Disneyland Vacation Itinerary
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Things To Do In Southern California
Disneyland is the premiere mother of all attractions in Southern California. Every child no matter what age wants to go to Disneyland. It is literally the happiest place on earth. And for good reason. Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure pride themselves on great customer service from all their staff, clean facilities and a real So Cal tradition and feeling of magic that runs deep. Take a step into Disneyland and you feel immeditaley transported into another world of fun, beauty and adventure. However the cost of Disneyland and California Adventure is not at all cheap. Food and accomodations are not always affordable either, so in order to make your stay in Anaheim and your adventure at Disneyland rewarding and spectatcular here are some vacation itinerary ideas to help plan out your Mouse trip.
How many days should we go to Disneyland for?
Disneyland and California Adventure offer 2-day, 3-day and 5-day passes that can run a steep amount of money. To put it this way a family of 4 just to enter Disneyland only wil run you an easy $400. That is not cheap. If we here at Visit Southern California were planning a family trip for 4 people and wanted to experience both theme parks and the shows I would highly recommend a 2 day trip. Not only will this save you in costs, but in 2 days you will get a chance to cover both theme parks and any shows or events you want to check out. 2-day park hopper passes cost $149 and they let you visit 1 park per day. If coming in from far out of town (flying) or on the outskirts of Anaheim (driving) I say park yourself at a hotel in the area. Either way book your hotel room for the night before you plan to go to Disneyland, that way you are all checked in and settled so your 2 days can just be about Disneyland! Hotels in the area can run you on the low end $85 per night to more than $200 per night. The hotels just outside the theme park range from your hotel main chians to some great independent properties that offer clean rooms, pool and plenty of space for a large family. The Islander Inn and Suites and Desert Palms Hotel are two such properties in the area that meet these requirements. I would make it a point to make sure you plan to check out on your second day at the theme park. That way you save some money on hotel fees. We will get into what the theme parks have to offer in the next section.
How should I split my time between Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure?
So you have the 2 day park hopper and now you have to figure out which park to hit up on day 1. Since you arrived the night before and are all settled in and rested, you for sure go to Disneyland on Day 1. The magic kingdom is the main attraction to this day. Ride every ride you can (some even multiple times), check out the shows and parades along with Disney's Fantasia show at night that features all the great characters, effects and music with sound effects. It is incredibly fun. Stay at Disneyland eating lunch and dinner inside the theme park all teh way until they tell yoou to leave. If winds are calm the nightly fireworks show is a great way to end your day. Walk back to your hotel, shower off and head to bed. Day 1 is complete and you are tired but well entertained.
Day 2, take your time getting up the next morning. Request the late check out grab a bite to eat and pack up your stuff. Check out before heading out for your day at Disney's California Adventure, but don't rush. I always say this cause California Adventure for the most part (minus about 3 rides) is just a cheap carbon copy of Disneyland. You will see some different themed rides but they are the same rides you rode the day before inside the superior Disneyland. The Tower of Terror is a ton of fun so you could ride that a few times over throughout the day, but you will find that as evening falls you have pretty much exhausted all of what California Adventure has to offer. In a way that is a good thing cause you can always head on out early, beat some traffic or check in at the airport with plenty of time to relax before your flight home.
What if I want to eat outside of the theme parks?
So you want to eat and take a break outside of the theme parks just to get away. Okay here is the deal if you want to walk for about 20 miniutes you will end up at the Anaheim Garden Walk. This shopping and dining mall (for lack of a better word) is good. Eat at family favorites California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory or Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Anaheim Garden Walk has a restaurant for you. The only problem is if you are planning to go back to Dsineyland then you have that 20 minute walk back and from all the walking you do at the theme park you will be a physical wreck the next day. Just outside in between the theme parks is Downtown Disney. This place has a lot of flare and restaurants, however none (and I mean none) of them are really very good. You will pay a hefty price for less than average food. Downtown Disney is all glitz and no substance. Avoid it if you can. In the end Disneyland offers some good places to eat and relax and they are usually pretty well hidden from the traffic going on throughout the theme parks. for 2 days at Disneyland I say stick to the theme parks as much as possible and get the most bang fo your buck.