As this blog is specifically focused on the California Disney experience, I’ll be discussing Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Though we are addressing topics for travel to California and these specific destinations, my tips will come in handy for any travel experience.
When traveling to Anaheim, California to visit the Disneyland Resort, you’re going to want to first decide on which park you want to visit. They are both Disney properties, but both very distinctly different. If your budget or time is limited, you might find yourself having to choose between them. Honestly, if you can do both parks, my opinion is to do so. But lets examine them.
The original is everything you’ve heard and more! This iconic park will transport any child into a living dream and any adult back to their childhood. In 2015 the park began their 60th DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY celebration. You will find updates to both parks with a sparkling diamond reminder of the longevity of this fantastic park.
From the moment you step foot through the gates of Disneyland, you are greeted with that magical feeling you only get from Disney. A friendly cast (employees) is there to guide you through your experience at every turn. If you ever need anything, you will certainly find it by a kind and courteous cast member.
DISNEYLAND is separated into lands. Each land is as unique as the name and the attractions within that land. Whether you’ve been to DISNEYLAND or not, you’re probably familiar with the lands inside such as TOMORROW LAND, FANTASYLAND, FRONTIERLAND, NEW ORLEANS SQUARE, and ADVENTURELAND. Such iconic rides as SPLASH MOUNTAIN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, HAUNTED MANSION, SPACE MOUNTAIN, and IT’S A SMALL WORLD live within these lands.
Equally as important are the characters that frequent these lands. Any child or adult can come face to face with their favorite DISNEY action hero, princess, or villain. Bring your autograph book! Each character will sign their distinct autograph. Let’s not forget that Princesses are often spotted beyond the entrance of SLEEPING BEAUTY’S CASTLE. (During the 60th celebration, you don’t want to miss the glitz that has been added to this also iconic site.) Likewise, STORMTROOPERS and DARTH VADER have been spotted roaming through TOMORROWLAND daily.
Aside from your original Disney characters, such as MICKEY MOUSE and GOOFY, you will only find princesses and Jedi in Disneyland. (Elsa and Ana excluded.) Keep this in mind if you have a princess looking for that moment with their idol.
You simply can’t go wrong by visiting Disneyland on a trip to Anaheim. Note, that this park IS the most popular of the two and you will find it busy at all times. However, the genius that is Disney, built the park to be accessible and moving at all times. With parades, meet and greets, fireworks, and FAST PASSES you can ensure a fun filled day that keeps moving and line waits can be kept at a minimum.
Again, Disneyland will bring out the child in everyone.
The newest of the Disneyland Resort parks sits just across the square from Disneyland. This park celebrates California itself.
You enter a main street, just as you do in Disneyland, lined with shops. Your setting is California 1920’s. On BUENA VISTA STREET, you will find most of your favorite Disney characters to visit, such as MICKEY MOUSE, MINNIE MOUSE, and GOOFY. From there you choose your destination.
HOLLYWOOD LAND offers younger Disney lovers a chance to meet their favorite DISNEY JUNIOR characters. Here you’ll find the art studio where you can learn to draw your favorite Disney characters (and cool down if the day is super hot,) as well as a few indoor interactive attractions. This is also where you will find the meet and greet for Elsa and Ana.
For the thrill seeker, you can’t miss the TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR.
A BUGS LAND offers the younger rider and their parents a unique perspective from an ant sized view of the world. The great thing about Disney attractions, parents can always ride with their children.
CARS LAND cannot be missed if you are a fan of the CARS movies. The amazing Disney designers brought Radiator Springs to life! Though the neon is blaring at night, this land is mostly meet and greets with the stars of CARS, shopping and dining. You do have RADIATOR RACERS which drives you though the amazing canyon. (You’ll want a fast pass for this ride. It is super popular!)
PACIFIC WARF offers some great food! PARADISE PIER hosts the bigger rides such as CALIFORNIA SCREAMING and the iconic Ferris wheel. If it’s a hot day, you certainly want to visit GRIZZLY RIVER RUN, the water ride. You’re guaranteed to cool off and get wet.
In my opinion DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE offers a great deal of fun for the older kiddos. The park is certainly not as crowded as Disneyland, therefore, you can move from attraction to attraction with ease. This park also has some of the best parades and don’t forget the WORLD OF COLOR at night. FAST PASSES are available for most of the bigger attractions here as well.
WHAT TO CHOOSE
You can buy passes to each park individually. You can also buy passes to both parks that allow you one park a day. When we travel we buy the PARK HOPPER ticket which allows us entrance into each park, each day, all day. (This will be covered in another blog post.)
Looking for more information on each park? Here are some helpful links.
Disneyland official site
Disney’s California Adventure
Information on Disneyland
Information on Disney’s California Adventure
What does This House of Boys have to say?
Stanley: Loves CALIFORNIA SCREAMING! (Found on Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure.)
Tony: Loves the ambient music which always plays! (Very unique answer!)
Nick: Loves BUZZ LIGHTYEAR ASTRO BLASTER! (Found in Tomorrowland at Disneyland)
Garrett: Loves SPACE MOUNTAIN! (In Tomorrowland at Disneyland)
Stanley O.: Loves STAR TOURS best! (In Tomorrowland at Disneyland)
Jack: Loves CALIFORNIA SCREAMING too!
and even though you've gotten all my opinions...Bernadette Loves TOY STORY MANIA (found on the Midway at Disney's California Adventure.)
Happy Travel Planning!
***NOTE. DISNEYLAND and DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE, as well as all the names of lands and characters listed above are the property of THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY. Opinions of the rides and attractions are solely those of Bernadette Marie and the blog This House of Boys. No compensation was given for this article.***