It is expected that Anaheim’s population numbers will soon cross the line of 400,000 and that is due to the continuing popularity of the city. This popularity is mainly based on two institutions: Disney and sports. The city has two teams in the major leagues of America’s most popular sports: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Major League Baseball play their home games at Angel Stadium at Gene Autry Way, the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League have their home at Honda Center - also called The Pond - at Katella Avenue. Both teams once belonged to the Walt Disney Company, but the corporation’s influence on Anaheim and the region goes far beyond that.
Disneyland Resort in the South of Anaheim with its two theme parks Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, several hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping area draws some 20 million visitors per year according to estimates. At the same time, the company is by far the largest employer of the city. Many more people earn their living in tourism, the most important revenue source for Anaheim and large parts of Orange County. Disneyland had been opened in 1955 and largely expanded in 1990.
Surely the 50 families from Franconia in Germany did not foresee this development when they founded the city in 1857 in order to grow wine in the region. They named the town after the Santa Ana River. Cultivating grapes had to be abandoned by the settlers after a plague of insects in 1880 and after that they tried their success with other fruit plants with moderate success. In 1886, Orange County received a connection to the railway system.Even until the middle of the 21th century, Anaheim was mostly an agricultural town. In 1954, the construction of Disneyland began, leading not only to a complete change of the cityscape but also to a significant rise in population numbers and to the building of new neighborhoods and city quarters. One of these was the one named Anaheim Resort, where the theme parks are as well as the arenas, several hotels and the Anaheim Convention Center, which not only hosts important trade fairs, but also repeatedly sports events.
Thanks to the special significance of tourism, the city is very well prepared for visitors from around the world. Among the sights popular with tourists is the neighborhood GardenWalk near the Convention Center, a clean and picturesque quarter with numerous shops, restaurants and cinemas. The creativity museum named Muzeo on South Anaheim Boulevard is another attraction of the city. Here, changing and interestingly designed exhibitions on the issue of cultural diversity are being shown.