Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020

by Leap on July 10, 2019 2434 Los Angeles

Best Time to Visit DisneylandIt’s one of the most popular questions we get. I even have friends of friends message me and ask ... "Just when is the best time to visit Disneyland?" My answer is always "whenever you can!" It’s the truth. Whenever you and your family can make the trip to The Happiest Place On Earth is the best time.

But, of course, just like at Walt Disney World, there are better times to visit Disneyland than others. In this post, we're outlining the best times to visit Disneyland in 2019. For those of you looking to get a hop on next year's vacation planning, our 2020 dates and tips will help out as well. The surprise early opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on May 31, 2019 (and staggered opening of its rides), has made this year a little bit of a challenge in predicting crowds. While crowd levels, so far this summer, have been lower than expected, we expect that to change in the coming months, especially as we head into fall and winter.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 - Disneyland Crowd Calendar

Is It Packed at Disneyland? Here's the Easiest Way to Tell

This post is going to dive into all the nitty gritty details, and the whys and hows of crowds, but let's just cut to the chase. The easiest way to know if it will be crowded at Disneyland is to ask yourself:

  • Is it a major U.S. holiday?
  • Are most kids out of school?

If the answer is yes, to one or both of these questions, there will be bigger crowds.

Want to Know for Sure?

  • Hop straight to our Disneyland Crowd Calendar. You can view the busiest times on the Disneyland Crowd Calendar for the day, month or year.
  • If you're planning a visit, but don't see your particular dates discussed below, leap down to the comments. We frogs — and some of the hardcore Disneyland community — are hoppy to share answers.

Visiting During a Busy Time? Don't Fret!

Even during the busiest times, there are ways to skip the lines and make the most of your time. Here are our best tips to reduce waits!

Factors That Influence the Best Time to Go to Disneyland

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in - Millennium Falcon

If you’re more familiar with Cinderella Castle than Sleeping Beauty Castle, it's important to know that the best time to visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 isn't 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 area. Many of those locals are annual passholders who think of The Happiest Place on Earth as their second home. In other words, 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 — assuming their pass isn't blocked out.

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. The Disneyland blockout calendar provides a fairly good idea of the very busiest dates of the year, because these are the times when most passholders are not allowed to enter the parks. For example, during most of June through mid-August, the Southern California passholders are typically blocked from entering at least one or both parks, a sure sign that there will be tourists! One important thing to keep in mind: Crowds are higher right after major blockout periods such as summer when the locals can get back in.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 - 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 generally not necessary to rearrange your vacation based on a convention, but there might be 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.

Keep in mind that special events and holidays also influence crowds. Many people visit during Disneyland Halloween Time or the holidays to experience the magic of these seasons, and there are special events at different times throughout the year. For example, we expect this fall to be busier because of the debut this year of the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure — plus the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. This is yet another reason to review our Disneyland crowd calendar — we list the holidays and special events!

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 - Main Street USA

Disneyland's introduction of tiered pricing for one-day tickets several years ago 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. Now each day is categorized as either value, regular or peak pricing. During the off-seasons, Mondays through Thursdays or Tuesdays through Thursdays are generally value priced. 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 2019 - Ticket Pricing

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 of the year at Disneyland. But there are variables, such as the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. We expect there will be elevated crowds for at least the remainder of the year (and we've adjusted our Crowd Calendar levels accordingly). Even with the additional space this new land will bring to Disneyland Park, we feel certain there will still be way more people who plan to visit for the out-of-this galaxy experience.

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2019

  • Jan. 1-6, 2019
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 19-21, 2019
  • President's Day - Feb. 15-24, 2019
  • Spring break and Easter - March 9-April 15, April 19-22 (elevated crowds March 9-April 22, 2019)*
  • Weekends in May
  • Mid-June through Aug. 22, 2019
  • D23 Expo - Aug. 23-25, 2019
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 22-Dec. 1, 2019
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 21, 2019-Jan. 6, 2020

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2020

  • Jan. 1-6, 2020
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 18-20, 2020
  • President's Day - Feb. 14-24, 2020
  • Spring break and Easter - March 7-April 20, 2020
  • Weekends in May
  • June 3-Aug. 11, 2020
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 20-Dec. 1, 2020
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 19, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021

*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 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 2019 and 2020 - GotG: Mission - Breakout

Other Dates That Will Likely 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. 19-23 and 25-30, 2019 - passholders are back in after summer blackouts (Expected to be Aug. 17-21 and 23-28, 2020)
  • Southern California Select Annual Passholders back in Disneyland Park - Sept. 3-5, 2019
  • Labor Day - Sept. 2, 2019; Sept. 7, 2020
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) -  Oct. 14, 2019; Oct. 12, 2020
  • Utah Education Association Convention -  Oct. 17-18, 2019*
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) -  Nov. 11, 2019; Nov. 11, 2020
  • Memorial Day - May 27, 2019; May 25, 2020
  • Disneyland's anniversary - July 17, 2019; July 17, 2020

*The Utah Education Association Board will no longer hold its annual convention, although Utah school districts may elect to hold a fall recess.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 - Small World Exterior

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019

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! Keep in mind that we still expect these "best times" to be more crowded after Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens. So while they are still good times to visit, they will busier than in years past.

  • 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, 2019)
  • Weekdays in the second half of April 2019
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays see higher crowds with passholders back in)
  • Mondays through Thursdays starting Sept. 9 through the end of 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 2020

  • 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 7, 2020)
  • April 20-30; May 1, 2020
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August (Mondays through Thursdays see higher crowds with passholders expected to be 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

Ta-da! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020! 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! Here are more tips to skip the lines at the theme parks.

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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451–500 of 1535 comments
May 15, 2018 at 4:43 p.m. James B. Says...

Looks fun

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May 15, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. Nicole G Says...

Helpful article! I’m hoping we can make a trip in November to celebrate mine & my daughters birthdays. Looks like the first two days will be ok but maybe more crowded the last two. It’s just too hard to take older kids out the week before Thanksgiving.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. Mary Says...

Love it!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. MaryBeth Schepper Says...

This giveaway will be a great vacation for a family - thank you

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 4:38 p.m. Heide Says...

My family visited a few years ago during the week of July 4 and even though it was a peak time, it was WAY more manageable than the crowds I'm accustomed to at WDW! I wish DL were as easy for me to get to as WDW, I'd love to go every year!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:38 p.m. Sara H Says...

The crowd calendar was definitely helpful when planning our trip this past March & we will definitely use it again for our next visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:38 p.m. Amber Jones Says...

I love that you post the best and worst date to visit. Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:37 p.m. Ariana Huerta Carnes Says...

It’s good to know that at least in Labor Day it’s not too busy to take the family when we’re all off school/work.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:36 p.m. Sarah Juneau Says...

Wow! Looks amazing :)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:36 p.m. lcichon1224 Says...

Extremely helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:36 p.m. Alyssa Anderson Says...

So helpful-thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:34 p.m. Danielle Fuller Says...

I haven’t been to Disneyland in years and would love to go again!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:34 p.m. Steve Noggle Says...

This is super helpful I always go during spring break and it’s horribly busy.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:34 p.m. b Says...

Very helpful and interesting!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:33 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Well, we're going during one of the worst times to visit, but with high school aged kids we really can't go at other times!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:33 p.m. Staci Baustad Says...

Your information for Disneyland is very useful, we've been several times to both Disneyland and Disneyworld, but find it harder to plan a Disneyland trip when it's not too busy. Your information will definitely help.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:33 p.m. Ryan L Says...

Anytime is a good time to visit Disney! You just have to set your expectations right before you go!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:33 p.m. Kimberly S Says...

Great tips for planning around crowded times! So much of our planning is around school schedules and it seems to be the same for most others!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:29 p.m. Amber F. Says...

Great info...we are hoping to make a trip there in 2019. Love WDW and your site/app! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:29 p.m. Bwilde Says...

Super helpful! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:29 p.m. Jim Says...

My family and I would love to visit in December of 2019. Trying to figure it all out.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:28 p.m. Crista L. W. Says...

I want to bring my daughter for her 3rd birthday.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:28 p.m. Deirdre clare McCafferty Says...

Best time to visit any disney park is in September. Little to no crowds due to the start of school

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May 15, 2018 at 4:27 p.m. Sarah H Says...

Have been to WDW several times and would love to visit DL one day!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:27 p.m. Daniel J Says...

Any time is a good time to go, I'd say!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Gael Fulcer Says...

Thanks so much for all the wonderful information!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Victoria Says...

Would love to see on this calendar if tickets should be bought as high peak or regular. Thanks

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Schawn Says...

I love going in September. Perfect weather!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. cathyscorner Says...

This will be very helpful for our upcoming vacation, thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Carrie J Says...

Thanks so much for the tips. I'm thinking early March might be when I aim to visit.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Amanda Hyde Says...

Appreciate this so much! We went in September of 2015 and had very low crowds and hope that a trip next year is in store!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. Teri Ruffino Says...

I am so thankful for Undercover Tourist to help me plan my trip with ease. Knowing when the busy times are is crucial! Plus their site is attractive, user-friendly and full of good information.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. VanessaWishlist Says...

Undercover Tourist is great! Super helpful I was able to take my kids to Orlando for the first time ever. We hope to visit again!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. Bobbi Says...

Looks like we will be visiting at the perfect time! Thanks for your advice:)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. Christina L. Says...

This was such an informative page. I have always wanted to go to Disneyland. My boys and I always go to Walt Disney World because we love Animal Kingdom and Epcot so much!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. Tanya Egan Gibson Says...

We end up going to Disneyland on many of the "worst" times--spring break, February break, summer break, etc.--but we still find that if we use MaxPass well, we don't end up in horrible lines. (Also, we're big fans of the mid-day pool break, when the lines are the longest!)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. Shayla Says...

Undercover is a lifesaver for planning Disney Vacations. We've used them and bought our tickets from them twice!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. Lyssa Says...

I'd rather go when it's not too crowded but I'll have to go in a week that fits into my husband and my work/school schedule. Great tips though! Very detailed and helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. McKay Says...

Thanks for the info

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. SP Says...

This is so helpful. Hoping to get to Disneyland in December!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. Angie b Says...

Crowds can really make a vacation frustrating!! Love these articles and the app and the calendar on the site. All helped us on our last vacation to Orlando! We would love to plan a trip to Disneyland next!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Debbie Benson Says...

I use Undercover Tourist whenever we go to Disney! It's a tool I can't go without! Thank you!!!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Martha Flanagan Says...

In the spring or fall! cooler weather so can enjoy all that disneyland offers

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. ds Says...

Thanks

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Vicki Says...

Great information!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Danyeall Williams Says...

This would be awesome for my 6yr old son soon to be 7 come August to experience!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Bay Says...

great advice

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Cassandra Says...

We went in October 2017, and it was great! Our family loved seeing everything decked out for Halloween, and the lines were short or at worst reasonable. We did see a huge difference between Thursday/Friday and Saturday. Even in October, I'd suggest avoiding weekends.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:23 p.m. Kathy Noble Says...

Thanks for the tips!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Stacie Jenner Says...

Thank you so much for being you! i have used you guys lots over the years and will continue to! so helpful!

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