TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS —
Amusement park fans will find more than their fair share in the Los Angeles area -- Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and of course, Disneyland. The latter is a must, if for sentimental reasons alone.
We went to Disneyland last Christmas and spent a couple of days, and have now decided we like Disney World better. However, only Disneyland has the Matterhorn, the Indiana Jones adventure, and the perennial favorite, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. You can stay on site, and there are three choices: the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel and the Grand Californian (I haven't stayed at any of the three, but would probably pick the latter). However, this probably isn't as crucial as it would be with Disney World, since the park complex is much smaller, and everything is within walking distance of everything else. So if you have a car (rental or otherwise), you might want to look at a cheaper nearby hotel.
Restaurants at Disneyland are more limited in scope than at Disney World. Last time out, we ate at the highly recommended Napa Rose, but considering what you get for your money, I would be very hesitant to recommend it unless you have plenty of cash to spare (it's good, but many people would feel it's too pricey). I do heartily recommend the Blue Bayou, however, for a wonderful ambiance and good Cajun-Creole cuisine. Make reservations in advance or you probably won't get in. You can also go next door to California Adventure, where you can enjoy rides like California Screamin', and the original version of Disney World's Soarin', here called Soarin' Over California.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is about an hour north of LA, and a good bet especially if you've purchased a season pass for Six Flags parks. While there, make sure you do the gigacoaster Goliath, and don't miss the X coaster. Not only does your "train" blast through on a track, individual cars tip and twirl, to give you an extreme ride like you'll get nowhere else.