Yesterday I had the privilege of touring the 3 On Property Hotels at the Disneyland Resort… as is obvious from this blog, I’m a Disneyland regular and Annual Passholder. I also usually stay on Disneyland property about twice a year, plus other short off property Good Neighbor stays depending on the occasion. However, this was my first official tour with Disney Cast Members through the various rooms, and I have to say I learned a lot that will influence my own Disneyland travel and hopefully help guests/clients of my own!
Perk of the job – Hanging out with friends like these!
First off – the famous and classic Disneyland Hotel. This hotel my all time favorite as I grew up visiting there as a special treat when I was child, and it lives and breathes classic Disneyland. Walt’s spirit is everywhere in this place, including one of its signature restaurants, Steakhouse 55… which in addition to being a nice dinner spot and cozy lounge hangout, also boasts our favorite breakfast on property, with an amazing Cast and significant population of local regulars that I’ve spoken of before.
Beautiful Steakhouse 55
Lots of famous photos around Steakhouse 55!
Oops, food! Got distracted! In any case – Disneyland Hotel has been upgraded in years past and is still an awesome favorite for that fully immersed Disney Magic experience. The rooms are spacious, and most standard rooms feature 2 Queen Beds plus a Day Bed… sleeping 5 people. Please note, across Disney Hotels, this room cap INCLUDES INFANTS – even if you aren’t using a bed, with California fire code, babies on the floor or in cribs count as a person, and if you go over room capacity, they can ask you to get a second room, which is no fun and lots of cash! There are also King Rooms available on request that are subject to availability – some of these are corner rooms with pretty awesome views, so if you’re going without the family, it’s worth asking for! All beds have magical fireworks across the headboard, complete with music that will keep any child entertained for hours pushing the button. 🙂
Such a Magical Way to Sleep!
Rooms sleep 5 with Day Bed – views of pool, parking, or Downtown Disney Resort
Of course, the best parts of the Disneyland Hotel, outside of its awesome monorail slide pool, Trader Sams Tiki Bar, Goofy’s Kitchen character dining (one of the best options at the Resort), Steakhouse 55, and the gorgeous hotel grounds (can you tell I like this place?) are the Signature Suites. The hotel sports a number of standard one or two bedroom suites, but up on the top of the Adventure Tower are the special themed suites, which are designed down to the last detail, including the doorbell! We got to see the Pirates Suite this time (which features the Yo Ho Theme when you ring the bell) that has 3 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms plus a full living and dining area – please note, despite its large size, it only has beds for 4 people, so it’s a good party place, but not necessarily where to throw your extended family over night. While we didn’t see them this time, in the past I’ve been inside the Mickey, Adventure, and Big Thunder Suites, and these are just as impressive. In true Disney fashion, every detail is there, from the door bell music to the bathrooms (the Adventure suite water fall esque shower is right out of an exotic Indiana Jones adventure) to pictures on the walls to beds that you may not want to actually sleep in, because they really are right out of the land/movie. Also on the top floor of Adventure Tower is the E-Ticket Club Lounge, which is there for Concierge and Club-Level Guests. This lounge with incredible Resort views is a great perk if you want to save money on food – offering continental breakfast, snacks throughout the day, light dinner fare and happy hour with beer and wine, and dessert. The best part? An amazing view of the fireworks with the music piped in, and no crowds! May be worth the price right there! 🙂
Yo Ho, A Pirates Life for Me! 😉 Pirates Suite
Who Wouldn’t Want this after a Day in the Parks?
Sleeping like Jack Sparrow!
Adventureland Suite – Doorbell Plays Tiki Room 🙂
Mickey Mouse Suite – for the big Mickey fans!
E -Ticket Concierge Club Lounge
Amazing view from the lounge is great for fireworks!
Next door to Disneyland Hotel is Paradise Pier Hotel. A more economical option, this hotel used to be the Pan Pacific until Disney bought it in the late 90’s. It features a beach theme of the current Paradise Pier in DCA, though we’re not sure what will happen with the Pixar makeover of that area in 2018 and if the hotel will follow suit. It also features two queens and a day bed, with suites available. It’s concierge lounge is less fancy and has no windows, so it is not open as late, but we have stayed there before and the perks are still nice to have! The rooftop pool features a slide and seasonal bar. My favorite part of this hotel is the incredible views of California Adventure, which are a pretty good value for the price, especially with club level. Depending where you are, you can get a partial view of World of Color here with the music as well, and it’s lots of fun! The PCH Grill downstairs features a great Mickey and Friends character breakfast, that has a laid back feel and lots of dancing and fun for the kids.
PCH Grill, Home of Surf’s Up Mickey and Friends Breakfast
More beachy laid back vibe in PCH Grill
Character Meet and Greet Spot for Mickey
Suite at Paradise Pier Hotel
Standard Room – My Kids love the beachball pillows! 🙂
Classic Paradise Pier Hotel Mickey
Best part of this hotel = premium view rooms
Fun slide on the roof!
Finally, the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is the most upscale Disney property. It’s attached to California Adventure with its own private entrance, is extremely convenient, and the most luxurious. It’s recently undergone a full remodel of its rooms, lobby, and now Concierge Lounge. We stayed here for a staycation in August that I blogged about, though I erroneously thought we had a remodeled room at the time because we had a larger room with a Day Bed, as opposed to bunks of previous stays- I was wrong! 😉 Shame on me. The new rooms are much brighter, features showers in lieu of bath tubs, Keurig Coffee Makers, and raised beds that allow you to store luggage underneath. They are great – now we have to stay again! 😉 Oh, and the sound proofing in these rooms is unbelievable – if you open the door you can hear Downtown Disney, the pool or wherever the ambience of the room view is located, but shut that thing and you can hear a pin drop! It’s amazing. The one and two bedroom suites are very spacious, offering a full fridge and microwave. Whitewater Snacks has lots of options available if you want to cook in during your stay, including condiments, so this is a good budget saver if you want to splurge for the Grand rooms. Best of all, theme park view rooms here put you right in the middle of the action – you can literally walk downstairs and go to play!
Double fireplace in Grand Lobby is always breathtaking
Newly renovated rooms with high beds!
I love Chip and Dale on the walls!
Day Bed allows for easy 5th Guest in all Standard rooms!
The Club Level here is the highest bonus in terms of service, offering all the same amenities of food, happy hour, snacks, etc, but also a personal assistant when you arrive, private check in service, and a Grand Tea time in the afternoons. The Concierge club staff is supposed to be some of the best Cast Members on property, enticing for a visit even if its a short stay. The Grand also has larger suites available that sleep groups as big as 12-16, so if you’re here for a big splurge event, this is where you want to stay! The Mandara Spa is also very nice, featuring treatment rooms (waxing. massages, beauty wraps and more), a seating area, steam room, sauna, and nail services.
When it comes to dining, as I’ve said a million times, Napa Rose is here and it’s my all time favorite Disney restaurant, both for the quality of food, amazing service, wine and cocktails, and the price point is amazing – it’s a value, I promise! Hearthstone Lounge is another cozy place to unwind here, and Storyteller’s Cafe is a more casual dining experience that also plays host to the Chip n Dale Critter Breakfast, which is a bit more low key than the other character dining options. Overall, Disney is still present here but it’s very “subtle” compared to the Disneyland Hotel, going for upscale luxury and craftsmanship comfort over Mickey and Minnie at the helm.
Napa Rose – So beautiful, such wonderful cuisine
Chef’s Counter – Aka my happy place
Hearthstone Lounge is a cozy retreat!
Whatever your preferences or budget, there is definitely a Disney Hotel for you worth trying. What are your favorites? If planning a trip. I’m more than happy to help! 🙂