How to Do Disneyland in One Day: Tips for Visiting the Happiest Place on Earth
Although you get more for your money with multiple passes, going to Disneyland for one day is by far the cheapest option. That said, one day doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to cover all the things you want to do. However, it’s not an impossible feat either. Wondering how to do Disneyland in one day? We share the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of your one-day ticket, below.
1. Go with a single park ticket
Park hopper tickets are a great way to experience both Disneyland and California Adventure. However, if you’re crunched for time — aka, going for one day — and would rather experience the magic at Disneyland, a single park ticket is for you. Not having another park to worry about will help you do Disneyland in one day.
2. Book a Magic Hour
If you’re staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, you might be able to get into the park one hour earlier than regular park guests. On select days, the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier, and Grand Californian allow hotel guests to enter the park for an extra hour of magic. Magic Hour can start as early as 7:00 a.m., so if you plan to go on a day when the park closes at midnight, you’ll get over 15 hours of park time.
3. Check park hours ahead of time
It’s hard to do Disneyland in one day when the park closes earlier than usual. To avoid any mishaps and ensure you get the most out of your Disney day, check the park’s scheduled hours ahead of time. We recommend going at a time when the park closes between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. That way you’ll get more bang for your buck.
4. Make dinner and lunch reservations
Want to have a nice sit-down dinner or lunch? Be sure to book a reservation ahead of time. Doing so will ensure you not only have a place to eat, but you won’t have to wait to be seated. It will also help you plan your Fastpasses.
5. Pack your own snacks
Don’t wait in line to purchase a snack from the cart vendors — bring your own instead. Waiting in line for food can eat up (pun intended) potential ride time. Having snacks on hand allows you to eat and go (or eat and wait, if you’re stuck in a longer than usual wait time).
6. Maximize your morning
The park is typically less crowded in the early morning, which makes for a great time to ride some of the attractions with notoriously long wait times. On top of that, you can get your first Fastpass of the day squared away.
7. Purchase a MaxPass
Before getting to the park, have an idea on which rides you want to get a Fastpass for. Then, be sure to download the Disneyland app and pay the extra fee for a MaxPass. A MaxPass allows you to request new Fastpass tickets directly from your mobile device so you don’t have to waste time running from attraction to attraction.
8. Single riders
For attractions with ultra long wait times, consider riding in the single riders line. Although your family might not get to experience the attraction together, you’ll all get a chance to ride and will ultimately have more time for other memories.
9. Shop after the park closes
Fun fact: Main Street U.S.A. and some shops in Downtown Disney typically stay open up to one hour after the park closes. That means you can purchase souvenirs without cutting into park hours — aka, ride time. Instead of shopping during the day, consider waiting until after the park closes.
10. Plan ahead
Above all, planning ahead can help you do Disneyland in one day. Knowing what rides you want to go on and what activities you want to participate in can help you better plan your day and maximize your time in the park.
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