I love the original Codenames but haven't played any of the variants (Disney, etc.). However, we do play Codenames Duet, which is the cooperative version for two players. It lacks the tension of the team version, but when you need a Codenames fix and there's just two of you, it's a good substitute.
I would say that to get the maximum out of playing, try to remove as much potential as possible for hints and influencing the guesser. We will sometimes have the spymasters turn around after providing clues so they can't give anything away to the guessers by facial expressions, etc.