The Disneyland Hotel is one of three hotels at The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. This hotel is the oldest of the hotels but I fully believe it is filled with the most Disney magic. The Disneyland Hotel currently has three towers, the Fantasy Tower, Frontier Tower, and Adventure Tower. A fourth tower with villas for Disney Vacation Club members called the Discovery Tower, is expected to open soon. The best part about the hotels is that other than the pool and a few other amenities they are open for everyone to enjoy.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and buy something, I will earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.
Each of the three hotels at The Disneyland Resort has something different to offer. The Grand Californian is a tribute to California and overlooks sections of Disney California Adventure. Paradise Pier, currently transforming into a Pixar Hotel, has a beach theme and rooms that can see pieces of Pixar Pier. But it is The Disneyland Hotel that truly pays tribute to Disney’s history and brings the magic to life.
Things to Consider to Make Your Stay As Comfortable and Convenient As Possible
If possible avoid bringing a car or if you have to consider valet. I got dropped off by family when I stayed at the hotel as I didn’t want to pay for parking. I understand not everyone has that luxury. The self-parking rate is almost half of the valet but from what I have read it is a far walk and finding parking spaces can be challenging. So I would encourage you to do valet if possible to make your stay less stressful.
Check-in on the app as soon you it will allow you to. I believe I was able to check in for my reservation about 48-72 hours in advance. Since I am local I set my arrival time to 8 am. My room ended up being ready before 9 am which was amazing. However, when I stayed at the Grand Californian the night before my room wasn’t ready on time so don’t assume you’ll get an early check-in. If so, amazing, and if not they will allow you to use the pool early. You can unlock your room via the Disneyland app if you’d like but I went down to the front desk to ask for physical keys.
Allow yourself time to fully enjoy the hotel and explore it. I love going into the lobbies of all of the towers to see what they have on display. If you like pin trading be sure to look for the pinboards at the front desk and at the Fantasia gift shop.
Download the Disneyland App!
Rooms At The Disneyland Hotel
I have been very blessed to have stayed here a few different times. On most of my visits, I have stayed in the standard rooms but recently I stayed in a club-level room for the first time. The Adventure Tower is my favorite to stay in because you can either have a view of Downtown Disney and may even have a glimpse of the top of some of the attractions in the park or you can have a pool view. The other towers will mainly only have pool or parking lot views. The Adventureland Tower is also home to the E-Ticket Club, a lounge for club-level guests, and signature suites.
View this post on Instagram
The rooms have changed a little bit between when staying in 2014 and my most recent stay in 2023. In 2014 most of the standard rooms came with a pull-out couch. I was surprised when I didn’t see that in my club-level room in 2023. What I find interesting though is the website still lists daybeds for most of if not all the rooms yet even with other family members staying in larger rooms we never saw a daybed in 2023. So if that is extra important to you I would encourage you to call and speak with a cast member to get clarification on if that would be in your room type before booking.
The Disneyland Hotel has a good variety of rooms. In addition to standard and club-level rooms, they have family suites, villas, and signature suites. The signature suites are the most magical rooms on the property. They have different themes like the Big Thunder Suite and the Fairytale Suite. Be sure to do your research to figure out which type of room is the best for your needs and budget. For this post in regards to the rooms, I’ll be focusing on standard and club-level rooms since those are the ones I have experience with.
What can you expect with a standard Disneyland Hotel room? This hotel is filled with Disney from the carpet to the furniture and the pictures on the wall. The castle headboard with music and firework lights is always a favorite part of the rooms. There should be drawers underneath the tv for you to store items. You’ll have nightstands, a desk and chair, and a comfy reading chair.
I was very pleased to see that the rooms have smart TVs where you can connect Disney+ or other streaming services that you have accounts for. You might want to consider traveling with long charging cords as the locations of the outlets might not be a good distance to be on your phone from the bed.
Mini Fridge – it is completely empty so you don’t have to worry about anyone taking anything and getting charged for it. It is great for storing water and other snacks for the park.
A Hair Dryer
Coffee Maker – it was a Keurig in our room
Iron & Board
Disneyland Hotel Club Level Rooms
As far as the rooms go I didn’t find a massive difference between a club room and a standard room. The main in-room difference was robes and a turn-down service at night which included a Disney 100 candy bar. However, there are differences in what you get with that reservation outside of the room. At check in a member of the concierge team will escort club-level guests up to E Ticket Lounge. Your access to the lounge begins at your time of arrival even if your room is not ready yet. If club rooms are not available but you would like to add the E-Ticket to your reservation you can ask the hotel if that is possible and what the fee would be.
E-Ticket Club at the Disneyland Hotel
The E-Ticket is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Guests can enjoy food throughout the day:
Magical Beginnings (6:30-10 a.m.) – Continental breakfast bar with an assortment of fresh pastries, fruit, cereal, and morning beverages.
Intermission (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – Light refreshments, snacks, and beverages.
Magic Hours (5-7 p.m.) – Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, as well as wine and beer.
Sweet Dreams (8-10 p.m.) – Delicious desserts and after-dinner beverages.
View this post on Instagram
It was so nice having a relaxing space to enjoy food with a view. They dim the lights for fireworks and have the music playing for the show. For special ticketed events the music is not played for the firework show. I loved making coffee at the E-Ticket and they are incredibly accommodating if you want a drink they don’t have. My Grandpa requested chocolate milk which the team delivered within a few minutes. They have a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks that you can get as you as often as you’d like. There is seating for you to use and one area has couches by a tv where you can watch a show.
The concierge staff is there to help with dining reservations and questions that you may have. They also have a pin trading board. All of the attraction posters are for E-Ticket rides.
The Disneyland Hotel Pool Area
The Disneyland Hotel has two pools, two whirlpool spas, and two water slides. My favorite whirlpool is the one with the Minnie Mouse bow. The water is heated during colder times of the year. There are a lot of lounge chairs at the pool. They do have cabanas available if you would like to purchase one. You will need an active room key to access the pools. Wristbands may be given to guests to wear in the pool area.
The E-Ticket Pool is the largest of the two pools at 4,800 square feet. The D-Ticket Pool is in the same area and is a little bit smaller. The biggest highlight of the pool area tends to be the two monorail slides. The bigger slide is the red slide and the smaller one is yellow. The red slide is 25 feet above the ground and features two full twists before dumping you into a small pool. The yellow slide is more suited for small children.
You can order food and drinks at the pool. Typically in the afternoon, you can find servers that can bring you food & drinks. However, you can also walk up to the Tangaroa Terrace to get food, drinks, and dole whip.
Pool hours are normally 9 am to 8 pm but the hours can vary so be sure to check the Disneyland app for day of pool hours. They do have complimentary life jackets for small children available while supplies last. Swim diapers might also be available upon request (not sure who you would request them from though. Maybe the front desk). During our stay, we saw a sign saying they were having a pool party at 2:30 pm on a Saturday. Dance parties are not offered all the time so be sure to check if there will be one during your visit. Dance parties typically have games, music, and dancing. Lifeguards are on duty during posted times. Towels are available at the pool and there is no need to bring any from the room. They do have bathrooms with showers by the pool.
Dining at the Disneyland Hotel
You do not have to be a guest at the Disneyland Hotel to dine at their onsite restaurants. Some, like Goofy’s Kitchen, will provide validated parking for a select number of hours. Please note that this parking validation is for the hotel parking and not for the Downtown Disney parking or parking at Toyr Story or Mickey and Friends.
With Steakhouse 55 being closed (I am devastated by that) the current dining options are Goofy’s Kitchen, The Coffee House, Tangaroa Terrace, Trader Sam’s, and in-room dining. Downtown Disney has several dining options as do the parks and the other Disney hotels. Be sure to plan ahead if you want to eat anywhere that requires a reservation. Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance and hotel guests are supposed to have a leg up on securing reservations.
Of course, you can also leave The Disneyland Resort and dine elsewhere in Anaheim and beyond. If you walk through Downtown Disney and past the parks, you can find places like the Anaheim Garden Walk. At the Garden Walk, they have a Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Changs, the House of Blues, and Cheesecake Factory among other options. You can also find a McDonald’s and Panera Bread on Harbor Blvd.
Popular Food Destinations That Are Not Walkable:
If you are looking for the closest In-N-Out Burger it is located at In-N-Out Burger, 1168 S State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806.
The Anaheim Packing District is a popular food hall which is located at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805.
This is a buffet-character dining experience that you can dine at for breakfast/brunch and dinner. Chef Goofy greets you as you enter. You’ll see other Disney characters when they have little parades and they will come around to each table for a brief visit. Goofy’s Kitchen seems to have the biggest (not necessarily the best) variety of food for character dining. My personal favorite food selection for character dining is at Storyteller’s Cafe at the Grand California. However, I think kids would say Goofy’s Kitchen has the most fun food.
For breakfast, they offer brunch selections like scrambled eggs, eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, and Mickey waffles. You can also find salad, made-to-order omelets, smoked salmon, and more. The kids will likely love the pizza options. They have mac and cheese pizza as well as peanut butter pizza. Keep in mind that Goofy is the chef here. For dessert, they have cookies, cakes, pastries, and a soft-serve frozen yogurt sundae bar with toppings.
For dinner, they have a meat carving station, pasta, salads, veggies, fruit, and of course pizza options. The characters you’ll find here have changed over the years. During my first visit, I saw Baloo, the Fairy Godmother, Captain Hook, and Chip ‘n’ Dale. More recently my family saw Minnie, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’Dale. If seeing Mickey at character dining is a priority please note that he is only at the Storytellers Cafe.
Make sure you get your special Goofy’s Kitchen button at check-in. Goofy’s Kitchen is located near the convention center in the Fantasy Tower.
The Coffee House
The Coffee House offers freshly baked pastries and a wide assortment of specialty coffee drinks as well as other beverages. It is open from 6 am to 4 pm. In addition to coffee and other hot beverages, you can order alcoholic drinks as well. For food, they have items like pastries, oatmeal, and fruit. For snacks, you can get items like cookies, kind bars, uncrustables, and a mini charcuterie pack.
By the pool, you will find the Tangaroa Terrace which is a casual quick-service dining location open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The bar at Tangaroa Terrace is where you can find dole whip (pineapple soft serve) and dole whip floats. There is limited seating so keep in mind that you may not be able to find a place to sit to eat your food during busy times. However, you can get your food to go.
For breakfast, they have options like avocado toast, Tangaroa toast, an American breakfast, and more. For lunch and dinner, they have items like an Angus burger, a poke bowl, ramen, and more. Remember you can see the full menus on the Disneyland App. Hours are 7 am to 11 pm.
Next, to the Tangaroa Terrace, you will find Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Trader Sam’s is themed after the Jungle Cruise and is a spirited & popular place to visit. When guests order certain drinks and things inside the bar will change which keeps things more than interesting. The food menu is almost identical to the options you can get at Tangaroa Terrace. For drinks, they have fun names for a lot of the drinks and even have some fun mocktails.
They are open for lunch from 11:30 am to 3:55 pm. Dinner is available from 4:00 pm to 11:55 pm.
Disneyland Hotel Shops
The hotel has two shops, Disney’s Fantasia Shop and Small World Gifts and Sundries, that are directly across from each other in the Fantasy Tower. In the Small World shop, you can find pool items like googles while the Fantasia Shop has more clothing, games and other merchandise. The Fantasia Shop is also where you’ll find Disneyland Hotel specific merchandise.
Perks of Staying at The Disneyland Hotel
Did you know that guests staying in one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels get early access to the parks? Early access has changed over the years. How it is currently working as of 2023 is hotel guests can get into the parks 30 minutes early. Make sure you don’t join the crowd of people waiting for the regular park opening. Have your room keys out and ready to scan and show cast members so that you can be let into the areas that are open for hotel guests.
If you have ever wanted to be the first guest on Storybookland Canal Boats and get to sign the Captain’s Log being a hotel guest gives you the best chance. They don’t open early, they open with the park. However, by already being able to be in Fantasyland when the park opens you can keep an eye on a line forming and try to be the first guest on the ride and have a magical moment.
As long as you have checked in on the Disneyland App even if you haven’t gotten the keys for your room yet you can still get early entry into the park on the first day of your hotel stay.
Not all of the lands and attractions are open for early entry.
Early Entry Attractions at Disneyland Park
- Alice in Wonderland
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Disneyland Monorail
- Space Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
Early Entry Attractions at Disney California Adventure Park
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT
- Monters Inc – Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!
- The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
There are other hotel activities beyond pool parties that guests can enjoy. However, most of the activities only happen on select days or nights so be sure to check with the front desk to see when they might be offering the Disneyland Hotel Guided Tour, Movie Nights, a Polynesian Dance Experience, and Animation Art Cel.
The Disneyland Hotel does have a fitness center. Personally, I get so worn out from walking around the parks that I have never utilized it before. The fitness centers are open 7 days a week 24 hours a day. Hotel guests can also book fitness classes that take place in the park and around the hotels. These classes are not cheap but would make for a memorable experience. How many people can say they’ve done yoga in front of Space Mountain?
There are several reasons as to why I would recommend staying at The Disneyland Hotel but one of the top reasons is the location. The Disneyland Hotel is located at the end of the Downtown Disney District. You can walk to the monorail which is less than a five-minutes from the hotel though that does not count the time it might take to go through security. The monorail will take you to Tomorrowland inside Disneyland Park and makes for a convenient entrance to the park.
If you would rather not take the monorail you can walk through Downtown Disney to get to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Want a break? You are close enough to your hotel that going back to the room or the pool won’t take long. This also means that you can go back to the room for snacks you put in the refrigerator or to change since it cools down at night.
How does The Disneyland Hotel compare to the Grand Californian or The Paradise Pier Hotel?
Previously, The Disneyland Hotel was my favorite of the three choices. And while I still love this hotel and feel so blessed when I stay here currently my favorite hotel is the Grand Californian. I love that the Grand Californian is connected to DCA and has a large and relaxing lobby that everyone can enjoy. The rooms have balconies and overall it just felt like a cozier experience. The Paradise Pier Hotel definitely feels like a family hotel and since we currently don’t have young children it doesn’t feel like a great fit for two adults.
If you ultimately decide that staying at an off-property hotel is the right choice for you we recommend the Howard Johnson.