Brent Bernasconi

Home Base San Diego: A Spooky Day Trip to Disneyland

Take a Spooktacular Day Trip to Disneyland

San Diego is the perfect place to make your home base in Southern California during a fall vacation. You can enjoy great local attractions including the beach, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND, then take a quick day trip or two to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding, Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking, or Disneyland for some holiday family fun.

Disneyland is a great option for a day trip full of spooktacular Halloween fun including hundreds of carved pumpkins, Disney villains, a festive Haunted Mansion decorated by Jack Skellington, Halloween treats and more.

The best part: the drive from downtown San Diego to Disneyland is just over 90 minutes (but plan for a two-hour drive just in case of traffic problems), meaning you can be back in San Diego that same night after a full day of Disney fun and at the beach the next day!

Here is a short preview of the fun and excitement you will find during a day trip to Disneyland’s Halloween Time:


Save On Your Southern California Vacation in San Diego

Pick up a Southern California City Pass from one of the San Diego Visitors Centers or online and save up to 32% on admission to SeaWorld San Diego, Disneyland and Universal Studios (another easy day trip from San Diego). Add on City Pass admission to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and save even more!

Brent Bernasconi

Experience New Excitement at San Diego Attractions this Summer 2012

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Summer in San Diego means sunshine, beaches and barbecues. During your visit this summer, why not check out some of the awesome new offerings at San Diego attractions, including roller coasters, battling pirate ships, chinese acrobats and more!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffes along a Africa Tram Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Get Up Close During a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Enjoy a Summer Safari at the Park from June 30-August 19 for unique viewing opportunities of exotic wildlife like a cheetah sprinting just seven feet from where visitors stand. This festive summer celebration also includes interactive drumming, puppet performances and acrobats who entertain guests throughout the day.

LEGOLAND California

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Climb Aboard LEGOLAND's newest ride at Pirate Reef

LEGOLAND’s new adventure ride, Pirate Reef, takes to the high seas where riders board rival pirate ships and battle one another with splashing water cannons.

The park also expanded its popular STAR WARS Miniland, which now features seven live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies, along with three life-sized LEGO models of its famous characters.

San Diego Zoo

Chinese Warriors - San Diego Zoo Nighttime

The Wonders of China Await at the San Diego Zoo

During June 23 – September 3, roam through the park until 9:00 pm for Nighttime Zoo: China Celebration and experience special summer offerings. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, witness a 20-foot-long serpent puppet, trampoline acts and performances by breathtaking Chinese acrobats, robotic actors and stilt walkers.


SeaWorld's Manta

Ride the New Manta Coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

From June 16-August 19, visit SeaWorld San Diego for Summer Nights at SeaWorld. The summer showcase features extended park hours, nightly firework shows, live music and special nighttime animal performances.

This summer experience Manta, a new mega-attraction that combines the thrill and excitement of a roller coaster with an incredible marine-life exhibit, featuring a 100,000-gallon aquarium.

> Save With San Diego’s Fabulous Four Attractions – Tickets Package

What are you most looking forward to while in San Diego this Summer?


Out of this World Deals for the 2012 San Diego County Fair

San Diego County Fair Ride
San Diego County Fair Ride

Ride This for Less

The San Diego County Fair will be “Out of this World” when it kicks off June 8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The theme promises everything from space exploration and science fiction to visitors from other planets. But there’s plenty that we Earthlings can do to keep our fair expenses grounded.

Save on Admission

San Diego County Fair Best Pass Ever

  • For super fans, the Best Pass Ever can’t be beat. It includes daily admission – all 24 days of the fair – for just $24. You’ll need a school or government-issued photo ID to use the pass.
  • Tuesdays are the magic day for kids 6-12 years old. They get in free! Kids 5 and younger get in free everyday.
  • Kiddies can’t make it on a Tuesday? No problem. Youngsters 6-12 can get in free any day if they read 10 books and have it verified by their teacher or librarian. The certificate you’ll need to get signed can be downloaded in English or Spanish.
  • Adults can get $4 admission on opening day and on Tuesday, June 12. You’ll need a ticket available with any $10 purchase at Albertsons stores. (Tickets must be purchased in advance; none will be available at the fair.)
  • Been laid off in the past year? Present an unemployment check stub and a photo ID at the will-call window on June 19 or 26 to get free admission for yourself and a guest.
  • County auto dealers are in on the action this year. Starting June 1, visit a Toyota dealership to get a coupon valid for two adult admissions for the price of one. Visit a Ford dealership to get a 4-tickets-for-$28 coupon.

Free Entertainment and Unlimited Rides

San Diego County Fair Bike Ride

  • Once you’re inside, there are tons of free things to enjoy – including concerts by big name artists. Get free unreserved seats at performances by top artists including Kenny Loggins, KC & the Sunshine Band, Ben E. King, Bill Medley, Switchfoot, Lonestar, Grand Funk Railroad and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón.
  • Love the rides? Wednesdays and Thursdays until June 28 are “Pepsi Pay-One-Price” days. For $30, get a wristband that allows unlimited access to Fun Zone and Kiddieland rides from noon until 8:00 pm. The deal is available on certain other days – but you’ll have to check availability, then buy and print out your Pay-One-Price voucher online. (There’s a $2.50 fee for online purchases.)


San Diego County Fair Chicken on the Grill

Savings Fresh from the Grill

  • On Tuesdays more than 100 food vendors offer smaller portions for $2. Or bring your own picnic; there are six designated picnic areas. (No alcohol, glass containers or sharp utensils.)


  • Avoid the fair’s $10 parking fee by opting for free parking at Horsepark, about 2 miles east of the fairgrounds, at 14550 El Camino Real; a free shuttle will get you to the front gate. On weekends and Wednesdays there’s additional free parking (with shuttle service) at Torrey Pines High and Mira Costa College’s San Elijo campus.

> Find More Exciting Things to Do Before and After the Fair at

Know of any other great San Diego County deals or savings? Let us and others know in the comments below. Even if you don’t know of any, tell us what deep-fried treat you are most looking forward to trying.