Planning a vacation to Disneyland and wondering if you should stay at a Disneyland Resort? One of the biggest decisions you’ll make for you and your family is where to stay during your visit. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have family or friends nearby to stay with. But if you don’t, you’ll be looking into your hotel options.
While Walt Disney World in Florida has many Resort options for nearly every budget, the Disneyland Resort in California has just three resort options on Disney property. And even though they have a higher price tag than many of the Good Neighbor hotels surrounding Disneyland, there are many reasons to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel for your next visit.
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**The Disneyland Resort officially reopened to the public on April 30, 2021, and some experiences listed below have been temporarily suspended or modified due to the pandemic. Be sure to visit our official Disneyland reopening post for updated information to guide your vacation planning!
1) Experience Disney to the Fullest
When you stay at a Disneyland Resort, you and your family will enjoy all things “Disney” every moment of your vacation. With Hidden Mickey’s, themed pools, and special character dining experiences… these hotels simply offer a full-on Disney experience that other hotels can’t provide. And if there’s one thing Disney does well, it’s paying attention to the details. All three Disneyland Resorts offer a uniquely themed experience unlike any other.
2) You’ll Have More Time in the Parks
For each day of your Disney resort stay, you are able to enter the parks (with a theme park ticket, of course) one hour earlier than everyone else. And while only a select number of attractions and shops are open during this extra hour, it can be a great opportunity to enjoy smaller crowds at some of the parks’ most popular attractions. And while this feature is currently suspended due to the phased reopening of the parks and the need to manage capacity, we do anticipate this returning at a later date.
3) Souvenir Shopping Will Be Easier Thanks to Package Express
I absolutely loved this feature on my last Disney vacation! We were able to purchase items within the parks and have them delivered directly to our resort hotel using Package Express. (No more carrying bags around all day long or waiting until the end of the day to shop when the stores were super busy.)
4) You’ll Gain Easier Park Access
Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa have their own entrance into Disney’s California Adventure park. And if you are staying at either the Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, you can rest assured that you are within walking distance of all the Disney fun!
5) You Can Schedule Character Wake-up Calls
Would your family enjoy a special wake-up call from Mickey or one of his friends? (I know my daughters would love this!) This unique experience is only available if staying at a Disneyland Resort.
6) You’ll Have Access to Preferred Reservations
Disneyland Resort guests enjoy preferred access to a limited amount of dining reservations as well as the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Anna and Elsa’s Boutique. And since some of these reservations are hard to get, this could definitely come in handy.
7) Pay with Your Key to the Magic Card
Adult room keys are linked to the credit card you used during check-in. This allows you to travel a bit lighter and use your Key to the Magic card to pay for food and merchandise throughout the resorts, both parks, and select Downtown Disney locations.
8) Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel and Celebrate!
Are you celebrating a special event at Disney? In-Room Celebrations (provided by Disney Dream Makers) allow you to celebrate your special occasion in a special way. I can also speak from experience in saying that Disney has often gone out of its way to honor celebrations while staying with them.
**Looking to plan your first Disneyland Resort vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!