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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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851–900 of 1698 comments
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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May 15, 2018 at 3:29 p.m. Jillian B Says...

We love Disney!!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:29 p.m. Kathy Ponder Says...

Love all of your tips and discounts!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:28 p.m. MikeN Says...

Very Helpful post - definitely bookmarking. Thank you!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:28 p.m. =j Says...

Sometimes timing is entirely constrained by external constraints. Of course, I might modify my plans if I have a leasurly four night stay instead of a shorter two night. Nod wink

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. Sean Overton Says...

I can vouch for the Christmas holidays being horrible. We made that mistake in 2017. January is my birthday and we have gone middle to end of the month and not had lines.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. Dan C Says...

So glad I discovered Undercover Tourist. The only place to buy WDW tickets!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. Rachel Lytle Says...

I've never been to Disneyland, but my husband and I are talking about doing that for our 15th wedding anniversary!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. Ashlee Says...

Thank you for all of the information on how busy parks are during certain times of the year.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. A Swinson Says...

We adore the FL parks, but have not made it to the CA ones, yet. Thanks for the information. It will help us to plan.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. Tiffany Hix Says...

Great info in this post! I can’t wait to go back to Disneyland! I’ll be using this info in my trip planning!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:27 p.m. sulu Says...

can't wait to spend a few days in Disneyland

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Stephanie R Says...

Great article! We travelled to both Disney world and Disneyland at all times of year and the crowds have been manageable! The only times we make sure not to go is over Christmas break and Easter break! Haha

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Marsha Says...

I’ve never been to Disneyland! How many days would you need to stay to get the most out of your visit?

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May 16, 2018 at 4:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marsha,

We recommend at least 2 days! It also depends on the time of year you'll be going.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. April H Says...

Thanks for the tips! Good information!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Tracie Says...

Love all the great tips!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Geoff Deleplanque Says...

Great resource for Disney!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Sheena McKibben Says...

I cannot wait to visit Disneyland. Only been to WDW!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Paul Spence Says...

Easter holidays in the UK next year is April 6th for 2 weeks - that didn't appear to be the period for the expected highest volumes of visitors so I'm going then!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. Sharon Says...

I would love to go whenever....

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May 15, 2018 at 3:26 p.m. AllyB Says...

Good info! Would love to visit Disneyland

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Irene Says...

I have been receiving your newsletter for a few years and it has helped me immensely in planning our visits. Always great info. Keep up the great work.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Russ Says...

The crowd calendar is super useful, we have been to orlando loads, but this is our first time at LA - thanks!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Nicole Ench Says...

Thanks for this ❤️

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Sailer Family Says...

This is so much great information! We are planning a trip to Disneyland for the first time ever for our family of 6. 5 adults and 1 child, age 7 when we go. We'd like to go when its not so hot and avoid the rainy season if there is one. Best time to go?

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May 15, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Erica Hodges Says...

Thanks for the information!! Very helpful!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:24 p.m. CG Says...

This is so helpful. For us midwesterners, we're finding it harder to plan a DL trip than our normal WDW trips. Different experience! But this helps a lot. Thanks! :)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:24 p.m. Samantha V Saunders Says...

It's hard to figure out travel days now that I have a child starting school. I like going during slower times!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:24 p.m. MOONRAYVIN Says...

Anytime would be good for me lol ???? I live on the East Coast and have never been to California - some day I will though and I can't wait to use the info I've learned here ????

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May 15, 2018 at 3:24 p.m. Tiffany A Says...

Hoping to make my first trip to Disneyland in 2019. Can’t wait!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:23 p.m. Erin B Says...

Love all your tips and info - have saved me a lot of time and frustration over the years!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:23 p.m. kidsfirst81 Says...

We always went the weekend after Thanksgiving and it wasn't as crowded growing up. I personally find it a little hard to predict. One year we went for Columbus Day weekend and it was crowded and the next year it wasn't as bad. We go this weekend because of school vacations and work schedules and know that it's going to be more crowded than other weeks we could pick

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May 15, 2018 at 3:22 p.m. sbgorman Says...

Thank you for the great info!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:22 p.m. Neha Vanscoy Says...

I have gone to Walt Disney World my whole life. I think it's time to take a trip to where it all began!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:22 p.m. Sierra Veitenheimer Says...

So helpful! Me and my husband visited Disney World in Florida last year for our honeymoon in December. It was gorgeous, and we loved the Christmas time at the park, but man was it crowded!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:21 p.m. Alexandra Kalber Says...

Hopefully planning a trip next Spring!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:20 p.m. Ann Says...

The struggle is finding a balance between wanting decent crowds but also wanting all the entertainment to be available! We went during a week day in November and the crowds were fantastic but several shows weren’t running and there were some refurbs.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:20 p.m. GVL Says...

The best time that we visited Disneyland was in March a week before schools got their Spring Break. Great weather, no lines, didn't feel rushed or stressed.

Having said that, anytime is a good time, we always enjoy our visits to the parks. We've been to Disneyland, Disney World and Shanghai Disney.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:19 p.m. Marlana Says...

Love all your tips, especially the CROWD CALENDAR! Headed to WDW this fall, and hopefully DL next year!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:19 p.m. Karen Says...

I love Disney World but have never been to Disneyland! This needs to be corrected!! ;)

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May 15, 2018 at 3:19 p.m. Samantha Says...

Hello!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:19 p.m. Jordan Slagle Says...

So ready to go in September!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:19 p.m. Julie Mastrogiacomo Says...

We went the end of April and I wasn't expecting it to be as crowded as it was, from what I've heard November is the best time to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. ssh68 Says...

Used crowd dates to plan my Disney vacay and it worked out great! We had great weather, moderate crowds, and the best time ever!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Jeremy Welch Says...

Looks like a lot of fun.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. LynnL Says...

Thanks for the great pointers. Looking at a trip for 2019 as a graduation gift so need all the help we can get picking the right time to go!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Ilene Says...

Great tips, glad I read it before our next trip!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Amanda Says...

Thank you for all you do to keep us informed on all of the latest tips and guides!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Desiree Says...

This is exactly what I needed to make my decision on when to go this year! Thanks for all you do!

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May 15, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Anne E Says...

This is super helpful, thanks!

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