The Disneyland Hotel is the original hotel at Disneyland Resort. It’s where the overnight magic all began! There have been numerous changes and additions over time since it first opened in October of 1955. It’s grown from 144 guest rooms to over 900, including a variety of themed rooms. We’ve been lucky enough to stay at the Disneyland Hotel a few times. It doesn’t matter if we’re on a romantic holiday alone or romping with our grandkids, the magic is there. And our stays have always memorable. Here are our Top 5 reasons to stay at the Disneyland Hotel:
#1 You’ll be treated like Royalty!
From the moment you drive up to the front doors of the Disneyland Hotel the magic begins. You’ll be greeted by the valet staff who set the mood for your stay. If you don’t already have a bit a chivalry in your life, prepare yourself. The valet staff is friendly, attentive, and oh so courteous. You’re vehicle doors will be opened and you’re luggage unloaded. Let the magic at the Disneyland Hotel begin!
Greeting you at the doors to the lobby are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. As always, they’re thrilled to meet and greet! Whew! All this magic and you’ve yet to even enter the doors of the hotel!
The lobby is spacious and touched with a bit of nostalgia from Disney days gone by. The front desk staff could not be more welcoming or accommodating. There’s a wall of framed photos displaying a history of the hotel and Disneyland itself. There are a variety of seating options including (are you ready? … ) Fantasyland tea cups! The carpet is inspired by Mary Blair who has very her own history with Disney. And you just might see a wee bit of ‘it’s a small world’ while checking into your room.
The hotel rooms are located in three different theme towers: Fantasy, Adventure, and Frontier. The Frontier Tower is where we stayed this particular time. The lobby of each tower is celebrated with it’s Disney theme. The housekeeping staff goes above and beyond to make certain rooms as well as hallways, etc., are clean and tidy.
To say we were more than surprised when we entered our room would be an under statement. We had no idea we had a gorgeous corner room. It was large with two of the four walls almost completely window. There was a long balcony that looked over California Adventure Park and Disneyland. It was amazing!
We had a perfect view of the nightly fireworks from the comfort of our own balcony. And the pixie dust feeling is sprinkled throughout the room. The Mickey magic is everywhere from the mirror with the magical frame above the desk, to Mickey’s hand holding the bathroom vanity’s light fixture. And the Hidden Mickey shaped water faucet in the bath tub/shower. We were, after all, at Disneyland!
My favorite Disney song is, (and has been since I was a young child) “When you wish upon a star.” When staying at the Disneyland Hotel, you can fall asleep listening to that favorite song of mine while headboard fireworks gently light up the room.
#2 Both Disneyland and California Adventure Park are a short walk from Disneyland Hotel.
Take a short stroll through Downtown Disney and you’ll be at the main gates for both Disneyland and California Adventure Park.
And because you’re staying ‘on property,’ you get to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hour. Enter the parks an hour earlier than general public admission. Use this time to sneak on your favorite attractions, hit up your fav stores,and grab a bite at your favorite dining locations!
AND with your valid theme park ticket in hand, you can take a short-cut entrance into California Adventure Park through the Grand Californian Hotel. It’s awesome! We love this ‘secret’ entrance.
AND… with your valid them park ticket again in hand, you can catch a ride on the Monorail from Downtown Disney. Seriously!! It’s not far from the hotel and you’ll get a quick and scenic ride to Tomorrowland.
#3 The Swimming Pools.
Yes, the swimming pools … plural. There are three swimming pools, each with their own personalty. Our grandkids spend 95% of their time at the Monorail Slide Pool and Splash Pad.
Modeled after the Mark 1 Monorail Trains (pre David’s time at Disneyland. He piloted the Mark IV Monorail Trains), the large monorail slide twists and turns and pops the rider out into its own private pool. As you can see, our granddaughter had so much fun on this slide.
The smaller monorail slides wash the rider out right smack dab into the middle of the splash pad. With water spouts and water raining from above, there’s plenty of entertainment for all the little ones.
I think the D–Ticket Swimming Pool is the mellowest of the pools. Partially shaded and 4 feet deep throughout, it meanders from the Monorail Swimming Pool to the E-Ticket Swimming Pool flowing under a bridge. This, my friends, is my kind of pool!
And then there’s the E-Ticket swimming pool of them all. That’s right! The E-Ticket Swimming Pool. It’s 4 feet deep throughout, so there’s no diving. But boy oh boy … just look at the size of this baby! There’s plenty of room and places to ‘hide’ during a fun game of Marco Polo. If swimming pools aren’t your thing, you might enjoy the two hot tub/spas.
An “Oh” Alert!: the poolside cabanas are over the top! TV, ceiling fan, refrigerator, wait service … everything you could possibly need!
#4 Downtown Disney is practically right outside your door.
Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat is where Downtown Disney begins. It’s just a few steps from the hotel property. Downtown Disney is an experience in and of itself.
There’s live entertainment both in restaurants and clubs and throughout Downtown Disney. From a single serenading musician to full-on bands (that get the crowd dancing), you may find yourself moving to the beat.
If you’re yearning for the latest big screen entertainment visit the AMC Downtown Disney 12 Theaters. Yup! Twelve theaters!
And the shopping! From toys to clothes, to sports and Disney memorabilia and everything in between. Shop ’til you drop or lookie-loo to your heart’s content.
Downtown Disney boasts a plethora of restaurants from formal settings to counter service. If it’s snacks you’re looking for you’re in the right place, too. There are ice cream shops, bakeries, juice shops and the like. You name it.
Different seasons of the year bring different activities to Downtown Disney, including an ice rink during the Christmas holidays. I’m here to tell you that an outdoor ice rink in Southern California is indeed a sight to behold!
#5 You never need to leave the hotel.
We’ve talked about the hotel rooms and the swimming pools, but those are just the tip of the Disneyland Hotel iceberg. Beside the excellent room service (Kennedy ordered pizza and chocolate cake, which of course was delivered under a silver dome on a white linen covered cart), there are 5 on property restaurants. Enjoy steak and seafood with an elegant Old Hollywood twist at Steakhouse 55; character dining at Goofy’s Kitchen; quick/counter service at Tangaroa Terrace; Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar; and also The Coffee House. Oh! And if you’re relaxing about the pools there’s always poolside service.
The hotel grounds are gorgeous. Take a stroll and enjoy serene waterfalls, fireplaces with sitting areas, the beautiful wedding gazebo, and so much more. You might even see a wedding party or two!
Take home all the souvenirs and gifts you want/need at the on-property Disney’s Fantasia Shop and small world Gifts & Sundries.
On select nights there’s ‘movie night’ on the Magic Kingdom Lawn. Beach chairs are provided and you can bring all the snacks and drinks you’d like. Outdoor theater at its best!
Get your fitness groove on at the Goofy About Health Club, or take a short walk to the Mandara Spa, located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.
What did I tell you? You need not even leave the hotel. All this is only a smattering of the activities and amenities you’ll experience at the Disneyland Hotel. There’s so much more. We’ve yet to experience everything, which simply means we need to go back again … and again.
He said: Having piloted the Disneyland Monorail in the mid 70’s, lots of fond memories come to life. So many changes from a by-gone era (which was ahead of its time at the time) to all the up-to-date ammenities and modern conveniences. Disney always was a visionary.
She said: I’m a fan of staying on property. I love the convenience of having the theme parks a short walk away and never having to get in my car. But it was the swimming pools that I loved most this trip. Kennedy could not get enough of the large Monorail Slide. Her delight will stay with me forever!
~ The Nitty Gritty:
Why: Disney time with the grandkids
When: July 2014
Who: Four of us. Grandpa, Grandma, Cody and Kennedy
What: Disneyland Hotel – One of three Disneyland Resort Hotels
Where: 1150 West Magic Way Anaheim, California 92802
Amenities: High-speed Internet with wired & WiFi, hair dryer,msatellite TV with Disney channel & ESPN, USA Today newspaper (weekdays), alarm clock, telephone with voice mail, iron and ironing board, coffee maker, vanity kits, in-room safe, Crib Pack ’n Play, interior corridor access.
Local Interests: Disneyland, California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney.
Website: Disneyland Hotel
Want to see more? Just check out our Disneyland Hotel video. So, what’s your favorite feature at the Disneyland Hotel?