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One of the reasons we love visiting Disneyland is there are an abundance of nearby hotel options at every price point. Even better, most are frog — er, family — friendly. While there are fewer reasons to stay off site at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World, there are some hoppin' good reasons to stay at the Disneyland Resort hotels. One is to fully immerse yourself in the "Disney magic." Try as you may, you really can't get that Disney magic if you're not staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel.
If you want the full-on Disney experience, staying at Disneyland Resort hotel is a must.
Now we've got another good reason to stay on site. We're offering discounts on all Disneyland Resort hotels (plus other Los Angeles hotels too)! If you're weighing whether to stay on off site for your next vacation, you'll want to learn all of the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel.
As we mentioned, if you want the full-on Disney experience, staying at Disneyland Resort hotel is a must. Disneyland resort guests can also use their room key for charging privileges in the park and park package delivery, a nice benefit if you don't want to lug around all of your in-park purchases. The other chief reason for staying on property, and this can be highly beneficial from a touring perspective, is the Extra Magic Hour. This benefit allows resort guests one hour early access to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park depending on the day.
Typical EMH Schedule
- Disneyland Park: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
- Disney California Adventure Park (including access to Cars Land): Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
If you want to experience Cars Land with the lowest waits, taking advantage of the early hour is a definite benefit! You should still plan on arriving early enough to be ahead of the opening and then head straight for Radiator Springs Racers. With the majority of the early guests also headed that way, you'll still find a wait, but it will be the shortest wait this attraction will see all day. Alternately, you could skip Radiator Springs Racers during the Extra Magic Hour, ride the park's other popular attractions such as Soarin' Around the World, Toy Story Midway Mania and the coming Incredicoaster with no waits and then get in line for a Radiator Springs FastPass 10 to 15 minutes ahead of park opening (FastPass doesn't begin operations until regular park opening). For more tips, check out our Disney California Adventure Park Plan.
Disneyland Resort Hotels Overview
Disneyland has three hotels on property, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. A fourth Disneyland hotel has been announced. It is expected to open in 2021.
Disney's Grand Californian is the grande dame of the three properties with its California Craftsman style that harkens to the stone-and-timber national park lodges of yesteryear. It’s also the newest of the properties, the best themed and has the distinct advantage of being the most convenient of the hotels to the parks with its own dedicated entrance to Disney California Adventure and pedestrian access to the Downtown Disney District. It's our top pick for your Disneyland Resort hotel stay!
Your tadpoles will love the pool complex, lushly landscaped with boulders and conifers. It boasts a quiet lap pool, a Mickey Mouse-shaped kids pool and a large pool with a 100-foot redwood slide. Not surprisingly, the Grand Californian comes with the grandest price, but it’s the ideal location if you can afford it.
The Disneyland Hotel is the original hotel on the property, and it's a favorite among the Disney faithful. It has been recently renovated. The theme is classic Disney, with 1950s-style signage and touches of whimsy throughout. It is a short walk to the Monorail station, about 5 minutes to Disneyland Park.
As part of the hotel’s renovations, the pool area has been expanded with a pair of Monorail waterslides, a kiddie slide and a water play area, which are a big hit with the little ones. The Disneyland Hotel is the mid-priced hotel at the resort.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel overlooks the Paradise Pier area of Disney California Adventure and carries on the beachfront boardwalk theme to the hotel, with Mickey Mouse accents in the guest rooms. This hotel is the furthest of all the Disney properties from Disneyland Park, about a 15-minute walk away (or 5-10 minutes to the monorail).
The pool sits rooftop, and from the deck guests can watch the Disneyland Park fireworks on select nights. The young ones will love the California Streamin’ waterslide, a tribute to classic boardwalk coasters, including nearby California Screamin’.
Each of the Disneyland hotels offers character dining. Standard rooms accommodate up to five guests, making them suitable for families of five. Guests at any of the hotels can use the child activity center, Pinocchio’s Workshop, located in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
We hope you've found this overview of the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel helpful as you consider a visit to Los Angeles. You'll find more resources and tips inside our Los Angeles Planning Guide. Ready to book your Disneyland Resort hotel? Hop to it with Undercover Tourist for a discount!