Disney Guides and How Tos Theme Parks

How To Maximize One Day At Disneyland


One of the cool things about Disneyland is that you can go and enjoy the park all in one day. Of course, we’d want to spend as much time as we can at the happiest place on Earth, but sometimes that is not the most doable. So I am sharing how I maximize my single-day trips to Disneyland.

Have a Plan

Regardless of how many days you spend at the parks, I always say make a plan. With only one day, you’ll have to know what are the absolute must do’s versus the simple wants or if you have time to do.

Also along with having a plan, I would plan what rides you try to go to at certain times. My personal rule is Space Mountain first except during the holidays because it switched to Haunted Mansion Holiday during that time. Other high wait time rides are Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain.

You should also organize your day by completing each land before leaving it. You waste time going across the park multiple times when you bounce around, and committing to finishing your must do’s by land will be much more efficient.

Rope Drop

If you don’t know, rope drop is when the park first opens. The front gates will open early to let guests into Main Street, and then paths to other areas are roped off. The morning opening ceremony occurs, the ropes drop, and you’re off! It is great for getting a true full day in and you can get to that super popular ride right away with a good power walk.


After using MaxPass, I can never go back. Being able to reserve FastPasses on your phone is a huge time saver. And you can reserve your next pass right after scanning your current one. It does cost extra, but I do believe the extra cost is worth it for the time saver.

Reserve Dining and Mobile Ordering

The last trip I took to Disneyland, we decided to reserve dining for a couple meals. It was so nice to already have a meal planned and reserved and all we had to do was show up at our time and we’d start eating. A meal if a good way to take a break productively, and it is nice to not have to wait in line at a quick service place.

Mobile Ordering is also great! While a ton of people are waiting in line to order, you can do it on your phone, customize your orders, and just have to wait for your number to be called. You can even order food in advance for consumption later. Another big time saver.

Be Flexible

Be flexible is really a tip I give for everything because it is true. You can plan for 99% of things, and the 1% you didn’t plan for is what will happen. And that is ok. Being flexible can help you get more done. Feeling hungry before your reservation? Use mobile ordering to get a snack. Have time to kill before your next FastPass? Jump in that 10-minute line. It is okay to change your plans as long as you, in the words of Disney, “Keep moving forward”.

Shop At The End

There are many reasons why it is good to save shopping for at the end of the day. 1) you won’t have to carry souvenirs around the rest of the day. 2) browsing shops takes time away from doing other things. 3) you can save yourself from busy times by shopping during fireworks.  When it is the last thing you have to do, you can take the time you have left to browse freely without worrying about your next FastPass or reservation.

Got any tips for maximizing your day at Disney? Share them with a comment below!

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