Best Things To Do in Anaheim-Disneyland
The main attractions here are obviously the rides and amusements of Disneyland. But the city of Anaheim also offers a hoard of other worthwhile ventures too. Knott's Berry Farm and Adventure City are traveler-approved amusement parks that are especially appealing to younger kids. And during baseball season, a game at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim should be a high priority. Plus, the beaches of Laguna, Oceanside and even San Diego are less than 100 miles away.
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Many travelers say this original Disney resort lives up to its motto as "The Happiest Place on Earth." You'll find three unique areas inside Disneyland: Disneyland Park, Disney's California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney district.The main park is still the favorite among reviewers and frequent guests, as it harbors several differently themed areas like Tomorrowland, Frontierland and Mickey's Toontown. At California Adventure, you'll find Golden State-themed lands like Paradise Pier, which is modeled after California boardwalks similar to the one in Santa Monica, California. And after its recent enhancement, visitors can also explore the worlds of "The Little Mermaid" and "Cars." For a tasty meal and some entertainment, head to Downtown Disney.
Though recent visitors gushed about this timeless experience, they also warned that taking your family here will cost a small fortune. Tickets range in price based on the time of year, package deals and more. One-day tickets for kids and adults ages 10 and older start at $95 while single-day admission for youngsters ages 3 to 9 starts at $89. You save slightly by purchasing multiday tickets, but you'll still fork over a hefty sum for two-day adult admission, which costs $195. Prices also vary by season; single-day adult admission can cost as much as $119. Keep in mind single-day tickets only grant you entrance to one park; if you'd like access to both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, you'll need to purchase a Park Hopper Ticket, which can nearly double your admission price. Other factors to consider: dining (no outside food or beverage is allowed in the park) and FASTPASS service, which allows you to virtually save your place in line instead of having to physically wait for each attraction. If these prices have you second-guessing a trip to Anaheim, consider visiting some of the area's more affordable theme parks, such as Knott's Berry Farm and Adventure City. Though these parks lack the flash and beloved Disney characters you and your children grew up with, they can cut costs significantly.
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Both baseball aficionados and casual fans agree: If you're in Anaheim, you should make a point to catch a game at this historic, 45,050-seat venue. Home to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 1966, Angel Stadium (or The Big A) is baseball's fourth-oldest active Major League Baseball stadium, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Single game ticket prices start at $8 and vary depending on the day, time and opponent. Parking at the stadium costs $10 per car (cash only).
According to recent visitors, the park is clean, the staff is friendly and the parking is easy. If you're looking for an affordable family activity (relative to Disneyland), you should try to attend a game here, according to past travelers.
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Described by recent visitors as a "hipster food court," the Anaheim Packing District features more than 20 artisan eateries, live music, a farmers market and an event area with a fireplace and orange grove. Housed in the former Anaheim Citrus Packing House, which was built in 1919, this two-level facility features a central atrium with a communal dining area flanked by cafes and kiosks. Outside, there are picnic gardens and a marketplace, Farmers Park.
Recent visitors highly recommended making a stop (or two) at the Anaheim Packing District. Both travelers and locals love its eclectic vibe and the variety of cuisines (catering to many different budgets) that are available here. Those who also visited Disneyland said this space provided a relaxing and interesting reprieve from the at times chaotic atmosphere of the theme park.
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For all the would-be pilots out there and all those "Top Gun" fans, the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center is for you. Here, you can pretend you're taking off, dogfighting, and completing death-defying aerial maneuvers in fighter jet and Boeing 737 flight simulators that make it feel real.
And in case you were wondering, recent visitors said it's nothing like a computer game. Reviewers said the graphics and sound in the simulator made them feel as if they were actually flying. You also have the option to change into a flight suit, which past travelers said only enhanced the experience. Visitors also praised the staff and instructors for their clear and informative presentation. The minimum age to participate is 11, so if your tweens or teens grow tired of Disneyland, consider making a stop here.
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Approximately 10 miles east of downtown Anaheim in the mouth of Santa Ana Canyon, Yorba Regional Park is an oasis of green in a city heavily blanketed in concrete. Among its four lakes and connecting streams, biking and jogging paths, equestrian trails, there are more than 400 picnic tables, barbecue grills and restrooms, making it the ideal place to take a family tuckered out by all the crowds at Disneyland. There's also a bicycle rental shop at the park (Wheel Fun Rentals), which rents out a variety of bikes, kayaks and pedal boats. Consider renting a bike if you want to ride the 20-mile-long Santa Ana River Trail, which eventually leads to the Pacific Ocean.
Recent visitors loved their time at Yorba Regional Park and strongly recommended travelers make time to stop by. Reviewers described the park as "quiet" and "family-friendly" and said it was the ideal spot for a picnic.
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If you're sick of Disney – or just want try out some big roller coasters – you should check out nearby Buena Park's Knott's Berry Farm, a popular theme park that features some thrilling attractions. The park contains the quaintness of a Wild West reconstruction with some of the attractions of a multimillion-dollar theme park. It also contains a log ride, a Wild West stunt show, a boardwalk-themed area and a playground area called Camp Snoopy that is geared toward young children. Highly recommended thrill rides include the Boomerang roller coaster, the Sky Cabin and the super-fast coaster, the Xcelerator.
While Knott's Berry Farm offers a different experience (and a cheaper price tag) to the Disneyland attractions, many past visitors noted that, unlike Disney, the staff and amenities were not up to par. Reviewers also warned that the "All Day Dining Plan" was overpriced. If you must eat at the park, buy meals one at a time. Travelers also suggested downloading the Knott's Berry Farm smartphone app, which includes an interactive map of the park showing the fastest routes between rides and wait times for select rides, among other features.
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If you're on a budget and you've got young children in tow, you should consider a trip to Adventure City, according to recent visitors. Many reviewers said this small theme park is a less stressful and less expensive alternative to the pricey, crowded entertainment mecca of Disneyland. But keep in mind that this park is geared toward younger kids (most travelers said children between the ages of 2 and 10 will enjoy what Adventure City has to offer). The park does boast two roller coasters, but the focus here is less on thrilling rides and more on engaging pint-sized visitors with interactive attractions, such as the Thomas Tank Engine attraction where kids help one another build train layouts.
Recent visitors described Adventure City as a "hidden gem" and a "great value," especially for families with young kids. And because of Adventure City's manageable size, you can likely spend just one day here, versus the several you'll need to set aside for a trip to Disneyland. However, reviewers caution that preteens probably won't enjoy Adventure City as much as younger children.
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