Claiming to be 'The Happiest Place on Earth', Disneyland is an integral part of an American childhood and was the world's first mega theme park designed for the family by Walt Disney in 1955. It is one of America's most famous attractions and despite competition from other similar parks in Florida, Paris and Tokyo, nothing can compare to the original. It is an enchanted kingdom of fantasy and imagination filled with magical entertainment and attractions. The park is divided into eight 'lands' and each one features different rides, dining experiences and entertainment as well as daily live-action shows and parades. Adventureland, Fantasyland, Critter Country, Frontierland, Mickey's Toontown, Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square and Main Street USA offer such attractions as a boat trip through the underground caverns of Pirates of the Caribbean, an experience of the Wild West on the Thunder Mountain Railroad, a visit to Sleeping Beauty's Castle and flying with Dumbo the elephant, a giddy journey with Indiana Jones, a spooky tour of the Haunted Mansion, or the experience of a pitch-black rollercoaster ride inside Space Mountain, and a wet ride on Splash Mountain.
There is also a shopping, dining and entertainment district called Downtown Disney. The latest appendage to Disneyland is the adjacent California Adventure, a separate park minus the cartoon characters that offers further rides and rollercoasters, but an additional ticket is required. (A new Cars-themed attraction is currently under construction at California Adventure.) The parks are busiest during summer from mid-June to mid-September and during school holidays and there are usually long queues at the popular rides. The new Fastpass system allows visitors to reserve a place in line at the park's busiest attractions. No day at Disneyland is complete without watching the nightly fireworks show with an appearance by Tinkerbell.
Address: 1313 Harbour Boulevard, Anaheim
Telephone: (800) 225-2024 (bookings)
Opening times: Both parks are open daily, but opening hours vary according to days and seasons; check the official website for up to date information.
Admission: One-day passes start at $80 adults, $74 children under 10.