11 Epic 2 Day Disneyland Itinerary Ideas For Families

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What’s a fun vacation treat for families who love to travel? How about a trip to Disneyland! Our little worldschooling family enjoyed a memorable 2 day Disneyland itinerary with members of our extended family in August 2022. And while it was a departure from our usual adventure travel, it was still epic just the same.

If you’re looking for your own epic 2 day Disney itinerary, then look no further! After coming back from our Disneyland trip, I put together this list of Disneyland two day itinerary ideas to help traveling families like you make the most of their time at the happiest place on Earth. 

With a little bit of planning, you can see everything Disneyland has to offer in just 48 hours. So all you have to worry about when you get there is having fun!


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Minnie and Mickey at the Disneyland parade (August 2022)

Things to know for a Disneyland itinerary

A trip to Disneyland is a trip of a lifetime for most families. Because tickets to Disneyland and the adjoining California Adventure park are not cheap, you want to make the most of your time there. Having a plan ahead of time helps you maximize your fun in Disneyland.

As you’re putting together your 2 day Disneyland itinerary, keep in mind some of these tips to help prepare for your trip.

Banners at Disneyland (August 2022)

Packing ideas for a 2 day Disneyland itinerary

Be sure to pack for the weather during your 2 day Disneyland itinerary. Southern California is sunny most of the year, and if you’re walking around the parks, you’ll want to have a hat or sunscreen to protect you.

I suggest bringing along these items for your trip to Disneyland and California Adventure:

Also be sure to buy one of these Disneyland guide books to help prepare you for your trip.

The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland

Birnbaum’s Disneyland Resort: The Official Vacation Guide

Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets

The Disneyland Encyclopedia

Check out more eco-friendly supplies to buy for travel.

Drinking blue milk at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (August 2022)

Lodging and transportation options for a Disneyland park itinerary

In terms of lodging, the most convenient option is to stay at one of the hotels that are part of the Disneyland resort: Grand Californian Hotel, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. Most of these hotels are located near Downtown Disney, where you can find restaurants and stores for shopping. 

Alternatively, find hotels in Anaheim that are either close to the park or close to the parking lots. That way, you can walk to the parking lot and then take a shuttle bus into the park. The shuttle buses come often, and operate during the same times as the park opening hours. 

Disneyland is not far too far from Southern California cities like San Diego or Los Angeles. So if you’re driving during your 2 day Disneyland itinerary, you can take a shuttle from any of the Disneyland parking lots. Parking rates are $30 for cars and motorcycles, and $35 for oversized vehicles. Closer parking spots have a premium rate of $45 per vehicle.

Shuttle bus at the Toy Story parking lot (August 2022)

Hours and tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure

Keep in mind the park hours as you’re planning your visit. Opening hours for Disneyland are 8 am to 12 am. And for California Adventure, the hours are 8 am to 10 pm. 

Ticket prices vary depending on the number of days. For a 2 day Disneyland itinerary, a One Park Per Day ticket starts at $128 per day. However, you can get a 2-day Park Hopper pass, which costs an additional $60 per ticket that allows you to travel back and forth between the parks. 

My ticket to Disneyland (August 2022)

Ideas for a Disneyland itinerary for families

As I was putting together this list of 2 day Disneyland itinerary ideas, I wanted to make sure there was an option for a variety of needs and interests. 

Here, you’ll find ideas for classic Disney lovers, as well as lovers of Marvel and Avengers. You’ll also find itinerary ideas for families with young kids, families with teens, and families with accessibility needs. Take a look through this list of itineraries and find one that fits your family.

Disneyland City Hall (August 2022)

Ready for a change? Take the first step to living a life of full time travel.

1. Classic Disney itinerary

This 2 day Disneyland itinerary focuses on all the classic Disneyland rides in the Magic Kingdom. 

The rides in this Disneyland ride itinerary are some of the oldest Disneyland rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square. And some of them are from the first year that Disneyland opened! To learn more about the rides in this particular itinerary, check out this Magic Kingdom guide.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Autopia
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant 
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Pinnochio’s Daring Journey
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Space Mountain
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Vintage posters of classic Disneyland rides (August 2022)

2. Toddler-friendly itinerary

For families with toddlers, this 2 day Disneyland itinerary is full of rides geared towards kids of all ages. There are no height limits. And the rides are fairly gentle and slow. 

During our visit, I noticed that Mickey’s ToonTown was closed for redesigning. So rides like Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin were not running. 

However, there are still plenty of attractions available for families with toddlers. This is the best Disneyland itinerary for families with younger children.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue
  • Turtle Talk With Crush
Monsters, Inc. ride for young kids (August 2022)

3. Teens-focused itinerary

If you’re traveling with teens, then you’ll want a day that’s packed with action and thrills. This 2 day Disneyland itinerary is full of roller coasters and thrill rides that will entertain teens. 

Rides in this itinerary are in both Disneyland park and California Adventure park. I particularly like this Disneyland 2 day park hopper itinerary because it’s most similar to the one we did as a family!

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland (August 2022)

4. Multigenerational family itinerary

Disneyland and California Adventure Park is a great place for multigenerational trips. If you’re traveling with grandparents, you’ll want a 2 day Disneyland itinerary that offers some slower paced rides and activities.

This Disneyland park hopper itinerary has a mix of rides that will please multiple generations. 

Rides in Disneyland:

  • The Disney Gallery
  • Droid Depot
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mark Twain River Boat
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Animation Academy
  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Pixar Pal-A-Around
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
  • Soarin’ Around The World

Prep for your family vacation with this handy checklist.

The Mark Twain river boat ride (August 2022)

5. Wheelchair accessible itinerary

Disneyland makes a big effort into making the park wheelchair accessible. Walkways are spacious and most entryways have ramps. 

If you’re a family that has special mobility needs, this 2 day Disneyland itinerary offers rides and activities that are accessible for wheelchairs. Most of the activities and rides are in Disneyland, but there are some in California Adventure park too.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Droid Depot
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mark Twain Riverboat

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
“It’s a small world” ride in Disneyland (August 2022)

6. Itinerary for thrill seekers

Most people think that Disneyland is just for kids, but there are plenty of rides that are fun for grown-ups to enjoy too! If you’re visiting Disneyland without kids, or if you’re the type of family who loves thrill-rides, this 2 day Disneyland itinerary is perfect for you. 

This Disneyland 2 day itinerary includes all the rollercoasters, thrill rides, and action rides found in both Disneyland and California Adventure park.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Radiator Springs Racers
The big drop at Splash Mountain (August 2022)

7. Low key rides and attractions

If you’re the type of family that likes to keep it low key, this 2 day Disneyland itinerary might be more of your pace. All the rides in this Disneyland suggested itinerary are slower paced, with minimal scares or drops.

This is the perfect Disneyland itinerary to introduce young kids to amusement parks in general. They’ll enjoy riding the vehicles along Main Street in Disneyland and the trolley down Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Sailing Ship Columbia

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • Red Car Trolley
The Red Car trolley at California Adventure park (August 2022)

8. Itinerary for activity and adventure lovers

While both Disneyland and California Adventure park are known for their rides, there are also some more hands-on activities you can do at the parks. This 2 day Disneyland itinerary is perfect for families who prefer more active and hands-on options.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Autopia
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Droid Depot
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
  • Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
The kids working on their droid at Droid Depot (August 2022)

9. Itinerary for storybook fans

If you’re big fans of classic Disney movies, coming to Disneyland is almost like stepping into these stories! This 2 day Disneyland itinerary is a special one for storybook fans. It’s full of rides from all the storybooks you loved reading as a kid.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
A car at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (August 2022)

10. Pixar fan itinerary

For Disney movie fans who prefer the Pixar movies, there are plenty of rides and activities in both California Adventure and Disneyland to enjoy. This primarily California Adventure itinerary has all the Pixar themed rides and activities for families to do.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Incredicoaster
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue
  • Pixar Pal-A-Around
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
Cars racing at Radiator Springs (August 2022)

11. Star Wars and Marvel itinerary

We love the feel of stepping into another world. We felt this way when we went to the Harry Potter studio tour in London, and we felt this way visiting Kidzania parks with our kids. So we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of world-building that happens in Disneyland.

Nowhere can you see this the most than in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. Walking through this part of the park, you really do feel like you’ve been transported to a galaxy far far away!

In addition to Star Wars, you can also find a lot of Marvel world building in the California Adventure park. We loved walking through Avenger’s campus and trying out food in Pym’s Test Kitchen.

If you’re a fan of both Star Wars and Marvel, this is the 2 day Disneyland itinerary that you need!

Rides in Disneyland:

  • Droid Depot
  • Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
  • Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
Storm troopers during Smuggler’s Run (August 2022)

Bonus: Itinerary for worldschoolers

Who says that you can’t learn while you’re in Disneyland? We always love making travel educational for our kids.

While the theme park is primarily aimed for entertainment, there are still plenty of ways for worldschoolers to squeeze in some learning too! This 2 day Disneyland itinerary has activities that encourage learning, creativity, and immersive experiences.

Rides in Disneyland:

  • The Disney Gallery
  • Disneyland Story – Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln
  • Droid Depot
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Rides in Disney California Adventure:

  • Animation Academy
  • The Bakery Tour

Visiting more of California? Read my California posts.

Working on their droid at the Droid Depot (August 2022)

Tips for making the most of your Disneyland itinerary 

I’ve offered some great ideas for a 2 day Disneyland itinerary that suit a variety of family needs. In addition to itinerary ideas, take a look at these simple tips to help you make the most of your itinerary.

Besides the tips I offer below, you can also check out tips from this Disneyland Resort Guide.

Droids at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (August 2022)

1. Use the Disneyland app to plan out your Disneyland itinerary 

Gone are the days when you had to deal with paper maps, and guessing the wait times for rides. The Disneyland app offers a map of the parks. 

The app also offers current wait times for the rides, so you can anticipate how long you’ll need to wait for your favorite ride during your 2 day Disneyland itinerary. Additionally, the Disneyland app also lets you see which rides have lightning lanes. 

The other thing the Disneyland app lets you do is mobile ordering for food. You can order food ahead of time and pick up your mobile order at special lines.

Sleeping Beauty’s castle before the fireworks show (August 2022)

2. Have a backup plan in case of ride closures or long wait times 

With travel, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. And that’s true for Disneyland too. 

For your 2 day Disneyland itinerary, prioritize your must-see rides. And be okay with skipping the others if the lines are too long. Also have some back-up rides as part of your Disneyland California itinerary in case of ride closures and repairs.

Things at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (August 2022)

3. Pay attention to height limits

Some rides have height limits. So depending on how young your kids are, they might not be able to go on a ride. Check the height limits ahead of time to avoid disappointment during your 2 day Disneyland itinerary.

Rafts on the Grizzly River Run (August 2022)

4. Build in down time during your Disneyland itinerary

A day at Disneyland can be long. So leave some space for down time or rest during your 2 day Disneyland itinerary. 

Use rides like the Jungle Cruise and It’s A Small World for down time. Or do a few loops on the train or monorail to give your little ones a nap.

Walking into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (August 2022)

5. Bring snacks to Disneyland park

Guests are allowed to bring snacks into the Disneyland and California Adventure parks. This is a great money-saving tip for your 2 day Disneyland itinerary as the food in the parks can be expensive. 

Bring a lightweight backpack to carry snacks, sunscreen, and souvenirs. Make sure it’s not too big, so that you can tuck it under your legs during rides.

The sculpture at Tomorrowland (August 2022)

6. Get the park hopper tickets

Disneyland and California Adventure are huge parks. One way to make the most of your 2 day Disneyland itinerary is to purchase park hopper tickets. They are an extra $60 per ticket, but makes seeing the park more convenient.

When using the park hopper tickets, you’ll need to identify the park you want to start with each day. You’ll spend the morning at that park, and then can go to the other park after a certain time.

Coco billboard at California Adventure (August 2022)

7. Use the Single Rider Line

Some rides in Disneyland and California Adventure have Single Rider Lines which allow individuals to fill in gaps in rides. If your kids are older, and you’re willing to break up your group for certain rides, this is a great hack to avoid waiting in long lines.

These are rides at Disneyland and California Adventure that have a Single Rider Line:

  • Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Splash Mountain
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Incredicoaster
Inside the Web Slingers ride (August 2022)

8. Maximize your Disneyland itinerary with Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

Another way to maximize your 2 day Disneyland itinerary is to purchase the Genie+ and Lightning Lane add-ons. This allows you to use the lightning lanes for most rides.

The Genie+ is an additional $20 per person per day. Some of the more popular rides also require you purchase specific lightning lane passes. Individual lightning lane pass costs vary depending on the ride.

Bond with your family even more on your trip with these fun ideas.

The Millenium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (August 2022)

9. Splurge for the VIP tour during your Disneyland itinerary

To make your 2 day Disneyland itinerary extra special, why not splurge for the VIP tour? With the VIP tour, you have a personal concierge who guides you through the park.

Your concierge also allows you access to all the lightning lanes. Or if the ride doesn’t have a lightning lane, you can jump to the front of the line.

The VIP tour experience starts at $3,500 (in addition to theme park admission) for a minimum of 7 hours. The maximum number of people for a VIP tour is 10, so this is a good idea if you’re going with a big group. Just a note, VIP tours are also available for Walt Disney World too!

If you’re pressed for time, and you have a big group to split the cost of the VIP tour, this is actually a pretty good deal. In one day, we saw 15 fifteen rides. We also got seats to watch the night-time fireworks show!

We were gifted the VIP tour by friends of ours. But I might consider doing it again the next time I’m in Disneyland because being able to see all the rides we wanted was definitely worth it.

Hanging out with our tour guides (August 2022)

A memorable Disneyland itinerary 2 days of fun!

For many families, a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure is a once in a lifetime experience. So why not make the most of your time as much as possible?

We loved our 2 day Disneyland itinerary, and made so many special memories with our family. If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, use one of my suggestions to create the best itinerary for Disneyland for your family.

Is Disneyland part of a bigger family travel adventure for you? Use my ebook, Hey Kids, Let’s Go Travel! as a resource for tools, advice, and action steps for planning your trip.

11 Epic 2 Day Disneyland Itinerary Ideas For Families | The Wandering Daughter | Pinterest images with text overlay. Top image is of a pier with roller coaster and a ferris wheel with the face of Mickey Mouse. Bottom image is of a parade with Mickey and Minnie Mouse waving during the parade.

Need help thinking through how to budget for a family trip? My Travel Budget Worksheet is just the tool you need! Click here to receive your free copy by signing up for my newsletter.

Need help thinking through how to budget for a family trip? My Travel Budget Worksheet is just the tool you need! Click here to receive your free copy by signing up for my newsletter.

Want to connect with me on social media? Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. And for those of you who are dedicated to traveling more responsibly, sustainably, and ethically, join over 200 like-minded families on my Facebook group, Responsible Family Travel.

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