Which is the Best Disneyland Hotel – Paradise Pier, Grand Californian or The Disneyland Hotel?

Which Hotel is Right for your Disneyland Resort Vacation?

A dream vacation to the Disneyland Resort, can only be made better by a fantastic hospitality experience.

Are you the type that prefers to dart back and forth through the park, squeezing each and every drop from tight schedule? How does gaining access to the parks an hour before the general public sound?

Or are you more the type that enjoys being surrounded by the finer things in life? The option of getting a drink a mere elevator ride away? Maybe a poolside cabana to enjoy said drink in?

Whether your Disneyland experience is made perfect by filling an Autograph book, or having access to the Bali inspired Mandara Spa; the Disneyland Resort Hotels have a little something for everyone.

Each of the three uniquely decorated Hotels has an atmosphere all its own, though there are some serious perks that guests of any of the Disneyland Resort Hotels can take advantage of. For example, in addition to gaining admission to the parks a full hour before the general public, there is also a secret entrance to Disney’s California Adventure Park; that’s right, no lines. All you need is your valid ticket to the park and you are in, before everyone else! That is like getting three extra rides in, even if you do have to wait around for a couple of slower moving members of your group!

And that is only the tip of the magical ice berg. Price is important to larger groups, fine dining to the young adults and beautifully appointed rooms to, well everyone really, who doesn’t like a nicely decorated or themed room?

So let us try to take some of the guess work out of the equation. Below are descriptions for Disney’s Paradise Pier, the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. See if you can guess each Hotels target audience, before reading my recommendation. They are not extremely subtle.

Paradise Pier Hotel

At a starting rate of $239 per night, Disney’s Paradise pier is the most affordable option of the Disneyland Resort Hotels. The hotels décor is that of the 1920’s seaside, and boasts Rooftop Pool and Waterslide.

This Hotel is great for groups look to maximize their Disneyland Resort Vacation Time. Though it is the least costly of the three Resort Hotels, Disney’s Paradise Pier doesn’t forfeit anything in the way of hospitality. The dining options are great considering that you have a series of well-staffed eateries literally down the walkway from the Paradise Pier Hotel. Plus there is always the shuttle if you have had it with walking.

If budget is a primary determining factor when you are choosing a place to stay, Disney’s Paradise Pier is priced right. The hotel is also incredibly kid friendly. I know, that is the point of any Disney Vacation, but it is more apparent here than at the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian.

Needless to say, Disney’s Paradise Pier is the Hotel you visit when you have young kids with you. The Hotel really goes the extra mile to drive this point home by offering unique dining experiences in which your children can meet their favorite Disney Characters while eating the most important meal of the day at Disney’s PCH Grill.

Later Mommy and Daddy can sneak out for a drink over at the Surfside Lounge.

While Disney’s Paradise Pier is ideal for families with young children, or large groups of people looking to maximize their Magical Kingdom Experience, it is not so accommodating for families with older children, young adults, and the senior members of the Mouseketeer club.

Disneyland Hotel

Will the Disneyland Hotel be a better fit for those folks?

With its futurist styling of the 60’s retro ear, the Disneyland Hotel is the middle ground between the Paradise Pier Hotel and the Grand Californian Adventure, in terms of affordability and accommodations. Though its style and atmosphere are clearly its own.

Starting at $329 per night, the Hotel can be a bit pricy for large groups. Those looking to maximize their Disneyland Resort Vacation wouldn’t see the value in paying more for a room that will serve the dame function as its less expensive counterpart at Disney’s Paradise Pier.

No the Disneyland Hotel is more of a step in the direction of style over substance. Yes you could still traverse the parks at hyper speed while a guest at the Disneyland Hotel, but it is more the type of place that you sit and stay for a while.

Whether that be at their delicious Steakhouse 55, or in one of their signature bars: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar or the Lounge at Steakhouse 55, the Disneyland Hotel deserves to be taken in slowly with someone special. Making this place a great option for family’s with teenage children capable of keeping themselves alive long enough for Mom and Dad to sneak off for a romantic meal at one of the great nearby restaurants, or spend the evening watching the sunset from a poolside cabana!

The Disney land resorts doesn’t only appeal to the adult crowd, attractions for kids are just as prevalent as they are at Disney’s Paradise Pier; guest services even hosts a Character meet and greet where guests can take pictures and get those all-important AUTOGRAPHS!

The Disneyland Hotel just offers a little more to adults, making it a Magical Experience for all parties present!

From poolside cabanas to fine dining, the Disneyland Hotel stands out as the premier destination for young adults, couples of any age, and family’s with teenage children. While the Disneyland Hotel is appealing to large groups and families with younger children, I feel the savings presented by staying at Disney’s Paradise Pier outweighs the possibility that there will be time for lounging out by the pool in a cabana.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Is it possible to be the best Hotel for any occasion?

While that is highly debatable, one thing is certain; Disney’s Californian Hotel & Spa is gorgeous, both inside as well as out. The exterior façade mimics that arts and crafts era with the sprawling California Craftsmen architecture everywhere ones eye may wander. The interior is just as exquisite, rivaling the beautiful hotels all over Orange County, California.

It’s close proximity to both Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland, is a huge for park hoppers; literally separated by a set of doors, the Grand Californian Hotel sits off to the west side of Disney’s California Adventure and on the south boarder of the Downtown Disney District. Offering scenic views of the park and Downtown area. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa even has its own entrance to Disney’s California Adventure!

At $379 per night, the Grand Californian is $150 more a night than a comparable room at the Disneyland Hotel. There are however several benefits to staying at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa; its location is very convenient for just about everyone. More seasoned Mouseketeers will love its close location to the park, mainly because it means that comfort is not terribly far away. Families too love it for the ease in which they can leave the park and be back in the room for lunch, or a quick nap. And of course ride enthusiasts love that it is the closest one can get to California Adventure prior to being allowed early admission, a full hour before the general public.

The dinning is also unrivaled by the other Resort Hotels. Hosting some of the best cuisine not only in the Resort but the immediate area as well, the Napa Rose serves up the finest bites that you are going to find at the resort, and the average price per plate at Napa Rose reflects that. Expect somewhere north of $60 per plate.

Disney’s Grand Californian Adventure is appealing to a wide audience. Though the most costly of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels, Disney’s Grand Californian is a Hotel that will not leave much to regret. It is perfect for everyone, at any stage of life. Just be mindful of the price; if budget is key, you may want one that unlocks a door at one of the other Disneyland Resort Hotels.

Have fun!

By far the most important element to any vacation are the memories created. Keep this in mind when booking your Disneyland Resort Vacation. Memories of having to wait a half hour for a shuttle to take you halfway across town to find your car or Hotel is not going to ruin a trip, but nothing beats walking from theme park to hotel in T-minus 3 seconds. Those are happy memories for the parents, not the kiddos.

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