Do this: Anaheim is almost synonymous with Disneyland Resort and California Adventure Park. And with good reason: they are awesome. It’s possible to do both in one day with a “Park Hopper” pass, but honestly, I don’t recommend it. There’s a lot of pressure to do EVERYTHING, and being at the park for 14 hours is exhausting. If you aren’t as crunched for time, two or more days is a good bet. As a bonus, the multi-day passes work out to be less money per day, so you get a bigger bang for your buck. With the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge open as of the end of May 2019, Disneyland is going to be a bigger draw than ever.
Away from the theme parks, you can check out a baseball game if the Angels are in town, or scope out an all-ages show at the House of Blues. Sightlines are tough for the under 5’ set, so we ended up mainly watching the show on the screens. Although they were two of only a few children in the venue, my kids got a kick out of sipping “drinks” from the bar and crowd-watching at the Boyce Avenue concert.
Eat here: You wouldn’t expect a place so close to the Disneyland gates to offer good value for money, but Mimi’s does. With a bit of French country flair, the hearty breakfasts will keep you going for hours. The fresh-made muffins were especially nice. The Anaheim GardenWalk is also a good place for hungry families to find some grub. A pre-show supper at House of Blues had nice choices for everyone, including vegetarians and picky children–with the bonus of live music. If enormous and decadent are your thing, a trip to Snowopolis should be on your list. The towering milkshakes are a thing of majesty, and definitely sharing sized!
Stay at: My little guy fell asleep on Dad’s shoulder’s during the fireworks at Disneyland after a jam-packed day of thrill rides and crowds—which meant a tearful morning when he woke at the hotel instead of the Happiest Place on Earth. Luckily the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground was a pretty great place to wake up. You can spend every spare moment either at the pirate-themed spray park or at the quieter garden pool. The rooms were bright and fun, and the best part was the easy walk to Disneyland (across the street and down a bit) Ask for a room with a view of the park. Watching Disney fireworks from the balcony the first night which was a magical way to start the trip.