Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California is a prime choice for anyone looking for a theme park vacation. However, Disneyland is much smaller than its Floridian counterpart, better suited to a short visit than a week-long stay. If you want to take a longer vacation, consider combining Disneyland with another popular destination. Las Vegas and San Diego both offer plenty of highlights of their own within easy driving distance of Disneyland.
With a little planning, you can enjoy a hassle-free drive to Disneyland from these popular points. Just grab a GPS and hop in the car for an easy trip to your final destination.
Drive Time from Las Vegas to Disneyland: approximately 4.5 hours
Distance from Las Vegas to Disneyland: approximately 460 miles
The drive from Las Vegas to Disneyland is about four hours, covering 266 miles on I-15 S. Families making the trip with kids should plan for plenty of stops along the way to step out and stretch the little ones’ legs. Fortunately, this route offers ample opportunities for rest and recreation along the route.
About one hour (60 miles) into your drive, you'll encounter the Mojave National Preserve. The stretch of I-15 that borders on the preserve offers picturesque scenes of sand dunes, wildflowers, cinder cones, and Joshua trees. Skirting this vast expanse of wilderness, you'll pass small towns like Mountain Pass, Halloran Springs, and Baker, California.
If you're in need of a break, Baker is the best place, with a plethora of quick and casual dining options. If you want to avoid predictable fast food fare, try The Mad Greek, serving distinctive Mediterranean dishes.
It's about another hour (64 miles) on I-15 S from Baker to Barstow, California. Barstow is a small city that offers a friendly place to get out and walk around for a bit to stretch your legs. You'll find several small museums that are ideal for taking a little stroll.
The Western America Railroad Museum is a gem for train enthusiasts. Found within the historic Harvey House, this museum features all manner of railroad memorabilia. The site also has two cabooses that you can tour. If you have a budding astronaut in your party, head to the Desert Discovery Center to see the second largest space rock found in the U.S., the Old Woman Springs Meteorite.
About 75 miles and an hour and 15 minutes later, you'll reach the vibrant city of Rancho Cucamonga. Known as the "Gateway to Southern California Adventure," this makes a great final pit stop before reaching your Disneyland destination. Head to the Victoria Gardens Regional Town Center for all the shopping and dining you could want. With over 150 restaurants and stores, you'll find plenty to browse if you need a break from the car.
If it's time for a bite, you'll find everything from sweet treats at Ben & Jerry's to salty Wetzel's Pretzels snacks to Johnny Rockets or Blaze Pizza for a full meal. Take care of your last bathroom breaks now, because your destination isn't far.
Take I-10 W and CA-57 S for 37 miles on the last leg of your journey, and you'll reach Disneyland Park in about 50 minutes. Hop out of the car and get ready for a vacation that makes all your dreams come true in this world-famous theme park destination. If you're returning your rental car, do it after your Disneyland adventure by driving about 12 miles on I-5 and CA-55 to John Wayne Airport.
Can you see Disneyland in one day?
Although you could spend several days at Disneyland and not see everything, you can still see a lot of the main attractions in a day. One way to maximize your time is to arrive before the park gates open to avoid waiting in a long entrance line. You can also purchase FastPasses for rides and other attractions, which allow you to skip ahead to the front of the line. Dining at Disney can be quite time consuming, so if you eat a substantial breakfast, you can get by on snacks or quick-service meals the rest of the day.
How big is the Mojave National Preserve?
The Mojave National preserve is a 1.6-million-acre park full of canyons, mountains, and volcanic formations. About 700,000 acres of this area are considered designated wilderness. These sections are highly protected by the U.S. government in order to preserve the land’s natural condition.
Where can families go in Las Vegas?
There are several attractions in Vegas that are well-suited for adults and children, including:
For more family-friendly activities in Las Vegas, check out VisitLasVegas.com.