An Enchanted Disneyland Hotel Experience

by Julie Cohn

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This past week, Little Man and I went to Disneyland, and stayed at a nice off-property hotel.  We normally stay at one of the Disneyland hotels, but I booked our reservations last minute, and the Disneyland hotels were sold out.  Fortunately, the last day of our trip, I was able to get us into the Disneyland hotel.  What a difference a day makes!

This was not our first time off-property.  Over the years, we’ve stayed at 4-5 “other” hotels in the Disneyland area; all but one were nice places…but they were not Disneyland hotels.  Other than the first three days at the “other” hotel, we’ve stayed at the newly renovated Disneyland Hotel our last two stays,  Going from an off-property hotel to a Disney hotel was eye-opening.  There is nothing better for experiencing a true Disney experience, like staying at a Disneyland property, such as the Disneyland Hotel.

Without sounding too sappy, I would say that from the moment we arrived at the Disneyland hotel, we could feel the magic.  Some of the off-property hotels attempt a “pseudo Disney” theme, but they don’t quite get “it”.  The buzz in the air, at the Disneyland Hotel, was a real Disney buzz-everyone was there for the same reason…to have a truly magical time.  The check-in process was smoother than other hotels; the staff friendlier, with a genuine smile and a special twinkle in their eye.  No kidding.  We weren’t an anonymous “nobody” to them.  We were greeted as honored guests, and the hotel staff made us feel that they truly wanted us to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience…and we did.

Tea cup Lounge seating in the lobby
Open, airy lobby area

The attention to detail, in every area of the hotel, was incredible.  There was tea cup seating in the lobby.  Large lounge areas outside the hotel, some with fireplaces.  Blue and gold star-designed carpeting in the hallways.

The restaurants are new and improved, with updated dining choices.  The blue glass covering the buildings is energy-efficient and captures the beautiful blue sky.  Guests are a few steps from bustling downtown Disney.

The artwork displayed in the hotel lobbies represents nostalgic areas of Disneyland park, and everything has a Walt Disney “touch.”

Adventure Tower lobby

The AAA four-diamond rating at the Disneyland Hotel isn’t too shabby either.

The room was breathtaking.   We walked in the door and across the room were gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, looking out over the pool area, downtown Disney, or the front of the hotel.  The decor was sleek, yet warm and serene.  The bedding was soft and clean…so clean, you’d think Cinderella’s helpers had been in the room.

The room was large, plenty of room for my son and I, but it would have also been spacious for a family of four. The highlight of the room?

With the flick of a switch, we were instantly serenaded with a music-box style melody of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (the Cinderella theme song).  In addition to the music, the large wooden headboard above both beds lit up with sparkling fireworks.  The song stopped after a few moments, but the fireworks continued to twinkle.  We actually went to sleep to the fireworks the other night…it was so peaceful.   The room wasn’t just pretty though, it was comfortable.  I can honestly say that the Disneyland Hotel beds are the most comfortable I have ever slept in…and as you know, I’ve slept in a lot of hotel beds (that didn’t come out right, but you know what I mean!).

The enchantment of the Disneyland hotel was more than just the room, though.  As part of our stay at a Disney on-site hotel, we could take advantage of early entry into the Disneyland Park, usually an hour before it opens to the general public.  That hour can make a big difference, especially for families with little ones, who tire easily on the longer attraction ride lines.  With early entry, guests get to ride the monorail before everyone else.

One of the nicest things about being at an on-property hotel was that because we so close to the entrance of the park, we did not have to wait on long (and disorganized) shuttle lines to get back to our hotel.   A quick hop on the monorail, and we could head back to the hotel for a mid-day siesta.  This is an awesome feature for families with smaller children who need quiet nap time, but even Little Man and I took advantage of a short afternoon break.

The pool view from our room!

Oh…and while taking that break?  Check out the Disneyland Hotel pool.  They renovated the pool area as well as the hotel, and there is so much fun to take advantage of!  There is a fun monorail slide, a large splash area, and poolside cabanas.  They took away the confining walls and fences, so the pool area is now open and airy, with a relaxing resort feel.  We did not use the pool this trip, because we went to the Mickey Halloween party, but will definitely take advantage of it next time.

The monorail slides.

I know what you’re thinking. Staying at a Disneyland hotel is not cheap.  Rates can range from $159 – 550 per night, depending on availability, time of year, and hotel.  I’m not suggesting you go over-budget. Off-property hotels may be a little bit less expensive, but if you can afford to pay a bit more, the quality of a Disneyland hotel room, the magic your family will feel, and the memories you make, are worth every penny.  There is just nothing that compares to a Disney resort property.  If we can help it, we will never stay anywhere else (except  another Disneyland resort hotel) ever again.

Disclaimer:  I was in no way compensated by Disneyland Hotel for this review.  Our family has stayed at the Disneyland hotel many times over the years, we love the hotel, and are happy to share it’s qualities with others.  My opinions are 100% my own!


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