My head hit the pillow and I snuggled down into a soft cloud.
Oh My goodness this bed is comfortable. I felt the exhaustion drain out of my body and my last thoughts before slipping into dreams of magic carpet rides was,
“Oh this is exactly what the body needs after a long day at Disneyland.”
And then at 5:05 I woke up. No alarms needed.
I felt refreshed, alert and in awe of how I had slept like a log (not a baby as they don’t sleep).
The girls had succumbed to the comfort that evening as well. Slowly and gently slipping off to slip as we watched the Masterchef final. They both woke up claiming how deeply they slept without waking once.
Disneyland Resort Anaheim has three places you can stay: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
We were staying as guests at the Disneyland Hotel for one night in order to experience the Disney magic and share this review for you.
Our 15 best hotels near Disneyland post is hugely popular, so we want to experience as many hotels in Anaheim on our two week trip as possible, to help make your decisions better on where to stay when you visit Disney.
We actually did not go into either Disneyland or California Adventure Park while staying at the Disneyland Hotel.
After spending two fun-filled, yet long days in Disneyland before it, we decided a day of rest was in order to enjoy the hotel and laze around the pool.
You can read Kalyra’s post about her dream trip to Disneyland and the awesome Disney Halloween Party!
Here’s what to expect from your stay at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim.
The Disney Characters Greet You
Sometimes meeting a character in the Disneyland theme parks and getting their autographs involves a LONG wait and there are no fast passes for character queues.
You, and your kids, will love that the characters roam around the Disneyland Hotel and you get immediate access.
We were greeted by Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale during check in. Goofy danced with the girls, Chip and Dale walked around the lobby with them under his arms, and Pluto took plenty of photos with us.
There was also a quartet singing embracing the Halloween festivities with a capella rendition of Thriller.
All the kids screamed when we rounded a corner to see Minnie sitting on her own waiting for guests to find her near the pool. There are always huge lines for Minnie in Disneyland.
We got cuddles, signatures, and photos. Even I cuddled her!
For the kids, we were staying in the middle of the magic at Disneyland, California. We know it’s all about how happy they are!
You can experience a character breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel.
We did the character breakfast the morning before inside Disneyland, so didn’t do it at the hotel. I can imagine it would be less busy and more intimate than inside the theme park.
What are the Rooms like at the Disneyland Hotel, California?
I was expecting to have more of a Disney theme décor in the rooms. Our room looked like a regular hotel room. Our nearby vacation rental apartment had more Disney themed decor.
However, the beds do have a gigantic head board of the Sleeping Beauty Castle that lights up like fireworks and plays music. And our double Queen room had lovely views out over the pool area.
I loved how there was a channel dedicated to bedtime stories for the kids. We watched a little of Cinderella and Snow White to help relax the girls and get them ready for sleepy time.
Sometimes you just can’t beat snuggling up in bed watching TV in your hotel room.
Any Australian will understand the importance of a Big Dog like experience to get the kids into bed!
If you want to make your Disneyland vacation the Ultimate Enchantment, then stay in one of the 5 different signature suites that have special Disneyland Park themes and decor:
- Fairytale Princess
- Big Thunder
- or the grand Mickey Mouse Penthouse
What are the pools and waterslides like at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim?
As mentioned, we spent the day around the pool in the Disneyland Hotel. Thankfully, the California sunshine was out and we could relax.
The girls loved the water slide area. There are 2 towering monorail water slides—themed after the classic park attraction with a fun water play area underneath it.
It caters to all ages in your family.
I loved the Chaise lounges surrounding the pool to be honest and would have LOVED to spend the entire day laying on them.
But, you know the TRUTH about family travel. You do not get to take your book to the pool and read it.
Well you can pretend reading a book is going to happen, but you know after reading the same sentence 15 times, you’ll be up after 5 minutes zipping down waterslides, playing Marco Polo and chasing down food and drink.
Ah, but this is why we really travel with our kids – not for serenity.
There are two pools to play in and you can soak up the sun and ease those muscles and the Mickey Spa and Minnie Spa whirlpools. You can also rent a poolside cabana
Close Proximity to Disneyland
Of course, this is one of the best reason for staying at the Disneyland Hotel, California.
You are right at the entrance to Downtown Disney district, which puts you at about a 10 minute walk to the front gates of Disneyland and California Adventure Park.,
You’ll appreciate this easy access, especially leaving Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure after those long days.
Waiting for a hotel shuttle or walking for an extra 20 minutes is probably the last thing you want to do after walking around all day and waiting in long ride lines!
The Disneyland Hotel is right near the monorail station in Downtown Disney which drops you off right inside Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
Mom’s and Dad’s, you’re bound for a long day at Disney standing in queues to make your kid’s dreams come true. You know your morning coffee is a priority!
There is surprisingly good coffee at the little deli and coffee store inside the Disneyland Hotel. I would grab a cup here on your way out, as the only option inside the Disneyland Resort is Starbucks – and you know what I think about that!
Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests
You get to enjoy the attractions and characters (no long lines) for an hour more with the early admission! You’ll definitely appreciate this.
Because we had the 10 day Park Hopper tickets (only available to Australians) we didn’t utilize the extra magic hour, as I was already spending too many extra hours in the Disneyland Resort Parks!!
Other features of the Disneyland Hotel you may love
- Disney Movies: On select evenings, curl up under the stars or gather ‘round inside to watch special screenings of popular Disney films.
- Get Up & Go Power Walk: This is a 2 mile Walk through Disney California Adventure Park before it opens starting at 6am. It’s for 14+ ages, and you must be able to walk fast. No cameras allowed. I really wanted to do this but couldn’t make it work with our tight schedule
- Fitness Center. I enjoyed a couple of sessions in here. It has everything you need: weights, ellipticals, stair climbers, bicycle and treadmills.
- Complimentary Happiest Hotel on Earth walking tour: This is where you learn the history and design of the Disneyland hotel.
- Nightly music and cocktails at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
What we didn’t like about the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim
The Disneyland Hotel was renovating Tangaroa Terrace restaurant during our visit, so we found the food choices to be quite limiting, especially around the pool.
What we ordered was delicious, but it didn’t cater to our dietary requirements and shouldn’t have eaten it (gluten) but it was our only option.
We just wanted to relax at the hotel and not have to venture into Downtown Disney to eat.
This may not be the normal experience for families staying at the Disneyland Hotel as I’m sure they are probably deep within the Disneyland theme parks each day and eating there.
But, if you want to just spend the day relaxing at the hotel around the pools, as they are great, there are only a few food options, and not very good choices for fussy children.
We found it strange there were no fries or burgers on the menu. I know that this is not the healthiest food, but sometimes it’s the easiest with kids.
The service was slow around the pool as well.
Overall, we feel the Disneyland Hotel is overpriced for what you get. The average price of a room at the Disneyland Hotel is $500.
I think you can find better value for your money at nearby Disney hotels or, better yet, a Disneyland vacation rental. (Here is our review of the Hyatt Regency Orange County one of the nearby Good Neighbor Hotels)
However, if you are a Disney Super Fan, and want easy access to the Disneyland Resort theme parks and the other perks above, then staying at the Disneyland Hotel may be the stuff your dreams are made of!
Bonus Travel Video:
You can check out more of what the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim is like in our video. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!
Get Your Disneyland Tickets
Buy your Disneyland tickets through our trusted affiliate partner Undercover Tourist who sell authentic theme park tickets at discounted prices. Buy online and go straight to the park entrance gate – no exchange necessary!
We recommend park hopper tickets so you can hop between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park:
- 2 day park hopper tickets
- 3 day park hopper tickets
- 4 day park hopper tickets
- 5 day park hopper tickets
More Travel Tips for Your Southern California Vacation:
- 10 Day Itinerary – Best Places to Visit in Southern California (beyond Disneyland)
- 16 Exciting Things to do in San Diego With Kids (This Place Is Me!)
- 15 Memorable Things to do in Orange County with Kids