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Can Disneyland Be Done in One Day?

Everyone who goes to Disneyland will want to see everything. 

But if you only have one day, you may be worried about how much of the resort you’ll actually get to experience. 

Well, it is possible to do Disneyland in one day. However, if you do attempt to see all of Disneyland in a day, you will need to manage your time quite carefully. So, instead, most people advise staying at the resort between three and five days if possible. 

Is it Possible to See All of Disneyland in One Day?

Yes, it is possible to see all of Disneyland in one day. 

But, you will need to budget your time carefully if you are going to attempt this. 

Disneyland is one of the world’s biggest theme parks, with Disneyland Park taking up 85 acres (34 hectares) and California Adventure sitting on 72 acres (29 hectares). 

Also, between the two parks, there are more than 40 rides. 

And although some people have claimed to have ridden all of the Disneyland rides in one day, this feat will be almost impossible for most people on an average day. 

Plus, if you try to ride all the rides, you won’t have time for Disney’s restaurants, shows, or shops. 

Yet, it is definitely possible to see all of Disneyland in one day, but you just won’t truly get to experience everything. 

How Can I Visit Both Disneyland Parks in One Day?

If you want to enter both Disneyland parks in one day, you have to have a Park Hopper ticket. 

This ticket allows you to go to both Disneyland parks on the same day. 

Basically, how it works is that you make a reservation for the first park you want to visit, and then you stay there until 1 pm when you can enter the other park. 

What Are Disneyland’s Hours?

Of course, if you want to see all of Disneyland in one day, you will need to know how long the parks are open to plan your day accordingly. 

But, Disneyland’s operating hours aren’t as straightforward as you might think. 

For one, the hours are not the same every day or even, sometimes, on the same day of the week. 

Also, the parks and Downtown Disney usually close at different times. 

Yet, for the most part, I can tell you that Disneyland Park opens at 8 am and closes at midnight. 

Meanwhile, California Adventure typically opens at 8 am and closes at 9 pm or 10 pm. 

And Downtown Disney is normally open between 8 am and 1 am. 

Thus, if you want to see as much of Disneyland as possible, you should start your day at California Adventure and then “hop” over to Disneyland Park since it closes later. 

Afterward, you can spend a bit of time in the Downtown Disney District. 

This strategy will give you the most amount of time in the park. 

What Rides Should I Go On?

Another important question if you only have one day in the park has to do with which rides you should visit. 

Therefore, I’ve broken the best rides into three categories (thrill-seekers, children’s rides, and one ride per zone) to help you decide which rides you should go on when you’re at Disneyland. 

Thrill Seekers 

If you want to experience Disneyland and California Adventure’s thrill rides, you should definitely try to squeeze as many of the following rides into your day as you can. 

I’ve also put them in order of where they are in the park so that you can easily follow this list to do all the rides in one day without wasting time doubling back. 

Disneyland’s thrill rides in order of how you should visit them: 

  1. Grizzly River Run (California Adventure – Grizzly Peak)
  2. Goofy’s Sky School (California Adventure – Paradise Gardens Park)
  3. Incredicoaster (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  4. Radiator Springs Racers (California Adventure – Cars Land)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mission: Breakout! (California Adventure – Avengers Campus)
  6. Indiana Jones Adventure (Disneyland Park – Adventureland)
  7. Big Thunder Mountain (Disneyland Park – Frontierland)
  8. Splash Mountain (Disneyland Park – Critter Country)
  9. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland Park – Galaxy’s Edge)
  10. Matterhorn Bobsleds (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)
  11. Space Mountain (Disneyland Park – Tomorrowland)

Children’s Rides 

Now, I’ll list out the greatest children’s rides at Disneyland, and I’ll put them in the best order to visit so that you can easily navigate through the parks. 

The best Disneyland rides for kids under ten, in the order you should visit them, are: 

  1. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (California Adventure – Paradise Gardens Park)
  2. Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  3. Pixar Pal-A-Round (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  4. Jessie’s Critter Carousel (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  5. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (California Adventure – Cars Land)
  6. Jungle Cruise (Disneyland Park – Adventureland)
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland Park – New Orleans Square)
  8. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Disneyland Park – Critter Country) 
  9. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)
  10. Peter Pan’s Flight (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)
  11. It’s a Small World (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)

One Ride Per Zone 

If you only have a day in Disneyland, why not do one ride in each of the parks’ unique zones?

This strategy will allow you to experience all of the zones of Disneyland’s parks. 

The top-rated ride in each zone, in the quickest order to experience them: 

  1. Grizzly River Run (California Adventure – Grizzly Peak) 
  2. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (California Adventure – Paradise Gardens Park)
  3. Incredicoaster (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  4. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (California Adventure – Cars Land)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mission: Breakout! (California Adventure – Avengers Campus)
  6. Monsters, Inc’s Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! (California Adventure – Hollywood Land)
  7. Jungle Cruise (Disneyland Park – Adventureland)
  8. Big Thunder Mountain (Disneyland Park – Frontierland)
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland Park – New Orleans Square)
  10. Splash Mountain (Disneyland Park – Critter Country)
  11. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland Park – Galaxy’s Edge)
  12. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)
  13. Space Mountain (Disneyland Park – Tomorrowland)

Top-Rated Shops in Disneyland 

Since shopping is part of the overall Disney experience for many people, let’s take a look at the top-rated shops in Disneyland that you should definitely see. 

Best shops in Disneyland in the best order to visit them: 

  1. Elias & Co. (California Adventure – Buena Vista Street)
  2. Knick’s Knacks (California Adventure – Pixar Pier)
  3. Disney Showcase (Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A.)
  4. Emporium (Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A.)
  5. Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen (Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A.)
  6. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (Disneyland Park – Fantasyland)
  7. World of Disney (Downtown Disney District)
  8. The Disney Dress Shop (Downtown Disney District)
  9. Disney Home (Downtown Disney District)
  10. The LEGO Store (Downtown Disney District)

Conclusion 

So, overall, you can absolutely see all of Disneyland in one day as long as you manage your time properly. 

However, if you genuinely want to experience the resort and everything it offers, you need to give yourself at least a few days to explore.

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