Disneyland Park opened in 1955, and is one of the top family vacation destinations in the entire world. This park has served as the model for hundreds of other similar destinations that have since sprung up around the world. It is the flagship of what has become a huge brand. Today, there is the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, which is the most visited theme park in the world; the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan; Disneyland Paris in France; and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Disneyland Resort in China. There is also the Disney Cruise Line with two ships that sail the Caribbean and a number of other ventures, including the Disney Vacation Club which offers timeshares and vacation rentals at all of its resorts. It was not the first or last amusement park to offer entertainment, recreation, and thrilling rides to the public, but it is Disneyland (with its “happiest place on earth” motto) that began the trend—and it is the only one in the international brand to be designed and built with the direct hands-on control of Walt Disney himself.
The Disneyland theme park is divided into several different “lands,” each of which boasts its own signature attractions and atmosphere. These areas of Disneyland include Main Street USA, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland. Additionally, there is the adjacent Downtown Disney District, a shopping, entertainment, and dining area; and another, newer theme park called the California Adventure Park that is also adjacent. While the name of each area pretty much describes the kind of atmosphere to expect, you will find a wide variety of rides, attractions, dining, and shopping to appeal to all ages in each area.
Main Street is designed like a small Midwest Victorian town and boasts the audio-animatronic Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. Adventureland evokes exotic far off places and boasts the Indiana Jones Adventure. Head to New Orleans Square to experience the Pirates of the Caribbean. The Space Mountain Roller Coaster in Tomorrowland is for those with a desire for thrills and the iconic Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride is for younger children in Fantasyland. If you’re in the mood for a little water, you will enjoy Splash Mountain, an elaborate waterslide flume complex with several Hidden Mickeys.
You can rest your feet on the Disney railroads and monorails and catch a ride to a number of different areas and attractions. Everywhere throughout the Disneyland Theme Park are the princesses and beloved cartoon characters that made the Disney brand famous. You might be dining in one of the restaurants and find that Donald Duck or Goofy is your waiter. You can have you picture taken with Sleeping Beauty in front of her castle, or any other number of Disney characters throughout the park. In addition to extravagant celebrations during special holidays, you can enjoy parades and fireworks displays just about every day of the year.
Disneyland Park is located in the city of Anaheim, a southern suburb of Los Angeles in California. Its location fits the criteria that Walt Disney originally set—it must be in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and must be easily accessible by freeways. This means that after your flights bring you into one of the area airports, car rentals can get you quickly to the park and to all the Anaheim hotels in the vicinity.