When conducting the research for our summer 2015 family vacation to Disneyland and Legoland, we learned that while Disneyland has many “Good Neighbor” hotels that offer perks and amenities, we wanted to stay “on property.” There were three on property Disneyland Hotels to choose from: Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. . . in descending order by price.
We originally had planned to stay at the Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotel and quickly realized we were pricing ourselves out of a trip. So, we changed the plan to a 4 night stay at the Disneyland Hotel and a 5 night stay at Paradise Pier—a shorter stay at the more expensive hotel and longer stay at the less expensive hotel.
While we enjoyed the Disneyland Hotel, we REALLY enjoyed our stay at Paradise Pier.
When we arrived, after a long ride from Carlsbad (Legoland), we let Bell Services take our luggage and were greeted warmly by the Cast Members at the front desk. We were quickly given our room number, keys to the room, and resort information. I didn’t even wait to call Bell Services with the room number, but instead, told them at the Bell Services Desk located near the elevator.
We used the glass elevator (think Embassy Suites) to take us to the 9th floor where our room was located.
The room was spacious! Two queen sized beds and a couch that could pulls out to accommodate more guests if needed. There was a desk, a TV console that included storage and a mini-refrigerator. The bathroom was a nice size and so was the double closet. (By this time in our trip, we had suitcases that weren’t being used as they held laundry so it was nice to be able to store them away and not take up space in the room.) My favorite part was a small nook with a shelf located in the hallway between the bathroom and main area. This nook had glasses and the coffee maker. I turned it into a charging center—as there was an outlet, and our laundry hamper fit nicely under the shelf in the nook.
|Kiddie pool and water slide|
|Main pool--step only entry and deep end|
The pool was located on the 3rd floor—a roof top pool. It featured a nice size pool along with a hot tub. Up a few steps and guest found a kiddie pool and water slide. This deck also featured a bar that closed at 6:00 pm, a tent covered area that was used for parties or other gatherings, and tables and chairs throughout. Pool-side beverage service was available during the bar hours.
|One of the elevators--themed to the hotel|
In addition to the hotel amenities, the best part was the location! Out our room, down the elevator, across the street, and a short walk through the Grand Californian and we were at either park entrance! There’s a not-so-secret entrance from the Grand Californian into California Adventure that we took advantage of twice during our stay at Paradise Pier. If we were headed to Disneyland, we still went through the Grand Californian but turned a different way and ended up coming out at Downtown Disney near the World of Disney Store, just steps from Disneyland’s entrance.
|Crossing the street to the Grand Californian|
While it may have been a similar distance from the Disneyland Hotel, it sure didn’t seem like it. Maybe it was because at the Disneyland Hotel, we had to walk an additional distance to our “tower”. And, we liked the fact that all rooms in Paradise Pier were in one building, not spread out across several.
|Ready for rooftop fireworks viewing|
What we did take advantage of was watching the Disneyland fireworks from the pool deck. Each night, weather permitting, the music was piped in and we could watch the fireworks from a comfy chair on the rooftop. One evening we watched the fireworks from the fire escape deck located just outside our room in the hallway. Some guest rooms overlook California Adventure and guests would get a nightly view of World of Color.
Resort entertainment including movies on the pool deck, afternoon pool games near the kiddie pool area, and pin trading daily at 4:00 pm, were also available. The husband the boy took advantage of the pin trading.
The resort also offered dining with the Surfside Lounge near the lobby and Disney’s PCH Grill—a buffet restaurant that had character dining in the morning and had just started serving a new evening buffet meal when we arrived. One evening, we ordered sandwiches to go from Surfside Lounge and ate them on the rooftop. And, we did have breakfast at the PCH Grill one morning.
Prior to checking out the next morning, the Concierge checked us in for our flights and printed our boarding passes. I had called and inquired if this service was available--yes it was! Also on the morning of check-out, Bell Services came to our room to get our luggage and even weighed it for us allowing me to make adjustments to the luggage before going to the airport and possibly incurring fees. Tips all around, of course.
|Taking an afternoon pool break.|
|Our room on the 9th floor|
If we were to go back to Disneyland, we would not hesitate to stay in Paradise Pier again. When I was talking to another guest at California Adventure, he said that he didn’t stay there because they couldn’t offer him a room with a park view. I then told him about the rooftop fireworks viewing and reminded him that he didn’t have a park view from where he was staying which was the Disneyland Hotel.
A little homework goes a long way!