Layout and Design
The Disneyland Hotel extends the Disney experience of the theme parks throughout your stay. Rooms have Disney touches, as do the swimming pools and dining areas, and you won't find those fantastic, lighted headboards with fireworks exploding over the castle anywhere else. You can even request a wake-up call from Mickey Mouse or another Disney character.
As a Disneyland Hotel guest, you can get early entry into some parts of the theme parks (an hour before they open to the general public). You can also take a guided, early-morning power walk through Disney California Adventure, learn to draw a Disney cartoon character or join a Pilates exercise class. For an extra fee, the hotel also offers special activities at Downtown Disney shops and evening activities for kids.
You can use your room key to charge most of your purchases and meals to your room, so you only have to pull out that credit card once. An even better perk of being a guest of the Disneyland Hotel is that, if you buy something at a shop inside the parks, you can have it delivered to your room instead of lugging it around all day.
The Disneyland Hotel is as close to the Disneyland entry plaza as any hotel in the area, but most of the time you don't need to walk that far. When the Downtown Disney Monorail station is open, you can avoid the herd experience at the front gates by entering there.
Guests at the Disneyland Hotel are the only people who can take the Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour, a one-hour walking tour that looks into how the Disneyland Hotel was a part of Walt Disney’s dream of the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
Perks and Features
A lot of websites will give you facts and numbers about the Disneyland Hotel. They'll tell you how many rooms it has, its address, and so on. That may be because they're working from the information they look up online, and they have never actually stayed at the hotel.
These tips and tricks come from real people who have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel more than once. This is what they have learned after staying at the hotel that you should know before going.
The Disneyland Hotel sometimes offers guests exclusive perks. The offer may change from time to time, so your best bet is to ask about available perks when you check-in.
If you and your main squeeze are Disney fans and you're looking for a place to spend a romantic, Disney-themed vacation, look elsewhere. There are plenty of options at Disneyland for couples, but the Disneyland Hotel really is geared towards families with kids.
The three towers are arranged in a "U" shape that surrounds the swimming pool and dining areas. If you are looking for a particular view from your room, know that the open side of the "U" faces away from Downtown Disney and Disneyland. The names of the towers have changed several times over the years but, in their current iteration, they are:
- Fantasy Tower: Regardless of which tower you'll be staying in, check-in for all three hotel towers is in one central lobby located in the Fantasy Tower. The gift shop is also located in this tower. All rooms face either the pool area or the parking lot.
- Adventure Tower: Rooms in the Adventure Tower face either the pool or Downtown Disney and the theme parks. From the upper-floor rooms that face Downtown Disney, you can see bits of both parks.
- Frontier Tower: The Frontier Tower has a few rooms on the Disneyland-facing end with windows and the only balconies you'll find at the hotel. The remaining rooms face either the pool or a parking lot, although the upper-floor pool-facing rooms can also see part of the theme park.
If your room is in the Adventure or Frontier Tower, don't just walk mindlessly through the lobby, take a look around and explore. The lobbies are like mini-museums of Disneyland history, containing Jungle Cruise drawings and models for its animatronic creatures in the Adventure Tower and a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad collection in the Frontier Tower. Look even closer and you may notice that the landscaping also complements the tower's theme.
The Disneyland Hotel is excellent for the comfort and amenities it provides, as well as how close it is to the theme parks. Service there is top-notch and the housekeeping is superb. Staying there is an excellent way to immerse yourself in all things Disney and, in fact, it has the most Disney magic of the three hotels at the Disneyland Resort.
The most exciting and fun part of a room at the Disneyland Hotel is, without a doubt, the headboard above the bed. At first glance, it's a nicely-carved representation of the Disneyland castle, but if you find the lamp with two switches and press one of them, the headboard is magical. While a music-box-style version of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" plays, tiny lights twinkle on the headboard and the fireworks come to life over Sleeping Beauty's castle. If you have kids, this headboard will be a highlight for them.
The rooms are on par with nicer hotel rooms anywhere, but with little Disney touches. Mickey Mouse outlines show up in the carpet design, white-gloved hands hold the bathroom mirrors, and the faucet handles also include that famous mouse-ears silhouette.
If you have a Disney History buff in your family, be sure to recommend the Directory of Services. Why read this boring tome? Just to see all the wonderful historical photos inside.
The hotel is so big that, despite the staff's friendly attitude, it feels a little impersonal. If you like Disneyland but would prefer a break from the Disney theme, you might like the Grand Californian better.
Your money will not go very far here, as some people will find the rooms are on the small side. Expect to pay extra if you want a room with a nicer view, on a higher floor, or with additional concierge services. Be aware, though, that Deluxe view rooms in the Adventure Tower can be disappointing.
Overall, this may not be the best choice for budget travelers. In fact, the Disneyland Hotel is one of the most expensive hotels in or around the Disneyland Resort. You can compare prices and read reviews of the Disneyland Hotel at Tripadvisor.com. Don't immediately count this hotel out if you think it's out of your price range, there are many ways to score great deals on hotels.
Hats off to all of the Disney hotels for not adding the annoying ripoff "resort fee" that many other area hotels charge, but the Anaheim hotel tax will add 15% to your bill. Many area hotels charge for parking and the Disneyland Hotel is no exception, but expect them to be just a little more than the day-use garages.
If you’re staying at the hotel with kids, you probably already know about Goofy's Kitchen. To find out more about things the kids can do at the hotel, ask at the check-in desk.
If all you need is a little bit of caffeine, you'll find a coffee shop at the Disneyland Hotel near the convention center entrance. They also serve Dole Whip, so you don't have to walk all the way to the Enchanted Tiki Room to get it.
Tangaroa Terrace: This is a casual place, where you order at a cash register and pick your order upon a tray. They serve all three meals and menu items include burgers, salads, and some full entrees at dinner time.
Goofy's Kitchen: Serving breakfast and dinner buffet-style, they specialize in Character Dining, and the character breakfast here is the best at the Disneyland Resort, Serving dishes kids (and most adults) can't resist, Goofy's Kitchen features Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles and Goofy's Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza. Dinner choices include a range of items, from salads to carved meats.
Steakhouse 55: Come here just to enjoy the wonderful photos of some of Hollywood's greatest stars on the walls, but be sure to check out the food, too. The quiet atmosphere, white linen tablecloths, and excellent service are a welcome respite from the hubbub of the theme parks. Breakfast and dinner are served here.
Trader Sam's: Trader Sam's is a fun, adult-style version of the Enchanted Tiki Room, complete with a simulated thunderstorm. It's dark inside, cool, and a good place to seek refuge if you're up to your Mouse ears with the under-six set. Their bar menu has enough items to make a nice lunch or dinner. Check out the Asian wings, which are crunchy, slightly sweet, and have just enough heat to get your attention without sending you running for the antacid tablets.
If you feel like taking some time out from spinning around in teacups, Afternoon Tea at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is just the place for you. This is perfect for a midday break, a birthday celebration, or just as a way to treat yourself. It’s also a fun idea for somewhere to take your little princess after she gets all prettied up in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
This afternoon tea is one of the best you'll find outside of the Ritz in London, with excellent service, perfectly brewed tea, and the yummiest selection of scones, tea sandwiches, and desserts. Get dressed up, wear your best, blingiest Mickey Mouse ears, or just drop in wearing your comfortable park attire.
Of the three character meals at the Disney hotels in Anaheim, Goofy's Kitchen the best. Even grown-up, snooty-foodies couldn't resist the allure of peanut butter pizza and Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles.
Characters who put in a regular appearance at the kitchen include Chip and Dale, Pluto, the Mad Hatter, Minnie Mouse, and, of course, Goofy himself. You don't have to go chasing after the characters, either. Instead, they will come to you. To make your greeting even more fun, get prepared with some of the tips on meeting the characters at Disneyland.
You don't have to get up early to have breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. It's crowded then, and you may not be hungry enough to get the best value for your money. The morning goofiness continues until almost noon and they open again for dinner. Reservations are a must.
The Fairy Tale Suite
The Disneyland Hotel has five Signature Suites decked out in extreme luxury and over-the-top Disney theming. You won't find these suites available online; instead, call 714-956-6425 to inquire.
Among the Signature Suites, the Fairy Tale Suite is the dreamiest. Any Disney princess would love to spend the night in this gorgeous place. In fact, it doesn't get much suite-er than this.
The suite's centerpiece is an enormous bedroom overlooking the entire resort through floor-to-ceiling corner windows. The bathroom includes a hand-cut mosaic of a stylized Sleeping Beauty Castle, a steam shower, and a Jacuzzi tub with colored lights designed to soothe your nerves or perk you up.
Mickey Mouse Penthouse
By far the most fun room at the Disneyland Hotel is the charming Mickey Mouse Penthouse. You'll find so many Mickeys here that it could take days to count them all. The desk sits in front of oversized Mickey Mouse drawings and sports a full array of Mickey-themed accessories.
The master bedroom is fit for a big-eared mouse or any of his fans. This room is for the kids, or kids at heart, and you will love its bright-colored energy.
Opposite the bed in the master bedroom sits an entertainment center in a shape you'll probably recognize, but the bathroom is perhaps one of the most surprising things in the whole place. Turn off the lights in this bathroom, and the grout between the tiles starts to glow. Just imagine how much fun that is.
The Adventureland Suite
The Adventureland Suite is the kind of place that Indiana Jones or the skipper of the Jungle Cruise might want to come home to at night. When someone rings the doorbell, the masks inside announce your visitor with a chant that's vaguely reminiscent of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
In the bathroom, you'll find a grotto complete with sound and lighting effects that simulate a rainforest. Creature comforts include a foot spa and a stream and rain shower. The second bedroom has the feel of a safari tent.
The suite even has its own background music. The three tracks were inspired by the Jungle Cruise queue at Disneyland park, Disney adventure-themed movies, and a world music soundtrack first created for Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Pirates of the Caribbean Suite
The Pirates of the Caribbean Suite features lots of gorgeous furnishings and pictures of pirates. Unfortunately, none of them left their treasure chest behind. This room has an especially nice view of the pool.
Big Thunder Suite
This suite features old-fashioned touches like the claw-footed bathtub in the bedroom. Just inside the front door is an old-fashioned telephone, the kind with no dial or buttons. Pick up the receiver, and you'll hear someone telling a humorous old-timey tale.
Swimming Pools and Facilities
The Disneyland Hotel has three swimming pools and a fitness center. The hotel's pools are named E-Ticket and D-Ticket (in honor of the Disneyland ticketing scheme of yesteryear), but the star is the Monorail Pool and its water slide.
You'll find a gift shop in the lobby, along with a concierge desk, a business center, and a Guest Services desk whose staff can help you with all kinds of things, including reservations and other arrangements
They provide free WiFi and in-room coffee makers. And it's a 100% non-smoking hotel. Like all hotels at the Disneyland Resort, it accommodates guests with disabilities and has a limited supply of manual wheelchairs for rent.
Disney owns and operates three hotels at the Disneyland Resort. Besides the Disneyland Hotel, you can stay at the less expensive Paradise Pier or the elegant Grand Californian.