Disneyland

For other Disney parks see Walt Disney World (in Orlando, Florida), Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Resort Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort.

The Disneyland Resort is located in Anaheim, California. It is home to the original Disneyland Park, which opened on July 18, 1955, a favorite among visitors to Southern California from all over the world for well over half a century. It was joined in 2001 by a sister park, Disney California Adventure, which is a stylized recreation and celebration of California's rich history and culture.

Understand

Never completed

Walt Disney himself once said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." True to Walt's vision, the Disneyland of today is very different from the way it was half a century ago. To revisit the Disneyland of the past, visit Yesterland.

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideas, dreams and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." Walt Disney, July 17, 1955
"To all who believe in the power of dreams, welcome. Disney's California Adventure opens its golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past, the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow, from the silver screen to the computer screen, from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. Disney's California Adventure celebrates the richness and the diversity of California, its land, its people, its spirit and, above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire." Michael Eisner, February 8, 2001
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

The Disneyland Resort is divided into two separate theme parks, three hotels, and a shopping and entertainment district. The first park is the original Disney theme park Disneyland, which opened on July 18, 1955. Its sister park Disney California Adventure, which opened in February 2001, is located across the entry plaza on the former site of Disneyland's parking lot. Both parks are divided into "lands", or themes. At the western end of the entry plaza is Downtown Disney, the shopping and entertainment district. The three hotels are located at the west end of Downtown Disney.

There is one main difference between the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, and that is in Anaheim, there are many non-Disney hotels, restaurants and shops just a short distance from the park's main entrance.

Disneyland's rides are generally considered classic well-themed dark rides (e.g. Pirates of the Caribbean) with the occasional thrill ride (e.g. Space Mountain), while California Adventure's rides are more thrill-oriented (e.g. California Screamin') with some family-style rides (e.g. Soarin' Over California). The Cast Members (employees) in all sections of the park are widely known to be very friendly and helpful. The attention to detail throughout the parks is extraordinary; however, most Cast Members will not know the history behind the details.

The two biggest problems with the Disneyland Resort as a whole are crowds and price. However with careful planning, both can be minimized.

Disneyland is one of the most visited theme parks in the world (with 16.7 million visits in 2014, based on the TEA/AECOM figures, behind only Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland), so the parks can be pretty crowded, especially during the weekends, summer, and winter holidays, which leads to long lines for the most popular attractions. However, if you visit in the late winter or early spring, off-season lines can be short, especially during the weekdays. Disney California Adventure has fewer attractions but still has long lines, although not as long as Disneyland's attractions.

Eating outside the parks is quite possible due to the close vicinity of several restaurants to the park and the benefit of hand-stamp and re-entry. Stick to just snacks and maybe one meal in the park, and you can save some cash.

Get in

Map of the Disneyland Resort Complex

By plane

Disneyland is within driving distance of a number of Southern California airports. Regardless of which airport you land at, it is always a good idea to consider available alternative forms of transportation before deciding to rent a car. Airport shuttles and public transit are an ideal option, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. While LAX is the obvious choice and the most popular, there are a few other options which are calmer and sometimes even make for an easier arrival.

John Wayne Orange County Airport (IATA: SNA) in Santa Ana is one of the two closest airports to Anaheim. The Disneyland Resort Express, operated by Gray Line, provides direct bus service to the Disneyland Resort from here.

Long Beach Airport (IATA: LGB) in Long Beach is the same distance as John Wayne, about 14 miles from the Resort, and is the smallest (i.e. easiest to deal with) in the Los Angeles area. Depending on where you are flying from it's one of the easiest ways to get to Disneyland. Although there is no direct bus service from the airport to the resort, it may be less expensive to rent a car if you're traveling with a group anyway. Interestingly, if you take the main exit from the airport, which is East Wardlow Road, eventually it becomes Ball Road, which runs directly across the north edge of Disneyland itself. Low-cost carrier JetBlue is the primary carrier at Long Beach.

Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX) is the largest airport in the area. The Disneyland Resort Express is also available here as well. Most visitors, especially those from overseas, arriving for a visit to Disneyland or to the greater Los Angeles area tend to arrive here.

LA/Ontario International Airport (IATA: ONT) in Ontario in the Inland Empire is within close distance of Disneyland; take I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) west and exit into California State Route 57 (Orange Freeway) south, which leads directly into Anaheim. Then take either the Ball Road or Katella Avenue exit (3 and 2 respectively) and travel west.

Bob Hope Airport (IATA: BUR) in Burbank is the only Los Angeles-area airport that is directly served by Amtrak and Metrolink rail service. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner directly connects the airport to Anaheim. Metrolink's Ventura County Line links the airport with Los Angeles Union Station, with many daily departures (though with limited service on weekends). Transfers to the Orange County Line or the Pacific Surfliner to Anaheim can be made at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.

By car

As with much of California, by car is probably the easiest way to get to the Disneyland Resort from the surrounding area (or even San Diego, Las Vegas, and San Francisco). The Disneyland Resort offers ample parking both for day visitors to the park as well as hotel guests. All of the surrounding hotels offer parking, but some clearly do not have sufficient parking for the number of overnight guests.

Driving to the Disneyland Resort also means braving the Southern California traffic, which at times can be overwhelming. The Disneyland website offers driving directions, as do most online map sites. Traveling from the Long Beach Airport to the Disneyland Resort can be done using surface streets instead of freeways, which can be very crowded during commute hours.

The Disneyland Resort is bounded by Katella Avenue to the south, Ball Road to the north, Walnut Street to the west, Harbor Boulevard to the east, and the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) on the northeast corner. The Anaheim Convention Center is located south of the resort across Katella Avenue.

Parking at the theme parks is $17 for car/motorcycle, $22 for RV/oversized vehicles, and $27 for bus/tractor trailers. Parking at Downtown Disney is free for the first three hours and $6 for each additional hour afterwards, charged in increments of $2 every 20 minutes. Valet parking is available at Downtown Disney for $6 extra from 5PM-2AM. For hotel guests, self parking $17 per night per vehicle ($22 per night per oversized vehicle), with valet parking available at $25 per night per vehicle. A pick-up/drop-off area for the theme parks is on the west side of Harbor Boulevard north of Disney Way, past the shuttle area.

If you are arriving in Anaheim by train, a taxi is a reasonable option to get to the resort from the station. A one-way taxi ride from either the Anaheim or Fullerton train station is around $15 plus tip to the Anaheim Resort area. Taxis serve the hotels and a taxi stand at Downtown Disney near the Rainforest Café, on the south side of the North Self-Park Lot.

By foot

One of the great advantages at the Disneyland Resort is that Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney, and many "off property" hotels are all within walking distance. Unlike Walt Disney World in Florida, guests can walk between Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney in just a minute or two. There are approximately 12 "off property" hotels that are within a 10-minute walk. Some experienced visitors to the Disneyland Resort stay at the walking-distance hotels and find it more convenient to not have a car. It only takes five to 10 minutes to walk to the Disneyland entrance from a walking-distance hotel, and taking breaks in the middle of the day is much more convenient.

By transit

The entrance of ARTIC

Local trains and buses are the cheapest ways to get to the park. Anaheim's main bus and train station, referred to as ARTIC, is located about two miles east of Disneyland on Katella Avenue, near Angel Stadium and the Honda Center. The station is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner (Paso Robles to San Diego, via San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles) and Metrolink's Orange County Line (LA to Oceanside) rail service, as well as Megabus and Greyhound bus service.

On weekdays from 6:30AM–8:45AM, a free Orange County Transit Authority bus (Route #430) meets Metrolink trains at ARTIC to take passengers directly into Disneyland. That same bus will take you back to ARTIC for free to meet Metrolink trains from 3:30PM-6PM. There is no service on weekends. Outside these times, Route #50, which runs from Cal State University Long Beach to The Village at Orange, services ARTIC and Disneyland by running along Katella Avenue about every 30 min (though you will have to walk about 10 min down Harbor Blvd if you pick this bus). OCTA routes servicing the park but not ARTIC are Routes #43 and the limited-stop #543 along Harbor Blvd, which run about every 15-20 min between Santa Ana and Fullerton, connecting to the Amtrak/Metrolink station in Fullerton; Route #46, which runs along Ball Road between Los Alamitos and The Village at Orange; and Route #83, which goes from the Laguna Hills Mall to the Disneyland Resort by way of Santa Ana and I-5. Besides #430, OCTA routes cost $2 per boarding (cash, exact fare only).

The City of Anaheim also runs a tourist bus service, Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART), with multiple routes that connect the Disneyland Resort to nearby hotels and destinations. Because it's focused on serving the resort area, this service tends to be more direct and often runs more frequently than OCTA service. Routes #14 and #15 connect ARTIC to Disneyland. One-way cash fares are $3 ($1 children/seniors/disabled), with one-day passes $5 adults, $2 children/seniors/disabled, and 3 and 5-day passes available; passes can not be purchased from the bus driver, but can be purchased online or from kiosks at ARTIC, the Disneyland Resort stop, and at certain hotels.

Metro Route #460 links Disneyland with Fullerton, Buena Park (with a stop at Knott's Berry Farm), Norwalk, and Downtown LA.

If you are staying at the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel in nearby Buena Park, you can take advantage of their free Disneyland shuttle.

Tickets

Warning: Purchasing tickets online

Many tickets sold online through auction websites such as eBay or Craigslist are partially used multi-day park-hopper tickets. While this is a very common activity, it is prohibited by Disney: the tickets are non-transferable. There is also an inherent risk to you as a buyer, because you don't know for certain how many days remain on the ticket. If you are purchasing tickets online, only purchase from authorized brokers; resold tickets are subject to rejection at the gate.

FastPass

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offer their visitors a time-saving tool called FastPass. You can get a FastPass ticket at the most popular attractions by inserting your Passport (admission ticket) into a machine. The FastPass ticket allows you to come back at a pre-determined time (printed on the ticket) and go to a shorter line, called the FastPass Return line, to enter the attraction. This works well for very crowded rides, or especially busy times of the day. Also, make sure that you notice the return time before taking your FastPass ticket, since you cannot get a new FastPass until A) the printed time is reached, or B) two hours later, whichever time is shorter.

Visiting Disneyland is an expensive affair. Tickets are sold at several levels: the base ticket is the Single-Day Theme Park Ticket which enables admission to only one of the two parks for a full day. By contrast, the 1-Day Park Hopper allows you to see both parks on the same day, and to move back and forth between the parks. Park Hopper tickets are also sold in increments of 2, 3, 4, and 5 days; while the ticket price increases with each day, the price per day actually decreases with each day. Multi-day Park Hopper tickets do not have to be used on consecutive days, but will expire 14 days after the first day they are used. The value of the Park Hopper ticket options should not be underestimated. All 3, 4, or 5 day tickets come with Magic Morning, which provides access into one park an hour before general opening one time during the ticket validity period. The park which this perk available at switches each day.

Note, only 1 and 2 day ticket options, Annual Passes, along with the Southern California CityPASS are sold at the Disneyland Resort Main Ticket Windows. To buy the longer tickets (3 to 5 days), you need to buy them in advance, such as Disneyland.com/tickets, a travel agent, or selected tickets can be bought at a local Hotel or Disney Desk.

The prices below are effective as of May 2015, and there is no tax charged:

Days ages 3–9 ages 10+
1-Park Park-Hopper 1-Park Park-Hopper
1-Day Theme Park Ticket $93 $149 $99 $155
2-Day Theme Park Ticket $172 $212 $185 $225
3-Day Theme Park Ticket $224 $264 $235 $275
4-Day Theme Park Ticket $245 $285 $260 $300
5-Day Theme Park Ticket $259 $299 $275 $315

Children under age 3 are admitted free.

Discounts are hard to find, but California residents (bring a driver's license or utility bill to prove residency) will sometimes receive a small discount on Annual Passes. AAA occasionally offers its members discounts, and seasonal discounts such as the "buy a day, get a seasonal pass" offer occur during non-peak seasons.

If you're planning a multi-day vacation to Southern California with visits to multiple attractions including Disneyland, you can save a lot by using the Southern California CityPass. For $329 for adults (ages 10+), $286 for ages 3–9, you'll receive a 3-day Park Hopper ticket which covers admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and 1 day each at Legoland California and SeaWorld San Diego. This makes for a wonderful week long vacation and a very attractive price with about $100 off standard prices. As an added bonus to purchasing the CityPass online (instead of in person at the park ticket counters), you'll also get your choice of either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Safari Park (if your schedule allows you only one day in San Diego, choose to visit the San Diego Zoo instead of the Safari Park, since it's much closer to SeaWorld).

And here's something even better: visiting both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same year is now easier with the Disney Premier Passport. For $1,439, the Passport gives an entire year of unlimited admission to all eight theme and water parks in both California and Florida, plus DisneyQuest, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the Oak Trail Golf Course. The Passport may be purchased at the theme park ticket booths.

Get around

The Disneyland Monorail

Once in the park, everything is reachable by foot. Walking is the main way to get around the park. Traditionally, you could cut down on the amount of walking time by taking the Disneyland Railroad, which loops around the edge of the park and stops at Main Street, New Orleans Square, Mickey's Toontown, and Tomorrowland; however, the Disneyland Railroad will be closed well into 2017 during construction of a new Star Wars land, which requires rerouting the railroad. There's a set of old-fashioned vehicles that run along Main Street from the entrance of the park to the hub in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Disneyland has pretty good access for wheelchairs and other mobility-assistance vehicles, the only exception being the Disneyland Railroad at Main Street Station. Two attractions, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, require guests to travel up and down steps; if a guest cannot get up and down steps, there is a room with a virtual experience of the attraction. See a cast member to access these rooms.

To make getting around a breeze, the Disneyland Monorail links Disneyland's Tomorrowland with Downtown Disney (theme park admission is required to board at the Downtown Disney station). However, it may sometimes be slow and inconvenient, usually at park opening. The Downtown Disney station closes 30 minutes before park closing and the Tomorrowland station closes promptly at park closing so it is recommended to arrive five minutes prior to park closing.

From the Mickey and Friends parking structure you can board a tram to Downtown Disney/Main Entrance Plaza (World of Disney Store) and back. A bus shuttle service takes guests to the satellite parking lots (Puumba and Toy Story). The trams and buses run until one hour after the later park closing (usually Disneyland Park).

Outside of the resort, a car is again the best way to get around, though many hotels and restaurants are just across the street. The city of Anaheim also runs an extensive shuttle service to the nearby hotels and the Anaheim GardenWalk.

See and Do

"I think what I want Disneyland to be most of all is a happy place, a place where adults and children can experience together some of the wonders of life, of adventure, and feel better because of it." -- Walt Disney

Disneyland

Disneyland Park is the original Disney theme park, which opened on July 18, 1955. While the park has changed dramatically over the years, there are still many favorite classic attractions, such as the Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, "it's a small world," and Space Mountain. Today, Disneyland boasts over 50 attractions, more than any other Disney theme park.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Welcome to Disneyland!

Modeled after an early 20th-century Midwestern town with many Victorian-esque structures, Main Street, U.S.A. is the first themed land you will see upon entering the park (presuming you don't enter via the Monorail); from here you can walk up the street towards the Sleeping Beauty Castle and the park hub, where you can continue into any of the other themed lands. There are few rides here; as this is the main entrance and exit, this area is composed mostly of shops, restaurants, and guest services.

Adventureland

Themed around tales of exotic tropical jungles in far-off lands, Aventureland is due west of Main Street, U.S.A. and has several popular attractions.

In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room

New Orleans Square

Based on 19th-century New Orleans and sitting on the shores of the Rivers of America, this is where you'll find some of Disneyland's most popular attractions and best restaurants.

Critter Country

Past New Orleans Square on the far west side of the park is this small but colorful area with many woodland critters and a couple of popular rides.

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

A colorful imagining of the old American West, Frontierland encompasses the Rivers of America, Big Thunder Mountain, and an engaging mixture of gentle and thrill rides.

Fantasyland

Centered around Sleeping Beauty Castle, Fantasyland has the appearance of a fanciful Bavarian village and is where you will find most of the rides based on Disney's classic animated films, which make up some of Disneyland's most iconic attractions. This area has mostly storybook-themed and gentle attractions.

Mad Tea Party

Mickey's Toontown

Mickey's Toontown

At the northern end of the park past Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown is modeled after the cartoon town of Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and has attractions geared towards young children.

Tomorrowland

Inside Space Mountain, Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland, based on science fiction visions of outer space and the future, has many thrill rides and cinematic attractions.

Shows and events

"it's a small world" decked out for the holidays

There are many shows at Disneyland; these are just the highlights. Exact times for these events vary by day, so check the schedule and be prepared for massive crowds; if you want a good seat for a parade, you'll want to stake out a location well in advance.

Disney California Adventure

Carthay Circle, the hub of Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure is Disneyland's sister theme park which opened in February 2001. Initially the park struggled, with poor reviews and low attendance given the lack of focus or "Disney feel". However, the park has recently undergone a major overhaul, with new lands, new rides, and refurbished areas, and the response has been very positive. The park has a heavy California theme, with lands representing fanciful imaginings of certain parts of the state, although this is also where you'll find most of the Pixar-themed attractions.

Buena Vista Street

Based on 1920s Los Angeles, the entrance to the park is lined with Mission and Art Deco styled buildings with red streetcars running up the street to Carthay Circle, where the path splits into the other themed areas of the park beneath a replica of the classic Carthay Circle Theatre movie palace. There aren't many attractions here; as the main entrance and exit, this area is mostly shops, restaurants, and guest services.

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly Peak

Representing the Northern California wilderness, this area is oriented around the man-made Grizzly Peak, a mountain shaped like a grizzly bear.

Pacific Wharf

At the center of the park at a crossroads between the other themed areas, this area is modeled on Northern California's wharfs, with nods to Monterey and San Francisco. There are more restaurants than attractions here, and even some of the attractions are food-oriented.

Paradise Pier

Mickey's Fun Wheel with California Screamin' behind

The largest land in the park, Paradise Pier is set around a lake at the far end of the park and is a fanciful version of an early 20th century seaside amusement park.

Hollywood Land

The Red Car Trolley

To the east of Buena Vista Street, this area is a fanciful re-creation of a Hollywood street and a studio backlot.

"a bug's land"

Based on the movie A Bug's Life, with over-sized human objects to give the impression of seeing the world from a bug's point of view. Most of this land is given over to Flik's Fun Fair, a play area with several A Bug's Life-themed attractions geared towards young children.

Cars Land

Entering Radiator Springs; Cars Land

A faithful recreation of Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie Cars.

Shows and parades

Disney California Adventure is home to the Pixar Play Parade, with floats based on the Disney/Pixar movies, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc. as well as water and bubble effects including small water jets that shoot water into the crowd. The parade takes place most days in the late afternoon, and travels along the parade route from Hollywood Land to Paradise Pier.

The park also hosts a nightly show called World of Color in the Paradise Pier area of the park. It's a spectacular water and light show on a scale larger than a football field. If you don't mind the cost, buy some "Glow with the Show" mouse ears, which are remotely controlled and will automatically change colors along with the fountains. It is highly recommended that you get a FastPass at the Grizzly River Run area to assure access to a main viewing area. Special World of Color viewing areas are also available to those who have dinner in certain Disney California Adventure restaurants; inquire when making your dinner reservations.

Downtown Disney

Buy

Within the theme parks

There are many gift shops throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. They are so abundant, it is close to impossible to throw a stone and not hit a store. Some attractions even have gift shops located right at their exits. The complete list of shops in both parks may be found on the official website.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney's anchor store is the World of Disney, the second largest of its kind, after the one at Walt Disney World. Essentially, this is a Disney Store on steroids. Downtown Disney also showcases a wide range of well-known retail chains. These are just a select few; see the official website for the complete list.

Eat

First of a kind

The original Mimi's Cafe, which opened in 1978, is located on Euclid Street near the 91 freeway and is still in business. The location on Harbor Blvd. across from Disneyland's eastern boundary opened within the last 10 years. If you're on a tight budget, and if you have the time, this might be very well worth your effort.

Disneyland dining

If dining at the more upscale or "sit down" restaurants, there is a chance of not being able to get seating without an advance reservation. Some locations, especially the Blue Bayou Restaurant and Goofy's Kitchen, require a reservation weeks in advance. Reservations are made through Disney Dining at +1 714 781-DINE, or up to 60 days prior at Disney Dining's website. It is important to cancel or call Disney Dining if you will be late, as a $10 fee per person is charged for missed reservations.

The restaurants in Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are good about accommodating gluten-free and other dietary restrictions. However, you have to ask; this information is not advertised. Restaurants which serve hamburgers will provide gluten-free buns on request. Blue Bayou and Carthay Circle (which are sit-down restaurants, and normally provide a bread basket) will provide gluten-free bread on request.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Caprese Sandwich at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café

Adventureland

New Orleans Square

Monte Cristo Sandwich at Café Orléans

Critter Country

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Hungry Bear Restaurant

Frontierland

Fantasyland

There are stands selling fresh fruit at several locations in both parks.

Mickey's Toontown

Tomorrowland

Disney California Adventure dining

Ginger Pork Pot Stickers at Carthay Circle Restaurant

Unlike Disneyland Park, where alcohol is not available to the general public, most restaurants in Disney California Adventure serve alcohol.

Buena Vista Street

Grizzly Peak

Hamburger on gluten-free bun, with pickles, jalepeño, and roasted red pepper, at Smokejumpers Grill

Pacific Wharf

Paradise Pier

Bayside Fish Tacos at Cove Bar

Hollywood Land

Cars Land

NY Strip Loin at Flo's V8 Cafe

Downtown Disney dining

Downtown Disney has a wide array of choices for dining; the complete list may be found on the official website. Those that shouldn't be missed are:

Sleep

Hotels within the resort

A room in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Other hotels

There are many designated Good Neighbor Hotels which are either within walking distance or provide transportation to and from the Disneyland Resort. Many other hotels and motels of varying cost and quality may be found in the local area. Start with Anaheim.

Go next

Disneyland is within close distance of a number of other Southern California tourist attractions. Not surprisingly, some of these attractions have the word "Anaheim" in their names.

Other theme parks

Professional sports

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.