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Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm
Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm have been the entertainment anchors of Anaheim and all of inland Orange County since opening amid orange groves and farmland in the middle of the 20th century. Each is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and fun-based entertainment options that survive and often thrive in the shadows of these two popular amusement parks. Though they share similar humble beginnings (not to mention quirky founders with revolutionary ideas), the parks today operate in different stratospheres with their own unique personalities and charms.
Disneyland, with its three park-adjacent hotels and downtown promenade, is by far the bigger and shinier powerhouse. Walking down Main Street, U.S.A. with Sleeping Beauty Castle straight ahead, you really will feel like you've landed on one of the happiest places on earth. Trolleys cling-clang merrily beside you, little girls skip down the thoroughfare in princess gowns while the sounds of peppy, hummable tunes float through the air. You can't help but let your inner child escape for a few hours, or days. When you need a dose of adulthood, visit Johnny Depp's rock-star pirate, Jack Sparrow, on the new and improved Pirates of the Caribbean ride, or head over to California Adventure for a breathtaking ride on Soarin' Over California or a wine flight and hand-sliced prosciutto at the Wine Country Trattoria.
A 10-minute drive away, Knott's Berry Farm is Disney's louder, somewhat rowdier neighbor. Before even passing through the gate, you'll hear the gleeful screams of people being pulled and suspended and twisted into oblivion on the park's many high-tech thrill rides. Although the park seems to increasingly focus on bigger, better, and faster rides, there's a softer, cornier side as well. This includes the skill-based carnival games that draw cheering crowds, Camp Snoopy's pint-size kiddie rides, and the Western Trails Museum, home to coins and guns from the Old West, menus from the original chicken dinner restaurant, and Mrs. Knott's antique button collection.
Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm at a Glance
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