End of Feb or Early March?

Planning a DL trip in 2020, either the last week of February (Feb 23rd – 28th ) or 1st week of March (Mar 1st – 5th ). Any thoughts or suggestions as to which week would be best? Should the Food & Wine Festival affect crowds the beginning of March? There will be 6 people in our group; 2 kids (ages 6 & 9) & 4 adults.

Last year’s TP’s historical data indicates CL’s last week of Feb 2019 (Feb 24 – Mar 1) was quite high, ie. some 8’s mid-week in DCA, which surprised me. Why would the CL’s be so high, especially mid-week in Feb? Historical data indicates CL’s first week of March 2019 (Mar 3 – 8) was much lower, even though the Wine & Food festival had started, so I am surprised by this.

We could use some schooling on how to interpret the historical data when trying to pick the best week for our group. Appreciate your DL knowledge and expertise – Thanks!

You have to be careful about interpreting spring crowds because Easter (and related Spring Break) falls on different weekends each year. This can skew comparative crowd levels throughout March and April. The best thing to do would be to check the forecast.

Also, you might see relatively higher crowd levels on days without AP blockout (ie, weekdays in off season), which if you ask some people, is the biggest driver of crowds at DLR (and varies by park). I have found that to be the case in the past few years especially. So you may want to check the AP blockout calendar as well (which is a column in the TP crowd calendar).

All that said, you can have a great time at DLR regardless of crowd level. Hope you have a great time!

Looking at the DLR blockout dates for the most popular APs, there really no difference between the last week in Feb. and the first week in March 2020. Easter isn’t until April 12. Spring Break for locals isn’t until after your possible dates. Regarding weather (I lived in SoCAL for45 yrs), this time period can be quite rainy and cool (like last Feb.) but you may end up with a week when you have sunny days in the 70s. The CL8’s mid week Feb. 2019 COULD have been because of a nice break in the weather…a hunch.

1 Like

We’ve done the first week of March 2x for DD’s birthday and crowds have always been great, but also we’ve had lots of threat of rain both of those trips (one trip it did rain decently, one it barely did or did only when we were indoors so we lucked out).

I think either week should be good and another thing to watch out for is when the end of the Lunar New Year Festivities is. I don’t think it would be quite so far back as the end of Feb but the Lunar New Year date does change every year & anytime we’ve had a trip that coincided with the last day of Lunar New Year, that has been a pretty busy day (mostly for the Lunar New Year stuff, but those offerings have been expanded the last few years so it has a lot more draw).

1 Like

Thank you all, for your insights and suggestions – much appreciated. You’ve removed a bit of confusion I felt trying to pick the dates for our visit. Sounds like I can’t go too far wrong with either of these 2 weeks.
Planning a DLR trip should be fun and exciting, not stressful, right?! So from now on I’m not going to worry about the CL’s so much and just enjoy the ride!


That is honestly THE best approach to picking dates! When I first discovered TP I became obsessed with trying to find the lowest crowds on the possible dates we could go & my wise husband reminded me “We’ve done some of the worst crowds and still had a good time, so why should it matter?” And, to an extent, he’s right. We’d already done a CL10 with a Grad Nite to boot before we discovered anyone even attempted to measure crowds!

1 Like

For five years in a row, my daughters and I would drive down to DLR from the Seattle area during their school’s spring break (first week in April). The crowds were sometimes big and sometimes bigger, depending on if Easter fell on the weekend before or after our trip. But we always managed a good time! (Just sad that with one in college they don’t have the same spring break anymore! But at least she’s going to college in SoCal!!) On big crowd days, we would spend more time doing some of the extra things like the flag retreat, main street vehicles, the penny arcade, royal theater, etc. Or just securing a seat on the train and riding the full circuit! Our motto is the worst day in DL is better than not being at DL!