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Best Time to Visit Disneyland in 2020 and 2021

by Leap on April 1, 2020 2593 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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1001–1050 of 1613 comments
May 14, 2018 at 7:15 p.m. jason whitaker Says...

I want to go but have no plans at the moment...

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 7:11 p.m. Deborah Beyer Says...

I would love to visit Disneyland again. I haven't been there since I was a child a long time ago. It would be great to hook up with family over there as well.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:54 p.m. Isabel J Torres Says...

I ♥️Disney!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Isabel!

Same here!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:43 p.m. Katie Says...

This is perfect! We are planning a spring 2019 trip and are just starting to look at dates. Thank you!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:40 p.m. Mandie C Says...

This is awesome! We'll be taking our kiddo next year (finger's crossed).

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:23 p.m. robin s. Says...

This is such a great guideline to help pick out the best dates to plan a vacation to Disney. This has always been my burning question as to when is the best time to visit. Thanks so much for this great information.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:21 p.m. Cindy Says...

I ❤️Undercoverturist

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cindy!

Aw, thanks! We frogs <3 you too!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:17 p.m. Barbara Says...

What an easy way to get the perfect help when planning a vacation!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:10 p.m. Humberto Says...

I love this article because it shows you the crown calendar, this helps you to plan better your vacations, it also talks about the best dates to go, and when not to go.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:07 p.m. Christie W Says...

Thanks for the help. I love being able to come and see the best ties to plan for our trips!

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

Great article, thank you! One question I have is regarding Dapper Day events, if you are familiar with them. I know there is one in the spring and one in the fall - which do you feel would be the least crowded and best to attend? We have never been to Disneyland, but attended Dapper Day in Disney World on my son's wish trip last year. We were told that the events are even better at Disneyland. Thank you in advance!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:34 p.m. Keri andrews Says...

We are WDW frequenters, and are getting ready to plan our first trip to Disneyland for our anniversary next year!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:21 p.m. Iris Says...

I dont have plans yet but we would love to visit there one day

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:57 p.m. K Disney Fan Says...

We are looking at going to Disneyland the first week of June (1st-5th) 2018. Will is be crowded? Worried about the days that Grad Night occurs on.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:51 p.m. Madeline Says...

Will be using this article to plan my trip!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:39 p.m. Adam Davi Says...

September is by far the best time to visit Disneyland. I've visited in September multiple times and the crowds are always light, especially if you go on a weekday.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:26 p.m. Bethany Robben Says...

Thanks for the giveaway! I've always wanted to go to Disneyland!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Sara Rainsdon Says...

Thank you for all the work you put in. It makes it so much easier to plan a family vacation with real information about crowds and best times to visit!!! Thank you!!!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:22 p.m. Hilary Says...

Your blog and website was so helpful on my family vacation to Disney World. Thank you!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4:08 p.m. Stacey U Says...

I used all Undercover Tourist information to plan trip and we pretty much saw and did all we wanted without a lot of wait!! Thanks!!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 4 p.m. Elizabeth Trayner Says...

WOAH! I was thinking of going for my birthday 11/18 and 5th anniversary 11/23 but that's on the list for worst times to go haha Good to know! I'll have to look at going during the week before Thanksgiving :)

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:52 p.m. Barbara Says...

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog!

Have a hoppy day!

????

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:50 p.m. Ckelleyd Says...

Always looks like fun!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:47 p.m. Brett Says...

Hope I can make it to Disneyland in 2019.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. Rebecca M Says...

I am going to WDW for the first time this year and hoping to make a trip to Disneyland in 2019! I haven’t been since I was 5.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:38 p.m. Peaches101803 Says...

Love all you do to keep us informed!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Hoppy to help!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:38 p.m. Aoloa Santos Says...

I have always used undercover tourist with planning my trips to Disney and Universal Studios in California and Florida! They provide amazing information and tips to help make our family trip fun and less stressful. The ticket prices are slightly cheaper and when you’re on a budget every bit goes a long way! Thank you Undercover Tourist for being a good to source for us when travelling to our favorite places on earth!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. Cathleen Says...

Glad to know the times NOT to go.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. Teale Taylor Says...

Hey, love undercover tourist!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Teale!

The Frog Family <3 you too!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. johns Says...

great post!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 5:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Hoppy to help! Let us know if you have any questions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:25 p.m. Stephanie B. Says...

Would Mid June be better to visit then the last two weeks of August?

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:23 p.m. Heather Colianni Says...

I can't wait to start planning a trip to Disneyland. Planning is half the fun for me!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather!

Same here, if you couldn't tell by our website ;) Check out our tips to maximize your fun at Disneyland.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:21 p.m. Kerry W Says...

I am hoping to plan a trip in the near future. So thankful for this valuable resource to help in my trip planning!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Jackie Says...

We love to do Disney in October, usually the beginning to middles of the month. Also, the beginning of February is also great, although it is a bit chilly then.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:18 p.m. Tina F Says...

Thank you!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. Shannon Gutierrez Says...

Can’t wait for Pixar pier

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon!

Same here!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. HannahKW Says...

My family goes in the fall. September and October are wonderful!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:12 p.m. Beth Ann Says...

I’m hoping to make a trip to DW next spring for the Eun Disney Princess Half Marathon if I can get tickets. This will be in celebration of my brain tumor recovery. One day at a time!!! ????

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Molly S Says...

I love Disneyland! Can't wait to go back!

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 3:04 p.m. Meghan Kampper Says...

Thanks for this information! So helpful

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Hoppy to help! Let us know if you have any questions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 2:59 p.m. Deb Says...

I am hoping to visit Disneyland again sometime soon. I am sure when I do, I will use your planning information. It has always worked out great for us when planning our Disneyworld vacations.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Hoppy to help! Let us know if you have any questions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 2:56 p.m. Gina E Says...

Yay ty! :D

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 6:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Hoppy to help! Let us know if you have any questions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 2:56 p.m. Megan Leone Says...

Can’t wait to visit Ca and go here with our family.

Reply
May 14, 2018 at 2:50 p.m. Ria Says...

Love Disneyland!!

Reply
May 6, 2018 at 2:15 a.m. Tyler Cann Says...

We are planning a trip to Disneyland early September but are debating between a weekend or weekdays. We thought maybe the crowds would be smaller on weekdays but may have longer wait times for rides due to fewer lines open. Is there any truth to this? When would we see the shortest wait times for the rides?

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 9:43 p.m. Becca Wall Says...

Hello we are planning to visit for a day or 2 some time between 23 Aug-28 Aug 2018 is there a particular day that will be less busy than another

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 11:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Becca!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar to see how busy we predict your desired dates to be.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 3:26 a.m. Jenny Says...

We would love to take the family to Disneyland on May 20. Will it be super crowded that’s day and not worth going. We have two littles

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 11:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenny!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar to see how busy we predict your desired dates to be. It looks like May 20 will be a bit on the crowded side.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 2:31 p.m. Cameron Says...

I saw on here that in July is a bad time to go but I think that should be updated. I've gone on the 4th of July in the past and even plan on going this year because the 3rd and 4th of July aren't usually busy. I'll often walk right on a ride. And if you're on Big Thunder at the right time, seeing the firework show from that angel on the first lift Hill is amazing. The 5th of July is a different story. It'll be very crowded. I also think someone it should mention Max Pass. I used it the last time I went and it saved so much time (especially on the busy rights like Guardians and Raidiator Springs Racers.

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 9:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cameron!

Thanks so much for your insight! In our experience, all holidays are typically pretty busy at the parks. We're hoppy to hear you've had better luck. We'll keep an eye out for how things go this year. And yes, MaxPass is definitely key!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 4:51 a.m. Lindsay Says...

How do grad nites affect the crowd level at disneyland during the day? Thanks!

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 9:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindsay!

We factor Grad Nites (amongst many other considerations) into our Crowd Calendar predictions, so you can check there for guidance! It usually doesn't impact the daytime crowds too much.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2018 at 5:51 p.m. Yuli Says...

Hi, we are planning to bring our 5.5 years old daughter to go to Disneyland this year. Do you think it will make big difference between the week of Aug 12-18 and the week of Oct 5 - 12?

Thank you!

Reply
Apr 23, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Yuli!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that August will be a bit less busy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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