Disneyland railroad station

Opening hours for Disneyland 2023-2024 (plus tips and FAQs)

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Being a California local, Disneyland is my family’s favorite place to visit, and I have been to Disneyland and California Adventure more times than I can count.

I have the complete scoop on the official opening hours for Disneyland and when you can actually enter the park. Let me tell you right away that you can enter the park before it opens, as I know this from my own experience!

When it comes to planning your magical Disneyland adventure, knowing the park’s opening and closing hours is crucial. If you plan your arrival to Disneyland using the tips below, you will be able to make the most of your mornings in Disneyland.

In this comprehensive guide, I will provide all the essential information on Disneyland’s operating hours, early entry opportunities, and tips to make the most of your visit.

What time does Disneyland open?

On most days, below are the Disneyland Park operating hours:
Disneyland Park’s operating hours: 8 AM to 12 AM
Disney California Adventure’s operating hours: 8 AM to 10 PM

The anticipation of entering Disneyland can be almost as exciting as the park itself! Disneyland’s regular opening time is typically 8 AM.

However, it’s always a good idea to check the official Disneyland website or app for the most up-to-date opening hours for the day of your visit, as they can sometimes vary depending on the special events.

People are being let in Disneyland Park before opening hours for Disneyland
People are being let in Disneyland Park before opening time

Can you enter Disneyland before it opens?

Yes, you can! Most people do not know that even though Disneyland opens at 8 AM on most days, you can enter the park 7:30 AM onwards for rope drop.

You should plan to arrive at the entrance gates at least one hour before the official park opening. Rope drop at Disneyland is my most important tip for your Disneyland visit.

Things you can do before Disneyland’s official opening time:

  • Complete bag security check.
  • Get ticket verification done.
  • Explore the park’s main entrance and Main Street USA / Buena Vista Street.
  • Get breakfast and/or coffee inside the park.
  • Take photos inside the park.
  • Wait at the rope drop area to get an early start on your favorite ride.
Main Street Disneyland
Fewer crowds before opening time in Disneyland

Let me explain why you should arrive an hour early before the official opening time. Disneyland allows you to go through bag check security and through the entrance gates starting around 7 AM.

I visit Disneyland several times a year, and let me tell you that it is very, very crowded. The bag check lines itself sometimes take more than 30 minutes.

On top of this, if you are not staying in a hotel near Disneyland which is within walking distance, you will be parking at the Mickey and Friends parking structure and taking the tram to the gates, which adds roughly another 20 to 30 minutes. Yes, lines everywhere!

After the bag check, you can get in line for ticket scanning. The ticket scanning usually begins around 30 minutes before park opening time. So, for the 8 AM park opening time, you can get your ticket verification done starting at 7:30 AM.

So you can enter the park between 7:30 and 8 AM and explore the grand entrance area, get pictures of the decor, walk on Main Street USA, and grab something to eat.

Rope Drop Disneyland
Crowd waiting at Rope Drop location in Disneyland

The main ride areas are unavailable before the official park opening time, but you can wait for the rope drop and be ready to run to your favorite ride at 8 AM. (yes, we literally run to our chosen ride when the rope drops along with hundreds of other guests waiting at the rope drop! It’s quite a spectacle and super fun, I think!)

Early Entry for resort guests

Disneyland offers a special perk called “Early Entry” exclusively for resort guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels. This means you can access select areas of the park 30 minutes before it officially opens to the public.

Early entry time is typically from 7:30 AM to 8 AM. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience some of the most popular attractions with shorter wait times.

What time does Disneyland close?

Disneyland Park typically closes at 12 AM, and Disney California Adventure closes at 10 PM.

The theme park’s closing time occasionally varies for special events. Once again, check the official Disneyland website or app for the exact park closing time during your visit.

Evening at Disneyland - View of Main Street USA with Mickey's statue

Can you stay in Disneyland after the park closes?

The short answer is yes. While Disneyland’s attractions may close for the evening, you can still savor the magic after the official closing time.

Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland Park and Buena Vista St. in California Adventure, remain open for an additional hour or so after the park closes, allowing you to shop, dine, and capture those last-minute photos in the iconic surroundings. Some dining restaurants, like the bakery, might close, but most shops remain open.

Outside the park gates, the Downtown Disney area also remains open till around 1 AM on most nights. There is a huge Disney souvenir store in Downtown Disney where you can spend some time browsing merchandise after the park closes if you are still not in the mood to return to your hotel.

I never have the energy to shop after being on my feet all day in Disneyland, standing in lines!

Closing time variations for holidays and special events

Disneyland loves to celebrate holidays in style, which means extended hours to enjoy the festivities during holidays and special ticketed events.

Large pumpkin shaped Mickey statue in Disneyland at Halloween
Halloween at Disneyland

During the peak holiday season, the park may stay open later into the night, offering an opportunity to immerse yourself in special holiday-themed entertainment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that special Disneyland After Dark events such as Oogie Boogie Bash and Star Wars Nite can also impact Disneyland’s closing hours as the park closes early for general admission guests and only remains open for special ticketed event guests.

Below are some of the special events and holidays with varied closing times. These hours are predictions based on the previous year’s hours, as Disneyland only releases its schedule six weeks in advance:

  • New Year’s Eve – Disneyland Park remains open till around 2 AM, and California Adventure Park remains open till around 1 PM.
  • Oogie Boogie Bash – On select days in September and October, California Adventure closes at 6 PM and reopens for the special ticketed event from 6 PM to 11 PM.
  • Star Wars Nite – On select days in May, Disneyland Park closes early at 8 PM for general admission guests to allow for the special ticketed event for Star Wars fans called ‘Star Wars Nite.’

Pro-Tip – If you are not planning to attend the special event, I would strongly advise you to not visit Disneyland during those days as you get fewer hours in the park, and the park that remains open gets extremely crowded.

We were in Disneyland Park on the day of the Oogie Boogie Bash event, and in the evening, the park was packed to capacity as the California Adventure Park closed early for the event, and many of those guests flocked to Disneyland Park.

Sleeping Beauty holiday Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty castle during Christmas

We got unlucky one more time when we were in Disneyland on the day of Star Wars Nite. The park closed early, at 8 PM, for general admission ticket holders, and we could not enjoy the fireworks.

FAQs about Disneyland operating hours

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Disneyland Park’s opening and closing hours.

Is Disneyland open on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays?

Yes, Disneyland and California Adventure are both open 365 days a year, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas Day.

In fact, the holidays are the busiest and most crowded days at Disneyland! Despite the crowds, I still love visiting Disneyland during the holidays, as the decor is just magical.

Can attractions close earlier than park closing time?

While the Disneyland park may close at a certain time, individual attractions in California Adventure and Disneyland may have their own closing times. Some attractions, especially those in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, might close a bit earlier to accommodate the fireworks, which are typically at 9:30 PM.

It’s always a good idea to consult the Disneyland app for real-time updates on ride availability.

Does Disneyland remain open during rain?

Yes, Disneyland remains open during rain, and luckily, it doesn’t snow in Anaheim, California. Disneyland is designed to be an all-weather park, and many of its attractions and entertainment options continue to operate even when it’s raining.

Its indoor attractions and rides are great places to seek shelter when it rains outside. However, some outdoor rides and attractions may temporarily close during heavy rain or lightning storms for safety reasons.

Mickey's float at Disneyland parade - watching the parade is a must in any Disneyland Itinerary
Mickey’s float at Disneyland parade

Pro tips to make the most of your Disneyland visit

Now that you know the ins and outs of Disneyland’s opening and closing hours, here are some expert tips to enhance your visit:

  • Plan Ahead: Start by researching the park’s themed lands and attractions, showtimes, and special events. Create a loose itinerary for Disneyland and California Adventure to ensure you don’t miss out on must-see attractions.
  • Use Rope Drop: Arrive at the park early to take advantage of shorter lines for popular attractions.
  • Use Genie Plus: Purchase the Disney Genie Plus service to access the Lightning Lane for select rides. Lightning Lanes have much shorter wait times than regular stand-by lines, and you will be able to ride a lot of Disneyland attractions quickly.
  • Download the Disneyland App: This app provides real-time information on wait times, show schedules, dining reservations, and mobile food ordering, making your day more efficient. You will also need the app to use the Genie Plus service.
  • Downtown Disney Hours: If you’re looking for after-hours entertainment, Downtown Disney District often stays open later than the park, offering dining, shopping, and live entertainment.
  • Dining Reservations: Make dining reservations in advance, especially for popular restaurants, to avoid long wait times for meals.
  • Single Rider Lines: If you’re comfortable riding alone or don’t mind being separated from your group temporarily, use single rider lines to skip longer queues. We often use this for the Radiator Springs Racers Cars ride.
  • Use Rider Switch: If you have young children who can’t ride certain attractions, utilize the Rider Switch option to ensure everyone gets a chance to enjoy the rides.

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Final Takeaways: Opening hours for Disneyland

In conclusion, understanding Disneyland’s opening and closing hours is key to planning a seamless and enjoyable visit.

Summary of Disneyland opening time:

  • Both Disneyland and California Adventure open at 8 AM.
  • Guests who stay at the Disneyland Resort hotels get Early Entry, which means they get to enter the park and ride select attractions between 7:30 and 8 AM.
  • All general admission guests can enter the park before official opening time and can explore Main Street USA and ait at the rope drop area.
  • Plan to arrive at least an hour before park opening time.

Summary of Disneyland closing time:

  • Disneyland Park typically closes at 12 AM, and Disney California Adventure closes at 10 PM.
  • On New Year’s Eve, both parks stay open later than usual closing time.
  • During Disneyland After Dark events like Oogie Boogie Bash, Start Wars Nite, etc., the parks close early for general admission guests and only remain open for special ticketed event guests.

With these insights and pro tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey into the world of Disney magic. So, go ahead, book your tickets, and prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime.

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