Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of the Disneyland Hotel
Making the Most of the Disneyland Hotel
The whole complex was renovated and updated in 2011, all the way down to the sky-blue reflective, energy-efficient windows and contemporary decor.
When you arrive, check in at the front desk in the Fantasy (north) Tower. This is also where you’ll find Guest Services and an ATM (cash machine).
Take time to stroll the acres of beautiful grounds. Alas, Horseshoe Falls and the koi ponds are no more, but the grounds are still delightful. Follow the wide, shaded walkways surrounded by exotic tropical plants for a pleasant walk at any time of day. Outside the Frontier tower, you'll find a tribute to an original Frontierland attraction, Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland (pictured in the photo slice above), with a miniature Cascade Falls and Old Unfaithful geyser—watch for it to erupt! Don't miss the large scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad on the first floor of Frontier Tower. Adventure Tower has a display featuring replicas of the clay models used in designing Jungle Cruise. Other fun spots include the pretty wedding gazebo in Rose Court Garden and the huge Sorcerer Mickey Hat near Downtown Disney.
The one-hour “Happiest Hotel On Earth” tour is offered free to hotel guests aged 14 and up. The tour shares stories and photos of the hotel’s celebrated past, and takes guests to the location of the original hotel buildings. Sign up at Guest Services.
Athletic early risers aged 14 and up can sign up for the Get Up & Go Power Walk, which starts at 6:00 am. If you're game for a very fast, two-mile walk in 30 minutes, you can tour Disney California Adventure before the park opens. The walk is free; reserve your spot at any Disneyland Resort hotel guest services desk. No strollers or cameras allowed on this walk, and don't forget your sneakers!
Other Disneyland Resort guests-only events include Tales from the Hearth at the Grand Californian (stories featuring California wildlife); Engineuity at RIDEMAKERZ in Downtown Disney (a chance to build your own ride before the store opens to everyone—available for a fee); Learn to Draw Mickey class; and Washcloth Creations (find out how to craft towel creatures on a smaller scale). Sign up for any of these at Guest Services.
Be sure to check out the vintage Walt Disney photos in the lobby near the elevators.
Disney movies are shown on the Magic Kingdom Lawn on select nights; bring your own refreshments. Look for the schedule when you check in.
Look for Disney characters whenever you're in the lobby, and you just might meet one. Ginger spotted Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and both Chip and Dale hanging around in the lobby after lunch on a recent visit.
Mickey and Minnie statues greet you outside the lobby, while topiaries featuring them and Pluto await between Fantasy tower and the pool.
The concierge level is popular at this hotel. For the extra money, you get priority check-in and check-out, an upper-level room in the Adventure Tower, admission to the “E-Ticket Club” concierge lounge with a breakfast bar, afternoon snacks, and a twilight wine and cheese reception. The concierge lounge has a great view of the nightly fireworks, with the soundtrack!
Rollaway beds and cribs are available for use free of charge.
Disneyland Hotel has the largest convention center of the three Disney hotels. It flanks the west side of the courtyard and offers 136,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. For more info, visit https://www.disneymeetings.com/.
A small laundry room is tucked away in the back of the courtyard near the pools. Washers and dryers are $3 each, and payment can be made only by debit or credit card. Bring your own laundry soap and dryer sheets from home, or buy from the front desk.
Note that the Fantasy Waters show once held here is now defunct.
Check-in time is 3:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am. If you arrive before 3:00 pm, you can register and store your luggage until your room is ready.
Sign by Frontier Tower
Ratings are explained on page 28.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 51346) Photo contributed by © GingerJ
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