Disneyland Hotel: Proven Insider Tips

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    Disneyland Hotel

    The Three Towers of the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• The Three Towers of the Disneyland Hotel. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    The Disneyland Hotel is made up of three high-rise towers, located adjacent to Downtown Disney and a 0.5-mile walk to the main gates of Disneyland and California Adventure.

    What's Special About the Disneyland Hotel

    The Disneyland Hotel extends the Disney experience of the theme parks throughout your stay. Their service typifies Disney hospitality. 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.

    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. And the hotel offers special activities at Downtown Disney shops and evening activities for kids (for an extra fee).

    You can even get a wake-up call from Mickey...MORE Mouse or another Disney character (if you ask for it). 

    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. And 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 except the Grand Californian, 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 their 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.”

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  • 02 of 10

    What You Really Need to Know About the Disneyland Hotel

    Guest Room at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Guest Room at the Disneyland Hotel. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    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 information they look up online, and they have never actually stayed at the hotel. You can find that general information on the last page of this guide. 

    I have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel - more than once - and these are the things I learned that you really need to know.

    What You Need to Know About the Disneyland Hotel

    The Disneyland Hotel sometimes offers guests exclusive perks. Exactly what they’re offering may change, so your best bet is to ask about them when you check in.

    The hotel is best for families with kids and Disney fanatics. It's not the best place for a romantic getaway. 

    The Towers at The Disneyland Hotel

    The three towers are arranged in a "U" shaped, surrounding the swimming pool and dining areas. The open side of the "U" faces away from Downtown Disney and...MORE Disneyland. Check-in for all three hotel towers is in one central lobby, in the Fantasy Tower.

    Front desk personnel exhibit the cheerful, helpful attitude of all the Disneyland Resort employees. While waiting for the computer to print out my receipt, the desk clerk asked me who my favorite character was, adding a cheerful touch to an otherwise dull wait.

    The names of the towers have changed several times over the years, but currently, they are:

    • Fantasy Tower: Check-in for all three towers is here, as is the gift shop. Their 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 floors 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. The rest face either the pool or a parking lot, but 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. They're like little mini-museums of Disneyland history, with 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.

    What There Is to Like About the Disneyland Hotel

    I love the Disneyland Hotel's comfort, amenities and how close it is to the theme parks. Service is top-notch, and housekeeping is superb. Staying there is an excellent way to immerse yourself in all things Disney. 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 find the lamp with two switches, press one of them, and it's 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. If you have kids, it will be a highlight for them, and even this adult had to play it several times, just for the fun of it.

    Besides that, the rooms are on par with nice, higher-end 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.

    Other things I especially liked: Water pressure from the tub faucet is high, which would make it easy to fill up a bathtub fast, but the shower pressure is also comfortable. Shower curtains are on a curved rod that makes for more room while showering. Make-up mirrors are exceptionally large. And everything was spotlessly clean, even by my picky standards.

    After nearly two decades of writing about California, this is the first time I've recommended this at a hotel: Check out the Directory of Services, from cover to cover. Why? Just to see all the wonderful historical photos inside.

    What You Might Not Like About the Disneyland Hotel

    The hotel is so big that it feels a little impersonal, despite the staff's friendly attitude. It's also expensive if you're on a tight budget. Some people complain that the rooms are on the small side.  Deluxe view rooms in the Adventure Tower can be disappointing.

    If you like Disneyland but would prefer a break from the Disney theme, you might like the Grand Californian better.

    Cost Considerations for the Disneyland Hotel

    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

    Anaheim hotel tax will add 15% to your bill. Many area hotels charge for parking and the Disneyland Hotel is no exception. You can find current parking rates at their website, but expect them to be just a little more than daily parking in the day-use garages.

    Expect to pay extra if you want a room with a nicer view, on a higher floor or with additional concierge services.

    Hats off to all of the Disney hotels for not adding the annoying ripoff "resort fee" that many other area hotels charge.

    Don't just look at the phone number for the hotel and say "how old-fashioned." Instead, find out how to get the best hotel rates by picking up the telephone. Using those tips, my Gal Pal saved a bundle on a room at a Disneyland Resort hotel.

    Disneyland Hotel with Kids

    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.

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  • 03 of 10

    Dining at the Disneyland Hotel

    Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

    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.

    You'll also find several places at the hotel to eat a full meal, each with a different ambiance.

    Tangaroa Terrace: This is a casual place, where you order at a cash register and pick your order up on 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 we think the character breakfast here is the best at the Disneyland Resort, with dishes kids (and most adults) can't resist, including 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: We'd eat at Steakhouse 55 just to...MORE enjoy the wonderful photos of some of Hollywood's greatest stars on the walls, but the food is good, too - and the quiet atmosphere, white linen tablecloths, and excellent service are a welcome respite from the hubbub of the theme parks. They serve breakfast and dinner.

    Trader Sam's: Trader Sam's second name is the Enchanted Tiki Bar. You might guess from the name that it's decked out like 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 from. My favorite is the Asian wings: crunchy, slightly sweet and just enough heat to get your attention without sending you running for the antacid tablets

    You can make reservations for Goofy's Kitchen and Steakhouse 55 by calling 714-781-3463 or reserve online.

    Afternoon Tea at Steakhouse 55

    If you feel like taking some time out from spinning around in tea cups to sip some tea instead, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is just the place for you. It’s a perfect spot for a quiet midday break, a birthday celebration or just 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.

    Their afternoon tea is some of the best I’ve experienced west of the Ritz in London, with excellent service, perfectly brewed tea and the yummiest 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.

    Reservations for Classic Afternoon Tea at Disneyland Hotel can be made by calling 714-781-DINE or by visiting Disneyland.com/dine.

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    Character Dining at the Disneyland Hotel

    Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel. Disneyland Resort

    Of the three character meals at the Disney hotels in Anaheim, I like Goofy's Kitchen the best. That could be because I like Goofy, but it's also about the menu. Even this grown-up, snooty-foodie couldn't resist the allure of peanut butter pizza and Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles.

    Other characters who put in a regular appearance at the kitchen include Chip 'n' Dale, Pluto, the Mad Hatter and Minnie Mouse. 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 a little prepared with some of the tips in the Guide to Actually 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 yet 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. Make them online, or call 714-781-3463 up to 60 days before your visit. 

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  • 05 of 10

    Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel: The Fairy Tale Suite

    Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. Disney

    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, you can call 714-956-6425.

    Among them, the Fairy Tale Suite is the dreamiest.

    In fact, it doesn't get much "suite"-er than this. Any Disney princess (or for that matter any princess at all) would love to spend the night in this gorgeous place.

    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.

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  • 06 of 10

    Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel: Mickey Mouse Penthouse

    Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    By far the most fun room at the Disneyland Hotel is the charming Mickey Mouse Penthouse. In fact, it's the one that's on my personal Disney bucket list.

    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 I 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. You'll probably have less trouble than usual getting the kids to take a shower in it. Turn off the lights in this bathroom, and the grout between the tiles starts to glow. Just imagine how much fun that is.

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    Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel: The Adventureland Suite

    Inside the Adventureland Suite at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Inside the Adventureland Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

    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, full of safari-themed decor.

    When you ring 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 or an African savanna. Creature comforts include a foot spa - and a stream and rain shower.

    The second bedroom - my favorite - 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.

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    Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel: Pirates of the Caribbean Suite

    Inside the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Inside the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

    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.

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    Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel: Big Thunder Suite

    Big Thunder Suite at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Big Thunder Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. Brian Davis/Disneyland

    Inspired by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Disneyland park, the "wildest suite in the wilderness" is 1,400 square feet of luxurious yet rustic accommodation.

    I like its 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.

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  • 10 of 10

    Details About the Disneyland Hotel - and Other Disney Hotels

    Swimming Pool at the Disneyland Hotel
    ••• Swimming Pool at the Disneyland Hotel. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    The Disneyland Hotel has about 1,000 guest rooms in three towers. Each of them is a multi-story structure with interior hallways and elevators.

    The hotel's address is 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim CA. You can find more details at the Disneyland Hotel Website

    Facilities at the Disneyland Hotel

    The Disneyland hotel has three swimming pools and a fitness center. 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.

    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. Check this video to see how much fun it is.

    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...MORE arrangements.

    More Disney Hotels in California

    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.

    As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation. 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.