If money is not a huge issue then I would totally go with DLH or GCH. Especially for a first timers! I haven't stayed at GCH so I can't comment on that but I absolutely love DLH. The rooms are very nice sized(I have seen the rooms at GCH and DLH's defintely are bigger) and they have so many adorable Disney touches.
You can get a room with the sofabed, but it's not very big. I love staying in Sierra Tower and watching the fireworks and hearing the souds of DTD!! Ahhhh Bliss!!
*I stayed at Desert last November and it was sooooooo run down and had a very high ICK factor.
Offsite I like
Best Western Park Place Inn
Tropicana(sparse but clean)
I would definitely recommend the DLH. Close and the cost is very reasonable. You get all the perks of staying close to the park and spending a reasonable amount. Also, you get to immerse yourself in the Disney experience with some good restaurants and bars right at the hotel or nearby. Plus the week you are going is the BEST week to visit the park. Have been down there a few times at that time of year and always less cowded but still fun.
And if this personal testimonial helps any, will be there the week right after you. Its a good way to go!
BW Park Place Inn gets my vote for off-site hotel. It is literally right across the street from the main entrance- just cross the street and through the shuttle drive area and you're at the esplanade. Distance is no (or not much, if at all) greater than the distance from the DLH.
The rooms are "mini-suites" which means there is no separate bedroom or door, but you do get a bedroom area plus sleeper sofa and there is a microwave and fridge in each room. Rooms are clean and well-kept.
I have stayed at the Paradise Pier once- didn't consider it lame, but didn't consider it better for the money, either. I save my money on hotels so I can spend more on eating out and souveniers.
I vote for the DLH! I think it makes it very special and love staying onsite - it would be a wonderful treat for your family's first time! And yes, the DLH does have 2 queens and sofa bed - in fact, they are the larger rooms (50 sq ft more) - here is floorplan: http://disneyland.disney.go.com/dlm/...dSuitesHMFPage
Also, they are running the "stay 3 nights get 4th night free" offer.
While the GCH is a great hotel - the rooms are smaller than the DLH.
THanks for the info, I think that I will go with DLH if the rates are ok, or close to ok. What is the best way to get a room? Through DLR? Expedia, travel agent? I did't see the stay 3 get one free deal, but I will look for it.
Have a great trip Max. There are a TON of hotels that circle the park so you could pick from any number of them. But you have to stay at the DLH at least once in your life. I plan on doing it for my 40th since the last time I got to do it was when I was 4 or 5!
I would check Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, DLH, etc. Even AAA if you have it. Compare! Prices for that weekend will be higher than normal since it is a holiday.
Thanks to all for great info. I just got off the phone with WDTC and have a reservation for four for 3 nights with the 4th free, with park hoppers for three days for a grand total of $1321.00. I can't help but feel I am getting worked a little.... They did try and add in a 'vaction protection' for like an extra $140.00 but I nixed that. I KNOW we are going on this trip.
I am also gonna upgrade to a PAP, and my peeps might tack on an extra day prior to the end of the trip.
Just my two cents~ I have stayed at the Hilton, Marriott, DLH, GCH and PP. I really liked the Marriott, but have to deal with the shuttle (no big deal really), I personally think the DLH is overrated. I thought our room was small and not particularly spectacular. We did have a nice view of the pool, which my son thought was boring. What I was surprised by was the Paradise Pier Hotel. I stayed there for the first time this summer. We had a much larger room with a wonderful view of DCA, which is pretty at night. My kids liked the pool at PP better than DLH. While I liked GCH, I found the rooms small. The biggest downfall of PP that we found was the lack of restaurants. Sometimes I just want all of the resort hotels to have a basic little coffee shop where I could get a good BLT or Turkey Sandwich!
Anyway, I think if money is not a concern, staying at one of the resort hotels gives you easy and pleasant walking access and easy monorail entry.
Have a great trip!
Just be prepared for snobby attitudes from other guests. We stayed at DLH in April and I was amazed and irritated by it. We ran into some of the rudest people ever staying in that hotel. More than once we had people push in front of us to get to the elevator like they were too good to wait like everyone else. I guess some people think because they are staying at DLH instead of off site they are better than everyone else. Some, not all, of the CMs at the front desk weren't much better. I stood in line at the guest services counter for 20 minutes one night only to be told it was closed....and the jerk CM was there the whole time helping another guest. When I voiced my displeasure at this the others working behind the counters just shrugged and said "sorry". It was nice being close to the parks and DTD and not having to drive anywhere during our stay but next time we will be staying in a suite at Anaheim Desert Inn. Also, we upgraded our room for one with a good view. They really played it up at how great a view it was. For the extra $ I wasn't impressed. Not to mention that much more time spent on the elevator to get to and from my "fantastic view" room. Does it sound like I'm a little bitter? Maybe. I guess since we paid so much more our experience should have been more than simply being able to say we stayed at DLH. Just my two cents.
You can think I'm wrong, but that's no reason to quit thinking.