The Disneyland Hotel has a long, rich history, dating back to 1955 – the same year Disneyland Park opened.
When the Disneyland Hotel first opened, it wasn’t even owned by Walt Disney! Disney contracted with a film producer and hotel operator named Jack Wrather. Wrather and his business partner, Maria Helen Alvarez, agreed to own and operate the hotel, as Walt had all of his finances tied up in the creation of Disneyland Park.
The first version of the Disneyland Hotel opened in October 1955 had just over 100 rooms in 5 two-story buildings. These buildings actually remained until the massive remodel and expansion of The Disneyland Resort in 1999, when they were demolished to make room for Downtown Disney.
The hotel grounds were expanded and upgraded over time, eventually resulting in the 3 thirteen-story towers that stand today. Currently the hotel has 990 rooms and suites, including 5 signature suites with themes such as Fairy Tale, Adventureland, and Mickey Mouse.
In 1988, The Walt Disney Corporation purchased the entire Wrather company which included the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel is now fully owned and operated by Disney.
The hotel was remodeled during 2010-2012 and features a fun mid-century modern theme that throws back to the opening era of 1955.
Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Resort – Review
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There are lots of benefits to staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel verses staying off-property. The best benefit is property the Early Entry for Disneyland Resort hotel guests. Guests can enter either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure 30 minutes early and can experience select attractions and restaurants. Valid theme park admission and proof of hotel stay (your key) is required.
Another benefit of staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel is easy access to Disney California Adventure through the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel entrance.
Other perks include: wake-up calls from characters, charging purchases to the room via your key card, have purchased merchandise sent to your hotel front desk instead of carrying it around, preferred access reservations, and of course, that full immersive Disney magic!
Disneyland Hotel Room Tour Video
Lobby and Parking
Disneyland Hotel has its own self parking lot adjacent to the Fantasy Tower, or valet is available. If you have a lot of luggage you can pull around to the front, check the luggage with bell services, then go to self-park.
When entering the Disneyland Hotel, the check-in area is to your left. There is a small lobby with fun chairs. Take a note of what attraction they resemble!
The hotel has a mid century modern vibe, very much inspired by the art of Mary Blair.
Aside from the lobby, the Fantasy Tower also houses two gift shops, a coffee shop, Goofy’s Kitchen restaurant, and the convention center.
To walk to Downtown Disney and the parks, head east towards the big blue Sorcerer Mickey hat. Downtown Disney’s security checkpoint will be right in front of you.
All rooms at the Disneyland Hotel were fully remodeled between 2010-2012, and carpet was refreshed in 2021. Standard rooms are spacious enough for a family of 4 without feeling too cramped.
Views from the rooms include parking lot, city views, pool, or theme park. Obviously rooms with theme park views have a higher price tag.
Even though the three towers have distinct themes – Fantasy, Adventure, and Frontier – with corresponding theming on the first level, the hotel rooms are all the same.
Decor features subtle references to Mickey Mouse and the Disneyland parks. Each standard room also features a magical headboard with fiber optic lights. Flip a switch on the bedside lamp to activate the “fireworks” and a charming lullaby.
The rooms have all the amenities you would expect from a modern hotel – wall mounted TV, mini fridge, toiletries, coffee maker, and plenty of storage. Select standard rooms in the Frontier Tower have balconies.
Bathrooms are spacious with a standard sink area, shower/tub combo, and toilet.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel
In 2023, Disneyland Hotel opened their first Disney Vacation Club rooms, housed in a fourth tower called Discovery Tower. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel feature 344 rooms of various sizes, from Duo Studios all the way to 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
While this tower is a DVC property, non-DVC guests can pay a cash rate to stay in these rooms just like a regular hotel.
The main area of the Disneyland Hotel has one pool area with three separate pools. The E-Ticket Pool is the main attraction with lots of lounge chairs and tables for families to relax. It is located near the entrance to Fantasy Tower. Walk around to the Frontier Tower side and you’ll find the Monorail Pool, a splash pad with two water slides. The slides are pretty mild and great for both kids and adults.
Between the two is the D-Ticket Pool, which is a little smaller than the main pool and tends to be quieter.
Aside from the pools and the slides, there are two whirlpool spas and private cabanas available to rent.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel also has its own pool and jacuzzi, along with a Steamboat Willie themed splash pad.
During select hours, food and beverage service from Trader Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace is available.
Restaurants and Bars
This fun spot offers character dining, which makes it a family favorite! Goofy’s Kitchen is open for breakfast and dinner (and brunch on the weekends) and features a hearty buffet. Don’t miss Goofy’s favorite – peanut butter and jelly pizza! Actually tastes much better than it sounds.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Alooooooohaaaa! Trader Sam’s is a small tiki bar themed to the Jungle Cruise attraction, featuring fun drinks and a party atmosphere. Can’t get a seat inside? The outside patio serves the same food and drinks, you’ll just miss out on some of the “show” inside.
Make your reservations early or join the walk up list. You’ll have a better chance of getting a seat inside if you visit during the afternoon on a weekday.
The Lounge is located in the Fantasy Tower next to Goofy’s Kitchen. It’s a small bar and lounge that offers a full bar and a variety of meals. The Lounge occupies the space formerly used by Steakhouse 55 Lounge pre-covid.
The Lounge opened in October 2023, and I visited shortly after opening.
You can’t find The Lounge listed on any of Disneyland’s websites or apps, but a sign outside the location indicates it is open daily from 5pm until “closing.” Very vague, but all I can say is when we left at 10pm it was still open.
First of all, the vibes … The space has the same layout but was refreshed, with a pretty teal paint on the wall and ambiance lighting. The lounge furniture is also new; lots of high back chairs and a few sofas with throw pillows. Very cozy.
One bonus of this space is you get to see characters coming and going from Goofy’s Kitchen. They walk in and out through the old Steakhouse 55 restaurant doors and seem to enjoy waving to the patrons of The Lounge.
The drinks: The cocktail list was pretty basic and lackluster. Classic cocktails and nothing too interesting. I ended up ordering a Cosmo that was very well done. I also had a glass of wine, a Chablis, which was refreshing. However, my Grey Goose Cosmo was $21 and my wine was $16, one of only two wines on the menu for under $20.
The food: The food was fine but really pricey, even by Disney standards. I ordered the five cheese pizza which was good and at $21 the price seemed reasonable. Overall our table tried the truffle fries (ridiculously priced at $18), the Classic Cesar, the Wagyu Cheeseburger, and the Toasted Quinoa and Baby Kale salad with salmon (an insane amount of kale and small amount of everything else for a $29 salad).
The services: Seems like everyone was still getting their bearings. Our server was lovely and attentive but she forgot one food item and got a drink wrong. So during the first couple weeks, have grace for the Cast Members working there.
Overall it’s so nice to have this space back. It felt comforting being there. There’s some kinks to work out, though. I hope they can find a better balance on the food to pricing ratio because those prices just aren’t it.
Located next to Trader Sam’s across from the pool area is quick service restaurant Tangaroa Terrace. This location is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features casual Polynesian fare. They also have some quick serve items (sandwiches, salads, bottled drinks).
There is also a walk up counter where guests can order drinks (including the same cocktails served at Trader Sam’s) or Dole Whips … yep, the same kind they serve inside Disneyland!
Tangaroa Terrace offers mobile ordering, which is really helpful at busier meal times. Grab your food to go and enjoy it back in your hotel room or at one of the many lounge areas offered around the hotel grounds.
Palm Breeze Bar
This outdoor bar and lounge area is located between the Palette Pool and the Monorail Slide. It’s restaurant serves guests using the Palette Pool, but any guest may sit at the bar or order food to eat there or take to-go.
This is also the only bar area at the Disneyland Hotel that has monitors to show sporting events, ensuring it will occasionally be a lively location.
If you need a coffee fix in the morning, head to the Coffee House located near Goofy’s Kitchen in the Fantasy Tower. They sell coffee and quick serve items such as muffins and bottles of juice or soda.
Ballrooms and Meeting Rooms
Disneyland Hotel has a dedicated convention center with numerous meeting rooms, ballrooms, and event spaces. They host hundreds of conferences, trade shows, weddings and events every year!
For Disneyland Hotel weddings, there is a beautiful outdoor space called Rose Court Garden, which features a private gazebo and dozens of rose bushes. And check out the romantic Sleeping Beauty Pavilion ballroom for the reception.
For large events, the Grand Ballroom is the star, with a full stage, twinkling fiber optic backdrop, and sunken dance floor. The space can accommodate up to 1000 guests.
Truth is, the Disneyland Hotel is the original and remains my favorite of the three Disneyland Resort hotels. Staying here just feels very magical and relaxing. I’ll never pass up an opportunity to grab a meal here or lounge by the pool!
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