Dubbed the “happiest place on earth,” almost everyone has heard of Disneyland, right? The huge park in Anaheim, California is among the most popular in the world, with Disney’s sister parks in Florida, Magic Kingdom and Disney World, also contenders. Opening in 1955, the park is also known as the original magic kingdom because it was the first (and only) park to be built with the help of Walt Disney himself.
Although the name has changed from Disneyland to Disneyland Park, this fantasy park is still the original and sits in the same spot it always has. The name change came about because the park expanded to include Disney California Adventure Park, which was built where the original Disneyland parking lot was, and the collection became Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland Park has more than 50 rides and nine different themes. Some of these include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Frontierland, and Main Street U.S.A. For the little thrill-seekers, head to Mickey’s Toontown or Fantasyland, where kids can enjoy meeting Disney princesses, play some games, and visit Chip 'n Dale’s Treehouse. There are also some fun rides like Gadget’s Go Coaster, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Donald Duck’s Boat.
The park also has thrills and chills for the older crowd, such as Matterhorn Bobsleds, Indiana Jones Adventure, and Space Mountain. There are plenty of shops to peruse as well where visitors can get one-of-a-kind items and souvenirs for the folks back home.
Feed those hungry bellies at one (or more) of the 46 eateries in the park where guests can even dine with a princess or Disney character. Afterward, relax at one of the shows, including Fantasmic! in Frontierland, the Royal Swing Big Band Ball in Fantasyland, and the Dapper Dans on Main Street U.S.A.
Being one of the most famous parks in the world means that the prices may be a bit more than other parks, but it’s worth it. No other parks have as many things to do with so many different experiences for both kids and adults. Previously, Disneyland's one-day passes have gone for about $125. However, the price drops if visiting more than one day at a time. For example, for five days, you might pay around $75 per day. Kids aged three to nine have entered for just under $70 if tickets are bought online, and those under age three have been free in past years.
Finding Disneyland means deciding how you will choose to travel in Southern California. Just off of I-5 in Anaheim, visitors can get to the park with a little patience in any type of vehicle. Only seven miles from Santa Ana, where visitors enjoy going to the Santa Ana Zoo and Bowers Museum. The park is also under 30 miles from Los Angeles, where travelers can see the Hollywood sign and peruse the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
Disneyland Park has three different parking areas, but RVs are only allowed to park in the Toy Story Parking Area because the other two are structures with height restrictions. This parking lot is located on South Harbor Boulevard just off of West Katella Avenue. Alternatively, visitors often leave their RVs at their campground and drive another vehicle or take public transportation to get to the park.
RVers have many choices when it comes to public transportation to Disneyland Park. The Los Angeles Metro Express 460 starts in LA and takes riders to the park as well as many other locations. Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) has several bus routes to the park from throughout the metro area. Some of these include bus routes 430, 83, 46, 43, and 50. Rideshare apps and taxi services are also available in the area.
Even with all of the amazing opportunities at Disneyland Park, camping is not one of them. Although it would be really cool to have a sleepover with Mickey Mouse or one of the Disney princesses, Disneyland Park has not given us that option yet. Luckily, there are quite a few nice campgrounds in the area where you can park the rig overnight and still visit the park all day long.
The closest campground to Disneyland Park is Anaheim Harbor RV Park, which is only a mile to the north. They boast over 100 sites with utilities that can fit RVs up to 40 feet in length. RVers who surf will love Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach just 20 miles away. With 57 campsites right on the beach accommodating rigs up to 40 feet, this is a popular spot so reserve your site early. Chino Hills State Park is another fantastic option with miles of trails, picnic areas, and 20 campsites that can handle RVs up to 28 feet long.
Disneyland Park is huge, but luckily, they have trams and the monorail to help guests get to where they want to go faster and easier. The trams shuttle guests from the parking lot to the gate all day long but do not go inside the park. The monorail offers riders a way to zip around the park with ease and speed. Being up on rails, riders get a scenic view of the park they cannot get anywhere else. For those with mobility issues, wheelchairs and strollers are allowed and can also be rented at the park.
The weather in Anaheim is almost always perfect. However, variation does still exist, so pack what you will need depending on what month you go. The temperatures rise to the upper 80s from July through September, but the rest of the months of the year are warm during the day and cool at night. Jeans and t-shirts are typical attire. Also, comfortable shoes are a must. Don’t wear sandals or flip flops that can fall off during rides or dressy shoes that are hard to walk in.
Guests at Disneyland Park have been allowed to bring a backpack, soft cooler, suitcase, or bag up to 24x15x18 inches in recent years. However, it is important to note that these bags are not allowed on rides. The park does have lockers that can be rented to keep bags in. Remember that this is a big park, and it may be a long walk back to the locker if something is needed out of it. A preferred option may be just a fanny pack that can carry only needed items like keys, wallet, and phone.
It's important to stay hydrated while at the park, no matter what the temperature. Bring a bottle of water for each visitor that can be refilled at water fountains around the park for free. Just make sure it is not glass. A trial-sized bottle of sunscreen is also essential and can be tucked into a pocket to be reapplied throughout the day. Hats and sunglasses are also great to keep the sun at bay but must be removed for many of the rides.
RVers can cook indoors or out with the provided campfire grills at the campgrounds. However, sometimes grills are missing, or something else is not available, so be sure to be prepared if things don’t go as planned. Pack a small barbecue pit and camp stove that can be used if needed.
Make sure the rig is stocked up with all the necessities as well, such as eating utensils, plates, trash bags, wet wipes, and aluminum foil. It is also a good idea to have cooking spray, which can be used for many different things. Squeaky hinges, bugs on the grill, frozen locks? Just grab the cooking spray and you are good to go.
Although Disneyland Park has tons of delicious food, RVers may want to explore the local options. If cooking does not seem like fun, why not head into town for a meal at one of the eateries nearby? There are several within a half-mile of the park. Two pizzerias, Cajun food, a seafood chain, and a sub sandwich shop are all within walking distance of less than a mile. Head out further for a sports bar, Mexican restaurant, Asian cuisine, and two Italian places.
Try to eat at abnormal hours so the eateries are not as crowded. Have a late lunch or early dinner at about 2 PM when the rest of the park is back on the rides. From alien pizzerias to Daisy’s Diner, there are 46 different places to choose from to get some grub. Some of the places allow reservations, especially for eating with one of the characters or princesses.
Fruit carts are situated throughout the park making it easy to grab a few bananas or apples for the kids instead of candy or ice cream. Guests will also find about 30 shops to buy unique gifts or souvenirs such as Mickey ears, a hand-built lightsaber, and even a Five and Dime store.
Disneyland Park has metal detectors at every gate so remember to check the list for items that are not allowed. Bags and purses will be searched as well. There are also several checkpoints in the park where guests may be searched again. They also have undercover security staff throughout the park to make sure everyone is behaving themselves.
Almost everyone loves the weather in So-Cal. Skies are usually sunny and warm with cool (but not cold) nights during most of the year. The only time it gets really hot is from July until October. Rain is scarce in this part of California, so rain gear is not usually needed. However, it is always good to be prepared for anything. Get a weather app or weather radio to stay apprised of the local weather just in case.
With thousands of kids running around and riding rides, there is always a chance of someone getting hurt or sick. Because of that, Disneyland Park has several first-aid centers with licensed medical professionals on staff. Visitors can find first-aid in Bear Country at the Country Bear Jamboree, in Fantasyland near Dumbo’s ride, and on Main Street by Carefree Corner. Medical Assistance Response Carts (MARC) are also stationed in convenient areas in case a visitor needs emergency assistance. If further medical treatment is needed, several medical facilities are within five miles.