Last week we chatted about length of stay at Walt Disney World.  What works at Disney World doesn’t always match what you should do at Disneyland. . . so I gabbed with some Disney geek friends about the perfect vacation length at Disneyland.

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Cost and Vacation Time

Like we decided last week, these are two factors that play a part when planning pretty much any vacation.  Again, at Disneyland the difference between a couple days and a week could add anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars to your bill depending on your accommodations.  Additionally, when looking at vacation time, there is so much to do in Southern California that while you may have been happy spending your week exclusively at Walt Disney World, you might decide that part of your vacation will be spent at the beach or other California attractions leaving just a few days for your Disney fix.

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A Weekend

Since Disneyland has two parks, I often have people ask if they can do it in a weekend.  Yes, you can do it in a weekend.  Can you do it all in a weekend?  Heck no!  In fact, I’m going to say you probably won’t even get half of the attractions done in a weekend.  Although Disneyland offers fewer parks than it’s East Coast counterpart, those two parks are packed to the gills with attractions, restaurants and more.  If you only have a weekend, it’s a great starting point, and I’d never tell anyone not to spend a weekend at the Happiest Place on Earth, but just know you’ll be back.

Get Park Wise: Only have a weekend?  Make the most of your days by arriving at park opening to get as much done as you can in the morning before the late sleepers start rolling in for the day.

A Long Weekend

If you’re looking at what to do on your next four-day weekend, this seems to be a great amount of time to spend at Disneyland.  This allows you to really explore the parks and maybe even hit a few favorites more than once.  Park-hopping is perfect for this length of stay or longer because it allows you the most flexibility.

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Get Park Wise: Consider a Disney Resort or a hotel within walking distance because with four days in Anaheim, you could even take a little time out of the parks to enjoy an afternoon at your resort pool or other activities then head back in for dinner, fireworks and a few rides.

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A Week (or More)

If you’ve got seven days to spend at Disneyland, you’re sittin’ pretty.  This will not only allow you to probably see everything on your list, but you can do it at a leisurely pace.  You can sleep late a day or two or maybe enjoy some slow-paced meals at your favorite table service restaurants.  While the park day tickets get cheaper the longer you stay, the hotel room nights will start to add up, so definitely do a little comparison shopping (or get a great travel agent to do that for you) before committing to a week at Disneyland.

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Often considered the locals’ parks, many Disneyland fans just hit the parks for the day, but with more and more attractions and resort refurbishments, the California Disney offering is quickly becoming a total vacation destination.  When you make a vacation of it, how long do you stay?  Or if you’re strictly a day-tripper, how long do you suggest visiting friends and family set aside to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth?