Your Guide to the Disneyland Resort
Today the Disneyland Resort celebrates its 68th anniversary! To celebrate, we’re sharing a guide to Walt’s original park.
Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955, with hopes that it would become “a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” Since then, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., has welcomed guests from around the world, expanding to become an approximately 500-acre, multifaceted, world-class family resort destination, complete with two renowned Disney theme parks, three hotels and the exciting shopping, dining and entertainment area known as the Downtown Disney District.
Disneyland introduced the world to an entirely new concept in family entertainment. Today, it continues to use creativity, technology and innovation to bring storytelling to new heights, while fulfilling Walt Disney’s vision that “Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
Disneyland Park – Upon its opening on July 17, 1955, Disneyland introduced a new concept in family entertainment and launched the theme park industry as we know it today. Disneyland presented 18 major attractions on its opening day including the Mad Tea Party, the Jungle Cruise, Autopia and the Mark Twain Riverboat, and it featured five themed lands: Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland and Main Street, U.S.A. Today, Disneyland is an evolving American institution, featuring more than 55 adventures and attractions in nine themed lands, having added New Orleans Square in 1966, Critter Country (originally Bear County) in 1972, Mickey’s Toontown in 1993 (reimagined in 2023) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019.
Favorite Disneyland attractions include Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, “it’s a small world,” Indiana Jones Adventure and the mountain range of thrill rides: Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. Entertainment is presented throughout the park, ranging from character appearances to musical presentations and nighttime spectaculars.
Disney California Adventure Park – Since its opening in 2001, Disney California Adventure has been bringing adventure and fun to life with Disney storytelling magic and popular attractions. With the addition of Avengers Campus in 2021, the park features more than 36 adventures and attractions plus distinctive entertainment and dining. Disney California Adventure has eight lands including Avengers Campus, Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak, Paradise Gardens Park, Pixar Pier and Pacific Wharf (which will transform into San Fransokyo Square in summer 2023).
Among the attractions in Disney California Adventure are WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, the Incredicoaster, Toy Story Mania!, Soarin’ Around the World and more. Disney California Adventure Park is home to the nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – ONE.”
Downtown Disney District – The Downtown Disney District is a promenade of exciting dining, shopping and entertainment experiences. It is the gateway between the Disneyland Resort theme parks and hotels, with no admission fee required. This includes a diverse collection of restaurants, favorite snacking stops and shopping, including World of Disney, Naples Ristorante e Bar, Ballast Point Brewing Co., WonderGround Gallery, Salt & Straw, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, The LEGO Store, Pelé Soccer, Lovepop, Sephora, Pandora Jewelry, Disney Home, The Disney Dress Shop and more.
Disneyland Resort Facts & Firsts
- Opening Date: July 17, 1955
- The Matterhorn Bobsleds opened in 1959 as the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world, setting the standard for modern-day roller-coaster design.
- Disneyland created the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere
- With more than 160 food and beverage locations, the Disneyland Resort offers more than 13,000 recipes. Many chefs are graduates of prestigious culinary schools.
- The menu of dining options at the Disneyland Resort offers something for every guest. Dining experiences range from quick service stops to table service restaurants. Many locations serve plant-based offerings, which are indicated by a green leaf icon in menus.
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in May 2019 as the largest single-themed land expansion in the history of Disneyland Park.
- The Disneyland app, the official mobile app for the Disneyland Resort, puts the magic at guests’ fingertips, enabling them to purchase and link their tickets, view menus, mobile order food and beverages, shop with merchandise mobile checkout, make dining reservations, join select restaurant waitlists, view attraction wait times and park maps, check hours of operation and more.
- More than 3,000 species of plants, native to more than 40 countries around the world, grow at the Disneyland Resort.
- The landscape surrounding the Jungle Cruise has evolved into its own ecosystem since the attraction opened in 1955. The trees have created a canopy that allows species of ground plants to grow that otherwise wouldn’t in Southern California.
- The Disneyland Resort is committed to minimizing food waste throughout its operations, diverting more than 16,000 pounds of food scraps from landfill per day, during normal operations.
- Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and The Disneyland Hotel were the first AAA Four Diamond Hotels in Anaheim.
- More than 32 different languages are spoken among Disneyland Resort cast members.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa –Featuring 948 rooms and 71 Disney Vacation Club Villas, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the flagship hotel of the Disneyland Resort. The design of this AAA Four Diamond Award-winning luxury property is inspired by the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement of early California. It’s also the first hotel in the United States to be built inside a Disney park, with private entrances to the Disney California Adventure park and the Downtown Disney District.
The hotel offers 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. For those looking for a little relaxation, the hotel is also home to three swimming pools, a waterslide and private cabanas. Additionally, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features three dining locations: Storytellers Café, the award-winning Napa Rose restaurant, GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill and Hearthstone Lounge. The Tenaya Stone Spa is a full-service spa and rejuvenating retreat designed by Disney Imagineers who gathered inspiration from the spirit of nature and the iconic Craftsman design of the hotel.
Disneyland Hotel – This landmark hotel surrounds guests with the magic and nostalgia of Disneyland Park. The hotel features 973 guest rooms decorated with mid-century modern décor, specially themed Disney suites and a courtyard featuring two pools and two Disneyland Monorail-inspired water slides. Goofy’s Kitchen, Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar are among the distinctive dining options. The AAA Four Diamond hotel also features one of the largest contiguous convention spaces in the Western U.S. at 136,000 square feet.
Coming in 2023 are The Villas at Disneyland Hotel, a new Disney Vacation Club property. This new 12-story tower will have an additional 344 guest rooms with a wide range of themed accommodations designed to sleep two to 12 guests, perfectly blending the magic of Walt Disney Animation Studio classics with many of the essential comforts of home.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel – This 481-room hotel is themed to a colorful “day at the beach” and California’s seaside culture of fun. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, which overlooks Disney California Adventure, features a rooftop pool deck with cabanas and a water slide.
In 2023, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will transform into Pixar Place Hotel. This reimagining will weave the artistry of Pixar into a contemporary setting where guests will gain a new perspective on some of their favorite Pixar worlds and characters through carefully curated artwork and decor that reveals the creative journey of the Pixar artists. Pixar Place Hotel is also the first fully Pixar-themed hotel in the United States.
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