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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851–900 of 1543 comments
May 15, 2018 at 2:09 p.m. Q Says...

Just wanted to say thanks for all the great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:53 p.m. Sunnie Says...

Good to know , thanks for posting!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:38 p.m. Millie Says...

Went during Halloween week two years in a row. Mornings were ok, evenings were a nightmare when the Halloween party ticket holders arrived.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:35 p.m. Don Says...

Lots of info, thank you.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. Taylor C Says...

Can't wait to plan our trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:13 p.m. Lisa O Says...

We’ve been there the week after New Year’s in 2017 and 2018. 2018 was much more crowded. I think the parks are generally more crowded now, even in the “down” times.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:12 p.m. Delina Says...

This article is so helpful! Can’t wait for our trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:06 p.m. Savanna Griffing Says...

This would be my family dream trip! Thank you for hosting this sweepstakes!

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May 15, 2018 at 1 p.m. Shelley W Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:46 p.m. joe Says...

just hoping to win

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Trinity Says...

Great tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Doris Taylor Says...

Anytime is perfect, because there is always a theme and something to do, no matter what the season is.

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May 15, 2018 at 12:39 p.m. Cayman Says...

Great Blog!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:35 p.m. Steve Purtee Says...

We love Disney and can't wait to get back there.

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May 15, 2018 at 12:22 p.m. DCVsweep Says...

Looks Fun

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May 15, 2018 at 12:21 p.m. Patrick Jones Says...

great tips !

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May 15, 2018 at noon Jessica Bagwell Says...

I have never been to Disney, but I would love to take my boys! Thanks for all the helpful tips!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. Denise D Says...

I say anytime you can! I want to go! Never been! Want to go!! Saving my money for a trip to sunny California!!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:33 a.m. Says...

Never been to Disneyland! Hoping we get to go someday!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:21 a.m. WLong Says...

I can vouch for the crowd calendar helping us on a trip in 2012! Forced ourselves to go on a red, yellow, and green day at various parks to really see what that meant; red definitely sucked!

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May 15, 2018 at 11:03 a.m. KHinMN Says...

Would LOVE to win the Disneyland vacation, looks amazing!

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May 15, 2018 at 10:59 a.m. VMborrayo Says...

We love to first both parks during the September sand October Months! Always less crowded for us.

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May 15, 2018 at 10:49 a.m. Mikey A Says...

This is awesome, I figure during summer the park is super packed! Gonna have to wait for the kids to go back to school to plan my visit ;)

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May 15, 2018 at 10:42 a.m. Pam Muldowney Says...

Wow! I love the advice about when the park is the most crowded!

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May 15, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. Lynn Says...

Lots of great tips here! Thanks

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May 15, 2018 at 6:51 a.m. Erin Brown Says...

We love using Undercover Tourist! I really like the crowd calendar it really helped us plan our trip.

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May 15, 2018 at 6:30 a.m. Joshua JS Says...

I love love love Disneyland! I plan on visiting all the parks worldwide, it’s always been a goal of mine.

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May 15, 2018 at 5:10 a.m. Michelle Bartley Says...

Great tips on best times to go! Thank You!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:07 a.m. Kelley4306 Says...

Seems about the same as Disney world! Would love to visit Disneyland!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:02 a.m. Kim Says...

Certainly a positive spin! Disney land is ALWAYS busy. But undercover tours has a ton of great information! I’ve used many of their tips in this and other parks and been very greatful for them!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:39 a.m. Wendy Says...

I was a passholder for two years, amd visited once every 2-3 weeks or so when we weren't blacked out, usually after work. I didn't see the place im daylight fpr months. I really got burned out with the crowds. Then they cut the SoCal resident pass for a couple years. They reinstated it this past year, I think attendance must be down. I have friends coming the week before Xmas and New Years this year. So i know im advance to get there before the gates open, because on busy days it would get full and they would close the gates for hours, sometimes as early as 1 PM.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:35 a.m. Lora P Says...

I like that you post the best days to go to avoid crowds

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 a.m. Marissa Says...

Great info, bookmarking!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 a.m. Arnie D. Says...

I haven't been to Disneyland in over 30 years! I would love to go and visit family in LA.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:15 a.m. Purity H Says...

Thanks for the Info!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:05 a.m. andy Says...

I would really like to take the kiddos to disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:49 a.m. Leilani V Says...

These tips are great ! We haven't been to Disneyland always go to Disney World so I need all the info I can get ????

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May 15, 2018 at 2:43 a.m. Barbara Says...

The middle of the week while school is in session.

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May 15, 2018 at 2:38 a.m. Ljf Says...

We’re going in late September. Can take advantage of Halloween festivities and Food and Wine Fest!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:15 a.m. Starlyn Bigrope Says...

Thank you for the great tips! I am excited to plan our 1st family vacation!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:12 a.m. Tammy Says...

Love all of the tips you share to help us get the most out of our time at the parks. Thank you for the hard work!

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May 15, 2018 at 2:09 a.m. Fina Says...

Planning our first trip this year! This website has helped SO much.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. Lauren T Says...

I’ve always wanted to see the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion overlay! Fall is honestly my favorite time at any Disney Park!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. Lyndon Murray Says...

I love disneyland and all the attractions.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:46 a.m. Julie Says...

A dream Cali Disneyland

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May 15, 2018 at 1:42 a.m. Amy E Says...

Thanks for all of the great info!

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May 15, 2018 at 1:30 a.m. Joni Metcalf Says...

Would love to travel during Fall season.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:29 a.m. Vennesa K Says...

Looks like fun

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May 15, 2018 at 1:15 a.m. Carla W. Says...

Thank you SO much for this info. We took our daughter WAY back when she turned 4 and it was so packed we could not get around hardly. Now I have grandsons I want to take and these tips are very helpful on when to take them and when not to take them.

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May 15, 2018 at 1:03 a.m. Tiffany Small Says...

Cant wait to go again!

Reply
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