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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Default Disneyland Hotel "review"

    I am going to try to get around to doing a little trip report on our first Disneyland trip we took at the beginning of the year. But for now I'll do a review of our resort.

    We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel for 5 nights the first week in Jan. There really was no question in my mind as to where we should stay. I asked around ,but I knew in my heart that I wanted to stay in the "original". I am very happy we stayed there on our first trip as I am sure I would have regretted it had we picked another resort. Going forward tho, I am not sure it's "our" hotel.

    I had requested Fantasyland tower, which is the main tower where you check in and the shops are located. I think I have that right! LOL. Upon check in we were told our room was not ready, but if we wanted a room right away they could put us in the Adventureland Tower. We decided to go with that and we were glad we did. The location couldn't have been more perfect. Honestly, I was so unprepared for how small and compact this hotel was! Really any location would have been just fine. We did, however, love the Adventureland location.

    I did not find the entrance/lobby area to be very special. It was very small, and although packed with Disney touches, it lacked the grandness that I love in some of the WDW resorts. The shops within the hotel were fine. A little on the small side, but Disney nonetheless.

    It was cold and raining most of our stay so we did not use the pools AT ALL!! This was a bummer. I know a lot of people say they don't go to Disney to use the pools, but we do! The pool area did look like it could be a lot of fun.

    We had a few meals at Tangaroa Terrace. We felt the menu was quite limited. What we ordered was good, but it did get tiring after a meal or two. My kids asked for food one day and both added "not the place at the hotel, please". It could be that I was sick during most of our stay and we spent way more time in the room/at the hotel than we had planned. Therefore the kids probably had more meals at Tangaroa than they would have normally. Trader Sam's was just ok. There I said it! LOL. I just don't get all the hype. We have tried Trader Sam's at the Poly in WDW and didn't really like it much there either. In WDW I felt like the "antics" were forced. No one seemed really into it, it all felt very artificial and just "forced fun", that's the best way to describe how we felt in WDW. Trader Sam's at Disneyland was pretty much the same..... The food wasn't that great. Drinks were good, but not enough for me to understand the hype! We had breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen on our departure day and that had to be the biggest waste of money we spent on the entire 11 days in California! The buffet was huge and had lots of great looking stuff....we just don't eat that much food for breakfast. And I am so sad to have to admit this, but my kids have totally outgrown the characters. It just felt weird and awkward with them standing at our table and our kids just not really into it anymore. Lesson learned.....character breakfast just isn't for my family anymore.

    The highlight of our stay at the Disneyland Hotel had to be the headboards in the room! I loved that little touch. It was probably my favorite thing about the hotel. The room was spacious, clean and well kept. I loved all the Disney touches throughout. It's probably one of my favorite Disney rooms I have ever stayed in. No complaints at all about the room!

    Location! Ok, so having never been to Disneyland and not really doing a ton of research before we went I was shocked at the size of the entire resort. It's so small and compact! On our first afternoon, just after checking in and putting our things in our room, we set out to "find" Downtown Disney. We went out the back door of our tower, rounded the corner and BAM! It was kinda funny actually. We all just sort of stopped in our tracks and stood there like "is this downtown Disney?", "no way!", "it's this close?". LOL. Loved that everything was so close.

    Overall I really liked the Disneyland Hotel. Like I said before, I know if we had not stayed there I would have regretted it. I have always wanted to stay at the original hotel and I am truly glad we did. However, I don't think we would stay there on future trips. The hotel just didn't really "wow" us. After visiting Grand Californian we felt like that hotel is much more our style. It's got that grandness that we love about some of the WDW hotels. And you cannot beat the location of GC! Several times when passing by GC toward the end of the trip at least one of us would say "shoulda stayed there". Also when asking my kids if we ever went back would they want to stay at the Disneyland Hotel again they both say, without hesitation, "no, we want to stay at the Wilderness Lodge one". LOL.
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

  2. Thanks tinkwest, VWL Mom thanked for this post
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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    California
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    Thanks for your review. My husband and I basically feel the same way. We've stayed at all three Disneyland resorts and the Grand is, by far, our favorite.
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    91.5 miles from Disneyland
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    Default Disneyland Hotel "review"

    We have always liked the Fantasyland Tower the best at the Disneyland Hotel. It is most in the middle of all of the action.

    I don't think I could eat at Tangaroa Terrace for more than one, maybe two, meals. There are too many other places to choose from throughout the resort. There used to be a lot more selection of restaurants at the DLH before the Downtown Disney days. Now that DTD occupies some of the old hotel property and has so many restaurant choices the DLH has cut back (the same goes for shops). We used to go to Goofy's Kitchen on our first day of our Disneyland vacation. That was when the kids were little and that meal was all about the characters. I don't think I would go there for the food, so I understand your disappointment. For a great breakfast at the DLH, Steakhouse 55 is the place to go.

    Our family prefers the Grand Californian Hotel. But every now and then we stay at the Disneyland Hotel for the nostalgia.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the fun headboards in the room at the DLH. I think this is the nicest refurbishment of rooms they have had there. It's nice to hear that your discovery of Downtown Disney and it's proximity to the hotel was a fun surprise for you.
    Linda aka tinkwest
    INTERCOT Staff ~ Disneyland Resort


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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    I actually really love Tangaroa Terrace. My kids aren't huge fans, though. The items are decidedly slanted towards a specific flavor profile. My favorite thing there is the pulled pork flatbread. I often go over to the DLH from home just to have that for lunch.
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  7. #5
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    Jul 2005
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    We are in the half-dreaming, half-planning stage of our first DLR vacation, so I love reading the review and feedback - thanks for sharing!
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ


    Upcoming: Carnival Cruise & Disney October 2020

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
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    Denver, CO
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    Thanks for sharing. Disneyland Hotel is definitely "our hotel" so it is good to hear a first timers perspective. I recently went with my mom and sister and think they had very similar reactions as you did. They were expected more from "the original" and were anticipating something more in line with the WDW resorts.

    But for us, Disneyland Hotel is the best! It is my son's favorite hotel because of the monorail slides and pool so typically when we have trips where we think it will be too cold for swimming we save money and stay at Paradise Pier. I love all of the historic Disney stuff hanging all over the hotel and especially the wallpaper in the public bathrooms. The Adventure Tower is indeed a great location and as you noted it is all so close that they are all good but Adventure and Fantasy are definitely better than Frontier.

    Our first trip was in the Frontier Tower and it was great because it was our first stay but now we think that staying at Frontier Tower is not that much better than staying at the much cheaper Paradise Pier. When we did stay in the Frontier Tower my son was very young and LOVED the model of Big Thunder. I had hoped it would translate into an appreciation for the ride, but alas he is not a thrill seeker so looking at the miniature is still better than riding it to him.

    What I typically tell people is you can't go wrong with any of the three Disney hotels since everything is so close - if you really like the restaurants at one of the hotels you can get there easily even without staying there. And yes, the Grand Californian is amazing but for us Disneyland Hotel is a better fit!
    "Jammin' in the jungle to the rhythm of one!"

    Proud mom of Elias - born Sept 2008!

    WDW College Program Alum-Fall 2001

    I runDisney - 2010 DL Half, 2012 Coast to Coast DL Half and Wine & Dine, 2014 Tinker Bell Half, 2014 Avengers Half, 2015 Pixie Dust Challenge, 2015 Dumbo Double Dare

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