California Adventure is the newer addition to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Opened on February 8, 2001, California Adventure condenses all that is wonderful about the State of California into a fifty-five acre Disney theme park.
California Adventure is organized into five different lands that represent the major landmarks of California: Sunshine Plaza, Hollywood Plaza Backlots, The Golden State, A Bug's Land, and Paradise Pier.
A replica of San Fransisco's Golden Gate Bridge marks the entry into the Sunshine Plaza.
A replica of the California Zephyr reminds tourists that the railroad is what opened up the West to American migration. The California Zephyr was a 2,438 mile long passenger train that operated until 1970. The Zephyr ran from Chicago to California and was the longest and perhaps most scenic Amtrak train in the United States.
"Soarin' Over California" is a ride that visitors should definitely put on their "must do" list. During the simulated hang-gliding ride, guests fly over some of the most spectacular scenery California has to offer. Tourists get a taste of San Fransisco, Lake Tahoe, the Redwoods, Monterrey, Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Anza Borrego State Park, San Diego, Malibu, and Los Angeles.
The restaurants nearby pay tribute to the importance of the aviation industry to the State of California's economy.
Hollywood Plaza Backlots is designed to make guests feel as though they are exploring the movie sets in Hollywood and walking down the famous Los Angeles neighborhood.
We always love watching the Muffet Vision 3-D show in an old-fashioned theater.
A Monsters, Inc. ride is a fun thing to go on with kids.
The main attraction is the Tower of Terror: a free-fall ride that falls the 199 feet from the top of this fictional 1939 Hollywood Hotel.
This mosaic mural is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in Los Angeles at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Golden State area features California's beautiful natural treasures. Grizzly Peak Recreation Area recreates the majestic Sierra Nevada and the northern coastal Redwood forest.
Sequoia National Park on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California has giant Sequoia trees that you can walk through like this one.
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a fun place to walk and experience the feeling of being in a forest. The sights, sounds, and even smell of the forest makes you forget you are in Anaheim.
The main attraction of this area is the Grizzly River Run: a rafting trip that is guaranteed to get you soaked.
Not many things in a Disney Park are real, but this slice of the Millennium Tree is an actual Redwood that lived for more than 1,000 years. The tags give reference to historical events that happened during the life of this Redwood which sprouted in 818 A.D. and fell in 1937.
The Pacific Wharf area replicates Monterrey's Cannery Row, made famous in John Steinbeck's novel from the Great Depression.
It also resembles San Fransisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
I recommend taking a tour of the Boudin Bakery so you can learn how the famous San Fransisco sourdough bread is made and then to get a bread bowl of soup afterwards. You will feel exactly as though you have been transported to Pier 39.
The Bay Area replicates the beauty and uniqueness of San Fransisco's architecture.
A short movie called Golden Dreams featuring Whoppi Goldberg plays in this theatre that is a replica of the Palace of Fine Arts. The show pays homage to all the immigrants throughout the history of the State that have made California the diverse place it is today.
Paradise Pier is an amusement park based on the Santa Monica boardwalk.
From the pipe organ music that plays at the King Triton's Carousel of the Sea
To the carnaval-like boardwalk games
Everything about the Paradise Pier shouts fun and excitement.
The Sun Wheel is perhaps the most photogenic feature of the Park, especially at sunset. We always enjoy riding the Sun Wheel and getting a fantastic view of the entire Disneyland Resort.
California Screamin' is a fast-paced roller coaster that boasts the longest upside down ride in the world.
The Orange Stinger is a flying swing ride that looks like the giant orange stands that used to greet traveler's on Route 66 as soon as they reached Southern California.
The giant dinosaur is a smaller replica of "Dinny the Apato" that is in Cabazon off of Interstate 10 on the way to Palm Springs.
Speaking of road-side attractions, California Adventure pays tribute to the original Mother Road, Route 66 that allowed people from all over the United States to travel to California and enjoy the Golden State.
The Disney-Pixar movie "Cars" has renewed interest in Route 66.
If it has always been your dream to visit all the majestic places in California, but you only happen to have one day in which to spend, I highly recommend a trip to California Adventure.