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California Adventure

A Guide to Visiting Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA


Disney California Adventure opened in 2001 as Disney's California Adventure Park. They dropped the apostrophe S and Park from the name in 2010. California Adventure is located adjacent to the original Disneyland Park with a shared entrance plaza. The two parks along with Downtown Disney and the three Disney hotels make up the Disneyland Resort.

The Park has a few rides in common with Hollywood Pictures Backlot at Disney World in Florida and other parks, but many of the rides are unique to California Adventure.

When it opened, the second park had significantly fewer rides than Disneyland, making it hard for some people to justify spending the money, but with constant expansion, California Adventure has been increasing value for money, and with the completion of Carsland in 2012 it became about even with Disneyland for number of different rides and experiences you can have at the park.

Although Disneyland still has a few more rides, California Adventure has more extreme rides that appeal to teenagers. It also has some of my favorite rides overall, including Soarin' Over California, Toy Story Mania and the Radiator Springs Racers. A Bug's Land focuses on the youngest visitors. There are also shows, parades and interactive experiences to keep the whole family entertained.

Time Needed: Half a day for the highlights up to a day and a half to do everything (use FastPass and Ridemax to reduce wait time in lines)

Age Level: All Ages

Rides and Attractions at Disney California Adventure by Location

Paradise Pier at Night
Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, used with permission

To decide if California Adventure is right for you and to get an idea of how to organize your day at the park, take a look at my Guide to California Adventure Rides and Attractions, including Cars Land.

Tips and Tricks for Visiting Disneyland and California Adventure

Disney Pin Trading
Photo © 2011 Kayte Deioma, used with permission

You could just wing-it, but a little preparation can really make the difference between an awesome day at the park and a lot of frustration. These Tips and Tricks for Visiting Disneyland and California Adventure can help you get the most out of your visit.

Disney California Adventure Tickets

Family at California Adventure
Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, used with permission

There are a variety of ticket configurations available for visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Use my Disneyland Tickets Guide to figure out which ticket is right for you.

Using FASTPASS at Disney California Adventure

Getting FASTPASS tickets from a FASTPASS Distribution Machine at Disneyland
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com

The FASTPASS system at Disneyland and California Adventure is a strategic way to help you skip to the head of the line. Learn to make the most of FASTPASS.

PhotoPass at Disney California Adventure

Disney Photo Pass Demo
Photos by Disney Photo Pass
Learn about the Disney PhotoPass and how do you use it to come home to a great collection of souvenir photos from your Disneyland Resort vacation.

Ridemax for Disney California Adventure

Sign showing the standby wait time and FASTPASS return times for Autopia at Disneyland
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com

Using an inexpensive software program called Ridemax is another way to cut down on time waiting in line at California Adventure. Read about how Ridemax works.

Disneyland and California Adventure for Smokers

Smoking is prohibited at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure outside of designated smoking areas. If you are a smoker, or traveling with a smoker, familiarize yourself with the smoking areas before you go.

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