Disneyland in August: How to Pick the Best Dates and Handle the Heat

Disneyland in August comes in at the end of wrapping up summer at Disneyland. August is a popular time to go for tourists and locals alike- depending on what time of the month you visit. You can avoid large local crowds at Disneyland in August if you pick your date carefully.

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Everyone has personal preferences to consider when planning the date of their Disneyland trip- each season will have its pros and cons and guests' choices will vary based on those. Make sure to read our Disneyland crowd calendar to get an idea of what to expect when picking a date to visit Disneyland.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland in August including current events, what weather to expect, crowd level predictions, and what to pack!

Disneyland Events in AugustKylo Ren stands in front of a Tie Fighter in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Here are all the current events to know about impacting Disneyland in August!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened to the public without reservations in late June. This new land is popular for guests and Disney will utilize their Boarding Pass option when the crowds get heavy. Once the land hits capacity, Disney then implements a virtual queue system (Boarding Passes!) that guests can book through their Disneyland app or at kiosks inside the park. The virtual system works in the same way FastPass does. Once enough guests leave the land, you will get a notification that it's time to enter and you will have two hours to claim your spot. Make sure to read our guide to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge for land reviews, tips and tracks, and everything you need to know.

Disneyland Forever Fireworks

Throughout the month the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show will play. The soundtrack to the show features an original song by beloved Disney composer Richard M. Sherman called “A Kiss Goodnight,” which included vocals from Broadway's Mary Poppins (Ashley Brown). The show also includes another original song “Live the Magic” in addition to classic Disney songs. This show was extremely popular during the 60th anniversary celebration so I recommend planning ahead to get a spot for this spectacular.

Main Street Electrical Parade

This popular parade filled with childhood nostalgia is set to return to the parks beginning August 2nd. The parade features floats focused on classic Disney movies and live performers covered in over 600,000 electronically controlled LED lights and a synchronized soundtrack.

The Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years of Retirement Unliving

The ticketed event, Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years of Retirement Unliving, after hours event takes place August 7, 8, 9. Buy tickets here.

D23 Expo

The annual D23 Expo takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center August 25-25th. This is an extremely popular Disney fan event for D23 members and this convention usually has an impact on the crowd levels at the park. Click here to learn more about the D23 Expo.

CHOC Walk

The yearly fundraiser for kids in Southern California, the CHOC Walk, will take place at the Disneyland Resort on August 11th. Both parks will have delayed openings this day to accommodate the fundraiser. Guests that participate in this fundraiser have the option of purchasing discount Disneyland tickets after the walk which can make the lines for the ticket booth long that morning.

Disneyland August Crowd CalendarSymphony Swings at Disneyland in August

This summer has been remarkably easy to manage with low crowds levels since many guests were scared off by the mere thought of gigantic crowds coming to see Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge! Disneyland has responded with promotional ticket deals for Annual Passholders that may help bring some more bodies into the parks but we still expect August at Disneyland to be no more crowded than usual for this time of year despite the opening of the new land.

Even though some folks claim August can be one of the busiest months of the year, which is true in some cases, there is often a ‘sweet spot' in terms of picking dates that don't clash with other busy times of the month. We usually take our annual trip to Disneyland in August and I've found that picking the right date in the month makes all the difference.

For example, the Annual Pass Blockout Date calendar is a must to check into here on Disney's website. The top tier passes receive no block out dates but considering the expense of those passes, they are not nearly the majority of AP holders. If you look at the calendar you will notice that the Deluxe Annual Pass blockout dates end on August 19th, with the exception of the last two Saturdays of the month, they are now free to enter the park. This will have a large impact on the crowds later in the month as local passholders make up a significant part of Disneyland's guest population.

You also have the D23 Expo happening on August 23-25th which will bring a large influx of guests into the parks impacting the crowd levels. It is common, if not expected, that most guests attending the expo will take the five minute walk from the convention center to visit Disneyland.

If you are planning a trip in August, visiting in the first two weeks of the month can be the best strategy before the blockout dates end for locals and the D23 Expo. We've always found crowd levels reasonable at this time of the month. School schedules around the country vary but many schools go back in session in August which makes those family crowd levels a bit more hit or miss. Definitely less impacted than visiting in July though!

If your dates aren't flexible and you have to come in the second half of the month, you can still have a great vacation even if Disneyland is crowded as long as you plan ahead. Make dining reservations, consider booking a dining package for anticipated nighttime shows, learn how to use MaxPass along with FastPass, and arrive early to the parks every day. Even on an extremely crowded day, being there 30 minutes before the park officially opens allows you to experience the park with smaller crowds. Those two or three hours before 11AM are the best- don't miss out!

Disneyland spent months before the summer season preparing on improving guest comfort and experience with their  Project Stardust initiative. This project has included the refurbishment of Sleeping Beauty's Castle along with widening walkways, clearing barriers, and rule changes to limit overlarge strollers/wagons. This was done all with the goal in mind of easing congestion during typical bottleneck areas and walkways in the resort. During peak times of the year there will also be more cast members on staff, longer hours, repeat schedules for popular parades and nighttime shows. People have been reporting that they can feel the difference of any easier to access resort which can only mean good things for summer crowds at Disneyland this year. In fact, this year's summer at Disneyland has been remarkably slow with minimal crowds despite the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge making guest experiences remarkably comfortable.

Read our full guide on handling crowds to prepare yourself for visiting Disneyland in August in case you experience crowded days on your visit.

Disneyland Weather in AugustMark Twain Riverboat during a bright sunny day

Disneyland in August can be hot, hot, hot with the average high coming in at 86 degrees and the average low at 66. You also have the bonus factor of all the concrete in the parks reflecting the sun back at you when you're there.

The perks of visiting in the summer is that the average length of day in August is around 14 and a half hours giving you plenty of time to enjoy the parks. When it comes to Disneyland's operating schedule, the first two weeks of the month they operate on their summer schedule with gates opening at 8am everyday and staying open late. About midway during the month they will switch to shorter hours with the gates opening at 9am everyday.

We've been in the parks before when the hours switched midweek and the first day of the switch definitely had an impact on the lines at the gates. Many people likely didn't realize the opening switched to 9am so they arrived prior to 8am which created huge lines for people who arrived later. If you're there during the hours switch, make sure to get there extra early on the first day the hours get pushed back so you're not at the end of the line. You can check Disneyland's calendar here for the schedule during your trip.

Tips for Visiting Disneyland in AugustSleeping Beauty's Castle new paint job with darker blue roofs and pixie dust sparkles

When it comes to visiting Disneyland in August, we have some tried and true hacks for having a magical time on your summer vacation.

What to Wear 

One of the most frequently asked guest questions is: what should I wear to Disneyland? Always check the weather leading up to your trip. Since you're visiting Disneyland in August, the weather is going to be hot each day of your trip. Even though the days will be hot it can actually cool down quite a bit in the morning and evenings so plan on bringing at least one lightweight hoodie or shirt.

Bring clothes that you will feel comfortable in when it's hot outside. Make sure your kids are wearing cool clothes too because you want to keep them happy on those hot days. Avoid sandals unless they're ones you know you can walk at least 7 miles a day in and be comfortable (Chacos or Birkenstocks come to mind for me!) but at least bring two pairs of shoes so you can switch back and forth.

What to Pack 

Considering the high average temperature for the month of August, plan on packing summer attire for the parks and the pool at your hotel.

Always bring the hot weather necessities like sunscreen, portable fans, cooling towels, and other items all aimed at keeping you cool on hot days. If you find yourself wanting one of these while you're there, you'll end up paying a high price in the parks or at your hotel. On our last visit in August we had some days that reached 90 degrees and by the end of the day I had purchased misting fans, cooling towels- you name it- from the parks. If I would have brought my own I would have saved myself a ton of money. And if you're planning on hitting the beach, don't bother bringing towels and just use the ones from your hotel. You're visiting Southern California during one of the most beautiful times of the year- don't forget to see the beach!

You can read our giant packing list here to make sure you show up prepared for literally anything you need while you're visiting Disneyland.

What to Expect

There are a few things you should expect when choosing August as your month to visit Disneyland:

  • Pick your dates wisely- like I mentioned above when talking about crowds, the first and second half of the month of August can be much different when it comes to crowd levels and operating hours at Disneyland. Being aware of this in advance can help you plan better so you have an idea of what hours to expect and what crowd levels to contend with. If you can, try to come in the first two weeks of the month.
  • Be prepared for hot weather- hot weather at Disneyland in August is unavoidable. You may even have some days that reach 90 which can be really tough to deal with inside the park. If you don't handle heat well, it's so necessary to wake up early and get to the parks at least 45 minutes before they open the gates. The hot weather won't really start making an impact until 11am-12pm depending on the day so getting there early will make all the difference. If you follow our awesome morning strategy for Disneyland here and California Adventure here you can be done with the major rides by lunchtime and go back to your hotel for a swim at the hottest part of the day. And like I said before, bring cooling towels, misting fans, and any other gear you like to have when it's hot. With some advance planning, you can handle the heat!
  • Tips for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge- if you're planning on visiting Batuu, then make sure to read our guide on the new Star Wars themed land! There are a few experiences that have been extremely popular aside from the Millennium Falcon ride and it's good to show up prepared. Both Oga's Cantina and Savi's Workshop require same day reservations to enjoy these popular experiences. If you're not too interested in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the good news is that it does ‘eat up crowds' so to speak for the rest of the park. But still make the time to at least walk through, you won't be disappointed. Disneyland has done an amazing job on this newest addition to the parks that even the most casual Star Wars fan will appreciate.

But most of all, remember to enjoy your time at the happiest place on earth!

Plan Your Disneyland Vacation!

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

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