This hotel was not originally owned by the Disney Company. The hotel had originally been built and owned by Jack Wrather at Walt Disney’s request. In 1988 Disney acquired ownership of the hotel. In 1999 as part of the expansion of the Disneyland Resort, the hotel was downsized to its present capacity. The hotel has 969 rooms and 61 suites between the 3 towers.
In 2009, the Disneyland Hotel started a major renovation. As the work was completed the tower names changed. Currently you have the Fantasy, Adventure and Frontier Towers. You will find the check in desk in the lobby of the Fantasy Tower.
There is nothing like walking into a Disney resort if you are a fan. To me going to Disneyland is like going home to where it all started. I highly recommend if you are a fan of Walt Disney you take a trip to Disneyland. To me, everywhere I turn I feel the magic of Disney. When you walk into the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel it starts with all the Disney touches and music. I started to get misty eyed when I walked in.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for characters strolling through the lobby. It was magical watching them stroll through without a handler like they do at Walt Disney World. I made a point of sitting in the lobby every morning to just watch the characters stroll through and greet the guests. I got to see Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale almost every morning.
At check-in we were assigned the Fantasy Tower. This was my favorite. Be sure to look around at all the details in the lobby and as you walk over to the Convention Center area. There are lots of photos of celebrities that stayed here, as well as Disney memorabilia from when the hotel opened. Be sure to check out the magical map as you enter the lobby.
We had a room that overlooked the pool area.
My favorite part of the room was the headboard. When you hit the switch on the lamp it plays ” When You Wish Upon a Star” and there are fireworks that go off.
As you walk around the hotel grounds be sure to look at all the details. Each tower is themed differently. There are plenty of signs around the hotel grounds so you won’t get lost.
As we walk counterclockwise around the resort we come to the Frontier Tower. Immediately you feel like you have traveled to another part of the country. Look at the landscaping, you will notice the trees are different and there is a grassy area to sit and relax on.
I highly recommend taking the free Happiest Tour on Earth that is offered several times a week at the hotel. A Cast Member will point out details you might have missed or wondered about.
Notice that the theming in this lobby is different from the other two.
There used to be a water show in this area in the early days of Disneyland.
If you are someone that likes to work out, the hotel does have a fitness center located on the grounds.
Next we head off to the Adventure Tower. This is themed to remind you of the old Adventureland in Disneyland.
The landscaping here is more tropical in nature. As a resort guest you can use these areas even if you are staying in another tower.
As we come back to the Fantasy Tower you will notice the flowers and trees change again. You will find lots of rose bushes. Be on the lookout for one of the famous Disneyland cats. Disneyland takes care of the cats on their property and you may be lucky enough to see several on your walks. Please don’t harass the cats as I saw several families doing while I was there.
The Disneyland Hotel also has 2 great pools in the middle of the grounds. You can’t miss the classic Disneyland sign and waterslides along with replica of Monorail trains. They mentioned on the tour that they change the monorail cars on the sign yearly.
The Fantasy Tower is a 15 minute walk to Disneyland or California Adventure. As a resort guest you are entitled to Extra Magic Hours on select mornings. You will need to show your resort key card to enter the monorail area or when you are at the turnstiles to prove you are a resort guest. There is a monorail station located near the Disneyland Hotel that can take you into Tomorrowland. It is great to use the monorail for Extra Magic Hours and when the park gets crazy crowded at the end of the evening. You can avoid the crowds this way.
There are plenty of great places to eat on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. In fact, you would never have to leave the area. There is an early morning coffee shop, The Coffee House, as well as Goofy’s Kitchen, Steakhouse 55, Tangaroa Terrace, Trader Sam’s. If you are looking for a great place to relax and unwind after a day in the parks I highly recommend Trader Sam’s. You can go inside for a true Disney experience or enjoy the couches and tables outside. You will find yourself thinking you have escaped to the Islands.
If you are looking for a place to stay when you visit Disneyland or California Adventure, I highly recommend the Disneyland Hotel. You are close to the parks and Downtown Disney and if you go during certain times of the year you can find the room prices very reasonable. Every true Disney fan needs to visit the Disneyland Resort at least once. It will leave you wanting to know more about Walt Disney and how it all came to be. I can’t wait to go back.
*The information contained in this article represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the DIS.
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