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Top 6 Things To Do Near Disneyland

By Edited Jul 3, 2016 1 4

Visit Other California Theme Parks

And See Professional Sports Teams, Too!

 If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, your time in Anaheim, California will probably be focused on enjoying the Magic Kingdom Theme Park. However, you may not be aware that there are plenty of other things to see and do near Anaheim, California during your stay. If you do not plan to spend all day and evening for seven days in the Disneyland Magic Kingdom, you may want to know about some of the other nearby activities you can enjoy during your stay in Anaheim. In fact, the slogan for the city is "Anaheim, The Fun Starts Here." How true it is!

If you are bringing children on your trip, you may want to buy your Disney souvenirs before you come, as they can be expensive in the theme parks.  You may be able to purchase a few items in advance at your local Disney Store, or order them (often at a discount) on websites like Amazon.  For young children, buy several items and give them to them one at a time during your vacation.   This shirt is an example of what you can find on Amazon, and see the link below it to find more fun items.  Read on to discover some of the other attractions in the area surrounding Disneyland.

Disney Souvenir Shirt

Quick link to Disney souvenirs from Amazon.com.

Once you have your souvenirs and made your plans for the Magic Kingdom, you are ready to check out some of the other attractions in the area.  Here are some ideas.

#1: Be Sure to Spend Some Time in Disney California Adventure

The Magic Kingdom is not the only theme park at Disneyland. Although sometimes overlooked by first time visitors to Disneyland, the California Adventure Theme Park next door is also worth visiting. Even if you don't have the opportunity to visit all of California, you can get a taste of what the rest of the state is like by spending time Soaring over California, a popular ride in the California Adventure Theme Park. Lunch at the Paradise Pier, and taking a ride on the popular Ferris Wheel, are some of the activities that will help complete the California theme.   Families will enjoy strolling through the new Cars Land, which is based on the Cars movies.  Don't forget to watch the World of Color at night. It's a spectacular water show.

#2: Downtown Disney has Great Shopping and Entertainment Choices

Do you want to get a taste of the Disney excitement without having to pay the admission price into one of the theme parks? Head over to Downtown Disney where you can take in a movie or eat at one of the multitude of restaurants. Are the kids hoping to see their favorite Disney characters? Make reservations to have dinner or lunch at Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. Your family can have a wonderful time, enjoy the buffet, and get autographs from some of the most beloved Disney characters ... and you never have to actually buy a ticket into either The Magic Kingdom or California Adventure.

Downtown Disney also has several shops where you can buy a variety of Disney souvenirs.  Their is a Disney Store next to the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel, as several other kiosks and other shops in the area, too.

After a busy day with the kids, Mom and Dad may want an evening out on the town by themselves. Downtown Disney has great restaurants and live music for their pleasure, too. One popular choice is The House of Blues in Downtown Disney with its eclectic line-up of music. Stroll through Downtown Disney is the evening, and you will find other restaurants, as well.

#3: Attend an Anaheim Angels Baseball Game

Another attraction in Anaheim during baseball season is Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This successful team has been the American League West Champs three times in recent years. If the team doesn't have a home game during your stay, you can also take an affordable behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium on Tuesdays throughout the year, and also on Wednesdays during the summer. During the tour you'll get to see many areas of the stadium, including one of the dugouts, the press box, the press conference room and the clubhouse. It's an exciting tour for baseball fans, so be sure to make advance reservations!

#4: Enjoy Hockey or Other Entertainment at the Honda Center

Near Angel Stadium is the Honda Center where the Anaheim Ducks play hockey. In addition to the hockey team, however, the Honda Center also hosts a variety of family shows, concerts, and other sports events during the year. If Disneyland doesn't provide all the entertainment you are looking for, contact the Honda Center to see what they have coming up.

#5: Take a Drive to a Nearby Beach

Within a 15 to 30 minute drive of Anaheim, you can visit any of the nearby beach towns, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Laguna Beach. Spend the day just relaxing in the sun, or you may want to try your hand at some of the other available activities, such as stand up paddleboarding, renting a kayak, learning to surf, renting an electric Duffy Boat or eating at one of the many fabulous restaurants. Stay until evening, and enjoy a spectacular Southern California sunset. More information about some of these activities can be found in the article links below.

Each of the beach towns has its own personality. Huntington Beach is the renowned Surf City that the Beach Boys sang about in the 1960s. It is still a popular beach for surfers, and many Southern California surfing competitions are held there.

Laguna Beach is a charming artist's colony. The town is home to approximately 100 art galleries, as well as a museum, 65 public works of art and several summer art festivals. Anyone who wants to spend time enjoying art, especially works that have been created by California artists, will have a wonderful time in Laguna Beach.

Newport Beach is home to upscale shopping centers, such as Fashion Island, as well as a harbor full of adorable islands. Rent a Duffy boat, which is a cute little electric boat that is easy to operate, and spend an afternoon cruising past the million dollar water-front mansions. Cruise the boat right up to the restaurant dock at the Cannery, and let their boat handlers valet park your boat for you. Have a wonderful lunch, and cruise back to the spot where you rented the boat. A truly unique way to spend an afternoon!

Laguna Beach is home to the impressive Aquarium of the Pacific, as well as the permanently docked Queen Mary. Both of these attractions are well worth visiting during your stay. In fact, stroll the decks of the Queen Mary and read the plaques that describe all the famous "ghost" sightings onboard the ship!

#6: Visit Other Southern California Theme Parks

Disneyland is not the only Southern California theme park you may want to visit during your California vacation. There are several other popular theme parks within driving distance, too.

Only five miles from Disneyland is Knott's Berry Farm, American's first theme park. Another Los Angeles area theme park that is popular with the entire family is Universal Studios, Hollywood.

About an hours drive south of Disneyland, in San Diego County, is Legoland, a theme park that is very popular with younger children. They have more than 60 rides, and kids love the Pirate Shore's Soak-n-Sail where kids can get wet on a hot day. You can also bring your swim suit and enjoy the Legoland Water Park. If you choose to drive the rest of the way into San Diego, spend the day at Sea World. This is an exciting way to expose your children to marine animals, including killer whales, sea lions, dolphins, sharks and more.  Don't forget the world famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.  Both are well worth a visit.

No matter what you decide to do during your Southern California vacation, you can find out more by reading the articles listed below.

Top 10 Things To Do In Laguna Beach

Cheap Hotels near Disneyland

Family Fun: Your California Beach, Golf and Disneyland Vacation!

Universal Studios Hollywood, a review

Laguna Beach Kayak Adventures

An Example of the Fun Disney Souvenirs from Amazon.com

4 Disney Frozen Keepsake Stadium Souvenir 16oz Cups Favors 4ct
Amazon Price: $2.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 3, 2016)
Click on the blue product title or the link above to go straight to Amazon and browse through the inexpensive Disney souvenirs they have for sale on their site.


May 11, 2011 10:37pm
Great ideas, especially driving out to the beach! I also love those pictures, very cute!!
May 12, 2011 9:05am
Thanks, Introspective. The first time I came to Disneyland as a child, our family spent a day at the beach. Since I lived in the Midwest then, it was such an amazing experience to see the ocean. I hope other children get the same wonderful memories.
May 12, 2011 11:12am
This brings back good memories of California for me. Loved Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm! I want to visit San Diego next time. Thanks for your great suggestions.
Mar 4, 2015 3:18pm
There are so many fun things to do in Southern California. I hope people who are planning a vacation here will expand their horizons beyond Disneyland ... although that is a great place to start!
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