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Beginner’s Guide to Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland

No California vacation is complete without a visit to Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland. Make your west coast adventure unforgettable at the original ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

Get lost in a fairytale world and reminisce beloved Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, and Princess Ariel, at Disneyland. Or enter the redesigned Disney California Adventure Park and experience the modern appeal of Disney-Pixar attractions and hair-raising rides, including the Incredicoaster.

Whether it’s your first time or not, let KKday give you some insider tips on how to maximize your time in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park. Read on below for discounted tickets, best times to go, must-try rides, and apps to download!

Plan your visit to Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland:

Hours and Address:

  • Operating Hours:

Disneyland: 8:00am to 12:00am

Disney California Park: 8:00am to 10:00pm

Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Ticket Prices:

Just like most popular theme parks, the price will depend greatly on what day or season it is. During the peak season (mid-November and onwards to the Christmas season), expect tickets to be more expensive. Opt to book yours from mid-September through mid-November, mid-January through mid-March, and mid-April through mid-May, during the off-peak season.

Eliminate second-guessing and get discounted tickets online through KKday.

  • Online Resellers (discounted)

One-day Ticket for Adults and Children:

You can book your discounted ticket ahead over here with KKday, and skip the long lines at the park entrance.

  • From Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland:

One-day Ticket for Adults: $117.00

One-day Ticket for Children: $110.00

One-day Park Hopper Ticket for Adults: $167.00

One-day Park Hopper Ticket  for Children: $160.00

  • Two or Three-Day Passes and Park Hopper Tickets:

    Make the most of what the two parks have to offer – grab two-day or three-day tickets with access to both parks at a discounted price

Disneyland vs Disney California Adventure Park

Since park hopper tickets are steeper by $50 to visit both parks, you can definitely choose one park over the other. We recommend this for groups who wish to take their time at each attraction.

Go for Disneyland:

Disneyland (image via Sean MacEntee, Flickr)
Disneyland (image via Sean MacEntee, Flickr)

Are you bringing kids? Visit Walt Disney’s original theme park to let them enjoy the classic Disney experience. This park boasts familiar zones (heard of Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland?) to theme park fans all over the world.

It’s also more family-friendly and geared towards children. Catch sight of Sleeping Beauty’s iconic pink castle, famous princesses, mischievous pirates and heartwarming Disney tunes – ah, the nostalgia!

Choose Disney California Adventure:

Disney California Adventure (image via Brent Schmidt, Flickr)
Disney California Adventure (image via Brent Schmidt, Flickr)

If you’ve already visited Disneyland before, and want to experience more thrills and newer attractions, make this your priority. It showcases more recent Disney films that millenials love or grew up with, including The Little Mermaid and Guardians of the Galaxy. Additionally, this park is your only option to purchase beer, witness live bands, and hop aboard heart-pounding coasters!

Disneyland Park Attractions

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean (image via HarshLight, Flickr)
Pirates of the Caribbean (image via HarshLight, Flickr)

Step into the world of Pirates of the Caribbean – the very ride that inspired the world-famous movie franchise! Witness hilarious sword fights, spy Jack Sparrow stealing treasure, and sing along to the catchy pirates’ anthem, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan's Flight (image via JeffChristiansen, Flickr)
Peter Pan’s Flight (image via JeffChristiansen, Flickr)

This one is Fantasyland’s must-ride attraction since 1955! Hop aboard a 3-person pirate galleon vehicles and fly high above the cobbled streets of London and Neverland.

It’s a Small World

It's a Small World (image via Sam Howzit, Flickr)
It’s a Small World (image via Sam Howzit, Flickr)

Bring back memories of your childhood on this gentle and charming boat ride. Spot Disney characters and a diverse range of dolls singing the nostalgic song in their native language.

Disney California Adventure Park Attractions

Soarin Around the World

Soarin' Around the World (image via Josh Hallett, Flickr)
Soarin’ Around the World (image via Josh Hallett, Flickr)

Not only do you get to soar above California on this flight simulator, but you’ll fly through breathtaking wonders and iconic landmarks around the world. Look over the Swiss Alps, Sydney Harbour, Egyptian pyramids, and more!

Toy Story Midway Mania

Toy Story Mania (image via Todd Porter, Flickr)
Toy Story Mania (image via Todd Porter, Flickr)

Slip on 3D glasses and challenge your friends to dozens of interactive mini-carnival games with the Toy Story cast – help Buzz shoot aliens and round up sheep with Bo Peep.

Incredicoaster

Incredicoaster (image via Jeremy Thompson, Flickr)
Incredicoaster (image via Jeremy Thompson, Flickr)

Although they have renamed this steel roller coaster from California Screamin to Incredicoaster, it’ll will still leave you screaming. Hurtle through intense 108-foot drops and 360-degree turns and you race with the Incredibles family to save baby Jack-jack!

Food & Souvenirs

Disneyland

Of course, this is also the best place to sport classic Mickey Mouse ears! Head to Main Street and enter the Mad Hatter’s House to grab a pair – you can even have your name embroidered at the back. On the same street, visit Disney Silhouette Studio for framed silhouettes of your favorite Disney characters, or personalized for yourself or your child.

Have your pennies pressed with movie-themed sayings (example: A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes) or characterized name paintings. For the budget-conscious, score free autographs from the characters in the park!

Candy Counter, Main Street (image via Jennie Park mydisneyadventures, Flickr)
Candy Counter, Main Street (image via Jennie Park mydisneyadventures, Flickr)

Disney California Adventure Park

We recommend to head to the new Pixar Pier, a newly opened attraction since June 2018. Delight in Pixar-themed food and souvenirs such as the Poultry Palace chicken boxes. Head to Alien Pizza Planet for celestial pizza slices and alien-shaped macarons. Collect award-winning movie souvenirs, including T-shirts, sketches and coaster designs, straight from the creatives of Monsters Inc. and other Disney-Pixar artists.

How To Get There:

By Train

From anywhere in Southern California, ride your nearest Metrolink train to Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) via the Orange County Line. Arrive and take the Anaheim Resort Transit Route 14 or 15 bus, which will drop you directly at Disneyland Resort.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Skip the lines by downloading the Disneyland app. Link your tickets and purchase a FASTPASS through the mobile app as soon as you enter the park. Head for the FASTPASS entrance, have the staff scan your device, and ride! Don’t waste time lining up for non-guaranteed passes at distribution points within the park
  • Arrive early to be one of the first people in the park (7:00am) and enjoy almost zero waiting time for most of the rides
  • Buy your tickets in advance Check out our links above so you don’t need to compete with the crowds at the entrance
  • What to bring: sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat, and backpack
  • Use coin-operated lockers in both parks, especially if you’re buying boatloads of souvenirs!
  • What to wear: Beat the California heat by wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, and comfy shoes during the summer. Only add layers starting from October and onwards to winter, when the temperature drops to around 14°C
  • Best times to go in 2018: Plan your visit mid-week (Tuesdays to Thursdays) to guarantee less crowds and cheaper ticket prices

Whether you choose the modern Disney California Adventure Park or classic Disneyland, you’re in for a treat with Pixar Parades, iconic rides, and zany souvenirs. Bring back that sense of wonder and nostalgia in the most spectacular way. Let your childhood wishes come true by booking Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Tickets today!

 
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