Disneyland in Anaheim, California

“We’re going to Disneyland” in southern California.

We decided when we booked our trip to Las Vegas to include a visit to Disneyland. The close proximity of the two places really makes this an easy trip to plan and inexpensive to do.  We know it will be worth it.

We left Las Vegas and caught a flight to San Diego, California.  There are so many airlines to choose from for this trip. We searched online and it was easy to find inexpensive one-way tickets from Las Vegas to San Diego. Our flight was just over an hour.  The San Diego International Airport layout makes it very easy to get around.  We picked up our rental car at the airport and excitedly we were on our way to Disneyland.

Funny story to share.  While loading the luggage into our car we retrieved our GPS.  My wife Dana is driving and follows the signs to get onto I-5 North while I turn on the GPS and put in the information for our destination.  When the GPS is ready to start giving us directions it begins speaking in Afrikaans (the first language setting on the GPS).  We had no idea what the GPS was saying to us.  Apparently the GPS had reset because of the frequency during our flight.  Because of this we almost got lost. We laughed and learned a good lesson to always check the GPS settings before using the device after a flight.

The first thing we notice about California as we drive up I-5 is how big everything is.  The highway has four to six lanes of traffic traveling each way and is very busy leaving San Diego.  As we continue driving north the heavy traffic subsides and we begin to see hills along the highway that rise up so high with many homes positioned on top of them. The views are simply breathtaking.

The drive to our hotel is only 90 minutes.  We decided to stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites located in Lake Forest, California which is located near Disneyland in Anaheim. It was night-time when we arrived. We parked our car and got out and the first thing we noticed was the smell of cinnamon.  We looked around and noticed that in front of our car was a Cinnamon Tree.  The smell was intoxicating and really enhanced our mood.  We will always remember this moment.  Our hotel is perfect for our stay because it provides a clean room with comfortable beds, complimentary breakfast in the morning, and it is close to Disneyland.

The next morning we left the hotel and after a quick drive we arrive at the Downtown Disney District.  Downtown Disney provides unique shops, exciting entertainment, and distinctive eateries.  The place is very busy.  We shopped around for a while taking it all in.  The World of Disney is a favorite shop for Disney fanatics like us.  It is a large souvenir shop that has everything from clothing to jewelry and lots of Disney memorabilia.  There are so many places to visit in the Downtown Disney District so I will post the link here for your convenience. Downtown Disney District-Disneyland California

Our next stop is a visit to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. As a former hotel manager for many years I enjoy touring hotels, especially those with a theme. This luxury hotel is designed to celebrate the early 20th Century Arts and Crafts era. It aims to showcase the architectural style of Northern California. This hotel has so much to offer including beautiful rooms, fine dining, and a world-class spa. We can see why a stay here is perfect for those who want to indulge in all that the world of Disney has to offer. A stay here is definitely a future bucket list item when we can plan a longer vacation in southern California. We have provided a link to give you more information about the Grand Californian Hotel. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

It is late morning now and we finally arrive at Disneyland. We have been to Disney World in Florida many times as we have lived in Orlando for a number of years. We have read and heard that Disneyland was Disney World but on a smaller scale. We found this to be true.  Being a fan of Walt Disney, and of his vision for a vacation destination that has something to offer for every member of the family, it was great to see his original creation.  Disneyland first opened in July 1955.  Disneyland is divided into 8 extravagantly themed lands—Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square.  We had time to visit all of them and enjoyed many of the rides and attractions  including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, The Jungle Cruise, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Soarin’ Around the World and Space Mountain.  There is so much to do here and we had so much fun. Throughout the day we enjoyed the rides and watched a couple of shows including The Dapper Dans and of course the afternoon parade.  The costumes are so elaborate and the parade provided so much excitement. We ended our perfect day watching the fireworks display by the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

We had a great day and accomplished so much in a short period of time. Today made us thankful to Walt Disney for his vision, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his dedication to make this vacation destination a reality.  We had a wonderful time and we are glad we decided to shorten our trip in Las Vegas to visit Disneyland and tour southern California.  We figured for the cost of two days of shows in Las Vegas we were able to pay for a flight and tickets to Disneyland. Everything worked out very well. This is a trip we will never forget.

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