In September 2021 we got to stay at the Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. We had a fantastic experience and wanted to tell you more about it. It was the first of the 3 Disney-owned hotels on-property at the Disneyland Resort. We had previously stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel, a few months before.
Parking and Check-In
Valet ($50) and self-parking ($35) are both available with your room reservation (if you have dining reservations you also get 3 hours complimentary valet parking). When we pulled up, our toddlers were sleeping so we unloaded our luggage with bell services, then drove to the self-parking lot to wait for them to wake up before walking to the lobby for check-in.
Masks are required indoors throughout the Disneyland Resort (this includes inside the hotel, inside ride queues, during inside rides, before being seated at inside dining locations, etc). The Disneyland Hotel offers mobile check-in and virtual room cards via the Disneyland app. However, we opted for checking in at the desk to ensure our three rooms were close together, and wanted physical keys because the app is not always reliable (pro tip: screenshot your ticket barcodes and keep all confirmation emails). Also, shout-out to the wonderful cast members that checked us in at the hotel because our rooms were under different last names and it took a lot of work on their end to put us all next to each other.
The room was beautiful (for more pictures and a quick room tour, I have a highlight on my Instagram account @DisneylandWithToddlers). There was plenty of space for our playpen, double stroller (open, not even folded), and suitcases without feeling crowded. The room had a closet, a safe in the closet, a small refrigerator, a desk, a TV, two queen beds, and a couch that could pull out into a bed. The highlight of the room for me is the headboard that lights up with fireworks and plays a soft Disney lullaby. It’s a magical nightlight that will stay on all night long (just the lights, the music only plays through once). Outside our window we had a view of the pools from where we were on the 9th floor of the Frontier Tower. There are 3 towers: the Fantasy Tower, Adventure Tower, and Frontier Tower. The bottom lobby of the Frontier Tower has a miniature replica of Thunder Mountain, complete with miniature people! We didn’t stop into the other towers but they must also have similar fun things to look at on their bottom levels as well.
The Disneyland Hotel has monorail-themed water slides, pools with cute old original Disneyland tickets along the edge, and a splash pad area around the water slides (perfect for my son who just wanted to crawl through the two inches of water). Tip: we wish we had brought some beach toys so they could play in the water more. The hotel provides life jackets in several sizes, but no toys at this time (unknown if they used to). There are also coolers for filling water cups or bottles and jacuzzis in the fenced-in pool area.
Around the rest of the resort is a cute gazebo, seating around a giant fireplace, and a nice bridge over the pools and paths through beautiful greenery that’s reminiscent of exotic oasis, which is fitting when you pass Trader Sam’s, and Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill (see below about dining).
Magic Hour is not currently available. (Before, guests at Disneyland Resort hotels were allowed entrance to the parks one hour prior to the posted opening times, but that perk has not returned yet.) Room service is also not currently offered.
Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam’s offer food and drinks. Trader Sam’s reservations are popular and harder to come by, with limited walk-up seating available. Tangaroa Terrace offers seating and mobile orders via the Disneyland app. We mobile ordered dinner one night from here (the Hawaiian platters were amazing) and breakfast the next morning. Breakfast pastries and coffees are also available at The Coffee House, and Goofy’s Kitchen (character dining). Goofy’s Kitchen is open for breakfast and dinner as a buffet with characters. Reservations are also strongly recommended for Goofy’s Kitchen for both breakfast and dinner. As of September 2021, character dining is modified: characters parade and dance around the restaurant and in between tables, but you can’t get up or touch the characters, and they only pause momentarily for a picture behind your chair. The buffet breakfast and dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen were both delicious. You can also mobile order or go to eat at Downtown Disney restaurants, as Downtown Disney is right next to the Disneyland Hotel (Downtown Disney restaurants accept both reservations and walk-ups).
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Packing List – Things we were glad we took to the Disneyland Hotel
- Lots of snacks for our toddlers
- Fun Disney clothes for cute pictures and for park days
- Good walking shoes
- Extra outfits
- Swim diapers and swimsuits
- Ziploc bags for extra food when we ate out
- Jackets for cooler nights
- Beach/water toys for the pool (we wish we had brought these for the splash pad area; life jackets are provided by the hotel but not toys)
- “New” and favorite toys for the hotel room (we had toys they hadn’t seen in a few months that we brought, and some favorites)
- Activity books and mess-free coloring books for the hotel room
- Playpen portable crib (the hotel does provide them, but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis and since we were driving we just brought our own)
- Crib sheets for the playpen
- Stroller hook for all the extra bags we needed/bought (love my mickey one!)
- Stroller caddy for all the random stuff you end up with (coffee, receipt, half-eaten granola bar, pouch lid, etc)
- Portable power bank and charging cord for park days – especially if you’re taking pictures all day and using the Disneyland app, a lot, it’s a good idea to have