San Diego - Disneyland Add On
Disney's Southern California Magic Package gives you the flexibility to combine your stay in Disneyland with a stay in San Diego at one of many beautiful resorts including the Hotel Del Coronado. Get a no obligation Disneyland Package Quote.
San Diego Overview
by Kelsie Johnson
I’ve visited Southern California many times over the years. Even after hearing ‘you MUST visit San Diego’ a hundred or so times, it took a business meeting to get me there for the first time back in the early 90’s. I mean come on, was there really any reason to visit Southern California other than Disneyland? (So I thought). Even though most of our time was spent in conference rooms during that first visit , I saw enough to know it was time to actually plan a family vacation to San Diego. Since then, I’ve visited several times and have added it to my list of "must do's" when in California.
Many aren’t aware that San Diego is California’s 2nd largest city. It took a lot of convincing (and research) for me to believe this since San Diego has such a quaint small town feel. Located next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean with over 70 miles of coastline, world-class attractions and beaches, San Diego also boasts an idea climate with average temperatures in the 70’s, which is quite a relief from the heat of Los Angeles or Orlando.
San Diego offers a variety of attractions that will appeal to almost everyone. At the top of our list is the world renowned ‘San Diego Zoo’. The very cute and sometimes strange animals that appear on the Tonight Show come from here. The zoo has over 100 acres of exhibits that house thousands of animals.
The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, just north of downtown San Diego. We spent a day here but could have easily used two days to visit, still feeling as if we've missed something. When you go, wear your walking shoes because you are going to want to see it all.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located 35 miles north of San Diego (between San Diego and Disneyland. Our visit here was the reason why I had to explain a bit of the ‘facts of life’ to a 5 year old (keep reading, an explanation follows).
Some compare the ‘Safari Park’ to Disney World’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ but in my opinion, I enjoyed the San Diego version more. They offer a lot of the same type of attractions but their ‘Wgasa Bush Line Railway’ ride takes you through remote Africa and Asia enclosures to see the animals as you've never seen them before (and boy do they). And now for the rest of the story……..
We were enjoying our air conditioned ride with my 5 year old pointing out every animal she saw. We came around a corner to an enclosed exhibit. The tour guide explained this was where they keep the animals who were ‘expecting’ (you may see where I’m going here.) The guide decided to stop and point out the HUGE female Hippopotamus who was expecting any day. Well, just as we were about to pull away (you got it), she decided to give birth right there in front of 100 men, women and CHILDREN! Personally I thought it was awesome until my 5 year old asked me how she did that. Needless to say, I quickly pointed out the antelope on the other side of the tram and off we went. But at 5 years old her curiosity got the best of her and this is where my daughter had her first and HIGH LEVEL ‘facts of life’ talk.
Another attraction that I enjoyed more than the Florida counterpart was San Diego’s ‘Sea World’. Located in Mission Bay , Sea World is easily accessible from any part of the city. Again we spent one day here but could have easily planned more. Rides such as ‘Journey to Atlantis’ (this is a great ride), ‘Wild Arctic’ and ‘Shipwreck Rapids’ and attractions like ‘Shamu’s Happy Harbor’ and ‘Shark Encounter’ make ‘Sea World’ a must see when visiting San Diego.
‘Legoland California’ located 30 minutes north of San Diego is cashing in on the current ‘Pirate’ craze with it’s own swashbuckling adventure ‘Pirate Shores’. New pirate treasures include ‘Splash Battle’ where, behind your own water cannon, you’ll navigate through pirate-infested waters. ‘Swabbies Deck’ for the younger kids is full of surprise water jets, fountains and cannons. Soak-N-Sail has over 60 interactive activities that spray hundreds of gallons of water on unsuspecting pirates.
Pirates and scallywags can also feast at their choice of two pirate themed meals. 'Buccaneers Breakfast’ and ‘Pirates Feast’ are offered for an additional charge with an admission ticket. Your kids and you will be amazed by the Lego exhibits here not to mention the over 50 rides, shows and attractions.
To the south, there's Mexico, featuring various towns along the border and coastline, including Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada. Visiting here can be a challenge so make sure you do your homework and are prepared.
With over 6,400 dining options, 92 golf courses, beachfront resorts, spas, gaming, festivals, museums, art galleries and rich military history it’s no wonder San Diego is one of the most visited cities in Southern California.
- Special menu items for New Year's Eve at Disneyland - Many of the restaurants of the Disneyland Resort will be offering special menu items for New Year's Eve, including a Seafood Pot Pie at Blue Bayou and Surf & Turf at Carnation Café.
- Jerry Bruckheimer book signing at Disneyland Park - Award-winning producer Jerry Bruckheimer will be appearing for a special signing of "Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes | Four Decades of Filmmaking" by Michael Singer on December 14th.
- Elf Days at California Adventure - Santa's elves are looking for recruits to join their ranks 12/09/13 through 12/15/13. Head to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail where you can test your bravery with the Jingle Bell Bridge, tackle Present Tracking or learn the secret Elf Handshake.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Jonathan Groff from FROZEN
- VIDEO: "In Summer" from Disney's "Frozen" in "World of Color - Winter Dreams" - "In Summer," sung by Josh Gad from Walt Disney Animation's 53rd animated feature "Frozen," has been been adapted for the brand new "World of Color - Winter Dreams" at Disney California Adventure.
- Blog - Brewing Now: Joffrey’s Disney Parks Collection of Coffees
- VIDEO: "A Christmas Fantasy" Parade at Disneyland - Join Mickey and the Disneyland Characters for a celebration of Christmas along Main Street USA. This parade is a yearly tradition, delighting guests of all ages as they enjoy the antics of Disney characters dancing alongside gingerbread men, snowflakes, and other Christmas characters.
- VIDEO: Santa Talks Holidays at Disneyland Resort 2013 - Join Tom Bell, host of the DIS Unplugged Disneyland Edition, as he speaks with Santa about all of the holiday happenings at Disneyland Resort.
- VIDEO: Making Tamales at Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure 2013 - Join Tom Bell, host of the DIS Unplugged Disneyland Edition, while he learns about Viva Navidad! and how to make tamales from Rubia, a pastry chef at Disneyland Resort.
- VIDEO: "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen" in "World of Color - Winter Dreams" - "Let It Go," sung by broadway star Idina Menzel from Walt Disney Animation's 53rd animated feature "Frozen," has been been adapted for the brand new "World of Color - Winter Dreams" at Disney California Adventure. "World of Color" is the nighttime colored fountain show at DCA and has been performed since 2010. "Winter Dreams" is the first full show variation.
- VIDEO: World of Color Fountain Controls at Disney California Adventure 2013 - Join Tom Bell, host of the DIS Unplugged Disneyland Edition, as he speaks with Rene from Disney Parks and Resorts about the technology behind World of Color - Winter Dreams, the nighttime fountain show at Disney California Adventure.
- Donate to Toys For Tots at the Disneyland Resort - Donate a new, unwrapped toy at several locations throughout Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotels from 12/1 through 12/14.
- VIDEO: Haunted Mansion Holiday 2013 at Disneyland - Jack Skellington takes over the Haunted Mansion to bring Christmas to Halloweentown in Haunted Mansion Holiday, the seasonal overlay that is celebrating its 13th year at Disneyland Resort.
- VIDEO: World of Color - Winter Dreams - For the Christmas season, Disney California Adventure Park presents 'World of Color - Winter Dreams' a brand new holiday version of World of Color starring Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad), the lovable snowman from Disney's "Frozen," a Toy Story Nutcracker sequence and a special intro featuring the Honor Choir.
- Aulani named Best for Families by Fodor's Travel - Aulani was recently named "Best for Families" by Fodor's Travel in their "Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013" list.
- VIDEO: Disneyland's 'Jingle Cruise' Queue and Full POV Ride-Through - The Jungle Cruise Skippers have grown homesick for the holidays, so they've added holiday cheer to the queue and boathouse with decorations that have been mailed to them from home (plus a few they've created themselves). Other changes include new jokes, boat names and music loop in the queue.
- TubaChristmas returns to the Disneyland Resort - Hundreds of tuba players will gather in Downtown Disney to perform holiday music on December 21st at 1:00pm.
- Blog - Review: “Frozen”
- Blog - Trader Sam’s Mixes Up Holiday Drinks
- VIDEO: Olaf's Ice Rink in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort - This year at Downtown Disney, the ice rink created for the holiday season is based off of the 53rd Disney Animated Film "Frozen". Olaf's Ice Rink allows guests to lace up skates and hit the ice, but if you're not adventurous then you can do some shopping at the holiday themed stands.
- VIDEO: Christmas in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure - Seasons Speedings! Cars Land, the popular area at Disney California Adventure based off of the Disney-Pixar film "Cars", has received a holiday overlay making the streets of Radiator Springs merrier than ever.
- Limited Time Magic: Jingle Cruise poster giveaway - Celebrate the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park with a complimentary mini poster while supplies last.
- Blog - Disney’s Newest Animated Feature “Frozen” Flurries Into Theme Parks On Both Coasts
- Knott's Berry Farm announces major plans for 2014 - Knott's Berry farm is planning a major refurbishment for the Calico Mine Ride beginning in January, plus new rides and an entire restoration to celebrate Camp Snoopy's 30th Anniversary.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE: Nikon becomes the Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- Disneyland announces more lengthy closures for early 2014 - In addition to the 4-month closure for Alice in Wonderland, the Disneyland Resort has also announced a 8-month closure for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and a nearly 4-month closure for Soarin' Over California.
- VIDEO: Toy Story Nutcracker from "World of Color - Winter Dreams" - Toy Story Nutcracker is a special sequence created by Pixar specifically for "World of Color - Winter Dreams", the nighttime fountain show at Disney California Adventure. Your favorite Toy Story characters dance to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite songs including March of the Wooden Soldier, Trepak, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Chinese Dance and Dance of the Flowers.
- Viva Navidad menu takes over Paradise Garden Grill - A special Viva Navidad menu is being served at California Adventure's Paradise Garden Grill, featuring Street Style Tacos, Chicken Mole and Torta al Pastor.
- VIDEO: Josh Gad - Voice of Olaf in "Frozen" - Interview - Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in "Frozen" and "World of Color - Winter Dreams" and Tony Award nominee for "The Book of Mormon", takes a few minutes to talk about how important it was to work on a Disney film that led to a theme park experience and the music behind it all.
- VIDEO: Believe...In Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular - For the Christmas season, Disneyland Park presents 'Believe...In Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular,' a holiday fireworks show over Sleeping Beauty Castle which ends with magical snowfall over Main Street U.S.A.
- Firefighters called for smoke at Disneyland
Smoke was seen coming from a Disneyland storage facility.
- Billy Hill and the Hillbillies leaving Disneyland Park in January
20-year veterans of the park, the group will hold its final performance January 6, 2014.
- Couple gets married on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride
A Disney-loving couple held a secret wedding on Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Disney's Jungle Cruise getting a holiday makeover
The Jungle Cruise at both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park will be transforming into the "Jingle Cruise" this holiday season.
- The View to broadcast live from Disneyland in November
The show will tape November 18-22.