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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751–800 of 1543 comments
May 15, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Laura Buffit Says...

What a great article! Thank you for sharing so much valuable & detailed information!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Greg P. Says...

Thanks for the info.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. brigitte Says...

great info! We love going in the fall.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Pamela Manley Says...

Anytime is a great time to visit Disney :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Sue Bryan Says...

Any day is a good day with Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Lauren Says...

My favorite time of year to go to Disney is Halloween time! I’m surprised the week of October 31st isn’t one of the worst times to visit, and at the same time, relieved! ????

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May 15, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Rosalie Says...

I haven't been to Disneyland in over 10 years! I can't wait to visit in the near future.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Melissa Says...

Thank you for doing the work to help plan a good time to visit!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Kyra Says...

I've only ever been to Disney World, but would love to go to Disneyland some day. The last trip to WDW had been a bit crazy. We had gone in October and unfortunately during the Wine and Food Festival (totally didn't realize), and every single park was packed. My brother and sister-in-law (who had never been before) didn't get to see and enjoy as much as I had hoped. But perhaps we could attempt another siblings trip again soon! Anyway, thanks for this post! I would definitely recommend taking a look at crowd calendars before booking!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Mrs. Guerrero Says...

Wonderful every time!

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

This would be AWESOME! Disney is my Happy Place!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Heather Mc Says...

I have yet to pick a time that isn't good to visit Disney!!! Love this blog!! Thanks for all the goodies that Undercover Tourist provides!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Laterica Says...

Thanks for the info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Tristen Says...

I hope to get back to Disneyland one day - I visited in 1993!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Karmen Says...

Thank you for this awesome information! We unfortunately do not have much of choice and have to come during Easter break next year but your article helped me choose the dates! So thank you!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Paul Says...

This is great. We are currently researching best dates and best costs for our honeymoon to Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. Edmund Says...

I love the tips -n- tricks that you publish! (And of course the ticket prices!!) :)

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

I would love to go to Disneyland! I've never been!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Sam Says...

Looking forward to a trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. K.Satterfield Says...

I love Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Lou Says...

Great info

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Tina Says...

I've been to Disney World lots of times but never Disneyland! Would love to go sometime!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Megan Mosier Says...

We always feel like weekdays Feb-March or in September are good as long as you avoid holidays for Disney World! Haven’t been to Disney Land yet!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Meredith Schneider Says...

We have heard late January is a great time to visit. This is when we are planning to go

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Sonia Says...

I loved using the Undercovertourist APP while at WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:14 p.m. Adam Says...

Going to Walt Disney World in June! Disneyland is on our bucket list and we will head over to Undercover Tourist to plan that trip! Thanks for all you do!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Suzanne Schumacher Says...

Such a helpful post....haven't been in over 20 years and really want to take my kid for the first time.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. David Says...

Im going to Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Kirsten Tyson Says...

Start planning our family trip next month! Can’t wait to get started. Been wanting to visit for years! A first for me and my kids

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. John Perry Says...

It is true that the park is full during the time listed above but there are ways to make a trip during those time much better. Undercover tourist has those tips listed on their travel plans and we have used them on multiple trips. We are so thankful for all those time saving must do ideas when visiting Disneyland!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Michelle Kubitski Says...

Love your newsletters and deals! Thank you

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Courtney Tait Says...

Love this! So helpful to keep this in mind when trip planning!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:13 p.m. Rochelle Koerbel Says...

Looking forward to our family trip in June!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Jen Says...

Thanks for the helpful info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Deanna Says...

Everyone should go to Disneyland at least once. It’s one of the most amazing experiences!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Sonia Says...

I loved using the app the last time I was at WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Tim Culverhouse Says...

Don't have a time picked yet, but would love to go back Thanks for the helpful info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Maria Lopez Says...

Hello

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May 15, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Crystal Weber Says...

I used this site when planning a trip to Orlando. It was very useful as we planned to visit Sea World, Disney parks and Legoland. I was able to use the crowd calculator to decide which days were best for each activity, and it worked well. We had an amazing trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Julia T Says...

Would love to visit in 2020 with my family.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. stephanie Says...

this is so useful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Lana Kay Elmore Says...

Great site with very good information. I highly recommend them from my past vacation.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:11 p.m. Lisa Says...

Great advice!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Nicole Morrison Says...

Every day is a good day to go to Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Katie McCarthy Says...

I love helpful entries like this! Really helps to plan a trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. torgelfi Says...

The best time to visit is anytime you can!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Colin Says...

Can't wait to get my Premier Passport back and visit again this Summer and see all the new entertainment at Disneyland! Christmas is the best time to visit for me, I don't mind the crowds and love the atmosphere!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Stephen Shannon Says...

I've haven't been to Disneyland in over 30 years, has it changed?

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May 16, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephen,

Yes! You'll find many changes, especially at the newer park, Disney California Adventure (which opened in 2001). You should definitely make a trip if you can! We think you'll love it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Misty Says...

So excited for Pixar Pier!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:09 p.m. Lorenzo Says...

I have never been past the mighty Mississippi. It is a dream of mine to see Disneyland!

Reply
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