When you're on vacation at the Disney resorts in Florida or California, every moment of every day can be filled with activities related to Disney. You can go to a Disney theme park. You can shop at Disney shopping centers, eat at Disney restaurants, rent a Disney babysitter so you can dance the night away at a Disney club. You can pay for everything with the wristband you receive at check-in, which is also the key to your hotel room and your ticket to amusement parks. These immersion holidays are known fondly by fans like Disney Bubble.
But what if you want to get out of this bubble? And if, unlike the rest of your group, would you be happier if you had never entered "The happiest place on Earth"? If you're staying in Orlando or Anaheim, can you have fun without filling the pockets of Mickey's ill-fitting red shorts? We sent some journalists to find out.
The sunny weather of Anaheim is its great attraction. This glorious climate has seduced the indigenous Tongva tribe, which is based near a village, and the 19th century Bavarian winemakers who gave the city its current name. He also attracted Harrison "Buzz" Price, an economist and consultant to the animator and owner of the Walt Disney studio.
Disney had an unusual idea: he wanted to build an entertainment complex centered on stories and families, contrary to what he considered the drunken and gloomy amusement parks of the time. The calculated traffic, the population growth and the proximity of the highways are calculated by the prices, and in 1953, they were established in 160 hectares of orange groves as an ideal site for a magical land maintained.
Fortunately for those who do not share the Disney vision, or who need a break in a 2,500-room complex with 2 parks, Anaheim has its own attractions. All are 10 minutes from Lyft or by bus from Anaheim Resort Transportation from Disneyland's main transportation hub.
Drop this Fred Flintstone turkey paw … For a good meal other than Mickey and Dole Whip starches, and cheaper items, visit downtown Anaheim. . Center Street Promenade is full of restaurants, including a Japanese bakery, a shop that sells giant Hungarian "chimney cakes" filled with ice cream and Pour Vida life flavor, a nice place with an "Anaheim Burger" taco to cut. breath. Anaheim Packing District, an elegant grocery store located in and around an old citrus processing warehouse, is located a few blocks on South Anaheim Boulevard, but still in the city center, and will delight cheese lovers . Grilled and gourmet delicacies. Dodge the Instagrammers and go to Urbana to eat some tacos with a lot of flavor or to Adya to eat small snacks in the streets of India.
(If you're too greedy, Center City also offers free trips around the neighborhood or FRAN, a shared electric van system that works with an application that allows passengers to reach specific delivery points in the area.)
Little Arabia, ten minutes west of Disneyland, is a bustling stretch of restaurants and strip markets on Brookhurst Street. You can take the bus 35 along the main street and down the stairs to enjoy the dish of the same name in the Falafel or bouza de Kareem, an elastic ice cream from the Middle East, in the Le Mirage pastry shop.
… and take one or two unusual memories. The center also houses incredibly extravagant stores, such as Rare by Goodwill, a meticulously curated collection of the most modern and modern items from Goodwill's inventory, and Pop Comics & Culture Emporium. In the Anaheim packaging district, stop by the SEED Peoples Market to shop for lovely home items and gifts. For those who do not fear the crowds and a bit of chaos, the exchange meeting and the flea market at Anaheim Indoor Marketplace are impressive with stalls full of everything. Sparkling quinceanera dresses! Electronics! Sport articles! Tattoo! And, finally, buyers will be happy to hunt in Orange stores, which can be accessed from Anaheim Resort Transportation.
Happy places for adults. It may seem strange that Disney has established its park (until recently) in a city with a rich history of winemaking, and a lot of modern breweries and other adult options. Craft Brew Tours offers visits to breweries in Anaheim and nearby towns. If you have time for just one brewery, head to the award-winning Noble Ale Works, just 10 minutes east of Disneyland for its brazen beer.
Travelers who are motivated enough to make reservations and drop their cargo shorts can book in the Blind Rabbit, a clandestine dress code in the Anaheim packaging district.
For visitors who just want to see a Disney show, a rooftop bar and a restaurant, the Fifth offers a privileged place to admire the Disneyland nightly fireworks. Make a reservation before 9:30 pm or go early and get ready to get up.
Pocket art, pocket park (historical). For those looking for more than just emotions, Anaheim can provide you with your art or history solution. The small museum and the Muzeo Cultural Center in the city center include a main art gallery and the 1908 Carnegie Historical Library. Free exhibits in the Carnegie space include a revolving art exhibition and a permanent exhibition on the history of Anaheim. . The gallery presents works from the Cheech Marin art collection (renowned Cheech and Chong) until July 14.
Do not be fooled by the name Founders & # 39; Park. Located 10 minutes north of Disney, it is more of a historic site, consisting of two original buildings that date back to the beginnings of Anaheim: the house of the sober mothers' colony of 1857 and the Woelke-Stoffel House of 1894 with turrets Visiting the park is free. Volunteer guides are available on the first Saturday morning of each month to answer questions. Be sure to see the iconic fig tree of Moreton Bay, which has been at least a partial inspiration for the Swiss Family Treehouse (of yesteryear) and Tarzan's Treehouse (today) at Disneyland.
Better than Space Mountain. Maybe you're sitting on a walk where your only decision is not to shout out loud to yourself or your offspring. There are other activities in Anaheim. Pick up your Gun Top Gun 10 minutes east of Disneyland at Flightdeck, which offers flight simulation experiments in hunting mode or Boeing 737. Skate or watch the skaters trim and grind on Vans Skateparkin, the neighbor next door. & # 39; Orange, for a free jaw session. entertainment. The Rinks: ICEin Center City of Anaheim (designed by Frank Gehry) offers daily skating sessions in public and skate rentals. Local hockey teams and figure skaters train and play all day, another beautiful and free show.
Walt Disney went anonymously in the mid-1960s to anonymously collect Florida ranches and swamps. He needed a lot of space to build a second magical theme park, a park that could isolate him from the invasion of the real world that lived in Disneyland California.
Not necessarily created a campus twice as large as Manhattan, with three different complexes to the Magic Kingdom, two water parks and 30,000 hotel rooms that can accommodate up to 100,000 people as volunteer captives, so they meet all the needs and expectations. marked But Walt was a visionary. Once on the site, it can be difficult to leave, both logistically and because you will not have to.
So, if you want to spend a lot of time outside of Disney property, you must rent a car. Yes, you can take a taxi, Uber or Lyft, but the property is so vast that you will make the right decision before leaving the world technically.
Eat like at Epcot. One of the biggest assets of Disney World is the diversity of eating options. The best place to be hungry is Epcot. In the World Showcase of the park there are pavilions of nine countries, each one with interesting gastronomic options. But you can expand Epcot's offerings without getting away from the parks.
The Sofrito Latin Cafe, located about three kilometers from Disney Springs and located to the south of the property, is a place to exchange information about Latin American cuisine. You can order empanadas in the style of Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia and experience a lovely learning experience. Roast pork and chicken are popular in this region and you are also safe with them.
India is not represented in Epcot, so head to A & # 39; taj, right next to one of the southern doors of the resort, to buy kebabs, curries and kormas in a quite opulent setting that is hidden. the address of your shopping center.
Hunting treatment If your shopping habits are more aligned with Prada and Jimmy Choo than with Pluto and Jiminy Cricket, the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are only five miles from Disney Springs. There are 160 stores with starting prices on designer brands. And if you need branded products to take home, the Disney Characters Warehouse at the point of sale is a good place to stock up on Mickey gifts.
It is a natural world. If you've ever wondered what Florida was like before a castle grew on the edge of Orange County, you can still find slices. Just five miles northeast of the magical kingdom at the north end of the property, the Tibet-Butler Reserve is a 200-hectare park with nearly four miles of trails and sidewalks along a wetland that shelters herons. , fishing eagles, eagles, otters, armadillos and snakes. You can hear the birds singing, but you will not have a shrewd joke and you should not expect Busby Berkeley-style shows. This is a good place for a quiet walk, but depending on your tolerance to humidity, plan to go early in the day. And planning your return trip while you know you have a mobile phone signal is a good idea.
In the theme parks, many rides load the hordes in boats that float in the scenes of the film or remain with a worm of the ear. But at Shingle Creek Paddle Center, about 15 km from Disney Springs, you can rent kayaks, canoes and paddles to reach the edge of the Everglades. It is an excellent way to get close to the flora and fauna of Florida. But you must know that even if you do not see the alligators, they see you. So keep your arms and hands inside the boat all the time.
A main street of real life. Just 12 miles north of the Magic Kingdom, you'll find downtown Winter Garden, where Plant Street is a living version of Disney's idyllic creation. Real life is happening here, with farmers' markets, art festivals and street fairs. Stop by the Central Florida Railway Museum, the Old Rail Station or the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to learn how honestly the city has been baptized. Plant Street is full of independent stores offering unusual home-made items or Florida-inspired gifts. When you're thirsty, the Plant Street market is an artisanal market anchored by the Crooked Can Brewing Company, which offers tours and a dozen beers on tap.