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Visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Updated on June 15, 2012

"Always, as you travel, assimilate the sounds and sights of the world." - Walt Disney





California Adventure

The History of Disneyland, Anaheim.

In the 1920’s Walt Disney started the Walt Disney Company, a small carton studio in Burbank, Ca. Disney dreamed of a magical park where children and their parents could have fun together. At the time theme parks weren't very family oriented. Disney's dream of a Magic Kingdom included flying elephants, giant tea cups, rockets to the moon, a fairy tale castle, and a scenic railway with waterfalls, rivers, and mountains.

In 1952 Walt Disney began plans for his dream, Disneyland. The best spot was a 160 acre orange grove in Anaheim, Ca. Construction begun in 1954.

In 1955 Disney dedicated his park in Town Square. Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter, and Bob Cummings hosted the televised opening. Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland were born. 28,000 ticket holders stormed the magic kingdom. General admission was $1.00 and rides ranged from 10 - 35 cents.

Disneyland opened with 18 attractions including the Jungle Cruise, Autopia, Mr. Toads Wild Ride, and the Mark Twain. Walt’s dream came true. Disney's fertile imagination, great story telling, and pioneer vision along with $17.5 million dollars built Disneyland. By 1965 fifty million visitors had passed through the gates.

In 1966 Walt Disney died. The Disneyland Park in Anaheim is the only completed park that Walt Disney walked in himself. Disneyland parks have expanded all over the world. Disney touched the hearts and minds of generations and his vision and legacy lives on through the 21st Century.

Since opening day in 1955 Disneyland has provided generations of fun for millions of families. There are eight magic lands in Disneyland:

A composite of small-town America, circa 1900. Parades, shops, bakery. *Don't miss the party line in the candy store and grab a Matterhorn Macaroon at the bakery early on as they sell out.

Exotic regions of Asia, Africa, India, and the South Pacific, featuring Indiana Jones Adventure, Enchanted Tiki Hut, and Jungle Cruise.

A down home, backwoods setting for Splash Mountain and the Country Bear Playhouse.

A happy kingdom of storybook enchantment awaits beyond Sleeping Beauty Castle. Home to King Arthur Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Mr Toad's Wild RIde, Alice in Wonderland, Matterhorn, Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Pinnochio rides.

An exciting realm of pioneers and a return to the Old West. Shootin Exposition, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Tom Sawyers Island, and The Golden Horseshoe Review. * Check for show times.

The jazzy home of quaint shops, the classic Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion.

A launching pad for space age attractions. Into imagination and beyond with Buzz Lightyear, Finding Nemo, Autopia, Space Mountain, and Star Tours. *At the end of the Buzz Lightyear ride find your picture and e-mail it to yourself, its a freebie.

A three dimensional cartoon world, hometown to Mickey Mouse and his friends. Minnie and Mickey's House, Pluto's Dog House, Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, and Small World. *Check for parade and show times.

California Adventure was added in 2001. New rides will open this summer. The districts are:


A 1920's themed street that leads people into the park. Disney first came to California in the 1920's. Named for the street in Burbank where the Walt Disney Studios are located. Shops, restaurants. Currently under construction and will open to the public on June 15, 2012.


A Victorian era boardwalk and bay. You'll find California Screamin, Toy Story, Mickeys Fun Wheel, Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Goofy's Sky School and Glider, King Triton's Carousel of the Sea, boardwalk games and World of Color. *Check for show times. There are restaurants connected by an outdoor, shaded seating area built around a gazebo where bands play daily. *Ask about preferred seating for World of Color.


Themed to represent an airfield and a tribute to California pilots from the 1940's to the mid 1960's. The clock on the Fly N Buy Souvenir Shop is stopped at the exact time the sound barrier was broken in 1947 by Chuck Yeager when flying the experimental X-1 at Mach 1 speed in the California desert. Home to Soarin Over California, Taste Pilots Grill, and a water play area with a giant jet spray.


Themed to represent California's wilderness. You'll find Grizzly River Run, Grizzly Peak, and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The Grand California Hotel is connected to the park here.


Themed to represent Monterey's Cannery Row. The area includes the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Pacific Wharf Cafe, The Lucky Fortune Cookery Chinese restaurant along with a beer truck and a margarita stand, Boudin Bakery Tour, and Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar. A Ghirardelli chocolate factory is under construction.


Styled to look like a movie studio back lot. Home to Tower of Terror, Monster Inc, Hyperion Theater, Muppet 3-D, Tron. * Check for show times.


Life from the point of view of a bug. Attractions include Flik's Fun Fair, It's Tough to be a Bug. (a 3-D film).


Under construction and scheduled to open June, 2012. Part of a $1 billion expansion to include Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi's Flying Tires, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, and Flo's V8 Cafe

I grew up on Disney's shows, movies, and characters. Life would not have been as fun without Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and all the rest of the family. So thank you Mr. Disney for a life time of fun. I was one of the lucky ones who lived in Southern California near Disneyland in 1955. I still get a thrill out of going to Disneyland as do my kids and their kids.


If you are planning on going more than once consider buying an annual pass. Southern California residents can pay monthly without a service fee.

Halloween, Sept-Oct and Christmas, Nov-Jan the park has special decorations. A great time to visit. *Check the web site for exact dates. Don't miss World of Color, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, Fantasmic, The Magic, The Memories and You, and the fireworks and snow at Christmas.

Grab a map at the entrance or download one. Wait times can be downloaded to your iPhone. Ask about getting a photopass and master the fastpass lane.

Visit the Getty Villa in Malibu and Getty Center in Los Angeles if you have time. Spectacular!

Be sure to visit the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco.

Are we there yet? What to take on a road trip:

An ice chest with food, snacks and drinks for everyone. Forget sharing. There is a picnic area at Disneyland. Food in the park gets expensive.

Don't forget your chargers, headphones, earplugs, meds, and a bag for garbage

Take along your Kindle and cell phone to keep yourself and the kids occupied on long road trips. Download any e-books or apps that can help you.

Remember to take along a great camera. We found the Sony Nex-5 to be light weight and user friendly. *There are professional Disneyland park photographers who will take a picture with your camera. Just ask.

Streets, freeways, and traffic jams are frustrating. Take a good GPS system with you and visit off season.

Have you been to DIsneyland?

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    • Kathy Atwood profile image

      Kathy Atwood 5 years ago from California, USA

      Thanks Eddy! Truly a Magic Kingdom and a thrill to go. Happy Trails...

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and I am bookmarking into my 'Armchair Travelling' slot.

      Take care and enjoy your day.