Mickey is one lucky mouse. Created by animator Walt Disney in 1928, this irrepressible rodent is a multimedia juggernaut, and he lives in the ‘Happiest Place on Earth.’ The land of Disney is a slice of ‘imagineered’ hyper-reality, where the streets are always clean, the park employees – called cast members – are always upbeat, and there’s a parade every day of the year. Since opening his home to guests in 1955, Mickey's been a thoughtful host to millions of blissed-out visitors. Disneyland and neighbouring Disney California Adventure (DCA) are open 365 days a year; hours vary. You can ‘do’ either park in a day, but going on all the rides requires at least two days (three if visiting both parks), as waits for rides can be an hour or more. Your best bet is to arrive midweek in autumn or winter before the gates open. Ticket prices are complicated but start at $81 (check www.disneyland.com for details). A less-frenetic alternative to Disney, Knott's is an Old West-themed park in nearby Buena Park. It’s good for young teens and kids who love the Peanuts gang.