This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, we'll talk about how many days we recommend to spend at in Disneyland.
Robyn shares recommendations on if you should buy Park Hopper passes and her recommendation for the ideal number of days in the park. If you normally visit Walt Disney World, remember Disneyland is a much smaller park, and 2-3 days is plenty for most guests.
She also covers how you can sometimes save money by purchasing 2 single-day tickets. We also have a blog post that covers saving on two single-day tickets in more depth.
Chapters and Time Stamps
Considerations for Deciding How Many Days to Spend at Disneyland
There are a couple things to consider when determining how many days you actually want to spend at Disneyland, and the number of days that you want to spend in Los Angeles. So let's go through some popular itineraries that people usually will use to plan their trips.
If You Only Have One Day at the Disneyland Resort
The first is a one-day trip. If you want to do just one park, I'm usually going to recommend Disneyland. California Adventure is a much smaller park with a lot more thrill rides, so it might not have enough for a full day of activities for younger kids. If you only have one day to spend at the parks, I usually recommend that you just stick to one park if you've never been to Disneyland before. If you grew up going to Disneyland and you're just getting a refresher in this course, then doing a Park Hopper is not a problem and can be a really great way to get some of your favorite rides in with a short stay with only one day in the parks.
Two Days in the Parks
If you have two days to spend in the parks, I usually will recommend starting at Disneyland and then doing California Adventure the second day. If you've been to Disneyland, again, Park Hoppers can be great, but they do increase the cost of your trip quite a bit. So, I don't always know that the Park Hoppers are worthwhile for a two-day trip.
One thing to note that's tricky about two days, if you're going during an off-season where it's not going to be as busy, it can be cheaper to buy 2 single-day tickets, where you can get a 1-day ticket for $104, and another park ticket day for $104, where the 2-day park might be $215 or $240. If you're going for just two days, check to see if it's cheaper to buy two individual tickets. If you do buy two individual tickets, there are some things that are important to know. You will have to have your picture taken each day, each ticket will be a new ticket that you'll have to have your photo taken, and then you will not be able to combine the tickets later.
Three Days in the Parks
So if you decided that you wanted to do a third day where it would've been cheaper to buy a three-day Park Hopper, you cannot convert a single-day ticket to a two or three-day ticket. You would also have to pay separately for a Park Hopper. If you have those two individual days, you'd have to pay for each day instead of having it for the whole trip. It can also be a little bit more difficult to change the dates because the pricing is based on specific tiers. So sometimes if you end up changing your trip from Tuesday to Thursday, if Thursday's gonna be more expensive, now your savings are gone. So it can be a really good option. Just know that there are some hassles if your plans change.
Three days at the parks is my absolute favorite. When I go with my kids, we really do aim for a 3 day trip. I feel like it's the perfect amount of time to do almost everything that we want to do. Not so much that maybe we have too much downtime, it's perfect for us. So we usually do Disneyland the first day because we want to do a lot of running around. We have a lot of favorite attractions there, a lot of favorite places to eat. And then we do California Adventure, and then the third day we do Disneyland again.
Now if you're doing three days, being able to go back and forth between the two parks makes a little bit more sense and can have a little bit more value because those last two days you might decide that you want to go do one more thing or go back and get one, food that you had before that you want to go have one more time.
So Park Hoppers are a much better value on a three day ticket than they are on a one or two day ticket. I love the three day tickets. If you have an extra day vacation, it can also be really great to do Disneyland the first day, California Adventure the second day, then take a day off, go to the beach, just hang out, at the hotel in the pool, and then do Disneyland and have fresh eyes and not be quite so tired. That's gonna be the ideal time.
Four or Five Days In the Parks
Same thing with the four days. If you have four or five days, then I would probably do a Park Hopper at that point, focusing on Disneyland the first day and then being able to kind of park hop between the rest of the days. If you can add in a beach day or a relaxing day at the pool day, then it will keep you from being so exhausted.
Trying to do four in-park days all together, unless they're gonna be shorter days, can be a little bit much. And usually by the last day, you're so tired, it's hard to really enjoy yourself. So if you are gonna do four days, remember that is a marathon and you are going to want to make sure that you go back to the hotel during the day, get some good rest so that you are not cranky those last couple days and you can still have fun the entire trip.
Adding Other Local Attractions to Your Trip
There are also a couple of other area attractions that can be a lot of fun to add onto your trip. California has wonderful beaches. There's several nearby, Long Beach, Huntington, Newport, Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches are all beautiful. have different quirks and things about them.
Knott's Berry Farm is about 15 minutes away if you like coasters. There's a lot of really great coasters. At Knott's Berry Farm, it's a very different park than Disneyland, so just be prepared. Universal is about an hour to hour and a half away, depending on traffic. So make sure you use Google Maps to give you an idea of how long it would take you to get there. Usually, if we're gonna go to Universal Studios, I'm gonna get a hotel the night before, closer to Universal, because morning traffic in Los Angeles can be pretty intense, especially on a weekday. Then there's of course all of the things that you can see in Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign, Sunset Blvd…
So there's a lot of other activities that you might want to consider doing. If that is the case, you also might want to look at the Go City tickets they have available. Overall, just a lot of really great things that you can do in the Los Angeles area that can be great. Los Angeles Zoo is also a really wonderful zoo, lots of fun there as well.
Alright, now you know how many days you want to go, so let's go ahead and go to the next step in planning our Disney trip.