When visiting Disneyland in California there are many benefits to staying at one of the Disneyland Resort’s three onsite hotels: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. But on our recent stay at the Disneyland Hotel, it was the little Disney touches that really won me over.
There’s one thing you can say about Disney, they know customer service and how to treat their guests. Unlike staying at a neighbourhood hotel, the Disneyland Hotel keeps the park magic alive with the little touches you find throughout.
When we arrived at the Disneyland Hotel, we ran into Goofy just hanging around in the lobby. Another day we saw Chip and Dale walking around the pool area. These impromptu character interactions were a wonderful surprise and confirmed we had arrived with a fantasy world. The best part of course was no line-ups to take a photos. Even my son, who thinks he’s too big for character greetings, enjoyed a quick meet with some of his favourite disney pals.
I loved the subtle Disney touches we discovered when staying at the Disneyland Hotel, from the large teacup chairs in the lobby to the Fantasia-like gloved hands holding the lights in the bathroom. My son and I enjoyed looking for Mickey’s everywhere.
I must admit, my favourite feature within the newly redesigned rooms at the Disneyland Hotel, is the firework headboards. When you enter the room, the headboards just look like a nicely carved Disney castle picture but when you press the Tinkerbell button at the base of the table lamp you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic surprise. The fireworks lightup and plays a lovely song. The song is short but the fireworks stay lit-up until you turn them off. My son and I turned these on every night we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. It was a magical way to end our day visiting the park.
We also stumbled upon the outdoor fireplace not far from Trader Sam’s tiki bar and restaurant. This is a huge screened fireplace offering seating all around it. It was a popular spot for enjoying a morning coffee or planning the day’s activities.
My son’s favourite feature within the Disneyland Hotel has to be the monorail-themed water park. Kids can enjoy entering and sliding down the monorail at the top and then an exposed waterslide on the bottom. There’s a little slide for toddlers, a shorter monorail slide for younger kids and than a bigger slide for the risk takers. The whole thing is surrounded by a small zero-grade water feature so even the smallest guests can cool off. Of course, you can enjoy two main pools, plus a micky-shaped hottub. The little waterpark makes it easy for families to enjoy downtowm from the park (one of the tips we suggested when traveling to Disney with young kids).
Unlike the Grand California, you have to walk through Downtown Disney to get from the Disneyland Hotel to the Disney theme parks. To some this might be a disadvantage, but we loved walking through Downtown Disney before and after a park visit. There was always something going on, making it an exciting place to visit. And your access to Downtown Disney is right outside the hotel.
I’ve stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and it is a fantastic hotel but I think the next time I visit the Disneyland Resort with my family, the Disneyland Hotel will be my hotel of choice.
Thanks to the folks at Disney Parks (Canada) for the opportunity to experience the Disneyland Hotel.