April/May 2020 visit

Our last visit to Disneyland was in the fall of 2015, and one thing we learned was to book our hotel early–waiting till April/May instead of booking in February probably cost us around $10-$20/night.

So, we’re looking at going again late April/early May 2020, and plan on booking our hotel as soon as possible (probably in the next week or so). Our plan is to book it for 11 nights, and I want the date range to include May 4th (in case there’s any Star Wars events happening in the park that day)–in terms of crowds (biggest consideration) what would be the best range of dates to choose?

We’re pulling the kids out of school regardless, so school days aren’t really a factor. As far as other things on my mind is that Space Mountain was closed during our last visit, so if it closes for the Hyperspace overlay before May 4th, we’d probably want to have more days in May I’d think, but I’d like to hear some other thoughts–thanks!!

Are you talking about booking one of the 3 DL resorts?

No–we’re trying to balance budget with location and room space, so we’re probably going to stay at the Desert Inn & Suites.

Predicting crowds for Disneyland has become really anyone’s guess with the addition of GE and all the changes that have been made to adjust for what levels of APs have access to the parks. If you would’ve told me that Disneyland would experience a run of 1/2/3 crowd levels the opening 2 weeks of GE I would’ve written you off as fool, but that’s what’s happened! Meanwhile, in the May leading up to the opening of GE, especially before APs were blocked out & spring ticket discounts were nearing the end, the parks were consistently busy.

So my advice would be to work with the days that best fit your life schedule as anything can happen between now & next May but if you really want to try to chase the low crowds, look for days that have the most AP’s blocked.


Thanks for sharing (was wondering if anyone had thoughts to share)! It really seems that crowd levels have become harder to predict in recent years, and GE has made it even more so (and RotR will change things again I’m sure, whenever it’s opening is announced). Our last trip was just after Halloween in 2015–we were expecting it to be quiet, but it was surprisingly busy, but we still had a great time. At the moment, it looks like it’s mostly Fridays and weekends in April/May that will be blocked out for APs.

Still open to hearing other thoughts…

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I am with @lolabear_la. I hold her opinion pretty high and she knows almost all things DLR! I get very excited when I know something she doesn’t (this is a very rare thing!). Even when we both have the same info, she always does a better/more thorough job explaining it than could.

The only thing I would add is take into consideration spring break crowds. It is April 12, so you should be fine in that respect, but depending on which side you fall on May 4th, you may seem some carry over crowds. Another consideration as you go later into May is the middle school field trips and the start of grad nights. I personally would have take my chances with the spring breakers :crazy_face:

Thanks–so you think grad nights make a big impact? It seems I’ve read various things (some say you should avoid them, others seem to say they don’t make much difference).

Probably over-analyzing–happens easily enough unfortunately. :slight_smile:

I would probably avoid the middle school kids over grad night. The effect on overall crowds is minimal, but they can be overwhelming and more than a wee bit rambunctious (although I may be biased, as I have a son who just finished middle school and have been fully immersed in middle school culture for the past several years).

We were just there and Grad Nights fell on a couple of our days. It wasn’t too bad - extra crowds of kids, but mostly well behaved, and worth the trade off for the overall low crowd levels. There were a couple of occasions where I wanted to wring their necks, but I kept my manners too. I imagine middle schoolers would bring their own problems and that honestly sounds worse to me.

GN is at CA so I would recommend going to DL those days, although there is some spillover from kids who get park hopper tix.


The worst grad night we ever had was 5 years ago and I kept telling my husband, “I just wanna punch a teenager” We’ve done grad night a good number of times since then (and a few before that too) & only one group has come close to making me feel that same way. So on average, I definitely agree, grad nights are not so bad.

The middle schoolers though… They are so much worse, less mature & it seems their chaperones are much less organized than an official grad night, so they have less of a leash. But they are also pretty impossible to plan around since they are not formalized or announced like a grad night is.


Thanks for the comments!

Desert Inn & Suites has finally put up their rates for both April and May 2020–so, it looks like their rates (according to their website) are about $10/night more in early May than late April. On the other hand, TP is projecting slightly smaller crowds in early May (I know such projections are pretty speculative at this point). So, at the moment I’m leaning towards something like a April 27th to May 7th (Friday and Saturday rates are highest, so we’d probably book Sun-Wed or Mon-Thurs nights (to get 11 nights), but I’m still open to hearing from others. :slight_smile:

(just noticed–these dates would avoid 2020 grad nights, which start May 8th next year)

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