It is known how Los Angeles is a city full of places to visit, and among these certainly can not miss amusement parks: well in the southern area of Greater Los Angeles there is one among the most famous attractions of the city, which will certainly satisfy your hunger for fun and imagination. This is the Disneyland park, in turn divided into 2 large thematic areas (the original Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure), both located within the complex Disneyland resort ad Anaheim, in California.
Yes, you got it right, i Disney parks in California there are 2 (if you think there are too many, you should know that there are 6 at Disneyworld Orlando in Florida!). In this article we will therefore try to understand like visiting Disneyland in Los Angeles in order to fully enhance the attractions, such as buy tickets, understand what see, how to reach it by car e where to sleep Near.
PS: if your desire for fun has not yet subsided, know that in the city there is another large theme park, a direct competitor of the famous Disney park: the Universal Studios Hollywood which, together with the other film studios in the city and iconic locations such as the Walk of Fame, makes Los Angeles a real paradise for cinema and film lovers.
- Walt Disney's Disneyland
- How to orient yourself?
- Where to park
- Theme Park Parking
- Downtown Disney District Parking
- Hotel parking spaces
- Aree drop-off e pickup
- Disney’s California Adventure o Disneyland Park?
- What to see in Disneyland Park
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
- What to see at Disney California Adventure Park
- Price of tickets and where to buy them
- One way to save time: the Fastpass
- Where to eat in Disneyland
- Dove will sleep at Disneyland – Los Angeles
Walt Disney's Disneyland
40 km south of Los Angeles Downtown is located Anaheim, a town in the heart of Orange County: here in 1955 Ronald Reagan - in the presence of an oceanic crowd of curious people and in the presence of Walt Disney, the father of the cartoons most loved by adults and children - inaugurated a real dream project.
This is the first theme park dedicated to the fantastic world created in the Disney studios, which was followed by all the others: the protagonists are innumerable, from Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear and Star Wars. By the way ... if you are interested in learning more about the biography of Walt Disney, his family and the characters created by his imagination, do not miss the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco!
In this article, however, I want to discuss how visit Disneyland in Los Angeles, giving you some information and the right tips. Enjoy the reading!
How to orient yourself?
I will talk about the best attractions later: first you should understand how is this large park structured. The main areas of the Disneyland Resort are 3:
- the theme park area: Disneyland Park e Disney’s California Adventure
- Downtown Disney District: a sort of commercial mini-citadel that serves as an antechamber of the two theme parks
- the Disney hotel area: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel e Disneyland Hotel
Where to park
If you will use your rental car to reach Disneyland, here is some information to understand how and where to park.
Theme Park Parking
To park near Disneyland Park and Disney Adventure Park you can choose between two distinct areas in order to give you a convenient solution whatever the direction from which you arrive.
- Toy Story Parking Area: located in the south-east area of the park, it can be accessed from South Harbor Boulevard and West Katella Avenue.
- Mickey & Friends e Pixar Pals Parking Structures: they are located in the north-west area of the park and can be reached along Disneyland Drive and West Ball Road.
These two car parks can be accessed from one hour before the park's opening time. If you are traveling with a camperAt the time of writing this article, the only parking available is the Toy Story Parking Area.
La standard rate to park your car for a whole day is 30$. You can pay online on the official website in advance, or once you arrive at the automatic tills.
If you prefer to leave your car in a parking area as close as possible to the lifts and escalators (Preferred Parking), the price will rise to 45$. If you want to upgrade but have already purchased standard admission you will have to pay a additional $ 15.
You can pay with both cash and most major credit cards.
Downtown Disney District Parking
Those who want to visit only the mini citadel where shops, shopping centers and restaurants are the masters, can take advantage of the dedicated parking with the following rates:
- the first hour of parking will cost everyone 10$.
- then those who spend at least $ 20 in stores will have more 3 hours of free parking, while for those who eat in one of these restaurants, the hours of parking included will be 5.
- once the thresholds described above have been exceeded, the tariff will come into effect 14$ for each hour up to a maximum of $ 56 per day
Hotel parking spaces
Another option is to leave your car in the spacious car parks of the three Disneyland hotels. These are the rates for those who have chosen to stay in these hotels.
- Self-parking: $ 35 per vehicle
- Valet parking (valet service): $ 50 per vehicle
Those who don't sleep in Disneyland hotels can't use the hotel car parks to visit the park.
Aree drop-off e pickup
If you have friends who want to accompany or pick you up, or you want to use a taxi or Uber service to reach or leave Disneyland, you can take advantage of comfortable areas designed exclusively for short stops of up to 15 minutes.
- Lato Downtown Disney District: the drop-off area is signposted inside the Downtown Disney District car park. Be careful not to exceed 15 minutes because otherwise the standard rates will be applied.
- Lato Harbor Boulevard: the designated area is located between Manchester Avenue and Disney Way.
Obviously it is not possible for the driver to leave the car, or leave it parked beyond the short set time.
Disney’s California Adventure o Disneyland Park?
After leaving the car in one of the many parking lots available, you can finally reach the Downtown Disney District real. Even before entering, an important crossroads will open before your eyes, the first of a long series, especially if you then have to choose between game and game !. You will see that two queues wind in opposite directions and you will notice that there are two different entrances: one for Disneyland Park and the other for Disney’s California Adventure.
Please note:! They are two separate parks and - unless you buy one Park hopper - your day ticket will allow you to enter only one of the two. If you haven't prepared in advance and it's your first time at a Disney park, don't panic. Ask anyone, patrons or insiders: everyone will advise you without delay to enter a Disneyland Park, postponing the visit of Disney’s California Adventure at a later time.
You will wonder why, and what are the differences between the two parks. We will see the attractions in detail, but I can already briefly say that, while Disneyland Park is the "classic" Disney park par excellence, Disney’s California Adventure is a more modern park, loosely dedicated to natural beauty and California cities, with fewer rides than the other and more attention to productions Pixar. It is also more adult-oriented: in fact, you will find some more adrenaline-pumping rides, such as Incredicoaster e Radiator Spring Racers.
What to see in Disneyland Park
I therefore advise you to prefer the area of Disneyland Park, which is the historical one, originally designed by Walt Disney and baptized by him. You will recognize it immediately from Sleeping Beauty castle, which is the entrance to the park, from which the 8 sections into which it is divided radially. As anticipated, Disneyland Park is a park suitable for people of all ages, but each area has its own specific characteristics: while the older ones will be sifting through the map of the park in search of the most evocative attractions inspired by Disney masterpieces, children will immediately fall for it. towards Fantasyland e Mickey’s Toontown.
Leaving the park entrance boulevard as a surprise (Main Street USA), let's see in detail what the other 7 sections of Disneyland Park have to offer:
After making your triumphal entry into the castle, you will find on your left Adventureland. In a typically tropical setting, you will find Tarzan's house (Tarzan Treehouse) and the Jeep di Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones Adventure). It is also worth embarking on the water safari of Jungle Cruise, that among its stages around the world has The Mekong River, The African Congo, The Nile River e The Amazon in South America. Anyone who loves Disney shows can take a seat in the theater of the Enchanted Tiki Room to watch a show of sounds, lights and colors inspired by Polynesia.
New Orleans Square
Going to the left we find New Orleans Square, the area of Disneyland where you can experience the gothic atmosphere of the Southern States. Here are two of my favorite Disneyland slow rides: the first takes place in a mysterious and eerie colonial-style house haunted by ghosts (Haunted Mansion Holiday) and is inspired by Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The second is instead a boat trip to the gloomy world of Pirates of the Caribbean. Follow the voice of the Captain Jack Sparrow: you will see him appear here and there in the sea caves or in the villages where drunken villains sing old pirate songs.
This is a fairly contained and somewhat isolated section, completely different in setting from the one I have just described: turning the corner we passed from Louisiana to the green forests of the Pacific Northwest. It is worth achieving Critter Country even just to climb the trunks of Splash Mountain, the aquatic laugh inspired by Uncle Tom's Tales. Those who love attractions "where you get wet" will find bread for their teeth, especially in the final part. A Critter Country is also located The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which will delight the little friends of the honey-hungry bear.
In the passage between New Orleans Square / Critter Country a Frontierland, you will see a great river plowed by a white steamboat, as seen only in Mississippi: that is the Mark Twain Riverboat. If you like the idea of sailing on a historic ship from the deep south, don't hesitate to embark, but know that she is not the only boat to sail on the lake! There are also the canoe at Davy Crockett and galeone Sailing Ship Columbia. In Frontierland there is also the unmissable Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a fast ride aboard a little train that whizzes through the gold mines of the mountains of the west, meeting vertiginous canyons and abandoned ghost towns.
As anticipated, Fantasyland and the historic core of Disneyland, the oldest, dated 1955: it is very suitable for children, but especially for adults who just don't want to grow up. In this area of the park, which is also the central point of the Disneyland Park map, you can take a real journey into our childhood as little dreamers, under the banner of amarcord: there are romantic rides dedicated to Disney classics unforgettable as Pinocchio, Snow White, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, the Wind in the Willows and many more. If you missed the soundtracks of the films that you saw as a child on videotape, here you can take a good review and see if you still remember them.
North of Fantasyland is the cartoon city, Toontown: you can venture through the streets of Topolinia, making a visit to the bizarre houses of Goofy, Donald, Mickey and Minnie. This area of the park is especially interesting for the sceneries that it laughs in itself.
This section takes up virtually the entire left-hand portion of Main Street. As you can tell from the name, Tomorrowland is dedicated to science fiction, cartoons and the most recent Disney films. Here Toy Story lovers (like myself) are happy: there is the addictive galactic shooter of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, there are submarine voyages "Finding Nemo", and finally Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, a Star Wars-themed dark ride, which, however, from 2019 - as you will read immediately after - has its own dedicated area.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Just like the previous ones, too Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge it's a section of Disneyland Park, so no, you don't have to pay an additional ticket to visit it. The fact is that, in my opinion, this area of the park is so important that it deserves a separate paragraph.
It's been a while now since the most famous Space Saga ever became a Disney production, and from mid-2019 the California park finally has its own fabulous themed area Star Wars, in a short time it became a real mecca for fans from all over the world. In addition to having the opportunity to walk on a new planet in the galaxy (Batuu), visiting this part of the park you can also see a reconstruction of the Millennium Falcon, meet characters from the Saga and participate in two space adventures: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run e Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. To find out more, read my article dedicated to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
What to see at Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California Adventure Park, dedicated to California's natural and non-natural beauty, has less history and attractions than Disneyland Park, but has its tricks up its sleeve for anyone who loves the thrilling, adrenaline-pumping side of theme parks and anyone who is a Pixar fan. Besides Buena Vista Street, the driveway to the park, the thematic areas are 6: below I offer an overview of what you can expect from each of them and the best attractions.
It seems paradoxical that inside Disneyland Los Angeles there is a small reconstruction of the Hollywood film studio neighborhoods, but so be it! Those who loved Monsters & co., The famous Pixar production dedicated to monsters that haunt children's dreams, should not get lost Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue, a slow ride set in Monstropolis in which the goal is to bring little Boo home safely. In addition to various shows for the little ones (Frozen - Live at the Hyperion is very popular) do not miss Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT if you like creepy laughs.
We're not that far off Route 66, which starts right in Santa Monica. Why am I mentioning it? Because Radiator Springs Racers, the attraction of Disney California Adventure Park inspired by Cars, will allow you to challenge yourself in a racing race at full speed in the desert scenarios of the Pixar cartoon. The themed area also includes two other slightly less breathtaking attractions, dedicated to other characters from the film: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (our Carl Attensili) e Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters (Americans love to get on a Fiat Cinquecento!).
There are just a couple of attractions in this central part of the park, but this is most likely the area where you will stop for a meal, as there are 8 restaurants (Spanish, American, Asian, Mexican etc.). Pacific Wharf actually seems inspired by San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, also given the presence of a Ghirardelli chocolate shop. For those interested in getting into Walt Disney's workshop a little, I recommend not getting lost Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar.
If you didn't understand, the Pixar goes strong in this park. Pixar Pier is dominated entirely by Incredicoaster, a spectacular (or terrifying, it depends on your degree of courage!) themed rollercoaster Incredible, Disney's most famous "normal superhero family". In the area dedicated to the visionary American production house, a tribute to the first film entirely produced in computer graphics in history could not be missing: Toy Story. The attraction in question is called Toy Story Midway Mania! and it's an interactive ride very similar to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, albeit with a different setting.
Paradise Gardens Park
This area of the park is particularly rich in rather classic and simple rides, for young and old: there are 5 of them. Jumpin' Jellyfish is a ride suitable for younger children that develops vertically simulating the movement of jellyfish, while the flying seats of Silly Symphony Swings they bring us even closer to the idea of a funfair that we have. Here too there is a classic rollercoaster, but this time the protagonist is the bewildered Pippo (Goofy's Sky School).
Could the aquatic ride be missing? In the Grizzly Peak area we find Grizzly River Run, an exciting adventure aboard a dinghy that challenges the rapids of a swollen river in a beautiful mountain setting. Impossible to get out dry! Not far from the river, there is perhaps the most beautiful attraction in the park and one of the most successful of all the Disneyland Resort: Soarin' Around the World, an experience that in my opinion fully reflects the Disney spirit, the one that has always aroused the amazement of adults and children. Thanks to IMAX technology, you will take an exciting flight around the world in search of its beauties, accompanied by the exciting soundtrack of Jerry Goldsmith.
Price of tickets and where to buy them
The day ticket for only one of the two parks it costs from 104 to 149 $ depending on the period of the visit (Value, Regular, Peak). For an additional fee, you can purchase the Park hopper which allows you to visit both of them (even if in one day you may not fully enjoy them).
On the reliable site musement there are gods discounts on daily admission to Disneyland, which costs less than the official website. I invite you to check it by clicking on the link below:
Buy the day ticket on Musement
Secondly, try to check availability on look, which sometimes offers attractive discounts.
There are also other types of tickets (prices may vary over time):
- 2-day ticket: 225$; 280$ con Park Hopper
- 3-day ticket: 300$; 355$ con Park Hopper
- 4-day ticket: 356$; 380$ con Park Hopper
- 5-day ticket: 340$; 395$ con Park Hopper
Il Disney Max Pass has a variable cost depending on the day of validity of the ticket (from 15 to 75 $): it allows you to use the FastPass directly from the Disneyland app and download all the Disney PhotoPasses that are taken during the day.
If you look for the tickets for 2 or more days I recommend you take a look at the sites listed below for 3 reasons:
- they do not apply any mark-up on the prices, on the contrary they often give the possibility to enjoy attractive offers and discounts;
- in most cases they allow the free cancellation;
- i tickets from 3 to 5 days include the option Magic Morning: early entry one hour before regular opening to the public.
Tickets on Expedia
Tickets on Musement
Tickets on Klook
If you are in Los Angeles and you mean it visit Disneyland without using the car, you can buy a transfer service with pick up and return to your hotel (or elsewhere), a particularly interesting solution for those who do not want to venture out due to the intense city traffic.
Transfer to Disneyland from Los Angeles
One way to save time: the Fastpass
While it is not that impossible to do almost all of the rides of Disney’s California Adventure in one day (there are "just" 36 attractions), it is almost unthinkable to be able to visit all the almost 60 attractions of Disneyland Park in just one day: you will find queues at the entrance of the rides, you will have kilometers to walk from one part of the park to the other ... in short, you will have to be careful not to tire too much, since the expenditure of energy is high, especially if the temperatures in Los Angeles are inclement and very hot. However, if you have less time and are afraid of not being able to see everything, do not underestimate a very useful and not too much considered tool: the Fastpass.
What is it about? Look carefully at the map provided at the entrance: the main attractions are marked with a small logo, FP. Near these attractions, you will find machines where, by inserting your entrance ticket, you can collect a coupon indicating a time slot. If you show up at the entrance of the corresponding attraction during that time slot, you will skip most of the line!
Those who bought the Disney MaxPass when booking the ticket or on the app, they will be able to book the passes through the same app, without therefore having to go to the machines. In both cases, be careful: you cannot use two coupons in the same time slot! Be flexible and better organize your visit.
Here is the list of Disneyland Park attractions that have the Fastpass:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Haunted Mansion Holiday
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- “it’s a small world” Holiday
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Below are the attractions of Disney California Adventure Park that have the Fastpass:
- Goofy's Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin' Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- World of Color
Where to eat in Disneyland
Walking around Disneyland you will find a myriad of restaurants where you can eat a quick meal or sit down to dine in peace. If you are in Disneyland Park, I recommend that you stop by Blue Bayou Restaurant, which is located inside the attraction dedicated to the Pirates of the Caribbean: you will sit in the darkness of the pirate bay, in the light of the lanterns, with the lapping of the boats that leave for the tour with Jack Sparrow.
If it's the Disney spirit you're looking for, book a nice one meal with historical Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Cip & Cop…). But as you can imagine the options do not end here, dozens and dozens of restaurants, eateries, fast-food outlets and food trucks will be waiting for you literally scattered in almost every corner of the park. Whatever your culinary tastes are, you will surely find something that can do for you.
Dove will sleep at Disneyland – Los Angeles
Here are the hotels that are part of the same Disneyland Resort:
- If you want the Disneyland dream to continue even among the pillows and blankets, you can marry the fabulous Disneyland Hotel (1150 Magic Way).
- Il Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel (1717 S. Disneyland Drive) is a good choice if you also want to relax a bit after a day of raiding the park thanks to the outdoor swimming pools even for the little ones. Among the three, it is also the cheapest hotel.
- A beauty center, a sauna and spacious rooms are the strong point of the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (1600 South Disneyland Drive) which is the most expensive of the three.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to take a break from the whirlwind of fairy tales and fairy tales in exchange for a little relaxation, go to the Best Western Plus (720, The City Drive South, Orange), ten minutes away. This is a great hotel, equipped with all comforts (including an invigorating outdoor hot tub) and well connected to the park via a relatively inexpensive shuttle service.
If you are looking for a Disney-themed vacation rental, an apartment for the family or for your group of friends, take a look at my advice in the article on apartments for rent in Los Angeles; otherwise you can refer to the link below to find a good hotel in the area.
List of Hotels Near Disneyland