ANAHEIM, Calif. – On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney opened a groundbreaking new concept in entertainment called Disneyland, with the goal of being a place where adults and children, families and friends of all ages could have fun together. Today, Walt’s dream has evolved into a national treasure.
Through six magical decades, the original 18 attractions that comprised Disneyland Park have grown into the Disneyland Resort – a sprawling 500-acre resort destination featuring two renowned Disney parks, three beautiful hotel properties and the exciting entertainment, dining and retail fun of the Downtown Disney District.
Located in Anaheim, California, approximately 25 miles south of Los Angeles, the Disneyland Resort provides guests from around the world with thrills, fun and unique Disney magic. The Resort features two theme parks, the original Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, along with one of the best hotels in Southern California, as named by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Disneyland Resort is one of the top-rated family resort destinations in the country, according to many travel surveys.
The resort continues to grow and offer magical experiences for guests all the time.
An epic new land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opened in summer 2019, and guests find themselves in the middle of the action as they live their own Star Wars adventures. In the largest, most immersive single-themed land ever created in a Disney park, guests become part of the story as they explore a remote planet full of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and other experiences. (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge also opened at Walt Disney World in August, 2019.)
Renowned as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland is Walt Disney’s original theme park and the centerpiece of the Disneyland Resort. Covering nearly 100 acres, it has grown over the past six decades to include nine themed “lands” including Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Tomorrowland, and the new land of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Featuring more than 60 adventures and attractions, Disneyland boasts some of the most quintessential Disney theme park experiences in the world including classics such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, “it’s a small world,” Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones Adventure.
With unforgettable seasonal events featuring popular shows and attractions such as Haunted Mansion Holiday, “it’s a small world” Holiday, snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. and “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, Disneyland is an ever-evolving experience. As Walt Disney desired, Disneyland is in constant state of “becoming” with new adventures and attractions always on the drawing board.
In 2006, Pirates of the Caribbean, the classic Disneyland attraction brought to the big screen in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, added new characters (such as Captain Jack Sparrow) from the blockbuster entertainment franchise.
In June 2007, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage surfaced in Tomorrowland. The underwater adventure features the eight submarines of the fondly remembered “Submarine Voyage” attraction and is inspired by the Disney presentation of the Pixar Animation Studios film, “Finding Nemo.”
In 2013, Disney Princesses began interacting with park guests in the new Fantasy Faire, a royal setting near the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests may also see Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters in a dazzling adventure filled with music, fun and special effects at the stage show “Mickey and the Magical Map,” presented daily on the Fantasyland Theatre stage.
Guests have been exploring thrilling adventures – six new destinations in more than 50 different 3D combinations – at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Another adventure, inspired by the film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” landed at the attraction in 2017.
In 2019, the epic new land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland, inviting guests to live their own Star Wars adventures as they explore a remote planet full of unique sights, sounds, smells, tastes and other immersive experiences. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansion ever in a Disney park. Here, guests become part of the story as they sample galactic food and beverages, enter an intriguing collection of merchant shops and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
Disney California Adventure, located across from Disneyland, offers guests even more fun with some of the most popular attractions and shows at the resort. Through Disney storytelling and imagination, Disney California Adventure invites guests to enjoy the wonder and beauty of California in its themed lands: the newly reimagined Pixar Pier, Hollywood Land, Pacific Wharf, Grizzly Peak, Paradise Gardens Park and two additions in 2012: the colorful and welcoming Buena Vista Street marking the entrance to Disney California Adventure, and the spectacular 12-acre Cars Land, inspired by the Radiator Springs setting of the Disney●Pixar movie “Cars.” In 2015, the Condor Flats area was reimagined as Grizzly Peak Airfield, an extension of Grizzly Peak inspired by the lush High Sierras of California.
In 2018, the wonderful worlds of Pixar came to life in new ways in the reimagined land of Pixar Pier. Celebrating beloved Pixar stories and characters like never before, this playful land features exciting themed attractions including the Incredicoaster, inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and “Incredibles 2,” Pixar Pal-A-Round and the popular Toy Story Mania!
New eats and treats can be found at Lamplight Lounge, as well as the various new food kiosks inspired by Pixar feature films and short films. Entertainment including the Games of Pixar Pier and character encounters with popular Pixar pals bring incredible new ways for guests to enjoy their visit to this seaside waterfront at the Disneyland Resort. In 2019, Pixar Pier welcomed two additional attractions to complete the land: Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and Jessie’s Critter Carousel.
In 2017, the thrilling attraction Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened in Hollywood Land. This epic adventure combines a breathtaking free-fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects, including music inspired by the popular “Guardians of the Galaxy” film soundtrack.
Continuing the growth of Disneyland Resort as a multi-day, world-class vacation destination, Disney Imagineers have brought more of Walt Disney into the 60 acres of Disney California Adventure. The park celebrates the hope and optimism of California that attracted Walt to this land of opportunity in the 1920s. In 2010, the nighttime water spectacular “World of Color” debuted, with a new viewing area along Paradise Bay. In 2011, guests began taking magical journeys on The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. In 2012, Buena Vista Street, inspired by the Los Angeles of the 1920s and ‘30s, began welcoming guests entering Disney California Adventure with the Red Car Trolley and an array of restaurants and shops.
Cars Land, opened in 2012, with its vast Radiator Springs landscape, “road trip”-themed restaurants and shops, and exciting attractions. Today, Cars Land features fan favorites such as the thrilling highway competition of Radiator Springs Racers, the swinging, dancing tractors of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, the tasty “cone-coctions” of Cozy Cone Motel and the delicious house-made pies of Flo’s V8 Cafe. In 2016, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters introduced guests to Luigi’s cousins, miniature Italian roadsters, in a spinning festivity across a trackless “dance floor.”
One of the signature attractions at Disney California Adventure is Soarin’ Around the World, a breathtaking virtual hang gliding tour over some of the world’s most amazing landmarks and scenic wonders. Another guest favorite is Toy Story Mania!, an attraction that invites guests to enjoy a high-scoring, immersive adventure, entering a wild 4D world of game play. Along with Woody, Buzz and favorite “Toy Story” characters, special effects add a fourth dimension of fun.
Guests at Disney California Adventure experience California-style fun on such attractions as the icy-cold, white-knuckle rafting of the Grizzly River Run.
The 2000-seat Hyperion Theater presents the spectacular stage production “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” immersing guests in the world of Arendelle with elaborate costumes and sets, special effects and scenic transformations. In the nearby Disney Animation attraction, Turtle Talk with Crush provides fun for the whole family with some interactive magic.
Guests at Disney California Adventure also may meet Anna and Elsa at “Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome” and encounter their favorite Super Heroes, including Spider-Man and Captain America.
DOWNTOWN DISNEY DISTRICT
Bridging the two theme parks and three hotels is Downtown Disney District, an admission-free entertainment, dining and retail district. The 300,000-plus square-foot Downtown Disney District includes Starbucks, Sprinkles, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar, and more than 20 retail shops including Sephora, PANDORA Jewelry and the LEGO Imagination Center. Guests can also board a Disneyland Monorail for a trip from the high-energy of Downtown Disney to the futuristic landscape of Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
The Downtown Disney District saw an ambitious, promenade-wide transformation in 2018. A recent addition to Downtown Disney is The Void, where guests step into new, multi-sensory, hyper-reality environments surrounded by 3D imagery, ground-breaking technology and immersive storytelling by ILMxLAB. In one walk through experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, guests can save the galaxy and discover Imperial intelligence vital to the budding Rebellion’s survival. Or, guests can join Wreck-It Ralph and his adorable sidekick Vanellope von Schweetz in Ralph Breaks VR, an animated adventure into the internet. Splitsville Luxury Lanes, a family-friendly restaurant with a unique combination of dining, bowling and live entertainment opened in early 2018. Disney Home offers fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods. Popular craft brewer Ballast Point Brewing Company recently opened its first Orange County location and the first brewery in Downtown Disney this year. Also, a first for Orange County is the new Salt & Straw scoop shop, which brings unique, taste-provoking flavors using local, organic ingredients. And Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes opened its first California location in the heart of the district in spring 2019. Known for its award-winning burgers and signature CrazyShake™ milkshakes, Black Tap is set in a casual atmosphere reminiscent of a classic American luncheonette, but with a distinctly New York vibe.
DISNEYLAND RESORT HOTELS
The Disneyland Resort is also home to three hotels that are just footsteps away from the thrills of the Disneyland Resort theme parks and the multitude of dining, entertainment and shopping at the Downtown Disney District. As a walking resort with close proximity of all parks and locales, the Disneyland Resort is noted for its convenience and ease of navigation, making it an ideal vacation destination for families with small children.
Designed in California’s renowned Arts and Crafts style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a true testament to Disney’s hospitality and creativity. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa completed a refurbishment in December 2017, bringing new magic to the deluxe hotel with completely redesigned guest rooms plus a refreshed lobby, pool area and concierge-level lounge. It was the most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening, and elevates the premium guest experience and brings a contemporary approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.
The Grand Californian hotel has 948 guest rooms, including 44 guest suites, and 50 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas. Those vacation villas, which include kitchens, living and dining areas and other home-like amenities, make up the first West Coast appearance of Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s innovative vacation-ownership program.
The hotel also has an array of fine dining including the nationally renowned and award-winning Napa Rose restaurant that provides specialty dining dishes, spectacular views of Disney California Adventure and expert sommeliers to assist in making the perfect selection from one of the finest collections of California wines anywhere in the world. Storyteller’s Cafe is another dining experience within the hotel where kids and adults alike can enjoy a distinct meal with some of Disney’s favorite characters, including Mickey Mouse. The Grand Californian also has three pools and will open the Tenaya Stone Spa in 2020.
The iconic Disneyland Hotel, which opened in 1955, the same year as Disneyland, has provided its guests with a rich tradition of fun, nostalgia and warm hospitality in a mid-century modern setting. The award-winning hotel has 973 guest rooms and 72 suites across three themed towers, along with an array of memorable dining, including the award-winning Steakhouse 55 and character dining in Goofy’s Kitchen. A major renovation of Disneyland Hotel was completed in 2012, including updated rooms with new décor and surprises, a cleverly themed new water play area, two swimming pools, the Tangaroa Terrace, Tropical Bar and Grill casual-dining restaurant, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and re-theming of the hotel’s three guest room towers.
California’s breezy laidback beach lifestyle is in full effect at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Inspired by a beach boardwalk hotel and boasting spectacular views of Disney California Adventure, the hotel has 481 rooms, including 25 suites. For children, the dining highlight at PCH Grill features Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast, a character experience. Guests may relax at the scenic outdoor terrace with its sparkling pool and bubbling spa.
One of the benefits of staying in any of the three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort is guests may take advantage of Extra Magic Hour, which provides early entry to select Disneyland or Disney California Adventure attractions (valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key required) on every day of their stay.
About the Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical, 973-room Disneyland Hotel – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” theme. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents. Located in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort opened July 17, 1955. Open daily, year-round.