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Disney California Adventure

The Second Park at Disneyland Resort

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Disney California Adventure
© Arthur Levine, 2012. Licensed to About.com.
When it first opened in 2001, Disney California Adventure was something of a disappointment and a misstep by the Mouse. Built on the cheap (by Disney standards) and lacking in both charm and compelling reasons to spend a whole day, it languished and paled in comparison to its bigger, older sister, Disneyland. Acknowledging that something needed to be done, Disney embarked on an ambitious expansion of Disney California Adventure that pumped an estimated $1.1-billion worth of Imagineering magic into the park. Completed in 2012, the additions and improvements were a hit. The second gate at the resort earned its mouse ears and was able to finally take its rightful place adjacent to the grande dame of theme parks.

Admission Info and Tickets

The resort offers single-park tickets for one day or park-hopping tickets with access to both Disneyland and DCA for one day up to five days. Park-hopper tickets must be used within 13 days of first use. Reduced price for children, ages 3 to 9. 2 and under are free. Discounted tickets may be available online.

Originally, DCA based its overarching theme on California -- the state and the state of mind. That is still true, but the adventure at the post-expansion park focuses as much on "Disney" as "California." The company's characters, especially its Pixar stars, are featured as well as Walt Disney, the man who started it all. The story is established, and the tone is set just beyond the front gate as guests enter Buena Vista Street. It is designed, with loving attention to detail, to evoke circa-1920s Los Angeles, the era when an eager Walt Disney arrived with his prescient hopes and dreams. Perhaps the most popular spot at DCA is Cars Land, based on the popular Pixar film. The featured attraction is the thrilling dark ride, Radiator Springs Racers.

Other Highlights

Dining

There are plenty of places to eat in the park as well as at Disneyland, at Downtown Disney, and at the hotels.

Fastpass

  • Check DCA's Fastpass attractions and learn how to make the most of the Fastpass program.
  • Consider a multi-day pass so that you can shuttle between Disneyland Park and DCA.

See the Park. Original About.com Videos.

Christmas and the Holidays at Disneyland
Info about the resort's holiday events.

New for 2013

  • Limited Time Magic
    Find out about the special events throughout 2013 at the park, known as Limited Time Magic.

New for 2012

Official Site

Disney California Adventure

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