Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Staying on Disneyland Resort Property

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some tips to help you plan your Disneyland vacation.

If you're a Walt Disney World Resort regular like me, booking a Disneyland Resort experience can seem both stressful and strange. Unlike Walt Disney World Resort, visitors of the park have many options including Good Neighbor Resorts that are so convenient they are in walking distance of Downtown Disney and the two theme parks. Therefore, the options are seemingly endless.

However, if you do have your heart set on staying on property at Disneyland Resort, you're in luck. There are three fantastic options for your resort hotel experience.

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel celebrates beachfront boardwalks in this laid back resort. Arguably the hotel's best feature is the fantastic views of Disney California Adventure Park, and it gives you a nice, comfortable place to stay without the cost of the other two Disneyland hotels.

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel has 481 rooms that will remind you of a seaside getaway. For those who want to take advantage of the amazing California weather, the hotel has a very cool rooftop pool and waterslide from a third floor promenade. In the evening, you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the park and watch the fireworks right from this pool deck, including the music which is piped in from the park.

In the mood to mingle with your favorite Disney characters? Disney's Paradise Pier has you covered on that front as well. Disney's PCH Grill (stands for Pacific Coast Highway, for those of you not up on the left coast lingo) at the hotel hosts Surf's Up Breakfast Starring Mickey and Friends.

In my opinion, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel is a great option for those Disneyland guests who want to hit the park hard and relax comfortably in the evenings.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Looking for a unique, luxury experience, with incredible theming and a fabulous "commute" to the Disney Parks? Look no further than Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

photo credit: Grand Californian Christmas via photopin (license)
The Grand Californian is modeled after grand cottages in the National Parks of the US, and it feels like it as soon as you step onto its grounds. The lobby is breathtaking and there is not one detail missed.

The resort hotel has two notable restaurants: Storytellers Cafe and Napa Rose. Storytellers Cafe offers a casual dining experience, including its Chip n' Dale Critter Character Breakfast. Napa Rose offers signature, award-winning dining carefully prepared by Chef Andrew Sutton. Napa Rose will take you on a culinary tour of Napa Valley and offers an elegant experience that you wouldn't think that you could find adjacent to theme parks.

Speaking of which, I cannot forget to mention Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa's arguably greatest feature, which is a special entrance into Disney California Adventure Park. Looking for an early morning Fastpass to Radiator Springs Racers? Then the Grand Californian may be right for you.

A few other notes: Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa includes a few Disney Vacation Club villas, though if it is not one of your home resorts, you may have a hard time using your points there. Also, don't miss the hotel's award-winning spa and beautiful Redwood Pool and water slide.

The Disneyland Hotel

Are you a fan of Disneyana? Modern, but unique hotels? Then the Disneyland Hotel is likely right for you. 

The Disneyland Hotel will delight Disney fans from the moment they walk into the lobby and see original maps of the park and "teacups" for tables. The hotel has three towers - Adventure, Fantasy and Frontier - which include nods to each of the lands of Disneyland. The Frontier Tower, for example, has a very cool and impressive "concept model" of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

Everything from the monorail-themed pool to the Disney fireworks headboards screams Disney, and I loved every single item that I came across. The hotel seems like a Disney museum to a certain extent, and I enjoyed exploring the different buildings much like I enjoyed exploring the parks.

Even though the Disneyland Hotel is the furthest hotel from the theme parks, you are still only about a ten minute stroll away. 

Looking for unique dining experiences? Then the Disneyland Hotel has you covered! Steakhouse 55 makes you feel like you are being wined and dined by Walt Disney himself, as you select from steaks, seafood and an extensive wine menu. We ate here for breakfast twice, as a quiet getaway. If you're looking for Disney characters, be sure to check out Goofy's Kitchen. Poolside, you can enjoy the quick (and delicious, might I add) offerings of Tangaroa Terrace. 

Finally, if you're looking to relax with a cool drink after a long day, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is the best place to do so! It's impossible not to have a good time while visiting this unique location.

What's the Point?

A stay at an official Disneyland Resort Hotel is not cheap.  You can easily find a cheaper alternative off site at a Good Neighbor Hotel. However, if you're looking to double down on Disney during your stay, then it's worth the extra dough. 

Don't forget, with your stay at a Disneyland hotel, you'll get to experience early admission with an Extra Magic Hour at either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park before park opens, which makes the price tag a little more enticing.

Finally, if you're deciding among the three, you really can't go wrong. It's all about personality, and what makes the most sense for you and your family.

For more Disneyland trip planning tips, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disneyland 101 Loop:


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