Hello there pixie planners! A while back we did a series all about planning a vacation to Disney World. We covered everything! From how far out to book, to which fastpasses you need to snag and more! It was such a great success, we decided to do the same with Disneyland and their Disney resort hotels.
Disneyland Resort is considerably more compact than Disney World, but there’s still quite a bit to prepare for – especially if you’re used to Disney World. The unique accessibility to the two-gates at Disneyland resort permits completely unique strategies.
One thing that makes Disneyland completely unique is its proximity to the rest of the world. The entire Disneyland property, parks and Disney resort hotels, are nestled in the heart of Anaheim.
- Why Pick the Disney Resort Hotels at Disneyland
- Disneyland Hotel
- Paradise Pier Hotel
- Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- Final Thoughts
Why Pick the Disney Resort Hotels at Disneyland
There are many choices for where to stay during your Disneyland Resort vacation, including a number of non-Disney properties. However, none of these options provide the same perks and convenience of the Disney resort hotels.
Extra Magic Hour
When you stay at one of the three Disney resort hotels at Disneyland you get to enter the parks an hour before they actually open. This is a HUGE deal, because with a full hour you can knock out most, if not all, of the more popular rides. The available park alternates, meaning you can only access one park early per day. Also important to know is that the park will admit Disney resort hotel guests 15 minutes before the extra magic hours even begin.
Park Proximity and Special Entrances
The best part of staying at one of the Disney resort hotels is that you stay inside the Disney bubble. You can start your day with a wake-up call from Mickey and walk directly to either park, Disneyland or California Adventure, in less than 20 minutes. Between the Disney resort hotels and Disney parks is the downtown Disney area. Downtown Disney is a magical mall with a selection of restaurants, shops, and even a movie theater. You’ll have easy access to this area of the property as well when you stay at one of the Disney resort hotels.
Another great perk of staying on sight at the Disney resort hotels is package delivery. All shops throughout the parks participate and will have your purchases brought directly to your hotel room! That means no more lugging around bags full of souvenirs, especially if those for people back home. All you have to do is ask, and then voila! You’re free to go about your day and visit all your favorite attractions without worrying about how to store your bags.
When at the Disneyland resort there are a number of events and attractions you may want to make reservations for. Some of these include popular table service restaurants, dinner and a show packages, dessert parties, the Bippity Boppity boutique and many more. Unfortunately, there are only so many reservations in a day. However, Disney saves a certain number of those reservations to be booked exclusively by guests staying at the Disney resort hotels. If there is something special you would like to do on your trip, staying at one of the Disney resort hotels is a great tactic to try and secure that reservation.
Stay and Play Inside the Magic
The Disney resort hotels are downright phenomenal. Would you expect anything less? From the moment you walk into the lobby you know that you are in Disney. The Disney resort hotels are filled with fun theming and the attention to details transports you to a different time. Each resort has its own pool area as well and once again Disney proves they know how to make magic.
There are so many wonderful reasons to consider staying at the Disney resort hotels! Let’s take a closer look at the unique offerings of each resort.
Where its at
The Disneyland hotel is located furthest from the park entrances at the far west end of the Downtown Disney area. The hotel is placed directly across from the Downtown Disney self-parking area and just around the corner form the Earl of Sandwich.
This was the first of the Disney resort hotels, its theming is derived from Disneyland park itself You can see this especially in the sorceror’s hat at the main entrance and the monorail themed water slides in the pool area. Another nice touch is the LED headboards that display your very own mini fireworks show right in your room.
Disneyland hotel falls right between Paradise Pier and the Grand Californian in terms of price. The prices will, of course, vary depending on the date and room type but you can expect to pay no less than $300 per night for a standard room.
Why we Love it
Just like Disneyland park the Disneyland hotel is the original, and you cannot find that authenticity anywhere else in the world. It’s also home to one of the infamous Disney lounges, Trader Sam’s. Those firework headboards don’t hurt either.
Paradise Pier Hotel
Where its at
Paradise pier hotel is located behind its namesake, the Paradise Pier area (soon to be Pixar Pier) on the west side of California Adventure park.
This resort is themed as a seaside getaway. The most influential statement piece is a stature in the lobby of Goofy with surf boards, but continues throughout the resort with playful colors and beach ball shaped pillows in the rooms.
As the least expensive of the Disney resort hotels at Disneyland you can expect a standard room to price just below $300 per night. Again, pricing will vary based on dates and room types.
Why we Love it
The beachy theming is so fun, but pales in comparison to our favorite part of this resort – the view! While it does cost a little extra you can request a room facing the parks to look right down into California Adventure, and even catch the nighttime show. You can head to the rooftop pool for a great view of the Disneyland park fireworks as well.
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Where its at
Disney’s Grand Californian is located just outside of the California Adventure park, in fact you’ll be able to see rooms from many areas inside the park.
The themeing at the Grand Californian is rustic elegance with an emphasis on craftsman style architecture, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll feel like you’re staying in a 5 star campground cabin. It is ultra-lux and will add a touch of grown-up magic to a fun filled vacation.
There’s no putting this lightly, the Grand California is expensive. But you have access to one of the best Disney hotel resorts pools, the most upscale restaurants on property, and a private entrance to California Adventure. There are ways that you can save money at this property such as renting DVC points, which can save you up to 50%! You can learn more about that here. On average a standard room at the Grand Californian costs at least $400 per night, when you book direct through Disney.
Why we Love it
The Grand Californian is drop dead gorgeous. It is the most elegantly themed of the Disney resort hotels and will elevate the experience of any trip. We absolutely recommend renting DVC points to book this resort, which brings the cost much closer to that of the other resorts mentioned. Check out this review from Veravuse Wow Travel to find even more to love about the Grand Californian.
Staying at one of the Disney resort hotels is a fail proof upgrade for a memorable Disney vacation. There are plenty of other options in the area, but for us the special Disney touches are worth the extra expense. However, if you’re working on a budget or simply can’t justify the expense stay tuned as we’ll be taking a look at the off-property resorts of Disneyland next week.
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