Upon its opening on July 17, 1955, Disneyland introduced a new concept in family entertainment and launched the theme park industry. Disneyland presented 18 major attractions on its opening day including the Mad Tea Party, the Jungle Cruise, Autopia and the Mark Twain Riverboat, and it featured five themed lands: Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland and Main Street, U.S.A. Today, Disneyland is an evolving American institution, covering nearly 100 acres and featuring more than 60 adventures and attractions in nine themed lands, having added New Orleans Square in 1966, Critter Country (originally Bear County) in 1972, Mickey’s Toontown in 1993 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019.
Favorite Disneyland attractions include Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, “it’s a small world,” Indiana Jones Adventure and the mountain range of thrill rides: Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. Entertainment is presented throughout the park, ranging from character appearances to musical presentations and storytelling.
Disney California Adventure Park – Since its opening in 2001, Disney California Adventure has been bringing adventure and fun to life with Disney storytelling magic and popular attractions including Grizzly River Run and Soarin’. With the addition of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street in 2012, the park features more than 35 adventures and attractions plus distinctive entertainment and dining.
Disney California Adventure has a total of seven lands including the 12-acre Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak featuring the reimagined Grizzly Peak Airfield and the exciting attraction Soarin’ Around the World, Pacific Wharf (all formerly parts of the Golden State area), Paradise Gardens Park and the reimagined Pixar Pier. Now in development is an eighth land, Avengers Campus, where the Avengers and their allies will assemble to recruit the next generation of Super Heroes.
Among the attractions in Disney California Adventure are the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier, where guests join the Incredibles in a mad dash to catch Jack-Jack as he wreaks havoc throughout a high-speed chase; Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, a rockin’ adventure where guests join Rocket in an attempt to save his friends, the Guardians, from the Collector’s Fortress; Toy Story Mania!, an interactive, ride-through attraction where guests enter into a 4D carnival midway hosted by the “Toy Story” characters, and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, a “dark ride” that transports guests “under the sea” to experience scenes and beloved songs from “The Little Mermaid” film.
The opening of Cars Land in 2012 added Radiator Springs Racers, a high-octane indoor/outdoor adventure that revs through Radiator Springs and concludes with a high-speed race through the mountains of Ornament Valley, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, in which baby tractors swing guests through a Cars Land hoedown. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters invites guests to climb aboard miniature Italian roadsters, Luigi’s Italian cousins, as they whirl into the traditional dances of their village. Buena Vista Street, which also opened in the park’s 2012 expansion, features Carthay Circle Restaurant, one of the premiere dining locations at the Disneyland Resort.
In summer 2018, Pixar Pier opened in Disney California Adventure, featuring four whimsical neighborhoods where guests can step into beloved Disney and Pixar stories. The first neighborhood, inspired by “The Incredibles,” features the exciting Incredicoaster, and the others celebrate themes from Pixar favorites such as “Toy Story” and “Inside Out.”
Downtown Disney District – The Downtown Disney District (no admission fee required) is a walking promenade of exciting dining and shopping experiences. The 20-acre, 300,000 square-foot avenue is centrally located between the Disneyland Resort theme parks and hotels and features dozens of distinct venues. This includes a diverse collection of casual restaurants, favorite snacking stops and shopping boutiques, including the World of Disney store, Earl of Sandwich, Naples Ristorante e Bar, Ballast Point Brewing Company, WonderGround Gallery, Salt & Straw, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, The LEGO Store, Curl Surf, Uva Bar & Café, Sephora, Sprinkles, Pandora Jewelry, The Disney Dress Shop and more.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa –1600 S. Disneyland Drive, (714) 635-2300
Featuring 948 rooms and 71 Disney Vacation Club villas, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the flagship hotel of the Disneyland Resort. The design of this AAA Four Diamond Award-winning luxury property is inspired by the turn-of-the-century California Craftsman movement. In 2009, the hotel became home to the first Disney Vacation Club units on the West Coast. It’s also the first hotel in the United States to be built inside a Disney park (Disney California Adventure). Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was refurbished in 2017, bringing new magic to the property. The hotel offers suites, a large convention facility, swimming pools and dining locations: Storytellers Café, the award-winning Napa Rose restaurant and GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill. With approximately 35 sommeliers, including several advanced sommeliers, Napa Rose boasts a significant number of certified wine experts under one roof.
Disneyland Hotel – 1150 West Magic Way, (714) 778-6600
This landmark hotel features 973 guest rooms including specially-themed Disney suites and a courtyard featuring two pools and two monorail-inspired water slides. Goofy’s Kitchen, Tangaroa Terrace, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and the award-winning Steakhouse 55 are among the distinctive dining options. The AAA Four Diamond hotel also features one of the largest contiguous convention spaces in the Western U.S. at 136,000 square feet.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel – 1717 S. Disneyland Drive, (714) 999-0990
This 481-room hotel is themed to a colorful “day at the beach” and California’s seaside culture of fun. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, which overlooks Disney California Adventure, features the whimsical Disney’s PCH Grill restaurant, a rooftop pool deck with cabanas and water slide, and 30,000 square feet of convention and meeting space.