Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020

by Leap on September 1, 2019 2450 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 this summer and fall have been lower than expected, we expect that to change in the coming months, especially as we head into the holidays and winter.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Los Angeles 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 strong 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 took place in August 2019. We would expect it to return to Anaheim in 2021, although that is not yet confirmed.

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 October to be busier because of the debut this year of the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure. 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 - 1-Day Tiered Tickets

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. We expect crowds to pick up for the remainder of this year, but with the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance set for Jan. 17, 2020, we expect bigger crowds in 2020.

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!

  • 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 froget 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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501–550 of 1543 comments
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!

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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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May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. MissKate83 Says...

I want to say because of this website we were able to stay at the Port Orleans Riverside for a great price!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Wayne Says...

Never a bad time to visit Disney. Just have to learn to live with the crowds.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Mandy N Says...

This is AWESOME! We are hitting Disney World this year, but Disneyland is the plan for next year. The 2019 dates will be SUPER helpful in planning!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Nancy Says...

You guys were crucial for planning our trip to WDW last year. I'll save this post for our west coast visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Laura Mad-dog Says...

if you use Undercover Tourist plans and arrive early, even the worse weeks are manageable.

Thanks for all the good advice.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:21 p.m. Morgan Christopher Says...

Thank you for this post, this is probably the best guide I have seen for information of what the best things are, when to go, etc.....

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May 15, 2018 at 4:20 p.m. Kara M Says...

Thanks for the helpful info! Love this blog!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:20 p.m. Yvette Says...

I am visiting Disneyland and California Adventure on May 29th and May 31st, are these high crowded days? I am going to Universal Studios on May 30th as well? any suggestions?

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Denise M Powell Says...

Very helpful information! Looking forward to my next trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Tameika Says...

Great blog and great info

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May 15, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. Nancye Taylor Says...

Can’t wait to visit the place that I loved so much during my childhood!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Mary Says...

I want to go SO badly. Miss it!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Maureen Says...

love the blog posts with the busy and slow times!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Sharon Drapeau Says...

This post is exactly why I love Undercover Tourist.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Fabs Says...

Super helpful article! I'm hoping to take my daughter to Disneyland for a graduation present!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Tammy Sue Bohne Says...

Great crowd calendar! Always accurate! And of course love the ticket deals!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. Devra Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:17 p.m. paul lewis Says...

great resource...wonderful service

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May 15, 2018 at 4:17 p.m. Vickie Glass Says...

Great information ... great company to work with!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:16 p.m. YKA Says...

Really love the planners. A lifesaver in the summer heat!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. Heather M. Says...

Disneyland is my favorite. I want to take my husband badly. He's never been to Disneyland, let alone California!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. Michelle Potchak Says...

Thanks for the tips! It is greatly appreciated!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. danivent Says...

Thanks for posting! We love Disney World but hope to make the jump over to Disneyland soon!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Bryan F Says...

????????Frog on! ????????

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. htepaige Says...

very helpful, thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Angelika Pienkowska Says...

Wow, thank you for such an insightful blog post! I reply on your content to dream plan my future first Disneyland trip :-)

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May 15, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. Laura Says...

We've been going over New Year's the past few years (not the best idea, I know), but we plan it so we know what to fast pass and what to knock out while we wait. For the most part, we end up missing most of the crowds and since it's just my boyfriend and I with no kids, we usually finish everything in a decent amount of time, or can spend the rest of the day hanging out around the park. But it's always a good time, crowds or not

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May 15, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. Nicole Says...

I'm a little nervous to be going mid-June this year with the crowds, but you're right, anytime you can go is the best time to go and that is the time we could get away for an adult only trip!! I think one of the best times to go is when it is raining. :) We were there over spring break in March and it had poured the day we arrived and rained our first day in the park and it was empty! We walked on practically every ride. So much fun!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Sahil Says...

Great article. Very helpful tips for my family's plan next month!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Erika Says...

This blog is how i get my orlando fix while im stuck at work.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Jin Says...

Got lots of great tips when going to Disney world. Saving this for later.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Mandy Says...

Thank you for all the helpful tips and tricks! It helped my boyfriend's family and I plan our vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. PKS Says...

Love this site! Super helpful when planning a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World! I’ve been referring to them for the crowd calendar and ride refurbishments/closure schedules for years.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:12 p.m. Luisa Mejicanos Says...

I love all these tips for Disney and it will help whenever we are able to go on a Disney vcay! I'll make sure I'llkeep checking for more info.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Rachel Masten Says...

Hoping to do a quick visit in two weeks when we’re in California!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Lisa Ziegler Says...

Had a great experience ordering through your company!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Janet Says...

Was there last summer and would like to return around Christmas time some day.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:11 p.m. Kelsey Brown Says...

May was busier than we expected, but we still had a great time at Pixar Fest!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:10 p.m. Monica Clower Says...

Any time is a great time to visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:10 p.m. Rob Says...

Tips are fantastic, but if you are in too much of rush you will definitely miss the beauty. There is lots of people trying to do the exact same thing as you - Enjoy!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:09 p.m. darlenemc326 Says...

So looking forward to our next trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:09 p.m. Kim Pascale Says...

We are going in mid-September and we can't wait!

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