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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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301–350 of 1613 comments
May 15, 2018 at 8:28 p.m. K W Says...

Thanks! Great info!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:24 p.m. JacobandJamie Says...

We've used the calendar to pick our dates for our upcoming trip in September! I definitely wanted to go during a green crowd week and I'm excited for us to have a little more leg room!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:23 p.m. Matthew Seevers Says...

Can’t wait to go!!! Thanks for your help with making life a little easier!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:22 p.m. Chris Says...

Extremely helpful info.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:21 p.m. John B Walker Says...

We bought our DisneyWorld tickets from UndercoverTourist a few years ago. No problems! Great experience!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:19 p.m. Megan Says...

I always consult your crowd calendars before I travel!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:19 p.m. Jen Says...

Disney is amazing! So much fun for everyone!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. Alexis Navarrete Says...

Very useful!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. MaddyCarol Says...

I seriously have gotten on this exact post like 15 times, and used so many parts of your website to help plan my dream vacation! Thanks!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:13 p.m. Melonhy Says...

Very helpful :)

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:12 p.m. alexis meeker Says...

Can't wait to start planning my next vacation!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:11 p.m. Austin Says...

Great info

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:10 p.m. Amanda Fish Says...

Love this!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8:02 p.m. Susie Says...

This site is very helpful, I specially enjoyed the 1 day plan so I can plan ahead where to spend more time. oh! and the Max Pass information :)

Thanks!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 8 p.m. Wendy P. Says...

This is such great information. You always want to have a plan when visiting Disney World!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:58 p.m. Suzanne Hill Says...

I hope I win the sweepstakes!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:58 p.m. AzDisneyFan Says...

We usually go the week before Labor Day every year, but made the mistake of going to Disneyland on a Saturday and it was very crowded.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:55 p.m. chris Says...

This info helped me so much in the past!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:55 p.m. Holly Says...

Can’t wait to visit!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:53 p.m. Woofie_h Says...

The crowd calendar is one of the most useful tools! I have never been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld but this has really helped gain perspective and planning! Can’t wait for my trip in Sep to DisneyWorld! Thanks for all the information!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:51 p.m. Sasha Lamb-Archuleta Says...

Great to know for upcoming reference!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:50 p.m. Kate Says...

Bookmarking this! Thank you!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:47 p.m. TracilW Says...

This is great info!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:47 p.m. Susan Connolly Says...

I don’t visit these theme parks without consulting the crowd calendars.

Excellent info!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:45 p.m. Heather Says...

This is such great info! We are hoping to take our twins in 2019 or 2020 and I can’t wait to use this I to along with all your other resources!! Thank you!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:38 p.m. Stacie Clasen Says...

We have gone over New Year's Eve, Spring Break and middle of the summer. Everytime has been worth it and something different to see each time!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:34 p.m. Carolyn S. Says...

I love Undercover Tourist! Can always trust their info and their prices!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:32 p.m. dialane Says...

Always find the information on this website useful.

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May 15, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Lisa Coles Says...

This info is so helpful... great for vaca planning!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:29 p.m. Jennifer Says...

I was thinking of taking my kids in the summer.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:28 p.m. Audra M Says...

Love to bring our 6yo daughter & mom together at Disneyland!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:27 p.m. Mary Says...

I desperately need to get back to Disneyland!!!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:25 p.m. Liz Straayer Says...

I'm a teacher so I usually have to go during the busier school holidays. I like going the second week of Christmas break :)

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May 15, 2018 at 7:24 p.m. Kara willer Says...

Awesome! I would love to visit one day. Im a huge Disney fan.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:23 p.m. Phil Guerra Says...

Cant wait to visit in November

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:23 p.m. Flutter Flight Says...

Since I've been to Disney World tons of times, but not yet Disneyland, this is good info. to have! Thanks!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:22 p.m. Charlotte Says...

Anytime is the best time to go.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. Angela Hartmann Says...

Good stuff!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. blackbird Says...

so excited for our trip next year. good info from the frog

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May 15, 2018 at 7:20 p.m. ALangan Says...

Planning our trip for late October!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:17 p.m. Chandra Moore Says...

This is so neat for me to be able to evaluate the best available times to enjoy yourself at the great attraction. Often when you attend an attraction of this magnitude, you end up departing not seeing the main attractions due to inadequate planning. Undercover Tourist takes the exhaustion out of planning and puts your mind at ease with accurate info so you and your family can relax and enjoy your vacation. Thanks for the help! ????

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:17 p.m. Anne Says...

Awesome offer!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:16 p.m. Jeni Says...

So helpful! Thank you!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:14 p.m. carriebeary29 Says...

Would love to go!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:13 p.m. Culbster13 Says...

We went before Presidents’ Day in February and it was quiet then the weekend came and it was bonkers. Can’t wait to get back.

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:10 p.m. Stacy Bailey Louch Says...

So excited! I can't wait to go!!!

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May 15, 2018 at 7:10 p.m. Braydon M Says...

My girlfriends family uses you guys to plan their disney trips and now we use you to plan our little family trips to disney california soon

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:09 p.m. TraceHayden Says...

I love how simple they make it to book and plan out your vacation. Awesome service!

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:08 p.m. Susan G Says...

Just got home--can't wait to go back! But there is no easy time to go to DL, it is always crowded more or less...

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. Nikki Says...

So glad I found this info. I used info from undercover tourist to plan my Disney world vacation last year and it was extremely accurate. I loved the wait times app also!

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