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Why Go to Anaheim-Disneyland

Many vacationers come to Anaheim for Disneyland. A plaque at the entrance of the park reads: "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy," and for more than 50 years, this complex of amusement parks and hotels has remained a fun fantasy world. Even if you've been to other Disney resorts, nothing beats the original's unique place as a vintage landmark in the heart of Southern California. This vibrant park is still a great place for families  in fact, your kids will most likely have so much fun with Mickey and friends that they'll never want to leave. And with plenty of thrilling rides and a bustling entertainment district, you might not want to leave either. 

But Disneyland isn't the only thing luring visitors to this Southern California city. There are other (more affordable) theme parks like Knott's Berry Farm and Adventure City, the picturesque Yorba Regional Park and even an "angelic" baseball stadium. When you need a break from the crowds, simply hop in your car and drive west to the coast: the shorelines of Long Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach are all within about 25 miles of Anaheim.

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Anaheim-Disneyland Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best times to visit Anaheim and Disneyland are March through May and September through October, when the weather is comfortably warm and school's still in session. In the summertime and around major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Disneyland tends to be more crowded. And temperatures in Anaheim will be high without the reprieve of a cooling, ocean breeze.

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What You Need to Know

  • Prepare for a crowd surge Disneyland draws visitors from far and wide, so you can expect to do a little bit of waiting. Avoid long lines by getting to the park earlier in the morning or buying tickets in advance.
  • Don't lose the kids While Disneyland is overall a very safe and family-friendly environment, heavy crowds can make it hard to stay together. Give each child an identity tag with his or her name and your cellphone number on it. It's also wise to designate a meeting spot, just in case someone gets lost. For more safety tips, visit the Disney website.
  • Anaheim is hot This city is known for its bright and sunny weather, but that can take its toll if you're spending the entire day outside at Disneyland or at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Wear a hat and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

How to Save Money in Anaheim-Disneyland

  • Forget the car If you're only planning to visit Disneyland while in Anaheim, you can utilize Disney transport and your own two feet to get around. For all other attractions, the Anaheim Regional Transit is a convenient, reliable mode of seeing the city.
  • Consider the SoCal CityPASS If your itinerary includes a stop in San Diego (about 95 miles south), you could save major coin by opting for the CityPASS, which includes admission to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park, SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo, among other attractions.
  • Visit in the offseason It can be tempting to plan your trip in the summer when school is out, but if you do, you'll contend with high prices and temperatures, not to mention stifling crowds. Visiting during off-peak months like December (before the winter holidays), January, March or October will yield lower prices and fewer crowds.

What to Eat

It can be easy to visit Anaheim and eat nothing but theme park food. Though Disneyland has certainly upped its dining game, offering everything from Creole to Mediterranean flavors at its on-site restaurants, it would be a shame to leave Anaheim without exploring the rest of the city's food scene.

For a veritable smorgasbord of local eats, make a stop at the Anaheim Packing District. This food hall features more than 20 artisan eateries and a farmers market. Plus, on the weekends there's live music. The Anaheim Packing District also shares space with the Anaheim Brewery, another visitor and local favorite. And if you're a fan of Los Angeles' Umami Burger, you're in luck: the upscale burger joint has an outpost next to the Packing District's Farmers Park. For even more burgers, head to Slater's 50/50, which you may have guessed from its name, serves burgers made with 50 percent ground beef and 50 percent ground bacon.

If you're in the mood for a more formal sit-down meal, locals recommend THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon, which serves steak and seafood and farm-fresh seasonal sides. Anaheim White House Restaurant is another steakhouse favorite that's as lauded for its food as it is for its service. Not much of a carnivore? Vegetarians in the know recommend The Healthy Junk, which serves classic comfort dishes like burgers, pizza, fries and chicken wings with vegan and gluten-free substitutions. 

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Getting Around Anaheim-Disneyland

The best way to get around Disneyland is on foot, but the best way to get around Anaheim is by car. Once inside the resort, all of Disneyland's attractions  including those found in Disney's California Adventure and Downtown Disney  are within walking distance of one another. If you tire of walking, then hitch a ride on the Disneyland Monorail, which is free for visitors with valid admission into the park. Getting to the park is also a breeze: the Disneyland Resort Express is available from Orange County's John Wayne Airport (SNA), which is around 15 miles south, and from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is about 35 miles west. If you bring or rent a car, you'll find there is plenty of parking at Disneyland. Just prepare for steep fees.

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