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BY RONA GINDIN
Play Like A VIP In Anaheim, California
There are a million and one reasons why Southern California is a fabulous VIP vacation destination. From the warm sunny weather to the beautiful beaches, it’s practically a vacationer’s paradise. There are many places in California that are great vacation spots, but one place in particular takes the cake.
Anaheim’s theme parks and attractions paired with its proximity to the beach makes it ideal for seeing and doing all that SoCal has to offer — and it’s absolutely perfect for your next VIP vacation. Bonus — with this VIP itinerary, your trip is already all planned out for you. The heavy lifting is done — now all you have to do is get there.
Day 1: Disneyland Park
Delve into Disneyland, the attraction that first put Anaheim on the map. Thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and a whole host of princesses will keep you and your travel companions entertained until bedtime.
Arrive early and make a beeline to the rides you want most, like the classic Space Mountain, the scary Star Wars-themed Rise of the Resistance, or the funny and interactive Monsters, Inc., waving at characters when they appear along the way. Make a pit stop at Main Street, USA for a VIP photo op with two of the most high-profile Disney VIPs — the “Partners” statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands.
Relax over an outdoor lunch of Monte Cristo sandwiches with pommes frites at Cafe Orleans before meandering to other attractions. Next pop over to the witty Haunted Mansion, where you can cool off in the air-conditioned indoors; the Mark Twain Riverboat for a leisurely ride; and the Incredicoaster for one final incredible scare.
Walk over to Downtown Disney for dinner at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, where dramatically-presented Crazyshakes are as tempting as craft draught beers. End with an upscale bowling experience at Splitsville Luxury Lanes — offering fantastic views, luxurious seating, craft cocktails, and live music, they don’t call it “luxury” lanes for nothing. It’s the perfect way to end your first VIP vacation day.
Day 1 VIP Tip: Upgrade your Disneyland Park experience with a VIP tour package. With a private tour guide, VIP seating for shows, priority access to attractions, and more, it’s well-worth the upcharge to maximize your Disney experience.
Day 2: Downtown Anaheim
The city of Anaheim is a lively destination, and worthy of a full day’s exploration. With luxe dining, shopping, and sightseeing options, your VIP meter will be off the charts before the day is done.
Visit Angel Stadium and take in a ball game, making sure to secure a VIP seating and dining package. If there’s no game on the schedule, explore the inner areas of the ballpark with a behind-the-scenes tour. Take the time to visit the dugout and broadcast booth, and make sure to run the bases like a VIP home-run hitter. If baseball isn’t your thing, check out the Honda Center instead, and take in an Anaheim Ducks hockey game or an afternoon concert — a luxury suite will turn it into a real VIP experience.
Your tummy deserves a reward after a long day exploring the city, and there’s no place better than VIP Tacos. VIP Tacos has too many accolades to count, both local and national, and they are known for their handmade tortillas, salsa, and chorizo. Their name doesn’t lie — VIP Tacos is perfect for a VIP like you. After dinner, wind down with a stroll along the Anaheim GardenWalk. With luxury shops and entertainment and a side of glitz and glamor, you’ll sleep better at night after indulging in some retail therapy.
Day 2 VIP Tip: You’ll need transportation to get from place to place downtown, and it can be a hassle to navigate and find parking in an unfamiliar city. Instead of renting a car, surprise your travel companions with a VIP transportation package through a local limousine service. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and seeing their surprised smiles will be worth the cost.
Day 3: Road Trip
The Pacific Ocean is so close, and after all that exploring, you’ll need a healthy dose of sand-and-sea fun. The drive is short, the weather is good, and the sights along the way are well-worth the trip.
Wave so long to Anaheim for the day as you head toward Santa Ana, full of Victorian mission-style buildings and unique cultural history. Do drive-bys on some of the historic district’s most noteworthy homes and churches, and then pay a visit to the Santa Ana Zoo with its teensy golden-headed lion tamarin monkeys, plus camels and miniature donkeys. Take advantage of the zoo’s electric scooter rentals, complete with covered canopy, so you can scoot around the zoo like a VIP in shade and comfort.
Turn west towards the sunny coast and choose your swath of shoreline: Huntington Beach for surfing, Newport Beach for pedal cruising along the boardwalk plus a Ferris wheel ride at the Balboa Fun Zone, or Laguna Beach for dramatic shoreline and lots of nearby art galleries. No matter which beach you land on, your designer shades (or inexpensive sunnies) are a must so you don’t spend the day squinting in all that VIP sunshine.
Head back to Anaheim for your final evening, and hit a local fav for dinner. Try the old-fashioned red-sauce Italian at Mama Cozza’s, a “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” pick unchanged since 1965, or take your pick of hipster food in the Anaheim Packing District food hall — it’s filled with specialty restaurants (chimney cakes, hot pot, soul food) with plenty of seats outdoors. End your trip with cocktails in the opulent VIP room at the Anaheim House of Blues and enjoy the live music while you relax and sip in luxury.
Day 3 VIP Tip: Take advantage of your VIP benefits and use your Wyndham Rewards membership to rent an exotic car for the drive to the coast and back. From Ferraris to Lamborghinis, the sky’s the limit when it comes to exotic rental cars in SoCal. Here’s your chance to cross that exotic car road trip off your bucket list.