By Jennifer Stuart
This review covers a standard room at the Disneyland Hotel. It includes room photos, a look at the amenities, pros and cons of staying at the hotel and thoughts about staying at the Disneyland Hotel during your Disneyland Vacation.
The Disneyland Hotel is obviously located in close proximity to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, just at the end of Downtown Disney. It is close to the parks but there are several other hotels that are as close to the main turnstiles or closer. This is the closest hotel to the monorail entrance to Disneyland (until a new, yet to be named hotel, is built). Think a quick 5 -7 min walk through Downtown Disney to get to the main entrance.
More than just the rooms -- this hotel is steeped in Disneyland history. The most recent refresh of the hotel kept it true to it's mid-century modern styling. Throughout the three towers of the hotel you will find great Disney memorabilia. For instance, tucked in next to the elevators in the Fantasy Tower are great celebrity photos from the early days of Disneyland.
Rooms are priced differently based on the view from the room. There is standard view (views of parking lots), premium view (views of the courtyard/pool) and premium Downtown Disney view (you will be in the Adventure Tower facing Downtown Disney--towards the parks and fireworks). Club Level rooms have views of either the courtyard/pool or Downtown Disney. Rooms at all levels/views come in either king, 2 queens or 2 queens and a pull down (single) sofa bed. The maximum number of people a regular room can sleep is 5. (Suites are available for larger groups-- although you may want to see if 2 regular rooms is less expensive). We have stayed in rooms with both a 2 queen and 2 queen and sofa bed layout with standard and premium views. These rooms were basically identical other than location in the hotel. The beds were very comfortable and the bedding felt plush without being heavy. The sofa bed is a single bed that folds out from the wall. This is also fairly comfortable and can sleep a smaller adult but is probably better suited to a child.
Bathrooms are spilt into a toilet room and a bathroom with a tub/shower and sink with mirror. They are a good size if not overly large. Toiletries are H20 branded and really nice. Hair dryers are also provided.
There is also a small desk area that includes a coffeemaker and a small bar- sized refrigerator (no freezer section).
The highlight of the rooms is definitely the headboards. It sounds silly but it is true. The headboards are carved with a relief depicting the Sleeping Beauty Castle with fireworks above it. The best part is that a switch on the bedside lamp turns on the headboard. As if by magic it plays a small part of the song "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and it lights up. We all LOVED this. In fact the kids insisted on sleeping with the lighted fireworks on.
There are Disney details throughout the room with a subtle elegance. From the pillows on the bed to the Mickey hands holding the lamps or the black and white Disney photos, the feeling is an elegant Disney theme that hits just the right note.
This is another stand out area for the Disneyland Hotel. The amenities here are top-notch and give the hotel more of a resort feel. The pool complex is fantastic. It takes up the majority of the central courtyard and includes 2 pools, 2 waterslides and 2 large hot tubs. Life vests are available in a few sizes for children and several Life guards are also on duty during the day. The pool area is gated and requires your key card for entry. There are a number of lounge chairs and the whole area feels very lush and private due to the great use of landscaping.
Also located in the courtyard area are Tangaroa Terrace (a quick service restaurant) and the legendary Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. Read our Review of Trader Sam's to find out why we think it should be part of your stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Other restaurants include the high-end Steakhouse 55, family-oriented Goofy's Kitchen and the Coffee House (which now serves Dole Whip!).
There are many wonderful extras that come with staying at the Disneyland Hotel (see their website for more information) but by far the best perk for those visiting the parks is the ability to take advantage of Extra Magic Hour at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. In terms of beating the crowds and getting on more rides, this is not to be underestimated, particularly at busier times of year. Read our post on Magic Morning vs. Extra Magic Hours to learn what the differences are and how to take advantage of them!
Pros and Cons
-Extra Magic Hours -- only available when staying at one of the 3 Disney Hotels.
-Location - short walk or monorail ride to parks.
- Deluxe property -- similar to a deluxe resort at Disney World.
- Disney history -- may not be a pro for some but it is for us.
-Price -- it is usually considerably more expensive than other hotels in the area and the price may put it out of reach for many families.
-No breakfast included.
- Parking charge.
Our Final Thoughts
We have stayed at a large number of hotels in the area and if money were no object this would be our number one choice. (It is our favourite Disney-owned area hotel) However, given the price we rarely stay here. If you can afford it, or if you manage to get a discounted rate, we highly recommend a stay at the Disneyland Hotel.
All photos by Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart
Questions? Comments? We would love to hear from you.
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