Listen. We wanted to give you something other than Disney, Ducks and Angels. We went, we saw, we visited. There are lovely places to drive to off your main base of Anaheim (Huntington Beach and Laguna are nearby and we highly recommend the Aquarium of the Pacific with lunch aboard the Queen Mary).
But for Anaheim itself, we simply have to recommend the main draw, the one and only Mickey Mouse. Here is our guide to A Day In Anaheim with a stop in sleeping beauty’s castle.
Eat: The Anaheim White House
There are plenty of kid friendly options at Downtown Disney and in the two parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) but we have to recommend this lovely spot for a special lunch while traveling. Note- we do not recommend the White House for dinner, not because it isn’t fabulous, but because it just isn’t kid friendly. We think you can push the limits and bring the crew for a family lunch. In addition to being housed in a historical landmark, the White House’s charitable arm has served over 1 million meals to needy children in the Orange County area.
Play and Learn: Disneyland/California Adventure
Parents take note, we do not believe that you can “complete” both parks in one day and have your trip remain “magical.” Even with the fastpass system, there is too much to see and do in both parks and you wont make it without everyone being exhausted. But if you only have a day and one child simply must ride the matterhorn and the other can’t stop talking about Cars Land, get up very early, do Disneyland in the morning, have an afternoon rest and hit California Adventure Park in the evening. The way the sun sets over the theming in California Adventure really is quite extraordinary. Here’s our list of favorites for both parks (in no particular order).
- Autotopia (original 1955 ride)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Casey Jr. Circus Train (original 1955 ride)- good for little ones
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s a Small World
- Toad’s Wild Ride
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain (41 inches +)
- Mickey’s Fun Wheel
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin over California
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Animation Academy (California Adventure- Hollywood Land)
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoe’s
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln