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In this era of fluctuating gas prices, why burn precious fuel seeing all the wondrous and storied sights of the Golden State? This Disney theme park is your one-stop shop for everything California! Tour Hollywood back lots, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the San Francisco Bay Area, and a contemporary re-imagining of the party-pier amusement parks of 1940s Santa Monica - all without ever leaving the convenience of a single city block in downtown Anaheim. You can also pay a visit to Radiator Springs at Cars Land, the themed land dedicated to the hit movie Cars. Thrill rides here go above and beyond the kiddie fare at neighboring Disneyland, and the concession stands offer beer, wine and margaritas. The "oceanfront" bandstand plays host to classic California mainstays like the Beach Boys and Kool & The Gang, solidifying the location's reputation as a theme park destination truly fun for the whole family.
It is no exaggeration to say that Disneyland Resort is one of the best-known attractions in the whole world. For 45 years, Disneyland Park was the only theme park at this site, and is the better known of the two amusement parks at Disneyland Resort. While the original Disneyland is about rides and fun Disney characters, the Disney California Adventure, built-in 2001, recreates the popular sights of California. Disneyland Resort also houses three resort hotels and the famous entertainment, dining and shopping district known as Downtown Disney. The hours of operation vary for the two theme parks, restaurants and shops. One-day passes are available, but the three or five-day passes are recommended for what is sure to be an experience of a lifetime.
Disney's magic kingdom, the Disneyland Park in Anaheim is the original theme park; a labor of love designed by Walt Disney himself, the only one of the franchise to have been built directly under his auspicious care. Since its grand opening in 1955, this theme park has come to be renown as the place where dreams come true; where ogres, dragons and wizards roam, dazzling visions of the future are realized, and all are invited to experience a realm born of an imagination that knows no bounds. Expanded over the years, this whimsical wonderland now includes eight playfully themed lands like Critter Country and Mickey's Toontown. Here, fairytale princesses and Mickey Mouse greet visitors of every age, welcoming them into a world where magical lands are brought to life and there are thrilling experiences galore.
Balboa Island seems to have the best of both worlds: a lazy, relaxing island atmosphere, yet only minutes away from the mainland. From festivals and parades to chic boutiques and restaurants that run the culinary gamut, this man-made island offers the ideal vacationing spot. Boats and cruise ships ply through clear blue waters, while the sprawling promenade is lined with a melange of stately, waterfront cottages. Its sleek boulevards are ornamented with soaring palm trees, whereas a string of attractions like markets, patio-fronted coffee shops, quaint and cozy bookshops, and the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society lend it a touristy appeal. The island is also a stronghold of adventurous water sports like surfing and offers something for everyone, no matter your interests!
The Port Theater was one of the first major attractions for Newport Beach, opened in 1949 before the city's airport and shopping mall overshadowed this cultural institution. Controversy over midnight screenings forced the theater to shut down in the mid-90s, and after fifteen years of stagnation in the midst of property disputes, this Corona del Mar icon has been given a new lease on life as well as a complete face lift. Stylish modern decor retains the original spirit of the theater, the theater's iconic sign once more lit up over Pacific Coast Highway. Following current luxury theater trends, the theater offers gourmet food and beverages which guests can enjoy during the movie such as upscale popcorn, bottled beverages and coffee drinks as well as "Port Dogs", the theater's signature franks. An important part of this picture-perfect beach town's small village charm, The Port Theater is nothing short of an essential institution.
Balboa Island Ferry has been running between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula since 1919. The quarter-mile ride across Newport Harbor takes about five minutes and saves passengers up to a half-hour drive around the harbor and bridge. Aside from convenience, the ferry also provides a kind of affordable luxury to those who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to be in the most picturesque scene of Newport Beach and cruises on luxury yachts and sail boats. The vintage ferryboats, double-ended wooden boats built in the 1950s, also add unexpected uniqueness to the experience. The service runs every five minutes and each boat takes up to three vehicles and 75 passengers.