When you want the ultimate Disneyland vacation experience, where do you stay? Which hotels are the highest value? What sets the hotels at the Disneyland resort apart from each other?
Disneyland has three hotels on the resort property. They all cost a pretty penny compared to the many hotels and motels that line Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue. Not including those hotels, we’ve considered all angles to bring you the Disney hotels ranked from least to greatest.
Disneyland Hotels Ranked
Disney hotels have certain benefits that come with the hefty price tag. One of the benefits of staying at a Disney hotel is easy access to character meals. Each hotel has its own character restaurant themed to either Goofy, Donald, or Mickey. Disney hotel guests are also entitled to perks like “Extra Morning Magic” which is an extra hour in the parks before they open to the public.
In addition, each Disney hotel is intricately themed and full of surroundings that reinforce the Disneyland Resort narrative. The ability to spend your entire vacation within the resort and not have to go anywhere else is a big draw as well.
Paradise Pier Hotel
The Paradise Pier Hotel is the closest thing they have to a value hotel. It’s cheaper than the other two hotels but also the farthest out. Getting to either park through Downtown Disney is a little more effort. Walking back and forth is inconvenient, but the Pacific Coast theme is a minimal, albeit fully realized, concept.
Paradise Pier Transforming into Pixar Place Hotel
Paradise Pier was supposed to be a companion to the section of Disney California Adventure with the same name. It even once had its own entrance to the park, but no longer. Paradise Pier within the park has been replaced, so the hotel feels disjointed and out of date despite the high level of care taken by the hotel staff.
It’s an excellent choice for a complete Disney vacation, but it does not deliver enough to justify the price without a decent discount. However, it is currently undergoing renovations to become Pixar Place Hotel, so time will tell if these renovations give the entire hotel a much-needed facelift.
Grand Californian Hotel
The Grand Californian is the most luxurious hotel but not the most significant value. It’s also the most expensive hotel to stay at on Disneyland property. It is the only hotel with a spa, but it the spa available to other resort guests.
The Grand Californian also has a gate with direct access to Disney California Adventure and a convenient path straight into the heart of Downtown Disney. Despite being a desirable, accommodating luxury resort, it does not offer a different enough experience to justify the much higher price.
The Disneyland Hotel was the first hotel to be owned by Disney before the resort expansion. It has undergone several changes thematically before finally landing on Disneyland as a source of inspiration. It’s over $100 per night more than Paradise Pier for a standard room. Disneyland Hotel offers the same stuff the Grand Californian offers at a nightly rate reduced by over $100 per night.
The towers at the hotel are fantastic. Frontierland, Adventureland, or Fantasyland inspire each tower’s theme. They evoke nostalgia and complement the theme park experience.
At the hotel, Disney offers a wide assortment of services comparable to Disney’s Grand Californian. The lower price tag combined with Trader Sam’s and the easy monorail access to Tomorrowland makes Disneyland Hotel our top choice.