Disneyland Resort

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When travelling to Southern California, not taking time to visit to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA is like missing the view of the Pacific Ocean. Far more than “just” a hotel or even a group of hotels, the Disneyland Resort is Disneyland. It includes the original Disneyland Park itself, Disneyland California Adventure, Downtown Disney as well as restaurants and three separate hotels. A trip to Disneyland Resort is designed to make your trip ultra-memorable.

History

Disneyland itself was the brainchild of none other than Walt Disney. His vision for an amusement park built around his iconic mouse was originally to be called Mickey Mouse Park and was to be located right next door to Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. However, the realization soon took hold that the Burbank location was just too small for Disney’s dream and a construction consultant instead suggested that the park be located in Anaheim, just off of the newly-constructed Santa Ana Freeway.

At the time, the location of the new park was nestled amidst the orange groves that give this California County its name and rather remote. The hope was that the construction of the theme park would concurrently spur growth in this part of the county. However, since that was a ways away, Walt Disney insisted that a hotel be built alongside his new park for visitors to stay. Thus, the Disneyland Hotel was built just across the street from the new park, a centerpiece which still stands today amid a much busier and bigger Anaheim area and expanded resort complex.

Disneyland itself was immediately successful with both local Californians as well as visitors to the area. The Hotel, which opened three months after the 17 July 1955 Disneyland debut was equally successful. As a result, Disney wanted to commission the construction of additional accommodations in and around his park. Disney’s dwindling funds, however, made this task impossible and the task was instead taken up by other entrepreneurs in the area anxious to cash in on Disney’s success.

Unfortunately, the lack of restrictions placed on construction by the City of Anaheim led to a rapid growth around Disneyland and its lone Hotel, and caused a rather unsightly atmosphere of lights and neon signs all begging for tourists’ business. Disneyland itself, along with the Disneyland Hotel, became “boxed in” by others and it would be years before the Disney Company was able to systematically buy up land and other hotels, including Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, in the surrounding area in an effort to create a multi-park, multi-resort feel similar to that which it achieved in Florida.

Following several missteps and financial issues, Disney finally added to its California Park with the construction of Disneyland California Adventure in 2001, followed by Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Downtown Disney, all of which exist on the original Disneyland parking lot. Today, these buildings along with Paradise Pier, collectively make up the Disneyland Resort which offers its guest unprecedented access to the two California Parks along with a rare opportunity to spend a few days as Disney royalty.

Main Attraction

Though all of the Disneyland Resort sits in the City of Anaheim itself, it is to the extreme south of those lines, almost in Garden Grove, CA and is a direct exit off of Interstate 5 (the Santa Ana Freeway). All visitors to Disneyland, Disneyland California Adventure, and Downtown Disney are technically already at the Disneyland resort. However, to truly experience this part of Disney, guests need to stay at one of the resort’s three hotels: the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, or the Grand Californian Hotel.

Each of the three hotels offers several benefits to its guests that will make their stay at Disney one-of-a-kind. However, collectively, guests at the Disneyland Resort hotels are treated to one-hour early entrance to the Disney Parks and the convenience of staying within walking distance of the real “main attractions” that makeup Disney. Guests can have shopping purchases delivered right to their room or spend an evening out while the kids stay in Pinocchio’s Workshop. There is also a private entrance from the Grand Californian Resort to Disney’s California Adventure which guests of any of the three resorts are allowed to use. In addition, all the amenities of each resort are available to guests of the other two.

Finally, guests at the hotels are also privy to exclusive character breakfasts and wakeup calls along with all the advantages of southern Californian resort culture including themed pools with water slides and on site spa services. In addition, Downtown Disney provides guests with an afterhours experience that includes dining and shopping and evening entertainment.

Why It’s a Must-See

No matter your age, a trip to the Los Angeles area that does not include Disney seems somehow incomplete. And, while many people enjoy Disney each year as day guests only, the real Disney experience can only be obtained by immersing yourself in the culture and flair that is the full Disneyland Resort. From start to finish, the magical experience that Walt initially promised in 1955 is as alive now as it was then.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

Save up to 20% online at Smart Destinations. If you add more than one attraction to the cart, you will get an automatic savings of up to 20%. It’s called Make Your Own Pass.

Pay Full Price and purchase a ticket from Disneyland Resort either online or in person.

Purchase a Tourist pass. Disneyland Resort is available on the Go Los Angeles Card and Southern California  CityPass.