If your childhood was anything like mine, Disney movies were probably a close fried of yours growing up. From Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Aladdin, Pocahantas, The Lion King, and many more - these movies were such an integral part of shaping my - and so many other youngin’s - imagination and creativity. I'll always consider myself a kid at heart and am quite the dreamer/creative thinker, so of course I still enjoy watching both the classic and new Disney movies. Since moving to L.A. almost two years ago, Disneyland has been near the top of my L.A. Bucketlist. I've been to Disneyland a few times growing up and loved it, but it's been about 15 (ish?) years since my last visit so I was well overdue for a Disneyland outing. And, just as I remembered as a child way back then, it did not disappoint. :)
Disneyland is one of two theme parks (next to the newer California Adventure park) built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Anaheim is about a 30-60 minute drive from L.A., depending on where you are coming from. It opened on July 17, 1955 and is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. Since 1955, more than 600 million guests have visited Disneyland, which is almost double the current population of the US. In 2012, Disneyland attracted 16 million visitors throughout the day, which equals to an average of 44,000 visitors per day. All I can say is WOWZA – it sure is popular! And obviously, for good reason. Disneyland, L.A.’s most beloved theme park, allows visitors to “enter a magical kingdom where you can sail with pirates, explore exotic jungles, meet fairy-tale princesses, dive under the ocean and rocket through the stars—all in the same day!” (thanks Disneyland website). Aaand it has plenty of yummy treats to enjoy, super fun rides, cute shops to peruse, and much more to be entertained by. There’s truly something for everyone here, and all ages are welcome!
For our trip to Disneyland on President's Day, we arrived at the Mickey & Friends Parking Lot at about 7:45am and made it to the front gate by about 8:15am. I am so glad we woke up extra early to enter right around opening time (8:00am), because the park was so nice and quiet until about 9:30am/10:00am. And then, as expected, it became extremely crowded and chaotic. I'd definitely recommend coming first thing in the morning to enjoy the park before it gets too busy.
We spent a solid half-day at Disneyland (it definitely wears you out, y'all) and felt like we got to see the whole park and experience (and eat) all of the top things we wanted to. Our favorite treats were the Mickey-shaped Beignets from Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square and the infamous Dole Whip (a tasty ice cream float with pineapple flavored frozen yogurt and fresh pineapple juice) from the Tiki Bar in Adventureland. Our favorite rides were all of the Star Wars rides (we love all things Star Wars!!) including Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, Star Tours, and Hyperspace Mountain. Before your visit, I would highly recommend reading about Fast Passes HERE - we got fast passes for all our of top rides as soon as we entered the park, and the longest line we waited in was only about 10-15 minutes. This made our Disneyland experience so much more enjoyable.
Overall, who could not love Disneyland?! I had a really fun and memorable day at one of our world's most beloved them parks, and I'd love to go back soon (and hopefully before another 15 years passes me by...)! Click HERE for all of the details you need to know about Disneyland, and click HERE to purchase your tickets.
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L.A. is an amazing and diverse city full of culture, history, art, nature, museums, and attractions - which results in countless things to do & see - no matter your budget. Time after time I find that when you seek new adventure, you will find it!
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