Disneyland on-property hotels come with many perks like exclusive park entrances, early morning park access, character experiences and the joy of being inside the Disney bubble.
Below we break down each of these perks to provide the full picture of the amenities and offerings included with a stay at one of the on-property official Disneyland Resort Hotels.
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Disneyland Resort Hotel Perks Now Back
There are three hotels on-site at Disneyland: the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. These three hotels have a variety of perks and offerings that set these hotels apart from the other hotels near Disneyland that are not Disney-owned. These perks are all part of the much higher price tag of the on-property, Disney-owned, hotels.
The top perks for on-site hotel guests at Disneyland Resort include:
- Early Entry: Disneyland Resort Hotel guests get access to both Disneyland and California Adventure 30 minutes before park opening daily to enjoy select attractions and dining. Read more information on this perk for hotel guests below or read our full strategy to Early Entry at Disneyland here.
- Private Entrance to Theme Parks: Disneyland Resort Hotel guests have access to two private entrances to Disney California Adventure. One entrance is through the Grand Californian Hotel and another entrance is into the Paradise Gardens section of the park and is designated to be for Paradise Pier Hotel guests.
- Preferred Dine Access: Ever since Disneyland reopened from COVID, securing a Disneyland dining reservation has been more difficult than ever. After COVID, Disney shifted completely to the app and web-based system and got rid of the Disney Dining call center. Disney recognized the headache that this caused guests and created a system to specifically solve the problem for hotel guests with specific access to additional dining reservation availability for Disneyland Resort Hotel guests.
- Package Delivery: This popular service allows guests to send souvenirs they purchase in the parks to be delivered to their hotel the next day.
Below the overview of the three on-property hotels I’ll share more specifics on each of these on-property perks.
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the the top tier of all the property hotels at the Disneyland Resort and the most luxurious by far. This Craftsman-style hotel pays homage to California throughout the hotel from the Redwood themed pool, elegant artwork throughout the resort and top notch Californian inspired cuisine inside the 5-star Napa Rose restaurant. Guests can expect full service here along with the benefit of having a beautiful spa directly on-site. The Tenaya Spa is immaculately themed and their services are divine, you can read my most recent Tenaya Stone Spa review of my experience to see why this is experience is a must.
This is a beautiful hotel and staying here is truly a magical experience. The hotel’s close proximity is a great benefit plus when you add in the luxury and top tier comfortable rooms, you just can’t go wrong. This hotel does come with a price tag to match but if you book during a Disney hotel discount you can get up to 25% off rooms which is a great help with those room rates. Rates will be highest around Christmas so be aware of that. But there’s a reason, the Grand Californian has the best holiday decorations out of them all hands down with an enormous Christmas tree in the lobby with a giant gingerbread replica of the hotel itself to match.
Being one of the most expensive options on this list, the Grand Californian won’t be for everyone and the ‘is it worth it?’ question can be largely subjective. In my opinion, I found the price to be worth it mainly due to ease of location being just steps away from the entrance to Disneyland and its own entrance to California Adventure. But beyond that the top tier service, comfortable rooms and luxury amenities made our entire stay magical. I recommend, if it’s within your budget, that you give it a try at least once. Maybe try a split stay and end a longer stay with one night at the Grand to top it off. It’ll be hard to stay anywhere else once you do!
The Disneyland Hotel is the place to stay if you want to be immersed in Disney history and magic as this hotel is the original hotel of Disneyland! The entire hotel is themed around the history of Disneyland and is filled with the most Disney touches out of the other three Disneyland on-property hotels. The hotel is separated into three tours- Adventure, Fantasy or Frontier tower—each an homage to the park’s original lands. The lobby of the hotel features teacup chairs and covered walls filled with pictures and artwork dedicated to the history of Walt Disney and Disneyland. And another thing Disney fans will love? The pool has monorail themed slides!
My favorite part? The headboards in the hotel rooms light up with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and play Wish Upon a Star at the push of a button. Simply magical. This is the second most expensive of the three hotels as the emphasis on Disney at this resort makes it a popular choice. Plus the dining options on-site are also popular since the Disneyland Hotel is home to the infamous Trader Sam’s tiki bar which is themed after the Jungle Cruise.
This is a great hotel for Disney fans and a fantastic choice to immerse yourself in the magic. While the walk to the Disneyland entrance can feel far after a long day at the parks, you have to walk all through Downtown Disney if the monorail is not running, the theming of this hotel is worth it. The pool’s vibe leans tropical and it fits a summer vacation vibe quite well. This hotel is a great choice for a summer vacation and even more perfect for first time Disney guests to really throw themselves into the Disney magic.
Paradise Pier was once a beach themed hotel that was modeled after the once called Paradise Pier (now Pixar Pier!) in California Adventure. The hotel has a tropical theme with a Goofy statue holding a surfboard in the lobby and pool sides inspired by beach side roller coasters.
Paradise Pier is in a bit of a limbo phase right now as its about to undergo a transformation to a Pixar theme! As it’s waiting to undergo this transformation (no date set quite yet) there is currently no dining options at the hotel but all other recreation options are open and rates are reduced to reflect some of the ‘in-between’ vibes of the hotel. But it does now have a NEW dedicated entrance to California Adventure which is a great perk in the meantime. I wouldn’t recommend this hotel at the moment for first time guests but this is a great place to stay at the moment for frequent visitors to benefit from the on-site perks at a lesser price while also enjoying the new park entrance!
New Paradise Pier Hotel Disney California Adventure park entrance.
Disneyland On-Property Hotel Perks
Theme Park Direct Access: Grand Californian and Paradise Pier both have their own exclusive entrances to California Adventure making entering the park a breeze. Plus all three hotels are in such close proximity to the parks and sit right within or adjacent to Downtown Disney so you’re never far from the magic. Disneyland Hotel guests can also take advantage of these additional direct access entrances to the parks.
Direct-to-Room Service: Check in using the Disneyland app and go straight to your room using the digital key option on the app.
Dining Delivery: Select restaurants in the Downtown Disney District provide meal delivery services. Scan the QR code right from your in-room TV to access the links to those restaurants’ delivery webpages to place your order that can be delivered right to your Disneyland Resort Hotel lobby.
Charge to Your Room: Use your digital key in the Disneyland app or hotel key card to charge Disneyland shopping and dining purchases to your hotel room.
Special Fireworks Viewing: You can see the fireworks from all of the resort hotels but you can enjoy a great view from the rooftop of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian terrace.
Disney Bubble: This is a bit of an ‘unofficial’ perk but one of the biggest perks and draws to staying at the Disney on-property hotels in my opinion! By staying at one of these hotels you are never leaving the magic unless you want to. You are living and breathing Disney at your hotel, on the walk to Disney through Downtown Disney or using a direct entrance to the park and inside the parks themselves.
Hotel Activities: One of the best parts about staying on-property at Disney is enjoying the magic of Disney everyday of your stay and there’s plenty of Disney activities offered! Here’s a list of the activities you can find at Disney hotels for kids and adults alike:
- Draw Disney characters
- Learn to play Ukulele and hula dancing
- Fitness classes including paddle board yoga and morning stretches designed for walking at the parks – read more about the fitness classes at the Grand Californian for Disneyland Hotel guests here.
- Screenings of Disney movies
Poolside Cabanas: Rent a poolside cabana and have your spot reserved for the day next to the pool! You can opt for a two person ‘pod style cabana’ or a full cabana that can fit up to 8 people equipped with a mini fridge and at the Grand Californian, a tv!
Early Entry: Resort guests are able to access both Disneyland and California Adventure 30 minutes before park opening daily to enjoy select attractions and dining.
Package Delivery: This popular service will return allowing you send souvenirs you purchase in the parks to be delivered to our hotel the next day.
Preferred Dine Access offers hotel guests the opportunity to have preferred access to a limited number of reservations at select hotel table service restaurants during the dates of your hotel stay. This is going to be a GREAT perk, especially for securing that hard-to-get Trader Sam’s reservation! Recently we took advantage of this pool of extra dining reservations and immediately were able to get the exact timing of reservations we wanted for Blue Bayou and Lamplight Lounge. For help before your trip begins, call the direct hotel phone number and get to the operator. They will either be able to help you or transfer you to guest services.
To avoid getting lost in the phone tree, here are the direct phone numbers for each of the Disneyland Resort hotels. Have your room confirmation number ready when you call.
- Disneyland Hotel: (714) 778-6600
- Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel: (714) 635-2300
- Paradise Pier Hotel (soon to be Pixar Place Hotel: (714) 999-0990
Disneyland On-Property Hotels Early Entry
Disneyland Resort hotel guests can enjoy access to the parks 30 minutes before park opening daily at both Disneyland and California Adventure. This benefit replaces the previous “Early Magic Hour” which granted hotel guests an hour of early access to either park on alternating certain days of the week. Now hotel guests can enjoy early access every day!
For more information on Early Entry at Disneyland, read our full guide for tips and advice on utilizing this early morning time!
During early entry, hotel guests can access these attractions, dining and shopping experiences:
Disneyland Park Attractions
- Alice in Wonderland
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Disneyland Monorail
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Space Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disneyland Park Dining and Shopping
- Fantasyland Fruit Cart
- Galactic Grill
- Guide II
- Esplanade Stroller Shop
- The Mad Hatter in Fantasyland
- Market House
- Plaza Inn
Disney California Adventure Park Attractions
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT!
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Disney California Adventure Park Dining and Shopping
- Cappuccino Cart
- The Collector’s Warehouse
- Esplanade Stroller Shop
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
- Fillmore’s Taste-In
- Knick’s Knacks
- WEB Suppliers
The early entry benefit is only for Guests who are checked in and currently staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels.
Disneyland Hotels Theme Park Access
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a direct entrance into California Adventure that comes out right by Grizzly’s Peak. This close entrance is a huge perk of this hotel as you are so close to the action and it makes the convenience of running back to your hotel room such a breeze. There is also direct access to Downtown Disney that comes out right between Sephora and the Disney Dress Shop leaving about a 5 minute walk to the Disneyland front entrance. This hotel has hands down the easiest access out of all three!
Paradise Pier just recently received its own special entrance into California Adventure! This new entrance to Disney California Adventure park is just across from the hotel and enters the park near Seaside Souvenirs and Corn Dog Castle, just down from Goofy’s Sky School. This is a great addition to this hotel and makes the ease of access a great perk. The walk to Disneyland is a bit further but still convenient as you access Downtown Disney. You will have to walk the length of Downtown Disney as you’re entering from the far side but you can also take the monorail in (if it’s operating- it does not always run during hot weather or late at night) which will enter the parks in Tomorrowland.
The Disneyland Hotel does not have a direct gate into either theme park but it is also located directly next to Downtown Disney closest to the monorail. Guests simply walk through Downtown Disney to access both parks or have the option of taking the monorail into Disneyland (factoring in heat/time of day if it’s operating) to enter into Tomorrowland.
It can be a long walk through Downtown Disney to get to the front gates, about 10-15 minutes depending on the pace your family walks at but you also get to utilize Disney’s security entrance on that side of the resort which will have shorter lines than the side facing the Harbor Blvd. entrance. And you’re inside the ‘Disney Bubble’ which cannot be beat. If you want, you can live your entire vacation inside Disney without stepping foot outside of the Disney magic.
Disneyland On-Property Hotel Restaurants
There are some great dining options to choose from between all the Disneyland Resort Hotels and some of the best dining options in the resort can be found at these hotels!
This cozy, craftman’s style restaurant is where you can find Mickey’s Tales of Adventure character dining for breakfast and brunch. At dinner, food is served buffet style.
This upscale restaurant has won numerous prestige awards and features elegant cuisine that honors California’s artisan farmers and wine. During breakfast, you can enjoy an elegant character dining experience with the Disney Princesses!
GCH Craftsman Grill
This is a great spot to grab a bite to eat at the Grand Californian and one of our favorite dining spots at Disneyland. You can find a variety of foods like artisanal pizzas, avocado toast, grab and go options and more.
Not to be confused with the more casual GCH Craftsman Grill, the Craftsman Bar is a rustic oasis with both bar and table seats that is poolside at the Grand California. This is one of our favorite dining spots at the resort.
Enjoy cocktails, appetizers or full pizzas in this comfy lounge with a full fireplace.
Hands down one of the most popular dining locations at any of the Disneyland on-property hotels! Trader Sam’s is a tiki bar inspired by the Jungle Cruise. This themed dining location is more than just your average tiki bar and you will see it come to life with the sounds and wonders of the jungle. You can expect a fun variety of cocktails and Polynesian themed eats. Kids are welcome during the day but after 8PM the bar is restricted to just adults 21 years old and up.
Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill
Inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room, this dining location features a wraparound terrace surrounded by palms and tropical touches. Dine under the tribal-print lanterns or inside with island decor. Guests of the hotel can be served pool side.
Goofy’s Kitchen features character dining all day and is the only character dining option that offers dinner! Enjoy Goofy’s famous peanut butter pizza among a full buffet with other popular options for kids and adults alike.
Currently, there is no open dining at Paradise Pier but that’s because the hotel is undergoing a refurbishment soon to transform into a Pixar theme! Once that transformation is complete there will be hotel dining options again and likely one that’s Pixar oriented.
Disneyland On-Property Hotels Discounts
Disneyland runs sales for all their resort hotels throughout the year! These are great to take advantage of as these savings help the cost of staying on site.
You can find the latest Disneyland Resort Hotel discounts in our guide here.
More Disneyland Planning Tips
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