The day before we left California, we decided to spend a bit of time exploring the LA area. We could have easily spent another four or five days just in the Disneyland Resort area, but it seemed like a shame to miss out on all that SoCal had to offer!
There is an Alamo Rent-a-Car right at the Disneyland Resort, which offers extremely reasonable rates for a day or two of driving while you are there. We managed to rent a mid-size sedan for about $25 for the day, plus a bit extra for insurance. It’s well worth the cost, and gasoline is cheap enough in SoCal that you won’t feel the hit too much in your wallet when you have to fill up at the end!
You really can’t go to SoCal without stopping by some kind of aquarium. I am not comfortable with SeaWorld due to their captive orca and dolphins, but there are still a number of world-class aquariums in the area even without the SeaWorld experience. Our first stop was Long Beach, a suburb of LA, where we enjoyed the Aquarium of the Pacific. An aquarium is something that Calgary is really missing – there is something absolutely magical about watching the fish and sea mammals swim by that can keep you entertained for hours. The Aquarium of the Pacific also has a couple shark and ray touch tanks which are low enough to the ground for little ones to be able to reach, penguins, sea lions and seals, otters, and a vast array of wonderful fish. I highly recommend it!
We also took the opportunity on Saturday to visit some local malls, grocery stores, and check out some regional fast food. A fun game on vacation is pointing out the things that are the same and different between Calgary and your holiday spot – there are lots of different things to see and do in the LA area that can keep you and your little ones occupied.
Checking out of the Disneyland Hotel was quick and easy. On the morning of your arrival, an invoice of charges to your account is hung on your bedroom door – if everything seems okay, you can simply check out using the phone in your room. The shuttle back to LAX leaves from the hotel every hour, on the hour, and the friendly bus driver will drop you off right at your terminal.
Although my husband and I are adults, we had an incredibly magical time. There is something for everyone at Disneyland, regardless of their age. On the plane ride home, we were already planning our next trip!