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Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022 and 2023

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Summary

It’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 2022 and 2023.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Partners Statue in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Planning the Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022

We'd be toadally remiss if we didn't talk about the biggest changes coming out of 2020 — and that the new theme park reservation system, which comes with some capacity limitations.

Many days sell out, but even so, there are more crowded days than others. While we do have years of experience and data collection under our belt, there are many more factors at play that put us in new territory when making our predictions. The good news is that there are many encouraging signs that things are heading back to "normal" in the parks, including the return of World of Color, Fantasmic! and the Main Street Electrical Parade. And guess what else? Traditional character meet and greets have returned as of April 18. Hooray for hugs!

With so many locals at Disneyland, who have a bigger influence on crowds than at Disney World, we knew crowds would return to Disneyland after its reopening — and boy, did they ever! Couple those locals with pent-up travel demand across the world, and Disneyland is set up for a hoppin' 2022 and beyond. (We will talk more below about Magic Key holders and how they influence crowds.)

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Cars Land Group

For the foreseeable future, capacity limits are in place using a reservation system, likely for some time; while it helps to limit capacity, it also makes getting into the parks more challenging. We've taken that into account when adjusting our Crowd Calendar. Keep hopping back because we will continue to update both this post and our Crowd Calendar as we learn more!

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Avengers Campus HQ

Avengers Campus made its epic debut June 4, 2021, which played a part in Disneyland's busy summer, fall and winter in 2021. But as we look into 2022 and 2023, there will be some sweet spots to time your visit if you're looking for the least busy time to hop into the parks.

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. Another thing to be aware of is major school breaks, and not just in California, and not just for spring or summer break. Many Arizona schools have breaks in the first half of October. Utah schools also have a fall break in mid-October. The spring breaks at major universities in California also influence crowd levels, making the second half of March the peak of spring break.

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 you don't see your particular dates discussed below, leap down to the comments. We frogs — and some of the 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! During Disneyland's reopening period, know that some traditional time-savers, such as Magic Morning, are temporarily unavailable, but expected to return in summer 2022. FASTPASS and MaxPass have been officially retired and replaced with the paid Genie+ system. Again, our best advice is to purchase your tickets and make your Disneyland theme park reservations as soon as possible to secure your spot. Reservation availability is released 120 days in advance (or 90 days for Magic Key holders).

Factors That Influence the Best Time to Go to Disneyland

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Family in front of Disney California Adventure

If you’re more familiar with Cinderella Castle than Sleeping Beauty Castle, it's important to know that the best time to visit Disneyland isn't the same as at Disney World.

The biggest difference is 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 Disneyland locals were annual passholders (now Magic Key holders).

One of the biggest changes to occur during the Disneyland closure was the cancellation of all annual passes. The Magic Key passholder program has debuted, though Magic Key holders still need to make a park reservation to enter the parks, and their availability calendar is also limited. Depending on the type of pass they have, Magic Key holders might find themselves 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 those are the times when most Magic Key holders (especially for the more affordable passes such as Imagine and Enchant Keys) are not allowed to enter the parks. For example, during most of June through mid-August, certain Key holders 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 in the future: Crowds are higher right after major blockout periods.

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Train Station

Even if the park capacity is the same each day, Magic Key holders influence the park crowds. During school days and workdays, Magic Key Holders might visit the park for just the morning or just the evening, making the park seem less crowded than a Saturday or holiday, when many more people arrive early and stay all day long, making the park feel more crowded.

Outside of the Magic Key holders, other limited-time local promotions can influence crowds for certain periods of time. When Disneyland offers special ticketing promos for California residents or Southern California residents, more locals flock to the parks. That can make it hard to predict crowd levels as it attracts more guests during typically quieter times. As the promo end dates draw near, everyone rushes in to use the tickets before they expire. Undercover Tourist typically offers these same promo tickets for an even steeper discount than the parks, so our Disneyland ticketing page can offer insight as to promo dates when available.

A more recent crowd forecaster is Disneyland's 1-Day Ticket Availability Calendar. Disneyland's 1-Day tickets are sold in tiers based on projected crowd levels, giving us a sneak peek at when Disney is expecting things to be busiest.

Another factor that has more influence on crowds at Disneyland than at Disney World is 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 playing in the parks. The next D23 Expo is planned for Sept. 9 to 11, 2022.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Halloween Time

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. This is yet another reason to review our Disneyland crowd calendar — we list the holidays and special events! (We are so frogcited to get special event dates for 2022 and 2023 on the calendar — you'll see those reflected on the Crowd Calendar as soon as they are announced, so keep hopping back! Our Crowd Calendars also offer a look at the weather at Disneyland so you can pack accordingly for that May Gray and June Gloom :) )

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, as you probably guessed, there are some variables.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland - Cars Land Holidays

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2022

Here are the days we expect to be the busiest at Disneyland in 2022 and 2023.

  • Jan. 1-9, 2022
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 14-17, 2022
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 18-21, 2022
  • Spring break and Easter - March 12 to April 18, 2022 (elevated crowds March 5 to April 24, 2022)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 4 to Aug. 21, 2022
  • Oct. 1-15, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 19-28, 2022
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 17, 2022 - Jan. 8, 2023

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2023

  • Jan. 1-8, 2023
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 13-16, 2023
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 17-20, 2023
  • Spring break and Easter - March 10 to April 16, 2023 (elevated crowds March 4 to April 21, 2023)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 3 - Aug. 21, 2023
  • Oct. 1-14, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 20-26, 2023
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 18, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024

*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 2022, the effect is a longer but less intense spring break season. Many California universities consistently have spring break at the end of March, which can affect crowds then.

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 the comments below.

  • Labor Day - Sept. 5, 2022 and Sept. 4, 2023
  • Yom Kippur (when it falls on a weekday) - Oct. 5, 2022 and Sept. 24, 2023
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 10, 2022 and Oct. 9, 2023
  • Utah and Arizona fall breaks from late September through mid-October
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) -  Nov. 11, 2022 and 2023
  • Memorial Day - May 30, 2022 and May 29, 2023
  • Disneyland's anniversary - July 17, 2022 and 2023

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021 and 2022 - Small World Exterior

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2022

While these are traditionally the best times to visit Disneyland, we expect higher crowds than usual around these times now that the parks are open and each day sells out!

Keep in mind that "off-season" low crowd levels can also mean shorter Disneyland hours and that less entertainment is available or that more rides undergo refurbishment. During some seasons, such as Halloween Time, weekdays are less crowded, but only weekends include fireworks, so take that into consideration as well.

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 5, 2022)
  • April 25-29, 2022
  • Weekdays in May (except for Grad Nites)
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • The first week of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the second half of September and the second half 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 2023

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 4, 2023)
  • April 21-28, 2023
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • The first half of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and the second half of October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December

Avoiding Early Park Closures Due to After-Hours Parties

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2022 - Oogie Boogie Bash Overlay on Disney California Adventure Park Entrance

One other thing to be aware of is any separately ticketed events that may be scheduled even during the best time to visit. Here are the most common causes of early park closure:

These after-hours parties can cause the park to close earlier than usual. If you look forward to an evening at Disneyland with all the nighttime entertainment, then avoid visiting these days unless you have a party ticket. Otherwise, your fun may be cut short, and you may not get the most out of your visit for your money. Since Disneyland hours are generally released only up to six weeks in advance, keep an eye out for news of parties and note any upcoming dates to avoid (or to buy a ticket for). You can look to our linked posts for upcoming events or for guidance on predicting the next season's shenanigans.

Ta-da! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2022 and 2023! Don't froget that you can purchase discount Disneyland tickets from your favorite frogs! Ribbit!

Related: 40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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701–750 of 1698 comments
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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May 15, 2018 at 4:09 p.m. marianne Says...

Glad to have the info about best times to visit!

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

Love all the Disney tips!!

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

I hope to go in May so we can celebrate our anniversary there!

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

We went mid March and it was great! Much less crowded than summer visits!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:08 p.m. Nichole McAllister Says...

Love all things Disney! Would love to see the new Pixar Pier at Disneyland.

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May 15, 2018 at 4:08 p.m. Timothy S Says...

My wife and I really love the Disneyland Parks better than the Florida parks (the parks themselves). I think it has to do with both being so close together and walking back and forth multiple times in a single day. As far as the time of year, we LOVE Christmas season, and always can be found in either Orlando or Anaheim the first week of December to celebrate our anniversary. And, Disneyland has the added bonus of no hard ticket event for Christmas!

That early December is great... all the crowds from Thanksgiving are gone and the level is pretty low. Weather is hit and miss (been in very cold rain and also very nice 70's!). Love the overlays in Anaheim too!

Just can't go wrong. Next we are going to finally try a Halloween in Anaheim. Looking forward to the Cars Land area for that holiday!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:08 p.m. Debbie Parnell Castelin Says...

I’ve never been to DisneyLand and would love to have the opportunity!!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:06 p.m. Alexandra Salesman Says...

We used your calendar in 2016 (and bought tickets!) and it was practically spot on. Planning another trip this year for my nephew's 4th birthday surprise and I constantly refer here for dates in late November-early December just to see which is best. Honestly couldn't do without the website, thank you so much Frog Family!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:06 p.m. Clayton S. Russell Says...

So much fun!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:05 p.m. layalons schwartz Says...

can't wait to use these tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. Laura Getto Says...

Thanks for the tips! We can’t wait to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. SherriEsco Says...

We are thinking about early or late October...which would be best?

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May 16, 2018 at 4:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

According to our Crowd Calendar, it's pretty consistent throughout the month of October. Choose a time that works best for you!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 15, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. Tasiarae76 Says...

Love all the info, it helped us so much on our trip to Florida!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:03 p.m. Ada Ho Says...

This blog was very useful, the Packing List, Crowd Suggestion, Fast Fast rides, and popular rides. I will definitely use bookmark this when i go a few years later!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:03 p.m. Brianna Brown Says...

I would love to take the kids here within the next couple years!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:03 p.m. Tony Schermetzler Says...

Great tips ????

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May 15, 2018 at 4:02 p.m. Sara Anne Says...

I really want to go to disneyland this summer. Any tips

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May 15, 2018 at 4:01 p.m. Ginjer Says...

Great info. Been using your site for years and has been super useful!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:01 p.m. Amy Crafts Says...

Love all of your information and advice! You guys are awesome!

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May 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. Amber Says...

We always go the first week of December. Crowds are low and weather is perfect!

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May 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. Cher Says...

Very useful for planning - thank you

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May 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. Chris Truax Says...

I normally visit Disney World because we have lived closer to the East coast, but since Disneyland was the location of my parents' first date, I definitely need to get there soon. Thanks for the crowds info!

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May 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. Ed Romero Says...

This website is a great resource !

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May 15, 2018 at 3:59 p.m. Rebecca Goble Says...

This is very helpful! Hopefully planning a trip soon and it's good to know when the crowds will be low so we can enjoy our trip more!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:59 p.m. Kendra Williams Says...

I love your site!! I have used it both when we visited Disney World and Universal!! It made a huge difference in planning when we actually took our trips and what to do when we got there! Thanks for all the tips!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:58 p.m. Misty Werley Says...

Your site is always so helpful when planning Disney trips!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:58 p.m. Rachele B Says...

This is such a great post! I loved reading about all the times that are best to go and which times are busiest. Turns out, the time we plan on going will actually be a good time!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:57 p.m. Denise McChesney Says...

I love all the info and help you guys provide! heading to Disney in Jan 2019!!! Can't wait!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:57 p.m. KYLIE Says...

This info was perfect for our trip in October. We used the crowd calendar to plan our park days, and it totally helped! I got engaged at Magic Kingdom! (The last sentence is celebratory for only me, but I tell the world at every opportunity!)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:57 p.m. M. McBurney Says...

Great Information! Thank You!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. Sheri DeOrio Says...

Thanks for the detailed info on the best (and worst) times to visit Disneyland. It's very helpful.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. Jayson Says...

Great blog post! Thanks for what you do...you've helped my family have tremendous vacations!! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. JW Says...

This is a comment

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May 15, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. teresam Says...

Would love to visit during early March, and it looks like it is not peak times. YAY! But again, ANY TIME is a good time to be immersed in Disney. <3

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May 15, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. L. Cody Says...

Make sure to check Halloween party historical dates when planning a trip in Sept. We planned in June for a September trip and lost both evenings in DL because they were ticketed events. The schedule wasn't out until 30 days ahead and our plans were already made.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:55 p.m. Paula Erickson Says...

I love your site! I’ve used you tips to plan my last for Walt Disney World vacations and I’m currently using you site to plan our very first trip to Disneyland next March! I recommend your crowd calendar to everyone I know planning a trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:55 p.m. Tricia Says...

Awesome!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:54 p.m. Jenny Says...

Can’t wait to upgrade to premier passport for CA!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:54 p.m. Stephanie Mendez Says...

Thank you so much for writing a post about this! I need all the information I can get to plan my trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:54 p.m. Melinda Says...

So much wonderful information! Good page to bookmark for us that live on the east coast!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:54 p.m. Liam Sullivan Says...

We visited Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Presidents Day last year and the crowds weren't all that bad at all (except for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, that was impossible to get on).

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May 15, 2018 at 3:54 p.m. krgmjgmama Says...

summer! No time constraints - kids on vacay!

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

Your crowd calendars are always on track.Saving this one!!

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

Great insight.

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

Awsome tips! Super excited for our trip and these are very helpful!

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