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Happy Birthday month Disneyland! If you are thinking about heading to Disneyland in July, maybe to celebrate the park’s anniversary, 4th of July, or just for summer vacation, you probably have a lot of questions. From expected crowd levels to special happenings, here is everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland in July, including specifics for July 2021 and a forecast for July 2022.
A lot of families use July as a time to take a family vacation. If your family is thinking about heading to Disneyland, you may be wondering what the crowds are like, what special celebrations may be happening, and what can you expect as far as weather. We have you covered, starting with annual trends, and then moving in to specifics for 2021.
Disneyland in July – Annual Trends
If you are planning to travel to Disneyland in July, be it this year or beyond, looking at the annual trends can help decide if this is the right time of year to visit for you and your family. You can also join the Disneyland with Kids Group on Facebook, and ask others what their experience has been visiting Disneyland in July in past years.
Just keep in mind that since Disneyland’s reopening, things have changed, and 2021 is a year of firsts. But more on that later.
When it comes to annual trends, the problem is, both 2019 and 2020 were years that have taught us that we never know what could happen in the Disney universe. So when you read these trends, keep that in mind.
July Crowds at Disneyland Resort
July is a funny one because in most groups you will hear that summer is awful and crowded. But in my experience, of all my times visiting trying to figure out when Disneyland crowds are the lightest, I have found July to be a pleasant surprise.
And not just in 2019, when we saw unprecedented low crowds after the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
In fact, every time I have visited in July, I have found the crowds to be quite pleasant for most of the month.
Annual Passholders make a difference
Starting mid-end of June, a large majority of the Disneyland Annual Passholders are blocked out from visiting Disneyland, or starting 2019, limited to visiting California Adventure Park. Only the Signature and Signature Plus passes are free to enter the parks at will, and the newcomer – the Disney Flex Pass, must make reservations to enter the park.
But during the parks 412 day closure, Disneyland’s Annual Pass Program was CANCELLED!!!! So only time will tell if locals head to the parks in July. Most feel it is too hot and “too crowded” (but the last part is because they experienced the June crowds where you had both local pass holders and summer vacationers in the parks together).
I remember one year, heading to Disneyland at the end of June, and the difference in the parks from a Thursday (the last day most passes were able to enter) to Friday (when they blocked all except the top 3 passes at the time). It was like night and day. I almost think this trend will continue in 2021… so keep reading to see why.
Crowds are probably much lower than other school breaks
With all of this information, I am basically trying to say, of all the school breaks I have been at Disneyland, July is usually the least busy. Less crowded than spring or fall breaks, better than Thanksgiving or Christmas week. I actually find the crowds quite nice during July.
It will not be empty. But it will be manageable. (The exception often being 4th of July, where many people will come early just to find somewhere to sit and wait for the fireworks.)
The crowds will peak mid-day, which is when the part I don’t like about Disneyland in July is also at peak, so I tend to retreat to my hotel for a few hours.
What do I not like about Disneyland in July when the crowds are this nice?
What I don’t find nice is…
Weather at Disneyland in July
July in Disneyland is very hot! Hot and dry. And don’t get me wrong, August through October at Disneyland can see just as hot of temperatures. But July seems to be the first truly hot month in the parks.
Temperatures in July are usually in the 90’s, but with all of the pavement and waiting in lines, can often feel much hotter.
Definitely take steps to keep cool, stay hydrated, and wear sunscreen.
Annual Celebrations in July
Ever year, Disneyland has two celebrations in July. One for the 4th of July and one for Disneyland’s Birthday. Again, these may look different in 2021.
4th of July
4th of July celebrations at Disneyland include fireworks, marching bands, and usually specially themed treats.
4th of July and the surrounding days can vary in crowds. Some years we have reports of the park being nearly empty, other years it tends to be busy. When the holiday falls plays a large part in this, as well as if locals decide it is worth the possible crowds, and buying a ticket (if their passes are blocked) to come watch the fireworks.
What is predictable about the 4th of July is that you will find many people arriving simply to sit and stake out a spot for the fireworks. This happens in the parks, and as the evening goes on, also in Downtown Disney, the esplanade, and even the parking structure. If fireworks are a must-do for you on 4th of July, plan on getting a spot early.
Tip: One of my new favorite spots to watch the fireworks is from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Grab a table outside of Docking Bay 7 for a great view of the fireworks above the Millennium Falcon. Just note you will not be able to hear any of the music here.
Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 and every year, Disneyland celebrates it’s birthday. Some years the celebration is limited to a parade of characters and the marching band, and a small presentation at the Main Street Train Station. Other years, the celebration is large (such as for the 60th Diamond Celebration) and can carry on throughout the entire resort and for the entire year.
In 2020, Disneyland Resort planned to celebrate it’s 65th Anniversary with the reopening of Disneyland Parks to the public but unfortunately the state of California did not allow them to open. I hope they make up for it on their 66th anniversary.
Due to the closure and phased reopening, we do not expect to see fireworks or parades, but I have (for months- before we even had an opening date) said they should recreate the opening ceremonies. Will they? Only time will tell.
Disneyland in July 2021 – What to know about this year
Disneyland in 2021 is definitely going to look a bit different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great time to visit Disneyland. Below you will find information about visiting in July 2021. Keep in mind that things are changing rapidly, so be sure to bookmark this page, or follow my Facebook Page to stay up to date on all the changes.
Who Can Visit in July 2021
Disneyland began a phased reopening of their parks on April 30, 2021. At the time only California Residents were allowed to visit the parks per state guidelines. As of June 15, 2021, out-of-state guests will be allowed to visit the parks, in accordance with CDC and California Health guidelines.
International travelers are subject to travel restrictions by both their country of residence and the United States.
Disneyland Restrictions and Precautions in July 2021
This part will most likely have updates as time goes on, but as of now, the following guidelines are in place for visiting Disneyland in July 2021:
- Guests are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of visiting Disneyland Resort (there is no requirement, but it is strongly suggested).
- All guests age 2 and up must wear a proper face covering. Disneyland has strict guidelines on their face coverings, including not allowing neck gaiters or bandanas, so be sure to check for current guidelines. Masks may only be removed to eat or drink when stationary. I do expect we may see this updated to allow for removal during pictures soon, but as of right now, yes, you must wear masks for pictures too.
- In addition to your Disneyland tickets, guests will also need to make park reservations for each day they plan to visit the park. This is a separate process. I fully expect Disneyland to keep reservations from here on out.
- Mobile ordering is strongly encouraged. This happens in the Disneyland App, and I strongly suggest mobile ordering early in the day. (I shared how to do this in my Disneyland App Tips article).
- Watch for any current social distancing protocols.
- Until further notice, fireworks, parades, and other shows that draw large crowds are suspended.
- Disneyland Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour is currently suspended but I hope they return eventually.
- Disney Fastpass and MaxPass Service is also suspended at this time.
- Character dining is currently not available, though we may see it return by the end of July in a new form.
- Not all dining options are open. See the current list of what is open before you go.
- Character interactions are different as well.
Rides at Disneyland in July 2021
A 400+ day closure can do a number on rides, plus it is a great time to update rides as well. When Disneyland reopened, not all rides were available.
July will be a good month though as 2 rides that have been closed since the reopening will once again thrill guests.
Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland
The Matterhorn Bobsleds is set to reopen to guests on July 2, 2021.
The Matterhorn Bobsleds are a coaster-style reminder to see your chiropractor. (I only sort of kid.) You will journey through the mountain and you may just see the Yeti… Be sure to check if your child meets the Disneyland height requirement of 42″ for this ride. Even if they do, parents will want to decide if this ride is appropriate for their child.
The World Famous Jungle Cruise
Step aboard the world famous Jungle Cruise. This ride has been reimagined and opens July 16, 2021 for guests to explore the rivers of the jungle in a whole new way.
This is a ride for the entire family, filled with animal sightings, corny jokes, and of course, the eigth wonder of the world… (say it with me folks) the backside of water.
We know Disney definitely wanted to get this ride open in time for the premier of the all-new Jungle Cruise movie later in July, and I am excited to see the newly imagined ride. You can catch a trailer for the movie below.
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Other exciting Updates for July 2021 at Disneyland Resort
Rides reopening are not the only thing to get excited about if you are visiting Disneyland in July 2021. Here are a few other things to look forward to
Disneyland Hotel Reopening
Also in July, we will see the grand reopening of the Disneyland Hotel on July 2, 2021 (the same day as the Matterhorn). With that, Trader Sam’s, Tangaroa Terrace and the Coffee House.
While Avengers Campus opened on June 4, 2021, it will still be pretty new to guests, so I am listing it here. Be sure to check out my complete guide to Avengers Campus, which I will keep updated with new tips as I explore the land myself each time I visit the parks.
Where To Book Your July 2021 Disneyland Vacation
Ready to book your Disneyland vacation for July 2021? I suggest booking through Get Away Today as they have discounted tickets and have locked in some great hotel deals. Remember if you are staying 2 nights or more to use code CrazyAdventure to save even more on your vacation.
Where to Stay When Visiting Disneyland in July
If you are stuck on where to stay for your Disneyland visit, I definitely suggest a hotel within walking distance. If you want a water park, Courtyard Theme Park Entrance is a great choice!
Want other suggestions? I have a popular post of the best hotels for families that sleep 5 or more. It includes details on 60+ hotels, and a map to show where each one is located.
July not for you? Tips to decide when to go to Disneyland
I get it – July isnt for everyone. Here are some articles that might help you decide when to go to Disneyland instead.
- When are Disneyland crowds lightest? While this will change post reopening, you can get my pre-pandemic thoughts.
- Are you a foodie? Find out when to visit Disneyland based on seasonal food offerings.
- Foodies might also like to visit during the annual Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival.
- Halloween time is another great time to visit the parks.
- Of course, no suggestion of times to visit would be complete without adding Holidays at Disneyland to the list.