Disneyland#1 in Best Things To Do in Anaheim-Disneyland
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 California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District. The main park is still the favorite among reviewers and frequent guests, as it harbors several themed areas like Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Mickey's Toontown and its latest attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, which has brought a whole new level of excitement to the park. While not all the "Star Wars" rides are available (rollout continues until early 2020), the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride and the themed shops and eateries that are open have garnered high praise from visitors.
Meanwhile, 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, and exciting new attractions like the "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride in Hollywood Land. 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 $129. You save slightly by purchasing multiday tickets, but you'll still fork over a hefty sum for two-day adult admission, which costs $225. Prices also vary by season and even by day of the week; single-day adult admission can cost as much as $149. 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 and offer other charms.
Hours vary, but Disneyland generally stays open from about 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., though in the summer, the park might open as early as 7 a.m. and stay open as late as midnight. If you decide to drive, be prepared to pay $25 per vehicle for parking. Many hotels offer shuttle service to the park, which can be a cheaper and less stressful alternative to parking at Disneyland. All ART buses provide access to Disneyland. For more information, visit Disneyland's website.
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#2 Anaheim Packing District
Described by recent visitors as hip and a cool place to dine, 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 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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