With awesome entertainment, returning festivals, and an entirely new land, it’s no wonder that 2019 will be the year to visit Disneyland Resort. Disneyland has magic to offer guests of all ages, and while epic new attractions and fan-favorite entertainment are highly appealing, they also bring in large crowds.
If you’re a frequenter of Disneyland Resort, an annual passholder, or someone who loves being in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that busy seasons bring, then an increase in crowds may not impact your decision to visit. But if you’re planning to visit Disneyland only once in 2019 or you have not been to Disneyland in quite some time, you may want to factor crowd levels into your trip planning.
Why do crowd levels matter at Disneyland Resort?
Crowd levels can determine how much you will be able to do on your trip to Disneyland. And if you’ve ever experienced Disneyland with minimal crowds, you probably know how wonderful it can be to walk onto your favorite attractions and snag a Main Street U.S.A. curbside spot for your favorite parade. You could be able to accomplish everything you want to do with minimal FastPasses on a visit to Disneyland Resort during the low season. Or you could love holidays and special events, giving you little options but to visit during some of the busiest times of the year.
During a low season, guests will likely find shorter queues (and lower wait times), decreased park hours, and overall less crowded and easier to navigate parks. During a busy season, queues and wait times are typically much longer, the parks are more difficult to navigate, the parks are often open longer, there are often more entertainment showtimes available. During a moderate season, the theme parks feel somewhat in the middle, and you don’t really know what you could get on any given park day.
Disneyland crowds are often dependent upon the school and holiday schedule, annual passholder block out dates, and special events, like seasonal entertainment or grand openings. On weeks when school is out, most annual passholders aren’t blocked out from visiting, and a festival is going on, you will probably have a difficult time traversing the theme parks or hopping on your favorite attractions more than once (or without a long queue). And 2019 will only increase the crowds during the busiest seasons of the year.
So why is 2019 the busiest year Disneyland has ever seen?
Two words: Galaxy’s Edge. One of the most anticipated Disneyland additions of all (and the largest expansion the original Disney theme park has ever seen), Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is predicted to draw massive crowds when it opens on May 31. Theme park experts have predicted that the new “Star Wars”-themed land could attract approximately 200,000 guests to Disneyland, with lines to enter the theme park expected to be 8-10 hours long on opening day.
With the upcoming opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, summer at Disneyland will more than likely experience record-breaking crowds this year. So it is important to keep those crowd predictions in mind when considering what time of year to visit Disneyland in 2019, whether you are a “Star Wars” fan or not.
- Mid-January through early February
- Late February through mid-March
- Late April through early May
- Early November before the holiday season begins (Holidays at Disneyland Resort generally runs from the second week of November through the first week of January.)
- Valentine’s week
- Mid through late May
- Late August weekdays immediately before Galaxy’s Edge opening
- Weekdays in October
- Weekdays in early through mid-December
- President’s Day weekend
- Week of Easter
- Mid-March through mid-April
- End of May through August
- Weekends during Halloween season
- Last week of October
- Weekends during Christmas season
- Week of Thanksgiving
- Week of Christmas through New Years
When is the best time to visit Disneyland Resort?
If you’re a “Star Wars” fan, then there’s no denying that you’ll want to plan your 2019 visit for sometime after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in the summer. The anticipation of extremely high crowd levels won’t deter dedicated fans from visiting the parks during that time.
But for those who want to avoid massive crowds, here are some things to consider when planning your 2019 trip to Disneyland Resort.
Visit during a festival: Lunar New Year and Food & Wine Festival are both set to take place in Disney’s California Adventure during early 2019, and other than the President’s Day and Easter crowds, the theme parks will likely not be very crowded during that time.
Visit only on weekdays: Locals and annual passholders, as well as guests who don’t want to take their kids out of school for a vacation, often visit Disneyland on the weekends. So plan your trip so that you only visit the parks on weekdays! This may result in foregoing the fireworks and fewer operating hours, but the low crowds are worth it. Additionally, if you can’t take your kids out of school and you have to wait until school breaks to visit Disneyland Resort, visiting on weekdays, extending your trip by a couple of days, and avoiding summer weekends are ways to brave the crowds without feeling overwhelmed.
Celebrate the holidays early: If you still want to check out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge but you also want to experience the Halloween and Holiday seasons at Disneyland, don’t worry. Plan a trip for mid-September or mid-November to experience the special Halloween and Holiday happenings with moderate crowd levels.
Inside the Magic recommended travel dates
At Inside the Magic, we recommend visiting Disneyland Resort during the following dates in 2019:
- February 4-8 to experience Lunar New Year
- April 22 and 23, the last two days of Food & Wine Festival
- October 1-4 to celebrate Halloween Time
- December 2-5 to celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland Resort
If you are looking to book a 2019 Disneyland Resort vacation, we at Inside the Magic recommend booking your vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at Academy Travel. Agents at Academy Travel can get you the best deal on a Disneyland Resort vacation, reserve your dining, and stay up-to-date on the latest money-saving offerings. Best of all: booking with a travel agent is completely free. Click here to request a quote for your 2019 Disneyland Resort vacation.
Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Inside the Magic’s Disneyland Resort 2019 Crowd Calendar shows the low, moderate, and busy seasons at Disneyland Resort for 2019. This calendar is based on our own experience and research, and while it is a helpful vacation planning tool, it is meant to be a prediction and Disneyland Resort crowds are subject to change.
Additionally, Disneyland Resort has calendar-based ticket prices that vary depending on the day your tickets are valid. Disneyland Resort has Value, Regular, and Peak ticket prices, but these prices do not always indicate the crowd levels or busyness of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks. When planning your trip, we suggest comparing our crowd calendar to the Disneyland Resort ticket price calendar to find the dates that work best for you.