Disney Trip Planning: Why You Should Visit the Disneyland Hotel
I just want to clear up that this article is NOT titled “Why you should STAY at the Disneyland Hotel,” it is simply about visiting the hotel while you are on vacation at the Disneyland Resort and staying somewhere else. Josh and I did this on our May 2014 Disneyland trip and it was very much worth it!
If you are the type of person who likes visiting shops, “window” shopping, strolling around, taking in all of the well-themed Disney scenery, and, if you are a Walt Disney World (WDW) veteran, someone who hotel-hops on the monorail loop, then you will definitely get that same enjoyment in visiting the Disneyland Hotel. For one thing, the Disneyland Hotel is just a short walk from the entrance of both Disneyland’s California Adventure and Disneyland Park, on the opposite side of the Downtown Disney strip. Josh and I actually took our first visit to the hotel because we woke up earlier than the park opened and wanted to start our Disney day as soon as possible.
Upon arriving at the Disneyland Hotel main entrance you will encounter a familiar, but miniature sight (that is, if you are a WDW frequenter) – a Sorcerer Mickey Hat swirling with stars and golden ribbons. It’s sort of hard to get a good photo of this if you want it along with the Disneyland Hotel signage, as the sign is almost at the top of the building – maybe this was done on purpose?
Walking under the hat and down the path will bring you to the courtyard in the center of the 3 main towers; Fantasy Tower, Adventure Tower, and Frontier Tower. All 3 are worth exploring at their ground level (otherwise, taking a trip upstairs in any of the buildings will only give you a view of a hallway of guestroom doors). Within the ground level of Frontier Tower and Adventure Tower, you will find concept art and miniature scale models appropriately themed to those lands. In Fantasy Tower, you will see the same types of things, but you will also find the front lobby check-in counter complete with Mad Tea Party Tea-Cup chairs and a larger than life Disneyland Park map with moving attractions! A Disney-esge gift shop called Disney’s Fantasia Shop with has just about anything you can find anywhere else in the park (except specialty store items). The Small-World gifts and sundries shop is also here, though only holds necessities such as sunscreen, first aid, etc.
If you’re like Josh and love all things Tiki, Trader Sam’s is where you’ll want to be once the parks close and it seems about time for a snack and a drink. If you can’t find seating inside, it is definitely worth standing and waiting around while the bartender makes your drinks and hope that you catch on of the Thunderstorm effects that happen periodically! And, don’t worry if there isn’t a seat for you in this cozy establishment, because there is more than enough on the porch. Also, order the fried green beans as a snack, unless you hate food that tastes delicious.
The Disneyland Hotel is full of hidden gems whether it be comfy lawn furniture surrounding a fire place:
or a romantic stroll through the rose garden:
The rose garden is actually one of the Wedding Ceremony locations and is by-far one of the most beautiful ones I have seen between WDW and Disneyland. I would also suggest this as a perfectly intimate place to propose, if anyone is planning on doing so, if you prefer a spot a little more secluded and personal (rather than more public places like right in front of the castle).
As for Josh and I, we just love taking a walk around and exploring the many details Disney puts into their designs and layouts, and the Disneyland Hotel definitely holds true to that!