Looking for a hotel steeped in Disney history? Disneyland Hotel was there when the Happiest Place on Earth opened in 1955, yet you won't find the original motor inn still standing. Major renovations throughout the years have resulted in a large, modern yet whimsical hotel that still exudes plenty of retro Disney charm.
The latest top-to-bottom renovation was completed in 2012, leaving the hotel with a sleek exterior, fresh new guest rooms loaded with charming details, and a sensational pool area.
From teacup chairs in the lobby to the many historical photos of Walt Disney lining the walls, the hotel is simultaneously modern and old-school, up-to-date and nostalgic.
The Never Land Pool area is the centerpiece of the resort, with its freeform pool, water play area, cabanas, and two fabulous Monorail waterslides using original Disneyland signage. The two slides are 187- and 112-feet long, respectively. Riders glide through Monorail cars before twisting and turning down to the water below. For younger kids, there is also a 19-foot two-lane mini slide and a series of small bubble jets for waterplay.
Guest rooms are located in three towers that surround the Never Land Pool area. The towers—Fantasy, Adventure and Frontier—are named for the original lands at Disneyland and each offers easy access of the pool, restaurants, and pathways to Downtown Disney and the parks.
Dining options include the casual Tangaroa Terrace and nostalgic Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, which take their architectural cues from the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland park. Downtown Disney, right next door, offers dozens of other eateries. At night, tiki torches and an outdoor fireplace add to the island atmosphere.
Best rooms: With 975 rooms and suites, there's no shortage of choice. Guest rooms are spacious and nicely appointed with modern amenities and many special Disney details. Along with standard double rooms, there's also a variety of large themed family suites with separate living and sleeping areas, pullout sofas, and kitchenettes.
Best season: Rates are at their lowest January-February and mid-August to mid-October. Also, midweek prices tend to be lower than on weekends.
Visited: July 2015
Disclaimer: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.