Updated: Feb 20
The Disneyland Resort located in Southern California is often overlooked by residents of the East Coast and Midwest who live closer to Florida's Walt Disney World Resort.
This West Coast resort will always be known as the original Disney park and many Disney fans consider it to be their all-time favorite place to visit.
Disneyland was created by Walt Disney with the intent of giving families a place to escape together while creating memories in a safe and fun environment.
So why should you visit Disneyland Resort when you have everything you need at Walt Disney World Resort?
Disneyland Resort features many different experiences and should be on every must-visit list for families who love to make memories together through fun travel experiences.
Let's talk about some of the basics you need to learn before planning your trip to Disneyland Resort!
Where is Disneyland located?
Disneyland Resort is located in Anaheim, California, just south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego.
Guests flying into the Southern California region have several different airports to select from.
The most popular airport with the most numerous flights is Los Angeles International (LAX) whereas, the most convenient airport to Disneyland is actually John Wayne Airport (SNA).
Getting to Disneyland Resort from the airport can be pre-arranged with a local ground transportation company offering shuttle service or you may choose to rent a car if you plan to explore other Southern California attractions during your visit.
How many theme parks are at Disneyland Resort?
Disneyland Resort features two immersive and family-friendly theme parks. The original park is appropriately named Disneyland Park and features Sleeping Beauty castle as its center icon.
Disney’s California Adventure Park sits directly across the pedestrian walkway that separates the entrances to the two theme parks.
Walking from one theme park to the other is a breeze and for that reason, a park hopper ticket with access to both parks on the same day is always recommended.
What type of attractions does Disneyland Resort offer?
You will find many similar attractions at the Disneyland Resort as you would at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Classic rides like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Space Mountain and "it’s a small world!" can be found at Disneyland Park.
You can even experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge featuring attractions like Millenium Falcon Smugglers Run and the popular, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
There are also many attractions and themed lands that are unique to the Disneyland Resort.
The Matterhorn Bobsled, Disney's first-ever roller coaster is a favorite among returning guests. Plus, you will find Indiana Jones Adventure, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Incredicoaster and Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin which is located in Mickey’s Toontown.
One other unique land found in the Southern California theme parks is Disney Pixar’s inspired Cars Land which makes guests feel like they are truly visiting the little town of Radiator Springs.
Disney’s California Adventure’s newest land, Avengers Campus features many of your favorite Marvel characters in action as well as superhero-themed attractions such as Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout and Web Slingers: A Spider-man Adventure.
Where to stay at the Disneyland Resort?
Unlike Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort encompasses a much smaller area and offers three official Disney hotels.
Each onsite resort is situated within walking distance of the theme parks, features luxury accommodations and of course, includes Disney’s signature services.
When you stay at a Disney resort, you will continue to be immersed in the world of Disney entertainment, long after you have left the theme parks.
For those looking for traditional hotel accommodations, it’s easy to find one of Disneyland's good neighbor hotels just down the street.
There you’ll find many of the popular brand name hotels and many are a short walk to Disneyland Resort for those who do not want to arrive by car.
What else is there to do besides the theme parks?
The Disneyland Resort also features a Downtown Disney area with restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
This district is within walking distance of the theme parks, resorts and features a monorail station that you can take directly into Disneyland Park.
At Downtown Disney, you’ll find many unique eateries, upscale shops and of course, lots of Disney-themed merchandise!
How many days should I spend at Disneyland Resort?
I recommend spending at least 3 days at Disneyland Resort theme parks plus an extra day or two to take advantage of your hotel amenities.
You can also rent a car and explore the other sights that Southern California has to offer.
While the Disneyland Resort is much smaller and much easier to get around than Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, you can easily spend a full 3 days at the Disneyland theme parks and still not experience everything it has to offer.
Want to learn more about the Disneyland Resort? Make sure you check out the blog, Disneyland Resort vs. Walt Disney World Resort: What’s the Difference?
Lissa Ryan is a Senior Travel Advisor with Kingdom Destinations specializing in luxurious family vacations. Lissa helps busy parents who want to create travel memories with their families through luxury travel experiences, but are too busy or overwhelmed with all the effort and research that is required to plan that perfect vacation.