If you’re a Disney fan, then you HAVE to pay a visit to Disneyland Resort California. This is, afterall, where it all began. There is something “magical” about being in the park where it all started, where Walt stood and watched his dream come true. It’s a beautiful feeling. I’m not gonna lie… I was emotional taking it all in.
The Disneyland Properties
The first thing you’ll notice (and maybe appreciate) is the much smaller, more manageable size of the Disneyland property. Both Disneyland Park and California Adventure park are separated by a large courtyard, and off to the side of that is the Downtown Disney Area. Around the perimeter and within walking distance to all this are Disneyland’s 3 major hotels… The Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, and the original Disneyland Hotel. Each one of these resorts offer amazing amenities, perks and are super close to the two parks and Downtown Disney. (meaning… no buses are needed!) Disneyland also offers a vast array of “Good Neighbor” resorts in the area; some within walking distance, and others with a quick drive or shuttle ride to the parks.
The laid back feel of the West Coast resonates in the parks. Characters can be found roaming around the parks at any given time and wait times for rides and attractions tend to be a little shorter than her mega sibling property in Florida. I found this to be super welcomed, even as much as I love DisneyWorld Florida, there was something so refreshing about this visit. Mickey Mouse himself was just standing on Main St… with less than 20 people in line! My mind was blown!!! haha
Amazing Food at Disneyland
The food at Disneyland is also amazing. While they have the usual Mickey Ice Creams, Dole Whips and pretzels… try a Monte Cristco in Orleans Square, or for a REAL treat, get a reservation at Blue Bayou which sits in the middle of the Pirates of Caribbean Ride (which by the way, is SO much better than its east coast counterpart) and feels like you are eating in an outside courtyard at night. The menus even light up so you can read them!! You can do a wine tasting at the Wine Country Trattoria in the California Adventure Park, or as of recently, grab a cool SuperHero treat at Pyms Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus!
While the classic rides carry their own small differences, there are many rides that you can only do on the West Coast. The Matterhorn, The Incredibles Incredicoaster, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, the above mentioned Avengers Campus….Lets not forget CarsLand, which you can ONLY see at Disneyland California.
I’ll admit, I was never a big fan of the Cars movies.. but this area of the park is truly amazing! Your little (or big) Cars fans will DEFINITELY be delighted and in awe!!! How about shows… wow… check out World of Color, a spectacular nighttime show of lights, fountains and awesome projection tricks.
For a treat for the real Disney fan, purchase tickets for the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour which gives you a history of the building of the park, a VIP entrance to some of the attractions, and a special look at Walt Disney’s apartment IN the park. Not to mention, a story that will knock your socks off (and maybe produce a few tears… just sayin’) haha. It was truly an experience that I’ll never forget and I’m so happy that I didn’t pass it up.
I could literally go on and on about how fabulous a visit to Disneyland is. Make a true vacation out of it and visit some of California’s beautiful sites. We can totally make that happen. The West Coast is calling… Are you ready to answer? ;o)
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Thanks to Embrace the Journey Travel Planner, Tracy Devlin, for writing this blog post for us. You can learn more about Tracy here.