Continuing our series all about Disneyland, today Rachel shares with us what you need to know about choosing where to stay!
So, you’ve decided you’re going to Disneyland. The next step is to decide your visit. Making hotel arrangements at Disneyland is a little different than at Walt Disney World.
First, many people choose to stay on property at Walt Disney World because of the Magic Express and free transportation throughout the Disney World. However, at Disneyland, you will not find these conveniences. The Disneyland Resort Express is operated by a third party (Gray Line) and will cost a family of up to 5 $80-$100 for round-trip service from one of the area airports to a Disneyland -area hotel. The three Disney hotels are within walking distance of the parks. Many of the Good Neighbor hotels offer shuttle service to the parks (some are complimentary, some at a cost) and the Anaheim Resort Transit offers convenient transportation throughout the resort area. If you have a personal vehicle and drive to the parks, parking will cost you $15 per day.
There are only three Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland —the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier, and Disney’s Grand Californian. The Disneyland hotel opened in 1955 but was operated by a third party until bought by the Disney Company in 1989. Much of it was torn down in 1999 to make room for Downtown Disney and parking areas. The Paradise Pier was purchased and converted to a Disney property in 1995. The Grand Californian was opened in 2001. There is an exclusive entrance into Disney’s California Adventure through the Grand Californian.
The Disneyland hotel is a classic. It has recently been renovated and is a tribute to the early of the park. The Paradise Pier is much like the area of California Adventure it overlooks—classic California beachfront boardwalk. The Grand Californian is a AAA Four-Diamond property and includes villas in addition to suites and standard rooms. Built in classic California craftsman style, it is the only DVC property at Disneyland.
Unlike booking your Walt Disney World vacation, you CAN book a Good Neighbor hotel as part of your package at Disneyland. There are over forty to choose from. You can also book a Disney dining plan as part of your package when choosing a non-Disney hotel. I love that you can book a non- Disney hotel and dining plan together as part of a Disney package! It is great for those on a budget! You can find some good deals and great perks at some of these off-property resorts. Some offer complimentary transportation to the parks. Many offer a free breakfast. And some even offer Disney view rooms. We stayed at the Embassy Suites with a Disney view room and could see California Adventure from the room as well as the nightly fireworks displays.
Rachel is a Virginia native who now lives in Louisiana. She is married with two children, ages 5 and 3. After dreaming and wishing for several years, her family had their very first Disney vacations this year and are now addicted to researching and planning—whether for themselves or for others. They now plan to visit the parks at least once a year.