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Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2020 and 2021

by Leap on April 1, 2020 2595 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 2020 and 2021. We'd be toadally remiss if we didn't talk about the biggest unknown the theme parks have perhaps ever faced — and that is COVID-19. With the parks closed longer than they have ever been, we're now in new territory in terms of predicting crowds. While we do have years of experience and data collection under our belt, there are many more factors at play, including how long the parks are closed, the virus, the economy, unemployment and potential travel restrictions (international and domestic).

We know so many people just want to get back to normal, and with so many local passholders, who have a bigger influence on crowds than at Disney World,  we know crowds will return to Disneyland once it reopens. But the good news for park-goers is we think the rest of this year will overall see lighter crowds. Now, we will talk more below about passholders and how they influence crowds during "normal" times, but these are not "normal" times.

Let's first state that we don't know when the Disneyland parks will reopen. When the Disneyland parks do reopen, though, the majority of the visitors will be locals or those visiting from within a few hours' drive. If you can visit during the first few days and weeks of reopening, we think you will find much lower crowds as people resume "normal" life.

As of now, Disneyland has blocked the majority of its passholders from visiting the parks in June and July (and the first half of August). Typically, Disneyland does not change this, and if this holds true for this year, we'd expect this June,  July and August to overall have lighter crowds (assuming the parks are open).

Late August and September have always been some of the better times to visit Disneyland, and we expect they would stay that way this year. While October is thought of off-season, because of many Arizona schools' fall breaks, Gay Days, Columbus Day weekend and Halloween Time, the first two weeks have become increasingly busier in years' past, and we think that would still be the case this year. November and December would likely see a return to typical crowd levels, and overall these are still good times to visit (aside from the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve). Weekends are busier for all of these months, so if you can schedule a visit mid-week, you will generally find fewer crowds (Nov. 11, Veteran's Day, is one notable exception).

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. Another thing to be aware of is major school breaks such as when many Arizona schools have breaks about the first half of October.

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 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. They hop in on Friday nights to catch fireworks and meet up with friends for some of their favorite Disneyland snacks.

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 Select and Deluxe 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. We expect D23 Expo 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. 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 tiered pricing for one-day tickets also has some impact on crowds since more people make one-day visits to Disneyland than they do to Disney World. Now each day is has a different price based on expected crowd level. During the off-seasons, Tuesdays through Thursdays are generally value priced. Saturdays and holiday periods have the highest peak prices. If you add a one-day ticket to your cart, you can view Disneyland's pricing calendar, which gives you a hint of how busy the parks may be! Generally, the higher the price, the higher the expected crowds!

Disneyland 1-Day Pricing Tells You the Busiest Days at Disneyland

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.

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2020

  • Jan. 1-6, 2020
  • Opening of Rise of the Resistance - Jan. 17, 2020
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 18-20, 2020
  • President's Day - Feb. 14-24, 2020
  • Magic Happens Parade opening and start of Food & Wine Festival - Feb 28, 2020
  • Spring break and Easter - March 14-April 13, 2020 (elevated crowds March 7-April 20, 2020)
  • Weekends and Grad Nites dates 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. 20, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021

Expected Busiest Days at Disneyland in 2021

  • Jan. 1-5, 2021
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 16-24, 2021
  • President's Day - Feb. 13-21, 2021
  • Spring break and Easter - March 13-April 4, 2021 (elevated crowds March 6-April 11, 2021)
  • Weekends and Grad Nites in May
  • June 3-Aug. 11, 2021
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 21-28, 2021
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 18, 2021-Jan. 4, 2022

*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. Many California universities consistently have spring break at the end of March, which can affect crowds then.

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. 17-20 and 24-28, 2020 - Many annual passholders are back in after summer blackouts
  • Labor Day - Sept. 7, 2020
  • Yom Kippur (when it falls on a week day) - Sept. 28, 2020
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 12, 2020 (expect crowds Oct. 3-12, 2020)
  • Utah Fall Breaks about mid-Oct.*
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) -  Nov. 11, 2020
  • Memorial Day - May 27, 2019; May 25, 2020
  • Disneyland's anniversary - 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 about mid-Oct.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2019 and 2020 - Small World Exterior

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; 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

Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2021

  • Weekdays in January starting Jan. 6 (minus the the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around President's Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 6, 2021)
  • April 12-30
  • 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; 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

Ta-da! There it is — the best time to visit Disneyland in 2020 and 2021! 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!
View Comments
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951–1000 of 1614 comments
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!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:52 a.m. emilijalouise24 Says...

Cannot wait to visit Disneyland someday!

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May 15, 2018 at 12:21 a.m. Allyson Says...

My husband and I just moved back home from living in Kissimmee, Florida (about 15 minutes away from Disney World) for a year and are reaaaally looking into Disneyland since we spent so much time in Disney World. Looking into November when it's Christmas and we can see Haunted Mansion and Small World all decked out! Flights seem to be pricey. What's the best airport to fly into for Disneyland?

Reply
May 16, 2018 at 4:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Allyson,

The closest airport to Disneyland Resort is John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA). It's only 14 miles from the park! The other big airport option is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). You might also check out some of the smaller airports including Long Beach Airport (LGB), LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR). They might offer more competitive prices, but you'll have to see which ones you can fly into from where you're coming from.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 14, 2018 at 11:50 p.m. Ryan Alexander Says...

Would love to visit Disneyland

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May 14, 2018 at 11:48 p.m. Stephanie C. Says...

Can't wait to go to Disneyland!

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May 14, 2018 at 11:47 p.m. Angie Says...

Awesome

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May 14, 2018 at 11:40 p.m. Jennifer L T Says...

Thanks for all the awesome tips and deals

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May 14, 2018 at 11:14 p.m. Carol Says...

Still in the planning stages but your site is so helpful!

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May 14, 2018 at 10:21 p.m. Jessica Says...

Just wanted to thank you for all the tips and blog pos tr s! Definitkey helps plan out the trips!

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May 15, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. Rik Says...

Just been to Orlando. Can't wait to go back.

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May 15, 2018 at 3:04 p.m. Tiffaney Lindsey Says...

Disneyland looks like so much fun!!

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May 14, 2018 at 5:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica!

We're so HOPPY to hear it!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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May 14, 2018 at 10:06 p.m. Tracy Eau Claire Says...

I'm going to bookmark this post! We went in 2017 during the week after Columbus Day and it was packed. Like you could not take a single step without navigating the space all around you. Couldn't get into stores, cause you might have to cross the sidewalk to do that. It was like real life Frogger! :) So glad we had the MaxPass to make the trip a success.

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May 14, 2018 at 5:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracy!

MaxPass is AMAZING! Be sure to check out our Crowd Calendar as well to help plan your trip. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 9:55 p.m. Stephanie Jobe Moore Says...

Your crowd calendar is a life saver!!

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May 14, 2018 at 9:42 p.m. Rachel Keith Says...

Is there any possibility that the Pixar Fest would be extended into Halloween celebrations? Or do you think they will definitely shut it down to get ready for Halloween?

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May 14, 2018 at 5:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachel!

Ooooh - that's a tough question! We'll keep you posted if anything changes, but our best guess is that Pixar Fest will come to a close to make way for Halloween celebrations.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 9:38 p.m. Mandy Maloo Says...

This is super helpful! I grew up only about an hour from Walt Disney World in Florida, so that’s typically where we go. But we’ve been talking lately about taking our 4 year old to Disneyland to see where it all began. This is incredibly helpful since we knew there would be several differences between the two parks, but not really sure what they would be and how they’d impact travel.

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May 14, 2018 at 9:33 p.m. Aimee Munoz Says...

Great info!

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May 14, 2018 at 9:29 p.m. Deborah McClure Says...

The best times seem similar to DisneyWorld. Looks like best time to go is when kids are in school.

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May 14, 2018 at 9:25 p.m. raymond kimmell Says...

we are going to Universal some time in July

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May 14, 2018 at 8:57 p.m. Terry Stebbins Says...

I love the Electric Parade!!!

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May 14, 2018 at 8:54 p.m. anna mitchell Says...

id love to go to Disney land with my son! neither of us have ever been. he's almost two.

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May 14, 2018 at 8:48 p.m. Terrance Carroll Says...

Thanks!

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May 14, 2018 at 8:13 p.m. Brittany Says...

Christmas and Halloween are our family favorites. Midweek trip all the way

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May 14, 2018 at 8:07 p.m. Janice Brady Says...

I would love to get back to Disneyland. This information is a great help for planning.

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May 14, 2018 at 8:05 p.m. Tina M Says...

We would love to take our family to Disneyland (first time for all of us!) in August. Will it be super busy? ????

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tina!

It just depends on when exactly you visit in August - check out our Crowd Calendar for a better idea of what we expect!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 8:05 p.m. Keri Lynn Says...

I was just looking for a calendar for the best days to stay to get some relief from Midwestern cabin fever during the beginning of 2019. Love that I can refer back to here for those great dates.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Keri!

Awesome! We're so HOPPY to help. Be sure to keep an eye on our Crowd Calendar for planning help as well!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 8:04 p.m. shannon fowler Says...

This is so helpful! We live right by disney world, so we are those season pass holders who pop in at least once a week. However, we really want to go to disneyland. This will definitely help us plan a trip at a time it can be more enjoyable.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon!

Awesome! We're so HOPPY to help. Be sure to keep an eye on our Crowd Calendar for planning help as well!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 8:02 p.m. Tammy Studt Says...

Thanks for all the info

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:56 p.m. Jeffrey Franco Says...

It's always nice to see that Undercover Tourists is always providing nice insights for the Disney community

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jeffrey!

We're always HOPPY to help. Be sure to keep an eye on our Crowd Calendar for planning help as well!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:53 p.m. Jan Myers Says...

Hello! We are visiting Disneyland in June. Are there discounts for one day tickets? We are not from the SoCal area or military.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:50 p.m. Ted E Says...

thanks for the contest and the blog post. I've bought my Disneyland and universal Orlando tickets through you guys. i plan on buying my Disneyworld tickets when i can take my daughter

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ted!

Great! We have tons of great Disney World tickets to choose from. Have fun!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:47 p.m. Liam Elias Says...

I always plan my vacations with Undercover Tourists. Im such a happy frog

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

I love undercover tourist

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Liam!

Yay! That makes us very hoppy frogs as well!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:27 p.m. Tony Cruz Says...

Great App. !!!

Lots of helpful functions & easy to navigate.

Can't wait to try app in our visit to San Francisco!!!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tony!

Let us know how you enjoy your trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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