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Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019

by Leap on January 3, 2018 2065 Los Angeles

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It’s one of the most popular questions we get. I’ve even had people recognize me in the coffee shop line and ask ... "So, when is the best time to visit Disneyland?" My answer? "Whenever you can!"

It’s the truth. Whenever you can spend time with friends and family at The Happiest Place On Earth, then that is the best time. Of course, just like at Walt Disney World, there are better times to visit than others. In this post, we're outlining the best times to visit Disneyland in 2018. For those of you looking to get a hop on next year's vacation planning, our 2019 dates and tips will help out as well.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - Disneyland Dedication Plaque

If you're planning a visit, but don't see your particular dates listed here, jump down to the comments below. We frogs — and the hardcore Disneyland community — will be hoppy to provide answers. Also, our Disneyland Crowd Calendar is a helpful tool to help you get an idea of expected crowds. You can view the Disneyland Crowd Calendar for the day, month or year.

Walt's vision for Disneyland was a place where families could spend time together. His guiding spirit is felt in attractions such as Peter Pan's Flight, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Pirates of the Caribbean and the World Famous Jungle Cruise. These gems perfectly pair with modern classics such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and The Indiana Jones Adventure. Across the way, the spectacular Cars Land and attractions such as California Screamin', Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin' Around the World and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission — BREAKOUT!  have made Disney California Adventure just as popular as Disneyland Park! Don’t fret. Even during the busiest times, there are tips and park plans you can follow, like using our Disneyland Crowd Calendar, to reduce waits and make it a blast for the whole family!

With that in mind, let's look at the best time to visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019!

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - Undercover Tourist Los Angeles Crowd CalendarIf you’re more familiar with Cinderella Castle than Sleeping Beauty Castle, know that there are some differences with crowds. The best time to visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 isn't necessarily the same as at Disney World. The biggest difference are the locals. Disney World has a good amount of locals, but not nearly as many as those in the Los Angeles/Orange County regional area. Many of those locals are annual passholders, who think of the Happiest Place on Earth as their second home. They pop in for a few hours here or there — maybe on a weekday, or on a spring or fall Sunday morning before heading to the beach. Life is good in the OC.

Dropping in on Main Street U.S.A. for a quick bite sounds cool, but it's not always possible for local passholders. Depending on the passport, a passholder might find himself or herself blocked out of the park on certain days or weeks, particularly those times that are especially popular with tourists — namely summer, spring break and holidays. Looking at the Disneyland blockout calendar gives you a fairly good idea of when the very busiest dates of the year are because these are the times when most of the passholders are not allowed to enter the parks. During the summer, for most of June through mid-August, the Southern California passholders are blocked from entering the park entirely, a sure sign that there will be tourists!

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - Mickey in Red Car Trolley

Another factor that has more influence on crowds at Disneyland than at Disney World are the conventioneers. The Anaheim Convention Center is right across the street. What out-of-town visitor wouldn’t enjoy popping over in the afternoon and early evening for some Disney magic? It’s not necessary to rearrange a vacation based on a convention — with one exception. Disney’s own D23 Expo, held every other year, brings flocks of fans. Those folks will plan to spend some of their hours before, during and after the Expo to play in the parks. Note that the next D23 Expo will take place in 2019. Based on all of this information and historical crowd levels during holidays and other data, we have a pretty good idea of the very busiest dates this year.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - Mark Twain Riverboat

Keep in mind that what's going on in the parks when you visit also influences crowds. This year will see the return of the Paint the Night Parade — to Disney California Adventure — and a new Disneyland fireworks spectacular as part of the Pixar Fest coming this spring. This is yet another reason to review the Disneyland crowd calendar — we've got key events and show times!

Disneyland's introduction in 2017 of tiered pricing on one-day tickets has more of an impact on crowds than at Disney World. Think about it — more people make one-day visits to Disneyland than they do at Disney World. With tiered pricing, each day is categorized as either value, regular or peak pricing. During the off seasons, generally Mondays through Thursdays or Tuesdays through Thursdays are getting the value pricing. If you add a one-day ticket to your cart, you can view Disneyland's pricing calendar — which is yet another indicator of the best and worst days to visit.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019

The very worst times to visit Disneyland in 2018 are ...

  • Jan. 1-7
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 13-15
  • President's Day - Feb. 16-25
  • Spring break and Easter - March 12-April 15
  • Weekends in May
  • June 9-Aug. 11
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 17-25, 2018
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 21, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019

The very worst times to visit Disneyland in 2019 are ...

  • Jan. 1-6
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 17-21
  • President's Day - Feb. 15-24
  • Spring break and Easter - March 21-April 7, April 20-27 (elevated crowds March 16-April 27)*
  • Weekends in May
  • Mid-June through mid-August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year

The fall of Easter impacts Disneyland crowds in the spring. Some school districts base their spring break around Easter; others do not. When Easter falls earlier in the season, March or early April, it has the effect of making a more intense, but shorter busy spring break season. When Easter falls later as it does in 2019, the effect is a longer but less intense spring break season.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - GotG: Mission - Breakout

Other Dates That Might See Higher Crowds

Here are other days that see higher crowds, but not as high as the absolute worst days. Some of the dates listed are isolated, with the days around them generally fine, but they do bring in more locals. July 17 is the exception to this, as it is already a busy time. Know of other dates that are popular with locals? Share in comments below.

  • Aug. 20-23 and 27-30, 2018 - marked as value, but passholders are back in after summer blackouts
  • Labor Day - Sept. 3, 2018; Sept. 2, 2019
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 8, 2018; Oct. 14, 2019
  • Utah Education Association Convention - Oct. 18-19, 2018; Oct. 17-18, 2019
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) - Nov. 12, 2018; Nov. 11, 2019
  • Memorial Day - May 28, 2018; May 27, 2019
  • Disneyland's anniversary - July 17, 2018; July 17, 2019

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019 - Small World Exterior

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2018

Now that we have the worst times to visit out of the way, let's look at the very best times to visit Disneyland! Yippee!

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around President's Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 9, 2018)
  • Weekdays in the second half of April 2018
  • Weekdays in May
  • The last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays could see slightly elevated crowds with passholders back in)
  • The first half of September; Mondays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around President's Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 13, 2019)
  • The last week of April 2019
  • Weekdays in May
  • The last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays could see elevated crowds with passholders back in)
  • The first half of September; Mondays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December

Tah dah! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2018 and 2019. Don't forget that a solid park plan can be almost as good as traveling on a low crowd day. Check out our Disneyland Plans and Disney California Adventure Plans before your visit!

Related: The Ins and Outs of Disney's Maxpass

Related: 36 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1–50 of 1347 comments
May 17, 2018 at 5:11 a.m. Megan Clark Says...

Very interesting on how these two parks differ in crowd fluctuations- TSM

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May 16, 2018 at 8:38 p.m. Angela Says...

So grateful for the crowd calendar... and we'll never consider going into the parks on a red day again!

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May 16, 2018 at 4:14 a.m. Stacey Says...

Disney parks are the very best way to share magic with family and friends! Undercover tourist helps to make all the magic possible!

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May 16, 2018 at 1:13 a.m. Pari Kim Says...

I really want to go to Disneyland right this second!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:46 p.m. meggie12 Says...

I find the crowd calendars very helpful! We don't plan a Disney trip without consulting them first.

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May 15, 2018 at 9:31 p.m. Gina Roberts Says...

I would love to finally see the park that Walt Disney the man walked and personally oversaw every aspect!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:28 p.m. Brian Drew Says...

very cool!!! good luck to everyone!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:18 p.m. Michelle Daley Says...

Can't wait to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:17 p.m. Evie Morissette Says...

it's the best to check the crowds and plan ahead!! thank you so much!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:13 p.m. Grat Says...

amazing

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May 15, 2018 at 9:07 p.m. Boomatt Says...

Going to Disneyland would be like a pilgrimage for me!!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:07 p.m. paul Says...

Great blog! Thx!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:07 p.m. sebastian Says...

Good info, can't wait to visit it next month!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:05 p.m. Mary Jane Wolf Says...

Going in July can’t wait!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:05 p.m. Kassandra Ramos Says...

Ive never been to disney land, but id love to see sleeping beautys castle !

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May 15, 2018 at 9:04 p.m. Monica Jorelle Says...

Such good tips! Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 9:02 p.m. Keith Lindros Says...

Can't wait for our trip in may

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May 15, 2018 at 8:58 p.m. Amy Says...

We love to visit in early June!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:53 p.m. Paula Fischer Says...

First full week of December was lots of fun. The Weekends were full but the weekdays were very doable and lots of fun. It did get chilly but we were prepared.

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May 15, 2018 at 8:52 p.m. Herbie Says...

We used the wait time calculator and the maps a lot on our last visit to Orlando. It was a great help.

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May 15, 2018 at 8:52 p.m. Justin P. Says...

Would love to take my daughter, she would have a blast!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:48 p.m. Jennifer Vickrey Says...

Disney can't be best for family time and creating memories!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:48 p.m. Spelurker Says...

Nice site.

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May 15, 2018 at 8:45 p.m. Ashleigh Nicholson Says...

I would love to visit Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:45 p.m. Brad L Says...

looking forward to going!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:45 p.m. Erin Says...

The crowd calendar is so helpful! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:43 p.m. Ty Says...

Great info...bookmarking this page!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:40 p.m. Nathan Ferguson Says...

this is good stuff!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:38 p.m. Colleen Says...

Thanks for the info. Now I just need to save up again and convince the hubby :)

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May 15, 2018 at 8:38 p.m. Paige Heath Says...

These calendars really are priceless in the planning process!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:34 p.m. 29travel Says...

so useful a wealth of info thank you! need to start saving for our next trip best holiday ever!!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:34 p.m. Jenny Says...

Planning our big family trip now and we are so excited!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:34 p.m. vannahthedisneynerd Says...

My sister and I are going in Mid-August 2018, so hopefully we will just have missed the June 9- August 11 crowd!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:32 p.m. HCigoy Says...

Best crowd calenders around.

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May 15, 2018 at 8:29 p.m. Megan Rodeffer Says...

I am a travel agent and reference your pages regularly. Great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:28 p.m. K W Says...

Thanks! Great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:24 p.m. JacobandJamie Says...

We've used the calendar to pick our dates for our upcoming trip in September! I definitely wanted to go during a green crowd week and I'm excited for us to have a little more leg room!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:23 p.m. Matthew Seevers Says...

Can’t wait to go!!! Thanks for your help with making life a little easier!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:22 p.m. Chris Says...

Extremely helpful info.

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May 15, 2018 at 8:21 p.m. John B Walker Says...

We bought our DisneyWorld tickets from UndercoverTourist a few years ago. No problems! Great experience!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:19 p.m. Megan Says...

I always consult your crowd calendars before I travel!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:19 p.m. Jen Says...

Disney is amazing! So much fun for everyone!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. Alexis Navarrete Says...

Very useful!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. MaddyCarol Says...

I seriously have gotten on this exact post like 15 times, and used so many parts of your website to help plan my dream vacation! Thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:13 p.m. Melonhy Says...

Very helpful :)

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May 15, 2018 at 8:12 p.m. alexis meeker Says...

Can't wait to start planning my next vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:11 p.m. Austin Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 8:10 p.m. Amanda Fish Says...

Love this!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:02 p.m. Susie Says...

This site is very helpful, I specially enjoyed the 1 day plan so I can plan ahead where to spend more time. oh! and the Max Pass information :)

Thanks!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8 p.m. Wendy P. Says...

This is such great information. You always want to have a plan when visiting Disney World!

Reply
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