In this week’s episode, Leslie and Joe head west again to Disneyland to discuss the three on-property hotel choices in Anaheim. While Walt Disney World owns more hotels than guests can count now, the choices are much more manageable at Disneyland where the vast majority of visitors stay off-site. Should you even stay in a Disneyland on-site hotel? And if so, which one is right for your family?
Disneyland On-Property Hotel Basics
There are three on-property Disney hotels at the Disneyland Resort – a far cry from the numerous choices at Walt Disney World across the country. All three – the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier – are within walking distance of both parks. Their prime location (and the cost of California real estate) means that they come at a price. All three regularly cost something approaching Disney World deluxe level pricing.
So why stay in one of these on-property hotels? Aside from the fact that guests often just prefer to be in the Disney bubble, the major reason to choose to stay in on-property hotels is the Extra Magic Hour benefit. Extra Major Hour allows on-property guests early morning entry into Disneyland on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and into California Adventure on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
On Property Hotels at Disneyland: A Quick Comparison Guide
Curious which hotel might be for you? Here are some quick facts and figures to help you understand the differences.
Paradise Pier At-A-Glance
Disney’s Paradise Pier is the cheapest of the three on-property hotels at Disneyland. It was not originally built by Disney, and a few cracks in the armor might show as a result. But it gets the job done when guests really want to stay on-property but need the lowest price.
- Location: 12 minute walk to the parks
- Price (of a standard room): $300-450
- Theming: California beach boardwalk
- Best features or amenities: Donald Duck Seaside Breakfast (character meal), themed pool with several waterslides
The Disneyland Hotel At-A-Glance
The Disneyland Hotel is packed with history, having opened just a few months after Disneyland itself. It is usually priced in the middle of the three Disney hotels, and is definitely the hotel with the most over-the-top Disney theming that superfans will enjoy.
- Location: 10 minute walk to the parks
- Price (of a standard room): $375-525
- Theming: Classic Disneyland
- Best features or amenities: pool waterslides shaped like monorails, Sleeping Beauty Castle light up headboards over every bed, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, Goofy’s Kitchen (character meal)
Disney’s Grand Californian At-A-Glance
The most luxe on-property hotel choice is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It finished a total room renovation in 2018 so the rooms feel fresh. The hotel doesn’t have as many Disney touches (which may be good or bad depending on your personal preferences).
- Location: 5 minute walk to the parks
- Price (of a standard room): $500-750
- Theming: Arts & crafts
- Best features or amenities: Two on-site character meals (Mickey’s Tales of Adventure & Princess Breakfast Adventures), private entrance into Disney California Adventure, full-service spa.
2:23 – Major benefit of on-property hotels at Disneyland: Extra Major Hour
6:09 – Ancillary on-property hotel benefits
7:00 – Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
10:41 – Disneyland Hotel
15:26 – Monorail
16:06 – Disney’s Grand Californian
19:19 – Grand Californian price
20:39 – Ranking the 3 on-property Disneyland on-property hotels
21:32 – Disney dos and don’ts
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