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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651–700 of 1547 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:39 p.m. Lisa M Says...

We always use Undercover Tourist. You have the best deals! Love you guys

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May 15, 2018 at 3:38 p.m. Maria Sanyshyn Says...

The best time to go to Disney is in November, before the holidays. Not crowded, great weather. If you can swing it, that's when you should go!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:38 p.m. Beth Says...

Very Helpful

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May 15, 2018 at 3:38 p.m. Christina K Says...

Hoping to visit sometime in September!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. Angela Says...

Great information & so helpful for planning our first trip to Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. kellie Says...

Always good to understand the crowd levels. It helps my family plan the best ways to enjoy the park!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. AMANDA HAMILTON Says...

That would be great

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May 15, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. Kristen C Says...

Love going mid-October when crowds are lighter and Jack Skellington has taken over!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. Hector F Says...

Just got back from DW, this guide saved my life! Can’t wait to visit DL

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. Jinks6985 Says...

I want to go to Disneyland!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. MUrena Says...

These are always so helpful! Its a must to check them yearly because they always change.

Thanks!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. PhilsPhan25 Says...

I have been to WDW many times but still waiting for my first California/Disneyland trip!!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Jana P Says...

Disneyland is awesome! Thanks for the info! Ribbit!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Lisa Weber-Lowrie Says...

Great site! I have utilized your information and bought Disney tickets through your site.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Demaris Says...

Thanks for the Tips! We have hit Disney World and are now looking into heading out West to Disneyland!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Mark P. Says...

I really appreciate all of the tips, suggestions and discounts provided on this site. Makes planning trips so much easier!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Malinda Says...

Love using your site to help plan our trips!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. C Mitchell Says...

Yeah!! See you in September!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Scott C Says...

Go go go when the crowds are low!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. Andrew Cunningham Says...

Very informative.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Tiffany Says...

I’m visiting in 2021! So excited

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May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Angie Says...

Love Disneyland! Thanks for the tips.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Amber lee Kolb Says...

This is very informative and helped me a lot. Thank you for putting it together!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Valmun Says...

I will definitely put this into practice!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Laya Schwartz Says...

Thanks you! We just ❤️❤️❤️ Disney!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Lincoln Says...

Disneyland is great!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Stacey Brewer Hoffpauir Says...

My family and I just took a trip to Disneyland in fall of 2017. We usually go to Disneyworld bc it’s a lot closer to us, but the kids wanted to experience Disneyland. We all had such a great time & can’t wait to go back! It’s so much less stressful than Disneyworld!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:33 p.m. Mark K. Says...

Makes me want to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Mike Lambert Says...

I’m going in 3 days.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. JJB Says...

Thanks for the info, would love to visit Disneyland with y'all!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Disney family of 5 Says...

Always utilize this site when planning Disney vacation and never fails us!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Kari Says...

I check this calendar every time i want a plan a trip to disney parks it has been a great help for both US parks. Helped make trips less stressful and a lot more fun. Thanks

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. AmandalikeCrazy Says...

Thank you so much for this post! Any time I'm planning a vacation, I always want to know the best (and worst) times to travel. It only makes the experience slightly less enjoyable when you have to wait in longer-than-usual lines and bump into people nonstop! Thanks again, I hope I can make Disneyland happen in 2019!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Sandy Says...

Thank you - this is very helpful. We have gone to WDW many times, but going to DL is on our to-do list. Very interesting to hear about annual passholders and day trips. thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Margaret S Says...

My daughter would be so excited if we won this! Have relatives there too! Some I haven’t seen in over 30 years! My daughters nickname is Micki????????

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May 15, 2018 at 3:32 p.m. Joy Says...

Anytime would be an awesome time to visit Disneyland for me!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:31 p.m. Brian Says...

Great info, thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:31 p.m. Michelle G. Says...

Great information ... it's so helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:31 p.m. Michelle Sanna Says...

We are having Disney withdrawals! Can't wait to go back.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:31 p.m. Nikki Says...

I've never been to Disneyland. I hope to visit there very soon!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:31 p.m. Veronica Says...

Looks like a lot of the crowded times are still similar to Orlando. No matter how you slice it, kids' being in school really messes with our fun:)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. Kendle R. Says...

We’re hoping (or “hopping”... Can I get away with that?) to take our daughter for her birthday next year. I’m so glad that her birthdate made the “Best Time to Visit” cut!!! Wahoo! I’m going to go do a cartwheel now! ????‍♀️

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May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. Courtney Says...

Great tips

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May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. cynjea Says...

You guys were pretty spot on with the prediction for the trip I just got back from.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. Sue M Says...

Help! Link not working for contest entry in email I recieved. Tried then to go to FB page but entry still not working.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. wakkatidus1234 Says...

So excited to try and visit Disneyland for the first time with my family. My wife is from abroad and has never had the opportunity and my little boy is so crazy about cars. I would be hard pressed just to get him out of cars land XD lol.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. Katherine hollander Says...

Thanks for the tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:29 p.m. Margaret S Says...

My daughter would be so excited if we won this!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:29 p.m. Heidi Lau Says...

Yours is the only crowd calendar I trust! Thanks for putting this out there so we can make the most of our trips. We love you guys!!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:29 p.m. Emily GC Says...

So looking forward to planning my first Disneyland trip with my sister! Disney World was our childhood, but we’re ready to keep exploring!!!

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