Posts

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review – Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are reviewing the official Disneyland hotels and some of Disneyland’s Good Neighbor hotels. While Walt Disney World boasts dozens of “on-site” resort hotels, the Disneyland Resort only has three – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the original Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel many times over the years and as with all other Disney resorts, I’ve enjoyed my visits.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

Image Credit: Disney Parks

When you first step into the lobby, you might feel that this particular hotel is lacking a bit in the theming that is so prevalent at the other two hotels. While the other two Resort hotels were built specifically as Disney resorts, the Paradise Pier Hotel was actually a different establishment that was taken over and remodeled by Disney. The Paradise Pier started its life as the Emerald of Anaheim in 1984 and later renamed the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was purchased by Disney in 1995 and renamed it the Disney Pacific Hotel. In 2000, it was re-branded as the Paradise Pier Hotel (to match the Paradise Pier theme at Disney California Adventure Park).

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

Inside the Paradise Pier Hotel gift shop, Mickey in Paradise

The lobby is a bit lackluster, I will admit. There is a Goofy statue that’s fun to take your picture with. There is a large gift shop (called Mickey in Paradise). There’s a restaurant (home to a Character breakfast) and a lounge. And a kid’s space called the “Paradise Theater” that shows Disney cartoons in a beach-theme. It’s a small lobby that lacks the “grandness” (obviously) of the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the vintage-chic feel of the Disneyland Hotel. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not very “Disney” feeling. But then again, you can always go and visit the lobbies at the other two Resort hotels and come back to the Paradise Pier Hotel to stay the night, right?

So what makes the Paradise Pier special and worth a stay? Here are some upsides:

A Beachy-keen Theme – The rooms are light and breezy in a fun beach theme that reflects the Paradise Pier, complete with beach balls pillows on the bed. There are subtle Disney details throughout too, including a lifeguard Mickey lamp. I think it’s a really fun and roomy space. There’s even a sleeper sofa for extra space.

Gotta Love that View – Watch the action taking place below with a stunning view of Disney California Adventure Park.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

A vintage view of Disney California Adventure Park, circa 2009

Extra Magic Hour  – While staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, guests may enjoy the theme parks an hour before park opening with Extra Magic Hour. All Disneyland Resort hotel guests also have access to the exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure park from Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It’s a great way to get that Radiator Springs Racers FastPass.

Slightly Lower Cost – Paradise Pier is always the lesser priced of the three Disney Resort hotels but it’s still priced quite a bit more than other area Good Neighbor hotels.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

Catch a Wave for Breakfast – Disney’s PCH Grill hosts the Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends, a highly enjoyable character dining experience. We’ve dined here several times and appreciate the variety at the buffet (can’t go wrong with Mickey waffles!) as well as the entertainment and characters that come to each table.

Concierge – We splurged on concierge during one of our stays here and it was a treat. We were able to enjoy the special lounge for a light morning breakfast, return for an “evening happy hour” with appetizers and pick up bottled water and a few snacks before heading to the pool. There was also turn-down service and a special treat for the kids when we returned in the evening.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

Proximity to the Parks – Yep, there are definitely motels on the other side of the Disney Parks that are technically closer to the front gates. Still, it’s really less than a 10-minute walk from the Paradise Pier to the special “Guest-only” entrance at Disney’s Grand Californian (bring your valid hotel room key & park tickets for access) and it’s only a few minutes more to reach the Monorail Station entrance in the Downtown Disney District. And the landscaped walk along the curving footpath is pleasant.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel

California Streamin’ waterslide

A Pool with a View – Situated on the third floor, the Paradise Pool is an enjoyable respite mid-day. My kids have always loved the California Streamin’ waterslide and little ones will enjoy the Children’s splash pool. It’s a smaller area than the other Disney Resort hotel pool areas, which can be a good thing when you have small kids to keep your eye on.

Fireworks – Come night fall, from the third floor pool deck, you can pull up a beach chair and watch the Disneyland fireworks over the Park. There is a live synchronized broadcast over the loudspeakers so you’re fully involved in the show. I have fond memories of my dad’s last visit to Disneyland, as he held two of his pajama-clad grandsons on his lap while we watched the fireworks from this location.

The Paradise Pier sounds like the perfect place to start the day (with a Character breakfast) and a lovely place to end the night (with fireworks)! What is your favorite feature of the Paradise Pier Hotel? Share below in the comments!



Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disneyland & Good Neighbor Hotel Reviews Loop:

signnature8


Looking for ways to save on your Disney vacation?  I recommend Park Savers for discount Disney tickets! (affiliate link)

Park Savers affiliate link

Disneyland Hotel – Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Welcome to the next stop on the Magical Blogorail. Today we are discussing some of the best Disney resorts around the world.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

 

The Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California is the first hotel to bear the Disney name. It opened in October of 1955, nearly 3 months after Disneyland opened. There were 100 rooms in five two-story guest room complexes. Guests could book a night for $15.00. Today none of the original hotel buildings from 1955 remain standing however the entire resort has recently undergone drastic remodel that makes it shine brighter than ever.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

I’ve stayed at the Disneyland Resort with my family countless times over the years. Since we live in San Diego, a drive to Disneyland only takes about 90 minutes so our trips were generally just one day and we didn’t often stay overnight. Staying at the Disneyland Hotel was, and still is, a special treat for us. Even though there are technically closer hotels to the Park entrances at much cheaper prices (see my post Disneyland Resort VS. Good Neighbor Hotels), there is just a magic that envelopes you when you stay at the Disneyland Hotel.

Neverland Pool at the Disneyland Hotel

Yesteryears…the Neverland Pool at the Disneyland Resort (circa 2007)

I’ve discussed on this blog before how much we love the pool at the Disneyland Hotel (see my post outlining all the fantastic Disneyland Resort Pools). Shaded by the three resort towers sits the newly re-themed pool area with three retro-styled pools, water slides, cabanas for rent, the Tangaroa Terrace for lunch and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar for drinks.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


CLASSIC

I cherish how the Disneyland Hotel pays tribute to its iconic past. In the remodeling process the three towers that make up the Disneyland Hotel were renamed Fantasy, Frontier and Adventure. We have stayed in two of the three (Fantasy and Frontier) and love the unique lobby theme in each. Even at Christmas, the decorated trees in the individual lobbies were in the theme of the tower.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The main lobby and check in for the hotel is inside the Fantasy Tower, which features this enormous light-up map of the Disneyland Park on the wall.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Inside the lobby of the Frontier Tower is a scale replica model of the ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The Disneyland Hotel pool is our favorite place to spend an afternoon and I love that even the pool area pays tribute to Disneyland’s roots.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


CLASSY

Okay, so we’ll probably never have the opportunity to stay in one, but just knowing the the Disneyland Hotel has the amazing themed signature suites available gives me goosebumps! Which one of the five would you choose?

Adventureland, Fairy Tale, Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean or Mickey Mouse Penthouse?

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Adventureland Suite (Image from Disneyland.com)

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Fairy Tale Suite (Image from Disneyland.com)

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Big Thunder Suite (Image from Disneyland.com)

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Pirates of the Caribbean Suite (Image from Disneyland.com)

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Mickey Mouse Penthouse (Image from Disneyland.com)

And if you’re done with corn dogs and popcorn, Disneyland also offers upscale dining at Steakhouse 55 for either breakfast or dinner. Mmmm, you had me at prime rib!


CHARACTER-KISSED

Yes, of course the Disneyland Hotel doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is the house of the mouse and you can find him in subtle (and not-so-subtle ways) throughout the resort. The front entrance of the hotel features statues of Mickey and Minnie.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The hotel is rife with Hidden Mickeys to find from floor to ceiling and the amazing double headboard houses a magical surprise!

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Along the pathway from the hotel to the Downtown Disney District is Mickey’s huge sorcerer’s hat, that Tinker Bell illuminates with twinkling lights at night.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

There are Disney touches everywhere you look, even in these sweet Minnie & Mickey topiaries just outside the pool grounds.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Do you delight in dining with a slapstick crew? Then Goofy’s Kitchen is for you! We met at least a half dozen characters including a chipmunk who joined us for dinner!

Dining with Chip (or Dale?) at Goofy's Kitchen (circa 2008)

Dining with Chip (or Dale?) at Goofy’s Kitchen (circa 2008)


Want to learn more about the Disneyland Hotel? Guests 14+ can take this complimentary one-hour walking tour, the Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour and discover how the Disneyland Hotel was a part of Walt Disney’s dream of the “Happiest Place on Earth” (reserve a spot at the Guest Services desk).

For more about the Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, click the link where I address Extra Magic Hours, Character Wake-Up Calls and use of an exclusive entrance to the Park.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail | Special Edition : Best Disney Resorts Around the World Loop: