When anyone asks how many days at Disneyland are enough to do it all, we used to have an easy answer. Saying you got to the park at rope drop and were mainly focused on rides, you could pretty much do it all at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in three days. Two days at Disneyland and one at Disney California Adventure just about covered it — even better with park hopping. But now our suggested number of days at Disneyland is expanding for some visits. Why? Two reasons: The parks have gotten bigger (with new lands and popular rides that can have long wait times) and the festivals, entertainment and celebrations are so big and full that you could take a whole day just to focus on special seasonal entertainment, foods and photo-ops at times.
How Many Days for a Disneyland Visit During Your Trip?
How many days to spend at Disneyland also depends on crowd levels and time of year, plus a few other factors related to your party and plans. If you visit at a low capacity and low-crowd time, you’ll zip through lines faster and have less to do, so a quicker visit will suffice. Add crowds, shows and table-service dining, and you’ll need more time to hit your must-do items.
Do you like to go park open to close? Or are you a half-day family or a family that needs to relax midday, maybe splashing in the pool or focusing on rest or dining? That also affects how much time you need. Do you have small children? You will move a lot slower and need more breaks than a party of adults and teens. It’s better to spread it out over several days than try to push your little ones too hard all day. We see so many crying little tadpoles when their families try to cram too much into one day.
Add more time to your trip if any of the following apply:
- You are visiting during a holiday period or festival.
- You are traveling with small children.
- You like to take breaks to swim in the pool, nap or escape the heat.
- You are looking to spend a significant amount of time in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
- Entertainment is important to you.
- You have big extras planned such as character dining or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
You may be able to do more in less time if any of the following apply:
- Your group is made up of teens, tweens or young adults.
- You are an experienced Disneygoer.
- Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are part of your plan.
- Your main focus is going on rides.
- You arrive at rope drop and plan to stay late.
- You can take advantage of Single Rider lines when offered.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are a few other factors that will help your party decide how many days at Disneyland are enough. We also have tips for how to save on tickets!
Should You Park Hop?
At Disneyland, it costs less money to add park hopping to a multi-day ticket than it does to add it to a 1-day ticket. What? It sounds crazy, but it's true. Not only that, the price is the same $60 whether you are getting 2 days or 5 days. So it pays to hop at Disneyland, which takes the price from $30 per day to hop on a 2-day ticket, to $12 per day to hop on a 5-day ticket. Hopping gives you more options for that nighttime entertainment we love so much.
We like the flexibility of hopping. It comes in handy if you have already done everything you wanted to do in a park and want to head to the other park. It also can provide better flexibility when making reservations. Maybe Disneyland Park is not available with a 1-park ticket, but if you start in Disney California Adventure with a hopper, you can access Disneyland at 11 a.m. (and vice-versa).
If you are on a budget, park hopping is an easy thing to cut out to save money. You can focus on one park per day. We'd say to spend two-thirds of your time at Disneyland Park and one-third at Disney California Adventure. Disneyland is bigger and has more rides and things to do. At holiday time, add an extra day or a half day at Disney California Adventure since there is so much to do in terms of added food and entertainment.
Are You Debating Between Four and Five Days? Get a Fifth Day Free!
Did you know that when you purchase discount Disneyland tickets through Undercover Tourist that the Undercover Tourist 5-day ticket costs less than a 4-day ticket purchased through Disneyland? It’s like getting that fifth day free. So if you have a potential half day at the beginning or end of your journey, you might just get a fifth day to capture some nighttime entertainment on arrival day or to get a good start in the morning to wrap up any loose ends and last snacks on exit day.
Are You a SoCal Resident?
At certain times of the year, California residents (or specifically SoCal residents at times) are able to take advantage of resident 3-day ticket promos and really save money. People with specific zip codes can purchase 3-day tickets to Disneyland. These tickets can be used over a longer period of time or three days in a row. In the winter and spring, look for Disneyland Promo tickets for use from Jan. 2 through May 25, 2023, and in summer, usually mid-June through mid-Sept for all California residents.
Are You Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel?
If you can take advantage of early entry each day and use your 30 minutes in a theme park before rope drop, you can accomplish several rides with no wait. A couple days of that along with taking advantage of that first hour after rope drop can help you shave a day off your trip.
Are You Using Genie+ and Purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes?
For an additional fee, you can skip the lines for select rides. This will allow you to do more in a shorter period of time. You may be able to subtract a day from your journey and save money since it’s cheaper to add Genie+ and purchase individual Lightning Lanes than it is to purchase an extra day of theme park tickets. You can get the best price for Genie+ when you purchase theme park tickets loaded with Genie+. If you wait to purchase in the Disneyland app after entering a theme park, the price can vary per day but will never be less money than buying in advance.
One thing to keep in mind is that Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane rides for the most part are thrill rides with height requirements. Most of the rides without height requirements do not offer Lightning Lane. So if you have small children or do not like thrill rides, this won't help you too much.
Are You a Huge "Star Wars" or "Avengers" Fan?
Two of the newest lands brought some of the most popular rides to the parks, which translates to long lines. (But all these rides are on Genie+ or are offered as an individual Lightning Lane.)
If you want to spend a lot of time in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, give yourself more time to explore, visit the Cantina, play with the Disney Parks app and maybe even build a lightsaber. It’s the largest land at the resort. Riding Rise of the Resistance or Millennium Falcon takes time and so does meeting characters.
Big Avengers fans will want to hang out in Avengers Campus to watch the shows and meet characters. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy are popular rides, so you'll want to ride them early or use Genie+ to maximize time.
What If You Only Have One Day?
You can do a lot at Disneyland in one day. We have many friends and family members who only want to visit one day. It's doable if you have realistic plans. You'll need to set priorities, arrive before park opening and hit the highlights. Pick about 3 or 4 must-do items in each park and use your tools to skip the lines and find the shortest waits.
We have 1-day touring plans for each park and for park hoppers. We don't really recommend hopping in one day, but it can be done. Get Genie+ and start in Disney California Adventure, then hop to Disneyland to accomplish the most in one day. We also sell 1-day tickets, which are a great option if you want a refundable ticket, but the multi-day tickets are typically a better value in price, depending on when you want to visit.
How Many Days for a Disneyland Visit? — A Seasonal Guide
When you want to visit probably has the most impact on how much you can do in a day. Let’s look at a calendar year and help you plot out how many days you need to accomplish everything you set out to do, especially if this is your trip of a lifetime and you won’t be coming back soon. This is a special year to visit with the Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration as well as a refurbished land, a new ride and a new parade.
Our what's coming to Disneyland post will fill you in on all the new fun for this year and beyond. Our Disneyland events post goes over the big events and recurring celebrations that take place over the course of a year at Disneyland.
January is a big transitional month. You start out the year with the end of holiday time, with long hours, a ton of entertainment and heavy crowds. You’ll need extra time that first week of the month.
But then after Holiday Time ends, the crowds dissipate, a lot of midweek entertainment ends, and hours shrink with the park closing at 8 or 9 p.m. instead of midnight. A few big rides may go on refurbishment. You’ll want to schedule at least one weekend night to get all the nighttime entertainment, some of which doesn’t play Monday through Thursday. But you can get by with two or three days most of this month. We prefer three since you may lose valuable time with the park closing so early during the week. You want to be sure to have enough days that if you get a rainy day, you have another chance to ride rides or see shows that can close in the rain or wind. You may be less in need of a midday break than in hotter months and with shorter park hours.
Lunar New Year is a regular festival that kicks off in late January. It brings food, a Lunar New Year procession and special character meet and greets. It’s a fun event, but it does not draw huge crowds.
One thing that has drawn crowds in is the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration. It kicked off Jan. 27, 2023, the same day that a new ride opened — Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. A lot hoppened that last weekend in January, and it continues to affect the rest of the year.
The park hours return to normal, mostly, but watch out for some early closures in the first half of the month for Sweethearts' Nite. You still mostly have fireworks and Fantasmic! running Friday through Sunday. The most crowded days tend to be the Super Bowl and Presidents Day weekend. The 100th celebration is underway, and the most exciting part of February 2023 is that the Magic Happens parade returned Feb. 24. You can get by with two to four days at this time of year.
Watch out for a couple of early closures for Princess Nite the first week of March and for spring break crowds toward the end of the month. Two exciting things begin at the beginning of March.
The Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival begins March 3 and runs through April 25, 2023. If you plan to partake in the food, drinks and fun, add that extra day to your trip. The reimagined Mickey’s Toontown opens March 19, giving you one more area to explore. We say two to four days this month, especially since the Disney 100 is still going on and there's a new ride and a parade.
You have spring break crowds along with a continuing flow of Food and Wine lovers through April 25, 2023. You'll want about three to four days. All that fun in March is continuing into April.
Some days in May are more crowded than others due to Grad Nite crowds. Also, all the people who bought SoCal Promo tickets need to use up their days by May 25. Plus the Magic Key holders want to get their last visits in before being blocked out in summer. With all the 100th celebration entertainment continuing and Toontown being newly opened, May may be more crowded than you’d think. Add an extra day to get it all in — three to four days.
The nighttime shows usually return to running nightly. You'll want a few nights to see them all. You can visit three to four days. Even though it's summer, many locals with Magic Keys are blocked out. The summer heat is not as bad with June gloom helping to keep it manageable.
As days heat up, you may want to spread your journey out, being able to take pool breaks in the afternoon or having a beach day in between theme park days. You'll want three to five days.
This month brings Halloween time, which adds new treats, characters in costume and a Halloween party — The Oogie Boogie Bash — leading to early closures at California Adventure. Fireworks and Fantasmic! tend to move to just Friday through Sunday, with a Halloween Screams projection show Monday through Thursday. This month can also be hot, which may lead you to want to take daytime breaks to escape the sun, however, crowds tend to decrease at this time of year, so you can accomplish a lot in a shorter period of time. You can visit two to four days.
You might reduce your theme park ticket by one day and replace it with an Oogie Boogie Bash party night. Be sure to purchase tickets as soon as they go on sale in early summer. They sell out fast!
Believe it or not, October is one of the most crowded times to visit, especially in the first half of the month. The characters are in costumes, and there are special treats and ride overlays to experience. You’ll want four or five days to do it all. As with September, The Oogie Boogie Bash takes place over several nights at Disney California Adventure. You might want to reduce your theme park ticket by one day and replace it with an Oogie Boogie Bash party night. But plan ahead if that's what you want to do.
November is another transitional month as Halloween Time makes way for Holiday Time. You can get by with fewer days early in the month, but by mid-month, you’ll have so many holiday entertainment and food options you can go all day having holiday fun that you don’t even have time for rides. Speaking of rides, several rides get holiday overlays you won't want to miss.
If you are a person who loves to meet characters in costume, see the parade, catch all the shows in both parks and taste all the holiday foods, give yourself some extra time to do it all. From the Start of Holiday time through the end of the year, you'll appreciate having an extra day to slow down and see it all. Larger holiday crowds from Christmas through New Year's make it take longer to move about so just be patient and be glad you have the time. Our holiday survival tips (and having an extra day to fit it all in) will help reduce stress.
Did we answer your question about how many days at Disneyland are enough for your visit? If you have further questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below. We sell discounted Disneyland tickets with and without park hopper, and with and without Genie+. You can purchase 1-day through 5-day refundable tickets as well as the SoCal promos when offered!
Related: The Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2023 and 2024