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  1. #1

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    Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    I will be going to the Disneyland Resort from Nov 27 to Dec 2, this year, with my wife and 8 yr old son. This will be our first visit.
    Shopping on Disneyland.com, I found the following hotels + packages and am seeking your advise on which to choose.

    Disneyland hotel 30% off + parkhopper tickets : $1600
    Disneyland hotel vacation package : $1900

    Paradise pier vacation package : $1600

    Grand Californian 30% + parkhopper tickets : $1800
    ============================================

    Is the vacation package (with free pin, lanyard + toontown madness) worth the extra cost ?

    Is paradise pier near enough to the parks ?

    Is the Grand Californian worth the extra cost at $300 ?

    I am leaning towards the Disneyland hotel, and was wondering if paying the extra $300 for the vacation package worth it ?

    Thanks and looking forward to all your advise.

  2. #2

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    Excellent question and the short answer is, it depends. What are your particular needs? Do you have young kids? Older kids? Anyone disabled in your party? Are you looking for ease and comfort or are you looking for concierge-level luxury?

    I have stayed at the Grand Californian several times and I have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel dozens of times. I have not stayed at Paradise Pier but I am familiar with its amenities and location.

    Personally I prefer the Disneyland Hotel because it is more heavily Disney themed and is a little more kid friendly than the Grand Californian. However the Disneyland Hotel is going through a pretty major renovation of its grounds and buildings right now so you will definitely not be seeing this property at its best when you are there. I believe this work will be going on into 2011. When I walked through the Disneyland Hotel property the heavy-duty renovation work on the south tower was in full swing and the construction walls are covering about 1/3 of the property grounds near the pool. I certainly wouldn't want to pay those kinds of prices to stay in
    the middle of a construction zone.

    I personally have been just as comfortable at the Disneyland Hotel as I have been at the Grand Californian. The rooms are about the same size, the beds are very comfortable at both properties and the bathrooms are about the same size and quality as what you will find at any other decent off-property hotel in the area.

    The Grand Californian is closer to both the gates of the parks and the monorail than the Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier. However the walking distance for all three hotels from the parks is not that great. As a matter of fact the Paraide Pier is directly across the street from the lobby entrance for the Grand Californian. No matter which hotel you stay at you'll have a fair walk from the gates of Disneyland back to your room. The one exception is if you go from DCA to the GCH there is no walk at all.

    The fact that Grand Californian Hotel has its own entrance into Disney California Adventure park is a nice amenity. Just know that if you stay there it is an upscale property with minimal Disney theming. If seeing pictures of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse and bumping into Goofy and Pluto characters is important to you then you might want to consider the Disneyland Hotel. If convenience and being upscale is more important then GCH might be the way to go.

    Personally I use Priceline and Hotwire to book stays at nice hotels near Disneyland for about 75% less than what I used to spend at the on-property hotels. For instance I just spent 5 nights at the Holiday Inn next to the Mickey & Friends parking structure for about $38 per night through Priceline. I doubt if that would have paid for one night at the on-property hotels. And my room was just as large, quiet, comfy and convenient as the rooms I've had on-property.

    Good luck on booking your package. I hope my advice helped. If you have questions let me know.
    Last edited by Darth Mickey; 09-04-2010 at 07:27 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    This past December our family stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel and it was great. We booked a standard room but upon check in we were upgraded to a premium view room which was absolutely beautiful!!! The walk to the park for us was not bad (and our youngest child was three at the time)at all. I have absolutely nothing bad that I could say about the hotel...service was great...room was big enough and we are a family of five.....we will be staying there again this upcoming December since it is the most economical of the disney hotels and staying on property to me is so much more wonderful!

    Not sure if the vacation package is worth it or not....I will find out in December since this year I did book a package...last year I did not...one thing for sure is I saved alot more not booking the package but I wanted to try and see if it was better.
    Vacation...Counting Down the Days...Disneyland Here I Come

  4. #4

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    Thanks for the quick replies Darth Mickey and loveforfamily. I would definitely love the disney themeing and bumping into Disney characters at the hotel, I guess this narrows it down to Disneyland hotel. Does Paradise Pier have heavy theming and character interactions ?

    The package is $300 more for me, and the differences are the pin,lanyard, and luggage tag, plus Toontown madness, and the priority seating at certain shows. I am guessing that all these are not worth the $300 ?

    Thanks again

  5. #5

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    I'll honestly say that back when I did purchase packages I never managed to use the Toontown Morning Madness or priority show seating. The only things to really do in Toontown are meet Mickey & Minnie in their houses and ride the Gadget Go-Coaster. For my money I feel like I can do those pretty much anytime I feel like it so the Morning Madness bonus hasn't been of any practical use to me.

    For $300 I'm sure you could buy some pretty rockin pins, lanyards and luggage tags. Or better yet that would get some great Disney Gear or dinner for your party at Blue Bayou. You might even consider using the saving to get at lewast one person in your party a Premium Annual pass so you can utilize the big merchandise and meal savings for the group.

    As far as the character interactions go, Disneyland Hotel has Goofy's Kitchen so between their lunch and dinner it is not uncommon to see Goofy, Pluto or the occasional other character out exploring the hotel lobby and making surprise greetings for people walking in the door.

    My daughter bumped into Goofy at the Disneyland Hotel lobby last week and had an amazing surprise interaction with him.



    I know that Paradise Pier has a Lilo & Stitch breakfast. Does anybody know if they have characters that you can run into in the lobby from time to time?

    While the Grand Californian has Chip, Dale, Meeko the raccoon, Keenai the bear, Brer Bear and Brer Fox at Storyteller's Cafe I don't think I've ever seen them outside of the restaurant there.
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    Disney Resort Area hotels visited since 2008:



    Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel - Grand Californian Hotel - Hilton Anaheim Convention Center - Hyatt Regency Anaheim/OC - Crowne Plaza Anaheim/Garden Grove - Holiday Inn Anaheim on Manchester - Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim on Walnut - Hilton Garden Inn Anaheim - Marriott Fairfield Inn Anaheim



    DisneyWorld: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village - Port Orleans French Quarter



    If you have any questions about Disney vacation logistics, travel planning or hotel experiences feel free to ask me.

  6. #6

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    Thank you. You've been really helpful Darth Mickey.

    Have a great weekend (whatever that's left) !

  7. #7

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    Since it's your first trip, I'm going to vote for keeping it "classic" and staying at the Disneyland Hotel. If you seriously collect pins then maybe the extra package is a good deal, but I don't really know. $300 is a lot of money that could be used in the park for other experiences. I'm always one to pick an experience over "stuff" though, so I'd be inclined to choose a couple special meals or maybe the holiday tour instead.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    I tend to agree that the extra 300 could be better spent on souvenirs and other memorable experiences such as good meals (even character dining)...

    also, it would be bomb if you were able to get a disneyland hotel room that's already been remodeled! it will be a construction zone with lots of areas closed, but you can explore the amenties at the other two hotels.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    At Paradise Pier I cant remember...no, I dont think we bumped into characters (Disney characters....we did see Santa Clause but he is also at the Disneyland Hotel) although I have heard others have....but we did do the Surfs Up breakfast and saw Mickey, Daisy, Stitch, Goofy it was great! We also did Goofys Kitchen and that was awesome.
    Vacation...Counting Down the Days...Disneyland Here I Come

  10. #10

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    Re: Need Advise on which hotel/package to choose

    One of the main reasons to go with a Vacation Package is if you have a Disney Visa -- by putting the package on the DV, you get 0% interest for 6 months and rewards points.

    For instance, if you went with the $1600 package and booked tomorrow, you would have no interest until March and would earn 16 Disney Dollars to spend when you're at the parks : 1 DD for each 100 spent.

    Also, we are going to DL in a few weeks and are staying at the Paradise Pier. We were in the same boat you were -- was it worth the additional $ for the DL hotel. We ultimately decided to go with PP and the $300 we were saving would pay for two character meals and World of Color picnic meal, all things we wanted to do anyway.

    I think you have to decide what is most important to you and spend your money on that. If you want the better hotel room and more amenities, stay at GC. If you'd rather spend the money on food, souveniers, or experiences, then go with PP and enjoy the extras in the park.

    Good luck and enjoy!!!
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