Non-Disney Experiences in Southern California

The Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth and a wonderful vacation destination. When my family visits Disneyland in Southern California we sometimes like to do non-Disney activities as well. (Gasp! I know) For those of you that want to explore the area and do some fun non-Disney things on your next Disneyland trip, check out my list!

  • Universal Studios Hollywood-For an action-packed day (or 2), head over to Universal Studios Hollywood. Located just over an hour away from Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood offers thrilling rides and shows, a real working movie studio, some great shops and restaurants, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

  • Knott’s Berry Farm-Fun is always in season at Knott’s Berry Farm! There’s something for everyone at this theme park; rides for all ages, live entertainment, delicious dining, and a variety of shopping opportunities. Knott’s Berry Farm is also known for its scrumptious boysenberry pie and famous chicken dinner. The park is only about a 20 minute drive from the Disneyland Resort. Their annual Boysenberry Festival is coming up this Spring! It runs March 16-April 8, and is not to be missed!

  • Discovery Cube-The Discovery Cube is a great experience for families with younger kids. This children’s science museum will inspire and educate your children. There are so many interactive stations for you and your kids to experience and explore. This museum is only a few minutes away from the Disneyland Resort.

  • Beach-When vacationing in Southern California, my family loves to take a day to visit the beach! It’s a great, and mostly free, way to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of theme parks. Our favorite beach to play at is Huntington Beach. It’s not far from the Disneyland Resort, about a 30-45 minute drive, and offers fun activities and great restaurants.

  • LEGOLAND-Located in Carlsbad, California, just over an hour away from the Disneyland Resort, is the LEGOLAND California Resort. Everything is awesome at this resort with 3 parks; the LEGOLAND theme park, LEGOLAND Water Park, and SEA LIFE Aquarium. This is a great resort for families with children ages 2 to 12 and offers more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. The SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 living creatures and incorporates LEGO models into a child’s voyage to the depths of the ocean. The LEGOLAND Water Park has more than seven slides, sandy beaches and a unique Build-A-Raft River. Opening this summer is the new LEGO City: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride. If you have a LEGO lover in your life, be sure to check out this resort!

  • Griffith Observatory-Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos! Look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. Admission to the Observatory and grounds is always free! There’s also some great hiking areas around the Observatory.

  • SeaWorld-SeaWorld is an entertaining park with lots of fun shows, ways to interact with animals, and some thrilling rides. They have some of the best aquariums in San Diego. SeaWorld also rescues sea life and is a big supporter of conservation. Did you know that SeaWorld’s rescue program has benefited more than 25,000 animals? Not only is this park fun and entertaining, it’s educational as well! The brand new Electric Eel roller coaster opens this summer as well.

  • Zoo-If you have younger children, or someone in your family that loves animals, take a day and visit a zoo! There are a few different zoos not far from the Disneyland Resort. The San Diego Zoo is just over an hour and a half from Disneyland and is a great way to spend one of your vacation days. There are so many great experiences at the San Diego Zoo. From Inside Look Tours to Animal Encounters, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Southern California is a wonderful vacation destination! For help with booking your next family trip, contact me at My services are complimentary and I will do my best to find the right trip for you and your family!



My name is Sara Solberg and I live in Alaska with my husband and 3 children. We love traveling, especially to Disney destinations! I am a Travel Agent and LuLaRoe fashion retailer.

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