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Exploring the Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

by Mommy Frog on May 2, 2017 19 Los Angeles

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.

Now there's another good reason to stay on site. We're offering discounts on all Disneyland Resort hotels (plus other Los Angeles hotels too)! Read on for more reasons to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel.

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

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.

  • Disneyland Park: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Disney California Adventure Park (including access to Cars Land): Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Radiator Springs Racers

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' Over California, Toy Story Midway Mania and California Screamin' with no waits and then get in line for a Radiator Springs FastPass 10-15 minutes ahead of park opening (FastPass doesn't begin operations until regular park opening). For more tips, check out our Disney California Adventure Touring 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.

Benefits of staying at Disneyland

The 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!

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Grand Californian

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.

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Disneyland Hotel

The Disneyland Hotel is the original hotel on the property, and it's 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.

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Disneyland Hotel pool

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.

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Paradise Pier

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).

Benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Paradise Pier Hotel pool

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.

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Comments
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Jack Beresford Oct 24, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.

Paradise Pier is a more affordable choice and many rooms have a great view of World of Color performed nightly. They even have the sound track play on you in-room TV.

Reply
Michiko Jan 11, 2015 at 6:50 p.m.

Great information! Quick question:

If you are staying onsite, is Magic hour offered on the day you check in?

Reply
FrogBlog Jan 11, 2015 at 6:01 p.m.

Hi Michiko,

Yes!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Rae Jan 30, 2015 at 2:51 a.m.

Yes every night you are registered you yet the magic morning!!

Reply
Karen Sep 21, 2015 at 2:24 a.m.

Great info and website! I've ben in SoCal my whole life and thought I was an expert, but your advice rocks! thank you so much! Karen happy frogging!

Reply
FrogBlog Sep 23, 2015 at 1:58 p.m.

Hi Karen,

You've made our day! Thank you!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Angie Oct 6, 2015 at 4:13 a.m.

Anyone know why it is slated to be busy through Jan 5? ( a tuesday, it seems like it would be only through the 3rd (sunday)

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 14, 2015 at 9:57 a.m.

Hi Angie,

While crowds will start dying down on that Monday, most local school districts have children back in school on the 5th. Here is our guide to the best time to visit Disneyland.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Yomari DeWeese Oct 30, 2015 at 7:25 p.m.

It is incorrect that you can use all the pools. You can only use the pool at the hotel you are staying at. I am here currently and have asked!

Reply
Julie Dec 16, 2016 at 9:19 p.m.

Do the Disney resort hotel room rates include tickets to the parks everyday?

Reply
FrogBlog Dec 20, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

Hi Julie,

Wouldn't it be great if they did?! Unfortunately, they do not.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Tanya Apr 8, 2017 at 5:25 p.m.

If you are staying at one of the three hotels on-site, can guests have access to the pools at the other two hotels on-site? If so, is it the room key that provides access?

Reply
FrogBlog Apr 9, 2017 at 7:15 a.m.

Hi Tanya,

You just need your room key.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Gayle Apr 11, 2017 at 5:39 p.m.

How do you get to the Disneyland Park from the Disneyland Hotel? Is it a far walk? What is the monorail?

Reply
FrogBlog Apr 11, 2017 at 12:54 p.m.

Hi Gayle,

Getting from the Disneyland Hotel to Disneyland is a short walk through Downtown Disney. The Disneyland Monorail will take you from just outside the Disneyland Hotel to Tomorrowland inside the park.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Lynda Dale Apr 25, 2017 at 10:51 p.m.

In the past while staying at the Disneyland Hotel I would use the Grand Californian entrance to California Adventure Park. I've heard rumors this is no longer allowed. Can anyone confirm whether or not this is still an option? Thanks

Reply
Carol May 15, 2017 at 6:11 p.m.

We were there in February and there were security guards stationed several places near the GC, prohibiting entering unless you were staying there. We had a reservation at Napa Rose and had to show picture ID as the guard checked our names against his reservation list. I suspect it was being overused as a cut through and alternate entrance.

Reply
Sara Aug 15, 2017 at 3:31 a.m.

Hi,

Is there a discount on murchandise if you were staying at the Disneyland hotel?

Reply
FrogBlog Aug 15, 2017 at 7:17 a.m.

Hi Sara,

There is no merchandise discount for hotel guests.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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