Which dates April 2020?


We’re looking at a Californian road trip for the UK Easter school holidays 2020. Haven’t booked flights yet but when we have looked into this in the past the best flights have been return to LAX.

So my question is, crowd-wise would it be better to visit DLR at the beginning of our trip (likely to be 5th-7th April) or end of the trip 14th -16th? The time difference will mean it’s easier for us to rope drop at the start of our trip, but we’re also likely to be pretty exhausted - perhaps too much so to enjoy full theme park days? (Will be with DS11, DS12 and DS15.)

I haven’t changed my TP subscription yet to include DLR, want to hold off until the flights are booked, so in the absence of a crowd calendar I’m looking to the Liner experts!

TIA, Brizz

I would pick which one you think your family will handle & enjoy the best based on their energy levels (it is not fun to be doing full theme park days exhausted & I can’t imagine how it would feel to jump right in with that much of a time change). There are pro’s & cons to each of your dates though.

Things to consider for your 5-7th dates: Firstly, Easter is April 12th and if the week leading up to Easter falls during/near a lot of other Spring Breaks can be a straight 10’s trips all 7 days of that week. Secondly the first week of April is one of the most popular weeks of Spring Break so your weekend of the 5th-7th is likely to be squashed in the middle between 2 very busy weeks. The up-side of all this is that Disney will fully staff the parks, limit closures of attractions & have the most available park hours which allows you the option to take a midday break to escape both the peak of crowds & heat to be able to return late-afternoon/evening refreshed and possibly close down the park.

Conversely, the 14th-16th will fall after Easter mid-week on a week that is a much less popular week for Spring Break. (Easter Monday is not a holiday in the US and the majority of schools get just a 1 week break so if the school’s Spring Break schedule follows with Easter it will more likely be the week leading up to Easter rather than following it). The downside to this is that the quiet parts of spring tend to be a time where they squeeze in some refurbishments & so you may see several attractions down for the week and also being mid-week the hours may be shorts and the nighttime entertainment reduced. For example, Disneyland does not do fireworks nightly year-round doing them mostly only on school vacations, weekends & holidays so a Tue-Thur on a non-school holiday will mean you’ll miss out on fireworks & possibly Fantasmic! as well. However, if your family doesn’t love shows, the lower crowds may be a draw for you.

Lastly some advice below on planning for Disneyland & why I ultimately think you should go with what plans work best for your family & not necessarily trends/predictions, even by any experts.

Disneyland schedules things very much so on laid back California coast time so most things are subject to change & announced with much less lead time than WDW so it could be they announce some festival or new thing that incentives the local crowd base to come to at a time when they might not have otherwise prioritized a drive to Disneyland. And while there are tourist trends, since Disneyland is so easily accessible to the large population of Southern California the trends of local tourists is difficult to predict & easily swayed by Disneyland changing/adding something on short notice so even if you do carefully pick a week, Disneyland can change the game & draw an instant crowd from the local base. And they have gotten very good at knowing they can & doing it thereby increasing crowds at otherwise slow times. So that’s why I stress, do what works best for the vacation plans you’ll be making & it will be a great three days no matter what!