Disneyland in December: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

Courtesy of Disneyland

December at Disneyland starts off relatively uncrowded, except for weekends. By mid-month, it will be packed every day, and it will stay that way into January.

The best thing about going during that time is the holiday decorations and seasonal treats. But the crowds can put a damper on the fun. If you must visit Disneyland during this busy time because of holiday schedule constraints, you'll need all the help you can muster to survive. Start by not just reading but learning all of the proven and tested tips for staying out of line at Disneyland. Get your hotel reservation as far ahead of time as you can, too.

Crowds

If you plan to go to Disneyland in December, go early in the month or be prepared to face some of the biggest crowds of the year. Weekdays during the first two weeks are the best time to go. Any weekend, and any weekday after that, will be very busy.

The week between December 25 and January 1 is one of the year's busiest. December 25 and 31 are two of the few days a year when Disneyland can get so crowded that it reaches capacity. When that happens, they have to obey the fire codes and can't let any more people in, even if they have a ticket.

Weather

These averages can help you get a rough idea of what the weather will be like. It's only a guideline: California weather is just like it is where you live, different every year.

December is a possibly rainy month, and while Disneyland never closes because of it, a rainy day can cause rides with outdoor tracks to close. During infrequent Pacific storms, rainfall can be a downpour.

  • Average High Temperature: 66-degrees
  • Average Low Temperature: 48-degrees
  • Rain: 2 inches
  • Rainfall: 5 days
  • Daylight: 10 hours
  • Sunshine: 7 hours
  • UV Index: 3 (lowest of the year)

At the extremes, Anaheim's record low temperature was 30-degrees, and its record high was 108-degrees. Check the current Disneyland weather forecast a few days ahead for the best information about the winter weather.

Closures

Except for really major renovations that take many months, one advantage of the busier times at Disneyland is that all the rides will be running, except for brief closures to do routine maintenance.

Hours

For most of December, Disneyland will be open 12 to 16 hours per day, with somewhat shorter hours during the first week or two of the month. California Adventure's hours may be slightly shorter.

Some attractions may have shorter hours, and special events can also affect the schedule. Check the Disneyland calendar before going.  

What to Pack

December can be a rainy month (in some years). Check the forecast and take a poncho or hooded rain jacket if it's predicted. Umbrellas are a nuisance to stow when you go on a ride and hard to walk around with. It's better to leave them at home.

December can be cool to chilly, especially after the sun goes down. If you want to enjoy the water rides, pack clothing that dries out quickly, so you don't have to walk around soggy and miserable the rest of the day. A plastic poncho will also help keep you dry while on the ride. If it all seems like too much to carry, you can rent a locker for just a couple of dollars.

November Events

In December, there aren't many scheduled events, but Disneyland will be decorated for the holidays, and you'll find lots of seasonally-themed activities all around the parks.

Besides enjoying the holiday decorations in December, you can watch a holiday parade and fireworks, a visit with Santa and other events.

On New Year's Eve, there's a "Ring in the New Year" fireworks spectacular.

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