Disney California Adventure Theme Park and Tickets
Disney California Adventure Tickets
When many people think about heading to Disneyland, they might forget about the additional park at the resort that they can attend for extra fun. However, California Adventure is just as exciting as the main park, providing character meetings, great rides and fantastic shows.
Before you get started with shopping for tickets, it’s important to have a bit of information about the park. That way, you’ll know what to look forward to when you step through the gates.
When the California Adventure Park began, it was intended to provide the kind of educational experience that many find at EPCOT. However, the creators sought to provide information on the unique landmarks and experiences that can be had in California. From the unique culture to the industry and landscape, there’s a lot that makes California a truly unique place.
Regardless of the intention, the opening of the park wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm. The concept seemed under-developed and the park was lacking the attraction of the main Disneyland park. However, over time it has been developed into a more personal experience, depicting Disney’s life from the time he reached California.
In modern times, the park is a popular attraction with a range of different areas based on landmarks and locations in California. This is also where you can find your favorite Pixar characters.
Ticket Information And Tips
Generally speaking, you get tickets for California Adventure in the same places that you’ll get tickets for the Disneyland main park. Additionally, you can opt for tickets that allow you into either park whenever you choose.
Standard Ticket Information
There are a few things worth knowing if you’re planning a trip in the park. Generally, you can find the most updated ticket prices on the Disneyland website, but a few additional pieces of information may prove useful to you.
To begin with, you’ll be able to purchase tickets for anywhere from one to five days. When you choose to go for three or more days, you’ll get a Magic Morning where you can enter the main park an hour early. Furthermore, there are different kinds of tickets that you can choose from, including 1-Park Per Day tickets and Park Hopper tickets.
If you’re planning to go for a single day, it can help to be aware that the ticket price for that day will vary depending on the projected demand for tickets between low-demand days, regular days and high-demand days, so make sure to plan accordingly!
MaxPass and FastPass
In addition to standard ticket prices, features like MaxPass and FastPass may be useful to you. These are optional additions that you can choose to make use of or not, depending on what you’re looking to get from your overall experience.
The MaxPass allows you to use an application for easily getting FastPasses for rides and events, ordering food and freely downloading and save PhotoPass photos. This can help with saving on the photos you decide to purchase and make it easier to get them home without having to carry physical copies around the park.
Additionally, FastPasses allow you to skip the wait within various timeframes. Essentially, you grab a FastPass ticket for a specific ride with a range of time printed on it. When you return to that ride during that time, you can get onto the ride without having to wait in the larger line. You can also use FastPasses for some shows, such as Fantasmic!
Themes in the Park
Just like in the Disneyland Park, California Adventure is broken up into a number of different themed areas. However, you’ll find that the themes here are a little bit different from Disneyland.
Developed with inspiration from real California landmarks, Grizzly Peak is one of the main areas within the California Adventure park. It’s also home to Grizzly River Run, Grizzly Peak Airfield and the Redwood Challenge Trail.
When you’re visiting on a hot day and need to cool off, the Grizzly River Run ride is the ideal place to do it. Afterwards, you can enjoy exploring the entire world on in the airfield on the Soarin’ Around the World attraction. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the park’s unique atmosphere.
Just like the other themed areas in the California Adventure park, Paradise Gardens are based on a real time and place. More specifically, the area is developed to look like the boardwalks in California during Victorian times.
This waterside space includes a number of delightful attractions including the Silly Symphony Swings, Golden Zephyr, Goofy’s Sky School, Jumpin’ Jellyfish and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. It’s a lovely area, perfect for when you want to enjoy a unique area beside calm waters. While it may not be one of the most well-known spaces in the park, it’s certainly an enjoyable one.
Those with children who are fans of Mater and Lightning McQueen will be right at home in Cars Land. The area is themed after the children’s movies, sporting familiar faces in the forms of characters, shops and restaurants.
Here, you can find the Cozy Cone Motel as well as Fillmore’s Taste-In. Additionally, your whole family can enjoy a ride through Radiator Springs, or head to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree or Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters. When you feel like getting some shopping in, you can also head to Sarge’s Surplus Hut or Ramone’s House of Body Art.
Buena Vista Street
It was a different time when Walt Disney made his way to California to make it big, and the landscape was an altogether different place. As a result, this area is modeled after California in the 1920s and 1930s.
That means you’ll be able to find symbols of many different kinds that are attributed to Disney’s early career. That includes spaces like Oswald’s, which represents Disney’s first character to have his own show, Storied Stores, the Red Car Trolley and The Carthay Circle Theater, Restaurant and Lounge. This is also where you’ll find the famous Storyteller’s Statue.
Pixar Pier is the place to be when you’re looking to play games and meet up with your favorite Pixar characters like Woody, Buzz and friends, The Incredibles and a whole lot more. This area is made to be reminiscent of the boardwalks along the coastline of California, giving it a special style.
Here, you’ll find four unique areas divided by their themes. These include the Toy Story Boardwalk, Inside Out Headquarters, Incredibles park and Pixar Promenade. This is also a fantastic place to enjoy fair-style games and feel the wind in your hair as you ride the Incredicoaster.
When you’re looking for a great meal, this is the ideal place to be. That goes double if you’re looking for some tasty sweets or a nice glass of wine. You’ll also get the great experience of California’s Fisherman’s Wharf right there in the park.
Here, you’ll find the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, the Lucky Fortune Cooker, Mendocino Terrace and the Blue Sky Cellar. On top of that, you can also go on a delightful bakery tour, which is just perfect for when you need a brief, calm break from the rides.
Made to look just like a working back-lot for a movie studio, Hollywood Land is a place all its own. This is where you’ll be able to meet your favorite Marvel heroes including Black Panther, Captain America and even Spiderman. That’s just a small part of what you’ll discover in this space based on Hollywood’s golden years.
Furthermore, you’ll also find some great spaces like the Animation Academy and go for a ride through the Monsters, Inc lair while helping to locate a rogue human who has entered the monster world. Don’t forget to enjoy all you can in Hollywood Land before moving onto the other areas in the park!
Most Popular Attractions
There are some fantastic rides in the California Adventure park. Whether you love speed, drops or water-filled rides, there’s truly something for everyone.
Grizzly River Run
One of the main attractions you’ll find in Grizzly Peak is the Grizzly River Run ride. This is the ideal ride to stop by when you’re visiting on a hot day, or just feel like enjoying a fun water-based ride. Once you and your family have loaded onto a huge raft fit for 8 people, off you’ll go down the rapids.
This exciting attraction combines moments of calm waters and thrilling drops. If you pay close attention, you’ll also be able to learn about the back story of the ride. Before you get going, you can also place all your important items in a locker so you won’t need to worry about them getting wet.
What better way to dry off after a ride down the rapids than with some serious speed? Once known as California Screamin,’ the Incredicoaster takes you on a ride following baby Jack-Jack over hills and through loops on this fun coaster.
Keep in mind that this is a ride a little more suited to older children and adults. It may be a little too intimidating for the little ones, but not to worry — there are plenty of rides in the area that they’ll love going on as they wait for older family members to enjoy their trip on the coaster.
Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Take a step out of the sun for a while to enjoy a fun-but-calming ride through Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Here, you’ll board a specially designed moving clam and travel through the scenes in the film.
That means you’ll get to see fantastic animatronic characters from The Little Mermaid, enjoy songs from the film and have a great overall time. It’s also worth knowing that while this ride is based under the sea, you won’t have to worry about getting wet in the slightest.
Radiator Springs Racers
For those who feel the need to experience the wind in their hair, there’s no better way to do it than by racing through Ornament Valley on your way to Radiator Springs. This popular ride is a great choice for adults and children alike, and it features fantastic scenes and an exciting ride.
Once you make it to Radiator Springs, you’ll be able to meet all of your favorite Cars characters including Mater, Lightning McQueen and a whole lot more. Keep in mind that this is a ride that can get very busy, so make sure to plan accordingly!
Soarin’ Around The World
If you’ve ever wanted to hang glide over all of the largest landmarks in the world without actually having to deal with the heights, this is the place to be. With a specially designed Imax screen and fun hang-glider style seats, this is the ideal ride when you want a fun experience.
Once you’re strapped in, you’ll get a fun ride over numerous interesting Earthly landmarks. Or, if you’ve gone at a special time, you may get to experience the ride as Soarin’ Over California, in which you’ll experience Californian landmarks and features. Either way, this is a fun ride that everyone should experience at least once.
Toy Story’s Midway Mania has been around for a long time, and for very good reason — on this ride, you’ll enter into a world filled with toys. Not only will you be able to enjoy Toy Story characters and scenes, but you also get to play a fun game as you ride along!
With your blaster gun in hand, you can virtually shoot objects in the scenes and gain points. By the time you get to the end, you’ll be able to find out who reached the top score. You may even decide that you want to go more than once just to see how high of a score you can get!
Once known as Twilight Zone’s Tower Of Terror, this ride has been adapted for a more modern, Guardians of the Galaxy-loving audience. Assist Rocket as he seeks to gain the freedom of his friends from the well-known collector, Taneleer Tivan.
Much like the Incredicoaster, this is a ride that is going to be more suited for older kids and adults. Due to large drops, it may be a bit too frightening for younger kids. That said, they are likely to still enjoy meeting their favorite heroes while they’re in the area!
History of California Adventure Park
As we mentioned above this park opened in 2001 as an expansion of Disneyland. This 72 acre expansion was known at WestCOT being named somewhat after the Epcot expansion that happened at Walt Disney World Resort. However, WestCOT was scrapped and executives decided to design a park that was based around California and the adventures and fun guests can experience around the state.
Opening day attractions included:
The Sun Wheel
Orange Stinger Swings
Bountiful Valley Farm
Soarin’ Over California
King Triton’s Carousel
This concept however proved to be a failure as projected attendance numbers were never met. The biggest complaints from guests were the lack of attractions compared to shops and the fact that the park was aimed towards adults and not children. From 2001 to 2008 the park continually replaced and added new attractions in an attempt to increase numbers.
Finally in 2008 a massive expansion began which made the park more “Disney” and saw the addition of Cars Land and a new Buena Vista Street. This expansion, which was completed in 2012 proved to be what the park needed and now see’s almost 50/50 attendance with Disneyland Park.
However there have been several new additions and re-do’s to the park that have drawn in crowds and will continue to do so for years to come. In 2017 Tower of Terror was redone into Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2018 Paradise Pier was redone into Pixar Pier and all the attractions re-themed. California Screamin’ was changed into the Incredicoaster. Toy Story Mania stayed the same. The ferris wheel was changed into Pixar Pal-Around and the carousel will be Jessie’s Critter Round-up. In 2019 a new addition to the Pier will be added called Inside Out: Emotional Whirlwind.
What was once a bug’s land is now gone and in place of it will be a Marvel Land opening Summer 2020. The land will include a new Spider-man attraction and include Guardians of the Galaxy and other yet to be announced attractions.
Best Places To Eat In California Adventure
Sooner or later, all that walking is definitely going to leave your stomach growling! When you need a bite to eat, make sure to stop by these areas to find the ideal fuel for your family.
This is the ideal location for those who are a fan of Pixar. Here, you can find a solid Pixar theme, complete with memorabilia, sketches and toys related to Pixar’s unique characters. Because of that, it’s a great place to look around as well as get a quick bite to eat.
Carthay Circle is great when you’re looking for fine dining. There are a number of different child-friendly dining areas in the Disneyland parks, but sometimes you just want somewhere you can enjoy a more grown-up atmosphere.
You can’t go wrong when you aim for a cuisine the whole family likes as well as something a little more friendly to your wallet. Smokejumper’s Grill is a great location for quick service, delicious food and friendly prices. You can even make use of mobile orders here, creating an even faster process.
When you enter Paradise Gardens, you’ll find a plethora of different dining options to fit what you’re looking for. Those who want to keep it simple can grab family-friendly bites at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, while adults may enjoy a quick trip to Bayside Brews.
Flo’s V8 Cafe
Car lovers will greatly enjoy stopping in at Flo’s V8 Cafe. It’s a fantastic little diner with quick service, lower prices and easy American food that offers something for everyone. From cheeseburgers to chicken tamales, there’s enough variety here for even the pickiest of children to find something they like.
When you head to the Pacific Wharf, you certainly won’t run out of food choices. Here, you’ll find meals, treats and drinks to fit whatever you’re looking for when you get there. When you want a full meal, you can make your way to the Pacific Wharf Cafe, Rita’s Baja Blenders or Sonoma Terrace.
In Hollywood Land, you’ll find some excellent options for quick meals. That means you can stop by Award Wieners when you want a truly unique and quick hot dog experience, or you can try out the Studio Catering Co. for nachos and tacos to suit all of your tastes.
What to See
A great way to give your feet a break is to stop by one of the many shows in the California Adventure Park. Here are just a few of the delightful shows you can enjoy currently.
Children who love Frozen will be ecstatic to see Frozen Live. This show is a fantastic way to mellow out after a long day of excitement. It portrays a shortened version of the movie, including all of your child’s favorite songs, characters and scenes in all their glory.
With some truly magnificent effects and costumes, this is an experience the whole family is going to enjoy. Make sure to check the schedule for your trip to find out when you can experience this show for yourself! It’s unlikely to go on forever, so make sure to catch the show while it’s still running!
Wonderful World of Color
The delightful sights and sounds of the Disneyland parks are immeasurable. While the main park often takes part in fireworks, California Adventure has a unique show all its own. This show involves colorful streams of water as well as a world surrounded in color.
As you watch the show, you’ll be able to enjoy the sounds of your favorite Disney moments throughout the years. It’s truly a wonderful experience that the whole family will enjoy before heading back to the hotel. It’s sure to bring out the child in everyone, regardless of age.
Guardians Of The Galaxy – Dance Off
Who doesn’t want to dance with their favorite heroes in the galaxy? In this show, children will be able to dance with Peter Quill and other Guardians to all of his favorite boombox tracks. It’s a perfect way for children to create fun memories and burn through any sugar-based energy they may have built up!
Additionally, make sure to watch out for a special Groot appearance, as he has a tendency to show up a little later in the event. This is also something that occurs multiple times a day, so you won’t have to worry too much about missing the event for the day if you’re somewhere else during one of the showtimes.
Tale of The Lion King – Limited Time!
This is another great theater performance that will bring unique light to one of our favorite stories, The Lion King. Here, several storytellers within Pride Rock will share their tales involving the Lion King characters we know and love. It’s truly a fantastic way to take a little break from walking and rides. You’ll also get to experience fantastic songs, both new and old, that relate to The Lion King overall.
How Many Days Will You Need Tickets?
Ultimately, the answer to this question is going to be based on the needs of your family and time you have available to spend within the park. That said, you can certainly have a more relaxed or fun-filled experience when you choose to head to the park for a longer period of time.
How Park Hopper Tickets Can Help
If you’re someone who wants to get the best possible value from the money you spend, Park Hopper tickets can help you to do that. Rather than remaining in just one park for the whole day, they provide you the opportunity to go wherever you want. This is especially helpful considering the parks can have different hours. Instead of having to stick to the hours of one park, you can switch to whichever park is open to start the fun early or keep it going into the evening.
Important Considerations When Purchasing Disneyland Tickets
It can be tempting to look for tickets anywhere you can, with the lowest possible prices. However, in order to stay safe and have the best experience, keep in mind these special tips!
Use Authorized Ticket Sellers Only
There are a number of places out there where you may find Disneyland Resort tickets at prices that seem too good to be true. However, many of these are unsafe and will leave you scammed out of your money and without viable tickets.
Consequently, you should only purchase from Disney directly and from authorized resellers like Get Away Today. If you find a reseller that you’re unsure about, please don’t hesitate to verify with Disney Customer Service to make sure you’re purchasing safely.
Familiarize Yourself With All Terms and Conditions
Before ordering your tickets, make sure you know all the details about tickets you are interested in. This includes transfer and refund policies, expiration dates and how you’ll receive them. In some cases they may be mailed, while in others you’ll need to pick them up when you reach the park.
The Benefits of Multi-Day Packages
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re looking at the number of days you should go. The first is that single-day ticket discounts are extremely rare, so you’re likely to pay the highest cost with them. In addition, choosing more days means you’re paying a lower ticket cost per person, per day.
It’s always a good idea to take advantage of discounts associated with younger children. Those who are under 3 years old don’t need a ticket at all, really reducing your costs. Additionally, children between 3 and 9 have a lower ticket cost than adult tickets, so make use of that when possible.
Find a Hotel Package or Bundle With Other Attractions
On top of going to the park for a higher number of days, you can also opt to bundle your ticket purchases with your hotel stay, or with other attractions in the area. This can be a great way to get some added savings on all fronts of your vacation.
Southern California Resident Discounts
For those who live within the Southern California area, discounts can be something to look forward to. On a yearly basis, the time from around January until May is considered to be low-demand. There are few longer school breaks for children, meaning fewer ticket purchases. Because of that, residents of the area can get special discounts to attend the park. Just keep in mind that you will need to prove you’re residents to make use of them.
Tips to Save on Disneyland Tickets Now
When you’re looking to save as much as possible, these tried-and-true tips are great ways to keep your wallet happy. Make sure to use them to your advantage as you shop for tickets!
Shop in Advance
Buying your tickets as early as possible is a great way to save money and stay prepared. This is especially true because some ticket sellers will allow you to make use of a layaway plan, therefore locking in great prices and paying for your tickets over time. Get Away Today is an example of a reseller that offers this possibility.
Get a 5-Day Bundle
Opting for 5 days will allow you to get the most from the park and receive the lowest ticket prices per person, per day. Just to clarify the difference, single day tickets can run as low as $104 for a single-day, 1-park per day ticket while a matching 5 day ticket brings the cost down to around $68 per day.
Use Get Away Today
Get Away Today is an authorized reseller that strives to offer the lowest possible prices on Disneyland Resort tickets. They regularly offer special deals and are often comparing their prices to competitors in the market, so that they can make sure to pass on the best possible savings to customers.
Opt For Park Hoppers
Park Hopper tickets give you more freedom to take in all of the entertainment and enjoy the rides as much as you please. It also means that you can use your Magic Morning to get into the main park before heading to California Adventure, or return to the main park when California Adventure is closed. That means more fun, and more value overall.
1-Day Ticket Tips
If you’re set on purchasing a 1-Day ticket only, it’s a fantastic idea to keep an eye on the demand for the day you’re planning to go. There’s a large difference between a “value” day and a “peak” day when it comes to cost. If you’re looking to save as much as possible, it’s best to aim for a “value” day with low demand and thinner crowds.
Consider an Annual Pass
If you’re someone who likes to visit the resort more regularly, an annual pass can be the perfect way to save money while doing it. The annual passes offer different tiers, which dictate the price you pay, the days you can get in and the kinds of savings you can get on souvenirs and food within the park.
Overall, California Adventure is the perfect addition to your Disney trip, and when you use Park Hopper tickets, you can visit it whenever you want. Don’t forget to consider this option when you’re looking to get the most value, and remember that Get Away Today is a great way to get all the tickets you need at fantastic prices.