Summer at Disneyland: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Goofy Gets Dressed Up for Summer Guests
©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

If you're thinking about going to Disneyland in the summer, you should know that it has advantages — and disadvantages. These are the things you need to see if it's right for you.

You can spend more time at Disneyland in the summer because of long hours. New attractions open at the beginning of summer, and you can be among the first guests to enjoy them. You can see Fantasmic! and World of Color at California Adventure every day of the week. Parades run more than once a day. And the fireworks go off every night.

On the negative side, summer is the busiest time of year at Disneyland. In fact, it's is one of the unholy trinity of worst times to go to Disneyland (along with spring break and Christmas holidays) because of crowds and long lines. And those new attractions? You can be among the first to enjoy them, but you won't be alone. In fact, they can have exasperatingly long lines for months after opening.

Summer weather can also be almost unbearably hot. People get cranky when it's hot and crowded — and when they have to wait. Even if you manage to hang onto your good mood, the people around you may not.

For families, summer may be the only time to go. Even if the negatives are a worry, don't get discouraged. Instead, use these tested and proven tips for planning a perfect Disneyland trip.

Disneyland Crowds in Summer

Summer is the busiest time of year at Disneyland. In fact, it's is one of the unholy trinity of worst times to go to Disneyland (along with spring break and Christmas holidays) because of long lines.

For the first few weeks of June, season pass holders flock in to check out the newest attractions, making the park even more crowded than usual.

The July 4 holiday draws peak attendance that makes it the second-busiest day of the year. The park will be even more packed if July 4 is on Friday or Monday, creating a three-day holiday weekend. When attendance reaches the legal maximum, they stop letting guests in, even if they have a ticket.

Disneyland Weather in Summer

Anaheim can get hot in the summer, but it is unlikely to rain. To get an idea of what it's like during the summer months and all year long, check the average Disneyland weather month by month.

Weather varies during summer. In June the highs average 72 F (22 C). August average is 77 F (25 C). Many days will be hotter than average, and Disneyland always feels hotter than you might expect for the temperature on the thermometer.

In the middle of a summer day, it can get so hot at Disneyland that you may think the pavement is going to melt the soles of your sneakers. 

Summer Closures at Disneyland

Most of the Disneyland attractions will be open, except when they close for periodic maintenance.

For a list of which rides are expected to be closed for refurbishment, check Touringplans.com.

Disneyland's Summer Hours

Disneyland's summer hours are the longest of the year. You can go to Disneyland in the morning and stay until midnight — if you don't get too tired. In general, the parks are open 14 to 16 hours per day, every day, but California Adventure hours may be slightly shorter. To get more exact times, you can check Disneyland's summer hours up to 6 weeks in advance.

What to Pack

If you're a light packer, who tends to take a few mix-and-match items expecting to wear each piece more than once, adjust your plans for a Disneyland trip and pack one outfit per day. Even when the thermometer says 80-ish, you'll be too sweat-soaked by day's end to wear anything again without a wash.

Two pairs of socks per day are also a big help. Not only can you change them if they get wet on Splash Mountain, but a fresh pair at midday can help your feet stay comfortable until closing time.

Before you start writing up your packing checklist, check these general Disneyland packing tips.

Summer Events at Disneyland

  • Disneyland's annual Grad Night events continue into June. The after-hours graduation dance party is held in California Adventure. Expect bigger crowds all day long on the dates they're held. WDWinfo has a list of the dates.
  • For the July 4 Independence Day holiday, there will be a special fireworks show set to patriotic songs, with fiery bursts of red, white and blue. 
  • The big Disney fan expo called D23 is held in odd-numbered years at the nearby Anaheim Convention Center, usually in July or August. It draws even more visitors to the parks than usual. Check the current and upcoming schedule on their website.

    Summer Travel Tips

    • Toontown is the hottest part of Disneyland. Make it your first stop in the morning before all that asphalt has a chance to heat up. Don't wait until after dark, though. It closes early because of the fireworks.
    • Summer is one of the most crowded times of the year, and the lines can get exasperatingly long. You'll definitely need all of these tested and proven ways to reduce your Disneyland wait time to cope.
    • Because summer demand is high, so are prices. Hotels are booked up, and spring's discounts disappear faster than an ice cube in the summer sun. To get some ideas that may help with the cost, use the guide to the best hotel rates at Disneyland
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