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The Disney influence is everywhere in a city that was reborn in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland on July 18th, 1955. Formerly a sleepy suburban town, Anaheim today is a vibrant tourist center with fine dining, shopping, festivals, a myriad of attractions and a vast array of accommodations. Disneyland is, of course, at the heart of it all. "The happiest place on earth" combines the nostalgia of original rides with elaborate new ones; a 21st-century pyrotechnic extravaganza lights up the nighttime sky. For adults, there's Downtown Disney, a vibrant outdoor area with a wide variety of stores, restaurants and nightclubs. But families will find plenty to enjoy at Downtown Disney, as well. Build-a-Bear Workshop is a place where kids can "make a friend" - literally. The Lego Imagination Center has some amazing sculptures plus, several tables where the kids can sit and build their own creations. The Rainforest Cafe is a great place for a meal or to admire their multi thousand gallon salt water aquarium.
Disney California Adventure is Disney's second theme park in Anaheim, a park that has more than its share of business related problems in its first decade.
A few miles to the northwest will take you to Knott's Berry Farm, a theme park serving up fun old western style, complete with Knott's signature jams and jellies at various restaurants throughout the park. Knott's is also home to several thrill rides as well as Camp Snoopy, created just for the little ones. To cool off on those hot Anaheim days during the summer, the Soak City Water Park by Knott's is the place to be. Both parks have websites... www.disneyland.com and www.knotts.com Also, near Knott's in Buena Park are two dinner shows, Medieval Times and the Pirates Dinner Adventure.
For a change of pace, check out the Outlets at Orange, an all-in-one shopping, dining and entertainment promenade. For those looking for a more traditional shopping, the Westfield MainPlace mall is just south on Interstate 5 at Main Street.
Also, the Anaheim GardenWalk is just east of the Disneyland Resort, a Shoppertainment center, has some very nice restaurants, lots of shops, an upscale Bowling Center, a multi-plex theater and much more.
For sports enthusiasts, Anaheim is also home to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim major league baseball franchise, the Anaheim Ducks from the National Hockey League, and the Anaheim Bolts of the PASL Arena Soccer League.