon the degree to which it happens. If reservations are still filling up to ~90% most days (and we have no way of knowing whether that occurs), there potentially won’t be an appreciable difference in crowd levels throughout the month. Our expectation is that demand will decrease and capacity will increase, thus providing some relief to crowds, but that’s not a sure thing.
February Pricing & Discounts
This is probably coming too late for most of you, but February is one of the cheapest months of the year in terms of off-site hotel prices. At some locations, you can expect to pay about half the price of peak summer season pricing. We booked several hotels for ourselves this month to knock out more reviews, and noticed many hotels below $100/night.
Speaking of which, we rank our favorite (and least favorite) hotels in the area in our Disneyland Area Hotel Rankings & Reviews post. Check out discounted hotel + ticket vacation packages on Get Away Today to save money on off-site hotels.
Even if our low to moderate crowd predictions for February turn out to be accurate, we still recommend an efficient itinerary for touring Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Another great option is the Park Hopper ticket, which allows you to weave between the parks. Failing that, arrive at rope drop and try to get as much done as possible before 4 p.m. Read our Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets post for full ticket recommendations.
Ultimately, February does not rank very highly on our Best and Worst Months to Visit Disneyland but that’s due to the second half of the month. It’s likely going to be bad due to Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras coinciding, plus the return of Magic Happens Parade and end of Lunar New Year…on top of everything new that debuted for Disney100 in January. The first half of the month should be a different story, with only the Disney100 spike contributing to a slightly busier than normal winter off-season stretch.
By and large, we’ve had an exceptional time during our visits in January and February, and that’s due in large part to choosing dates with lower crowd levels–plus comfortable coat weather. As the month wears on, crowds will almost certainly increase, so target the first half of the month if you really want to enjoy more manageable attendance levels and wait times.
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!
Have you visited Disneyland in February? Any thoughts on the refurbishment projects going on in Disney California Adventure and Disneyland this year? Did they impact your experience negatively, or do you fear that they will? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!
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