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How to Maximize Two Days at Disneyland

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Heading to Disneyland, but only have two days to spend at the resort? Wondering how to make the most of those two days? Don’t worry, I am sharing all of my tips, secrets, and planning strategies for how to maximize two days at Disneyland. 

sleeping beauty castle disneyland

So you have decided that you want to go to Disneyland, but you either only want to go for two days, or that is all the free time you have. Maybe you are wondering, is it even worth it? 

Of course it is!

While I always suggest trying to go for three days or longer to get that Magic Morning Entry, I still think two days at Disneyland is better than none. And you can get a lot done in two days at the parks if you plan ahead. Here is everything you need to know to make the most of your two days at Disneyland.

Only Two Days at Disneyland? – Your Guide Starts Here

When wondering how many days to go to Disneyland, experts (myself included) always talk about the benefits of going for three or more days. But many people can only go for two days. Whether because of budget, time, or any other reason, you definitely can do and see a lot in two days at Disneyland, with the right plan. 

Why Only Go To Disneyland For Two Days?

If your schedule only permits going to Disneyland for one or two days, I always suggest going for at least two. Two days obviously gives you more time to explore, and you can maximize your tickets.

If you are only going for one day, and you are choosing to parkhop, it is actually not much more expensive to go to Disneyland for two days, choosing the one park per day option. This is just one of my favorite Disneyland ticket tips

Pixar Pier Disneyland secrets

Even if you only have one full day at the parks, but you have the evening or morning free before, you might want to buy a two day ticket because you can accomplish a lot in a few hours, for only a few dollars more.

If budget is the reason you are only going to Disneyland for two days, I would definitely suggest checking out prices through my partners at Get Away Today. They offer discount tickets, and that can help make a longer ticket, with that coveted Magic Morning option, more in reach. If the 3rd day is only used for a quick evening in the parks, gaining that Magic Morning entry is well worth it.

Choosing Which Days To Visit

Perhaps you can only go two days, but you can wiggle around which days you go to the parks, I definitely suggest trying to visit Tuesday – Thursday if possible. The exception being during Spring Break at Disneyland, sometimes the weekdays are busier than the weekends.

Also avoid holidays if possible. This doesn’t mean avoid the holidays at Disneyland as a whole, but specifically, days that are holidays (Presidents’ Day, Thanksgiving, etc).

Two Day Tickets for Disneyland

What I love about two day tickets at Disneyland is that they are a lot simpler than one day tickets. While one day tickets are on a tier system, with up to 5 tiers in place, at the time of publishing this article, starting with two-day tickets, you have flat rates, no matter when you plan on visiting the parks.

Should you buy parkhopper tickets for a two day visit?

Disney’s Parkhopper option allows you to enter both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the same day. It is $55 to add Parkhopper to your ticket, no matter how many days you are going to Disneyland.

I normally suggest that if you are going for two days, you skip the parkhopper option. It is an additional $55, and with only two days at Disneyland resort, you do not want to waist a bunch of time going from park to park.

Of course, if you are going with just adults and want to mostly hit up thrill rides, and food, you may decide Parkhopping is worth the additional cost. 

This is just an example of how everyone visits the parks differently and why there is no blanket answer, so it is great that Disneyland has all these amazing ticket options for us.

If you have small kids though, you are most likely better off forgoing parkhoppers, and planning to spend one day at each park.

Should you add MaxPass to two day Disneyland tickets?

Disneyland offers free Fastpass to all visitors, but there is a paid option called MaxPass. A lot of people ask if they should use Fastpass or MaxPass when they are visiting Disneyland for only two days.

I am a big believer in really thinking about if MaxPass is worth the cost for your visit, given your circumstances. At (currently) $20 per day, per ticket, this can cost a family of 5 $200 extra on a two day visit.

fastpass sign at Disney California Adventure

In general, if you plan to mostly ride rides with Fastpass lines, I would definitely suggest MaxPass on a two day visit. At least for adults and kids who will use it. 

I do not suggest purchasing it in advance, as if you do… there are no refunds just because you didn’t like the service or utilize it. Instead, I suggest buying it each day after entering the park. It only takes a few moments, and then you haven’t prepaid for each day, only to find out you don’t utilize it.

 

How to get discounts on Disneyland two day tickets

two day disneyland tickets

One of the best things about going to Disneyland for two days or more is that you can then purchase discounted tickets!

Unlike one day tickets – which are only sold by Disneyland – multi-day tickets can be purchased at a discount through authorized ticket sellers. My personal favorite, and the one I partner with, is Get Away Today. One of the reasons I love them is that there tickets are refundable with their peace of mind plan. The Peace of Mind Plan is only $25 for a ticket only purchase, and that covers all the tickets (not $25 per ticket… $25 total). 

TIP: You can save even more by also booking your hotel with them as well. They offer free nights, discounted parking at some locations, and more. Use code CrazyAdventure to save even more of bookings of 2 nights or more.

How To Maximize Two Days at Disneyland

Enough talk about why and how to get your Disneyland tickets at the best price. Let’s talk strategy. 

A good strategy is going to be super important to making sure that you are able to do as much as possible, and enjoy your time at Disneyland for the two days you are there.

Download the Disneyland App

Before your trip, be sure to download the Disneyland App, sign in, get your payment info loaded (for mobile ordering, MaxPass, etc) and get familiar with the app. You don’t want to waste precious park time trying to figure out how to get the app set up.

phone with Disneyland App on screen

The app is an important instrument in helping get the most out of your short two day trip to Disneyland. From wait times, to mobile ordering (more on that in a minute) to scanning in to the Fastpass line, and yes… MaxPass, this app will play a big role in making the most of your time in the parks.

Pre-purchase tickets

As mentioned before, you can buy discount tickets through Get Away Today, or other ticket sellers, including Disneyland. I suggest buying your tickets in advance so that you can skip the ticket booth. This will save you time as the ticket booth lines can be long and slow moving.

There is some mixed advice on whether or not you should preload tickets into the Disneyland App. I usually do, but just be aware, that sometimes the system will change the barcode, and then scanning the app may cause a problem. This is very rare, but because of this, sometimes people wait to scan their PDF e-ticket at the gate, then scan the physical ticket into the app.

Arrive Early

To make the most of your Disneyland day, you will want to be sure to arrive early. Plan on being at the gates at least 20 minutes before park opening. That means, at security at least 30-45 minutes before park opening. 

Pro tip: the later the opening, the earlier you should arrive. If the parks open at 8, 20 minutes is okay. If the parks open at 10 am… be there at least 40 minutes early. People hate to wake up early on vacation, but when the parks open at 10, more people are willing to get there for park opening.

lines to get into Disneyland Park

Which park, which day?

If you are spending one day in each park, and are not staying at a Disneyland owned hotel, I suggest visiting the park which did not have Extra Magic Hour that day. Extra Magic Hour allows guests staying onsite in an hour early to enjoy the park, and rotates between parks… which means that park will already have a decent crowd. 

Instead, go to the park, whether that be Disneyland Park or California Adventure, that did NOT host Extra Magic Hour and you will have less crowds already ahead of you in the park.

 

If you are staying on property, and are not park hopping, you will want to go to the park that has Extra Magic Hour in it. 

Learn more about getting into the parks early on my YouTube channel.

Do this while waiting for gates to open

When you arrive early, be sure to use the time you are waiting in line to get ready for the day. 

Apply sunscreen, give kids snacks, map out where you plan to head first. All of those things that will take up your time once inside the park.

My husband and I will also run the kids to the bathroom if we are there too long before opening, taking turns while the other waits in line.

Getting these annoying little tasks out of the way will help make sure you are ready to hit the pavement running walking fast when you are let into the parks.

Utilize mobile ordering

When you only have two days at Disneyland, I definitely urge you to take advantage of Mobile Ordering. It is one of the many available features in the Disneyland App that will save you a lot of time.

In order to make sure you have figured out exactly how it works, be sure to practice mobile ordering and look around the app before you head to Disneyland (just don’t actually order the food if you aren’t there). 

TIME-SAVING TIP: Hit “I’m here, prepare my order” as you get close to the dining location, especially during peak meal times. That way it will cut your wait.

Reserve one sit-down meal

If you would like to have a table service or character dining meal, I would limit it to one meal during your visit. Even better if you can have this meal be at one of the hotels or in Downtown Disney the night before you hit up the parks or the morning after you finish your park time. 

Remember that a table service meal will take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes generally.

Ride strategy

When hitting up Disneyland for two days, your ride strategy should target your “must-rides” in each park.

Make a list of the rides which are most important to you, and using the Disneyland App or a park map, create a strategy that you feel will maximize the amount of rides you can do.

Be sure to also utilize Fastpass and MaxPass to cut your time in line.

Single Rider will also help you cut your wait times on rides that offer it, as well as the buddy pass on Monsters Inc, Mike and Sully to the Rescue, and Toy Story Midway Mania.

If you plan to visit Fantasyland, where most rides do not offer Fastpass, be sure to head there first thing in the morning, right at rope drop.

You can read more about my ride strategies for making the most of one day, and use those strategies in each park.

More Disneyland Tips

To make the most of your two days at Disneyland, be sure to check out other Disneyland tips on this site. Some of the best ones for a two day visit include:

I also suggest joining my group – Disneyland with Kids on Facebook – to talk with others who have been to Disneyland or are planning their Disneyland vacation. 

Wondering if two days will really be enough?

If you are still questioning if two days is the right amount of time, I have a complete guide to figuring out how many days to spend at Disneyland. In addition, you can listen to an episode of the Disneyland with Kids podcast where Jessica and I talk about how many days we personally suggest.

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