Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020

by Leap on September 1, 2019 2458 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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601–650 of 1547 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Jessica Padilla Says...

I love that there is a Disneyland crowd calendar. It is very helpful.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Kristy A Says...

Ah, having kids means we always have to travel in the worst times! But we will have a good touring plan under our belt!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. ALE9687 Says...

Would love to win and take my 1yr old son on his first Disneyland trip!!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:53 p.m. Autism Mommy Says...

If you go during the school year it can be especially helpful when you have a child with Autism! The shorter lines makes a huge difference!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:52 p.m. The DisNerd Says...

Hoping to get back to Disneyland in the next few years! We just went in June of 2015 and it was fantastic! Our home park is WDW - we usually go there annually! Can't wait to go back :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Samantha Brown Says...

I would love to visit Disneyland especially since I've never been to California and my nephew who is a Marine is stationed there.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Alisha Gravette Says...

Thanks for the info! Planning a trip out for May 2019!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Aubrey hohman Says...

i think this article is helpful in planning a trip. It will allow me to know when the crows will be.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. CRYSTAL Says...

Love the post

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. Liz Says...

I love the reminders of when the best time to visit Disneyland are. I follow another blog/website that does some of the same stuff and I was find these tips to be very useful and spot on.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. Kristin Says...

I just wanted to say that I love all of your posts, the app is such a lifesaver, and we purchased hopper passes from your website and we were thrilled to get a day for free!! Awesome job and you make vacationing at Disney so much easier!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Alison Snow Says...

Great to know, thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Natalie Says...

This is very helpful!! I think no matter what there will be crowds so the best time to go is anytime. There is always something new to see or eat and rides are worth the wait!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Ivegotadream Says...

Love Undercover Tourist! Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Kelly Elledge Says...

Can't wait for a trip back for MNSSHP this fall! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. Amanda Bachman Says...

Disneyland and Disneyworld are the best vacation spots!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Jennifer Anderson Says...

My number one source for all things WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Polina Sheehan Says...

Very helpful information. Usually we are visiting Disneyland or DisneyWorld during summer time and it always very crowded but it's still fun!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Thomas Says...

Thanks for these tips! We're planning a visit to Disneyland for the first time this November!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. DanF Says...

Early February is best.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Gayle Chezick Says...

Great website!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. eviarar SCHWARTZ Says...

Thanks for the great tips!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Brent Says...

What a great thing!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Michael Says...

Was thinking Feb 2019, not considering May...

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Adam E Says...

Love the Undercover Tourist email updates, and looking forward to our next Orlando trip!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Susan Morris Says...

I've been a subscriber for a few years now. I always recommend you to my friends when they ask about Disney. Your best times to visit is a great help!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Jennifer Says...

I always follow the crowd calendar during my Disney vacations. It is very accurate and saves us time by not having to wait in longer lines.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:46 p.m. Jody LeBlanc Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. Sharon Says...

Disneyland is a destination our family would love to visit. "Hopping" to visit soon!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. Karen Says...

Can’t wait to see how the crowds are Sept 6-10!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Mekalk1 Says...

Good info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Monika Says...

This is a great post! So much help especially because I’m trying to plan a trip for the end of this year! Thank you

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Kendall Says...

Thanks for all the tips! Can’t wait to go!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Susan Worley Says...

We can't wait to get to Disneyland! We're hoping the crowds are not too bad this summer while school is out.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Carol Lopez Says...

The best time to visit is when school is back in session. Or right after a holiday has ended and most are traveling back!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:43 p.m. Pete Says...

We love this site

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jonathn Says...

Eh, we'll see, I'm more of an Orlando guy. Especially with the new pyrotechnics, wink, wink!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jen Rickard Says...

We would love to win! We have always used and enjoyed UT!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Traci Palmer Says...

Love your touring plans!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Monica Lima Says...

Thanks so much for this info on Disneyland! We are very familiar with Disney World but, would love to make a trip to Disneyland and this is extremely helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Jo-Ann Says...

Hoping to be able to visit Disneyland in a year or two - how crowded is it during the Christmas week?

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May 15, 2018 at 3:41 p.m. Keri D Says...

I live 2 hours from Disney World. I always use your crowd calendar to judge the best days for my family to visit the parks. We are planning to visit the Disney Land resort in 2019 and will be using you for that trip as well. Thank you very much.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:41 p.m. Bret L Says...

Love Undercover Tourist! have gotten the newsletter for years and is a great link for Disney Park Tickets!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:40 p.m. Francisco Carrillo Says...

Best advice: whenever you can!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:40 p.m. The Limpet Says...

The best time to go to Disneyland can depend on the refurbishment schedule. Several rides get holiday overlays and are closed for weeks at a time...

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. RahulD14 Says...

Good Information !!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. Lisa C. Says...

The most important thing is, regardless what time you go, you will have a blast!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. Caitbell Says...

Great article lots of tips to help pick the perfect time for a trip!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. FERNANDA Says...

I love all of the updates,tips and discounts you guys post. really helpful

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. EmilyC Says...

very useful information!

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