One Day -- PH worth it?

We have 1 Day at Disneyland scheduled for President’s Week 2023. Family of 5, kids ranging ages 6-11. Oldest is a huge nostalgia Disney fan, and wants to prioritize Walt-stuff, fireworks, and classics like Matterhorn. Adults want to day to be fun, but not too crazy or exhausting (because tired kids aren’t fun for anyone). We had a great trip to WDW in 2021 using all the tips/tricks/hacks, and loved taking afternoon breaks back at the hotel. I’m guessing we will want to do that plan again, even if we only have this one day (we are staying within walking distance). Happy to go all out with Genie+ and ILLs to make the day smooth…question is, should we attempt using Park Hoppers to check out DCA? I suppose we could decide while in the park. Is it worth it, on balance, if you risk being too exhausted to see the fireworks by the end of the day? (We never did make it to the nighttime shows at WDW.)


Normally I would say absolutely yes for a one day trip. If you don’t know when you’ll be back, you may want to see as much of both parks as you can in one day.

However, given the ages of your kids, the full day in Disneyland might be more up your alley. You can definitely spend a full day there and there are more kid-oriented rides and experiences in DL vs DCA.

If you get there and decide you are bored and want to hop, you can always add the feature day of.

You can’t always add it day of anymore. I don’t think. It’s very strange. But we almost were not able to upgrade a single park 2 day ticket to a hopper. They said all park hopper tickets were sold! They found some work around for us since it was just one person, but I wouldn’t count on being able to do it. My manager recently went to DLR and when she bought tix (kind of last minute), she couldn’t buy single park tix because they were sold out, but she could buy hoppers. So weird how they’re doing it now.

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That’s my own google fail! I literally googled it when I wrote this. Well, that’s good to know. And our day is likely to be quite busy!

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Very sound advice!

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Good to know!

@SusannaBee if you do end up getting park hoppers, the main attractions I like at DCA are:

For adults / big kids:

  • Incredicoaster
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

For everyone (subject to height restrictions, if applicable):

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Soarin’
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Webslingers
  • Grizzly River Run (if you want to get wet)

If you’ve already done Soarin’ and TSM at WDW, you could just hit Incredicoaster, GotG, and especially RSR and have gotten your money’s worth on the hopper. Webslingers is great for Spidey lovers, but I honestly think TSM is a more fun version of the same concept.

Of course, there is much more to do in DCA, including stuff for kids! (The Little Mermaid, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Grizzly Creek Challenge trail, Monsters’ Inc. ride) but honestly I’d prioritize Disneyland over that if you only have one day.


I honestly would for Radiator Springs alone (and if the older kids and adults would like to GOTG and Incredicoaster). Those three rides are the best rides in Disneyland though the Disneyland Park itself is superior. I think Radiator Springs Racers alone is worth it even if you have timid kids. But this is a very personal decision. I would definitely focus most of your time in Disneyland.

And if you aren’t WDW veterans Toy Story Mania and even if you are Web Slingers will also probably bet pretty big hits with your kids. I’d ride Monsters Inc as well. Super cute dark ride.