Since most people who travel to California have Los Angeles and Disneyland on the top of their must-visit places, I thought it would be fitting to create a handy guide to “Disney in LA,” all the places in LA that are related to Disney. Whenever I travel, I always find Disney along my trip because let’s face it, the Disney brand is everywhere.
Without further ado, here are places in the city of angels where you’ll encounter some good, old Disney magic.
The El Capitan Theatre
This theatre is absolutely beautiful from the coffered ceiling to the show curtains. It’s also home to the fabulous Wurlitzer Organ! They usually have a special pre-show experience before showings like Nick and Judy showing up before Zootopia or a Disneyland jazz band playing before The Jungle Book. Don’t let the old-fashioned vibe fool you; this theatre has the most advanced technology. You can easily find parking at the Hollywood and Highland parking structure which can be validated by the theatre. Keep an eye on their calendar for special events.
Parking address: 1755 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
Disney Studio Store and Ghirardhelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
After your movie showing, why not stop by the adjoining Ghirardhelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop for a classic Ghirardhelli sundae? Around the store, you’ll find unique items like limited-edition El Capitan trading pins. This is also a great opportunity to stock up on your Ghirardhelli chocolate in case of a zombie apocalypse.
Disneyland Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Did you know that Disneyland has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? It’s right at the entrance of the Ghirardhelli Shop!
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Across the street is Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where the original Star Wars film had its premiere! There is also a replica of this theatre at Hollywood Studios in WDW, which serves as the facade of The Great Movie Ride attraction. Of course, you can’t forget about the famous handprints of celebrities such as Disney’s very own Julie Andrews.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
If you’re into amazing architecture, music, and Disney, then this is the place for you. Coincidentally, my first and only time seeing a concert here was during a 5th grade field trip in 2003, when the concert hall first opened. Haley Joel Osment was narrating the orchestra’s performance of Peter and the Wolf. It was such a surreal experience listening to a kind of music I’ve never heard performed live before. Here’s the press release to prove it. I’ve been dying for another chance to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform, but for now I’ll admire the dazzling architecture from afar. (There’s also a wonderful balcony that overlooks Downtown LA that is a must-see!)
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Check out their calendar for upcoming events.
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
The merry-go-round that started it all. This is the merry-go-round that Walt Disney used to take his children to and inspired him to create Disneyland.
Hours: Sat & Sun 11am-5pm
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
This is a place that has been on my list for a while, but I have still not had a chance to visit it. You might be wondering. Did Walt have a barn? Yes, he did. It was the operating center and workshop for “Carolwood Pacific Railroad,” the miniature railroad Walt built at his home. The barn was moved to the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum and now serves as a museum of sorts and a testament to Walt’s love of trains.
Hours: Third Sunday of each month from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, weather permitting. Admission and parking are free.
5202 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
After visiting all these sites, perhaps you didn’t know a certain Disney trivia fact or are now very inspired by Walt Disney’s determination to succeed in Hollywood. One of the best parts about traveling is learning something new and being inspired. Happy exploring!
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