On Property Accommodations – Part 1 Disneyland

I spent a lot of time talking about places to go and things to do when you are at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  This week, I’m going to focus on something just as important….a place to sleep.  Disneyland and Walt Disney World both provide a variety of on-property accommodations.  Given its vast size, Walt Disney World has a lot more options than Disneyland.  I will focus on Walt Disney World later this week.  Today, I will focus on the three Disneyland on-property accommodations.  I will go from the oldest property to the newest.

For full disclosure, I have not stayed at any of these properties.  My only trip to Disneyland was back in 1984 and I stayed off-property with my family.

Starting with the old Disneyland Park resort hotel, let’s visit


Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland hotel and pools


Above is a panorama view of the Disneyland Hotel which was originally built by Jack Wrather in 1955.  The hotel was purchased by Disney in 1984 and underwent a massive renovation in 1999 into its present form.

The resort has 990 rooms and the theme is Classic Disney.  Standard rooms can accommodate up to five guests with suites available for larger groups.

Disneyland Hotel Room
Disneyland Hotel Room

The resort has two main pools: the Monorail pool with two water slides and the D-Ticket pool.  There is only a water play area available as well.

It boasts the most restaurants between the three Disneyland properties.  The five restaurants are: Goofy’s Kitchen, Steakhouse 55, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, Tangaroa Terrace which more causal dining and The Coffee House.  Goofy’s Kitchen has character dining at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Goofy is the mainstay character at this character meal with other characters coming in as well.

Other unique feature of this hotel: it is the only hotel of the three Disneyland properties which has character meet-and-greets throughout the day.  Characters will vary day-by-day.

This resort, like all three resorts, is within walking distance to parks and staying at the resort grants guests early entry into the parks.  Guests also have an exclusive entrance located in the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  Childcare is available at Pinocchio’s Workshop at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

There are three hotel views available: standard view, pool view, and Downtown Disney view.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

By 19 days, Disney’s Paradise Pier is the second-oldest Disneyland resort.  This beach-themed resort is the smallest at Disneyland with only 489 rooms and 29 suites.  Like the Disneyland Hotel, it was not originally owned by Disney.  It was built by the Tokyu Group from Japan and named the Emerald of Anaheim and then the Pan-Pacific Hotel.  Disney bought the hotel from Tokyu in 1995 and named the Disneyland Pacific Hotel before rebranding it as the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Paradise Pier Hotel Unlike the hotels at Walt Disney World, Paradise Pier is more of a high-rise hotels.  A lot of the Disney World hotels are only four or five floors high to maintain a good sight line through the resort.  This hotel is much taller due the lack of space at Disneyland since it is hemmed in by development that did not occur at Walt Disney World.  However, one unique feature of this hotel is the 13th floor something not seen in many US hotels.

Again because of the lack of space, the only pool is located on at the third floor of the hotel and has one water slide – California Streamin’.

View from top of hotel
View from top of hotel

The hotel does have good views of the California Adventure park and Paradise Bay in select rooms.

The hotel has a restaurant with character dining, at breakfast, at the PCH Grill with Mickey and Friends.  It also has the Surfside Lounge.

Guests do have the ability to gain early entry into the parks and the parks are within walking distance from Paradise Pier.  Guests also have their park entrance via the Grand California Hotel.

Views available are: standard view, pool view, and California Adventure view.

Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Going from the smallest resort at Disneyland to the largest at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.  The American Craftsman themed resort has 1,019 rooms and 44 suites.  The resort also has a wing for Disney Vacation Club Villas ranging from studios to a three-bedroom grand villas.  Some of the rooms have bunk beds and sleeping bags are available upon request.

This is also the only Disneyland Resort to be planned and built by Disney.

Grand Californian Lobby
Grand Californian Lobby
Grand Californian Room
Grand Californian Room


This flagship hotel has three pools on property – the most of the three Disneyland resorts.  The first pool is the Fountain Pool featuring a turtle fountain.  The second pool is the Redwood Pool which features a 100-foot water slide.  This pool has two whirlpool and a children’s pool as well.  The last pool is the Mariposa Pool which was added during the Disney Vacation Club expansion and has four private cabanas and a hot tub.

Pool Area
Pool Area

The resort has two table service restaurants.  The first is the upscale Napa Rose also designed in the California Craftsman style with large windows that overlook California Adventure.  The next is the Storytellers Cafe which features wood-fired pizza, grilled sandwiches, and “home-style dishes” on the menu.  Character dining, breakfast only, is available at Storytellers Cafe.  Chip n’ Dale are the headliners at this character meal.

There are two quicker service restaurants: Hearthstone Lounge and White Water Snacks.

The Grand Californian is the only resort to have a spa.  Guests staying at Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier do have access to the spa facilities as well.  Pinocchio’s Workshop Childcare Facilities are located here and like the spa – guests from other resorts have access to the facility.

Rooms at the Grand Californian have four possible views: standard view, pool view, Downtown Disney District, and California Adventure Park.

Briefly touching on the Grand California Villas which are part of the Disney Vacation Club.  These villas are primarily available for members of the Disney Vacation Club, however, villas are available for cash but the rooms carry a high per night cost.  Also, there are a small number of villas available and members do get priority so expect limited availability to non-members.

Three other features that are available at all three Disneyland Resorts: Disney Character Wake-Up Calls, Complimentary Delivery of Merchandise to hotel, and Charge purchases and meals to the room.

That’s an overview of the three Disneyland resorts.  Tomorrow, I’ll start on the Walt Disney World resorts.  There are four different classification of the Walt Disney World resorts: value resorts, moderate resorts, deluxe resorts, and deluxe villa resorts.  I’m going to go up in value during the week so tomorrow I’ll provide and overview of the Value Resorts.

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Thanks for reading!


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