Disneyland Resort Hotels, Anaheim; What you need to know.
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Disneyland for Spring Break was a perfect option for us! Texas Spring Break is in March and California's Spring Break is in April, therefore we were able beat the California Spring Break crowds.
Disney Travel Agent
Our travel agents take care of everything. All we have to do is show up. Call me a lucky girl, because I get to travel to Disney with this amazing family almost every year. Feel free to contact them, for all your Disney needs. It's a free service and it's perfect for a lazy planner like me. Michael & Jennifer Moreno 832-385-3887 or Jenandmike@wishdrawals.com.
We were picked up from the Los Angles Airport by the Disney Resort Express. Our travel agents made these reservations for us so everything was paid in advance
Here are more details on the service per the website.
"The Disneyland Resort Express provides the most convenient mode of transportation between LAX and the Disneyland Resort area—including both Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Resort hotels. Upon exiting the baggage claim area at LAX, proceed to the center island. You may board the Disneyland Resort Express underneath the green sign in front of each terminal. Buses depart frequently, beginning at Terminal #1. Reservations are not required, but there is a fee to ride."
It's the perfect service for a family who does not want to lug around car seats or rent a car. If you rent a car then you have to pay for parking at the hotel which can get extremely expensive. We waited about 15 minutes for the Disney Resort Express and the ride is an hour long. Sadly, unlike the Magical Express at Disney World, they do not provide movies or Disney trivia during your ride. The TV's were broken so was not as magical.
We stayed on site at the Grand Californian, which is a "deluxe" hotel. Disneyland has three hotels on site, all at different price points. Your choices are Disneyland Hotel, Disney Grand Californian, & Disney Pleasure Pier. The best part about staying at these hotels is you are able walk outside right into the park. Honestly, this is my favorite part about Disneyland, the convenience. If you have small kids this place is PERFECT for nap time. The hotels are only a jump, skip, and hop away.
We rented our strollers from City Stroller Rental (click on stroller picture for website). These strollers are extremely nice and cost $35 a day, vs the plastic strollers that cost $25. These strollers are so much easier to push around and are extremely comfortable for your little ones. You rent online then have it delivered to your hotel. You pick it up at "bell services" at your hotel upon arrival. How easy is that?
If you get to the hotel early you then you should ask if they have your room available. If they do, then you can check into your room early for no charge. If they do not have your room available, they will send you a text as soon as your room is available. Check in is at 3 pm and they sent us a text that we could go to our room at 1:45 pm. SCORE. Since a room was not available at the time we arrived at 11 am, we gave our luggage over to "Bell Services" who delivered our luggage to our room later that day. If you arrive early, I suggest going to Downtown Disney District for food and fun.
If you are a first time visitor, or have a birthday or anniversary, you will receive a pin from the front desk at your hotel. Your travel agent will usually let the hotel know about the occasion. It's a lot of fun because the Disney employees will give you a little extra attention on your special day when they see you wearing these pins.
Rise and Speed walk in the Park (This is FREE)
I love working out. I try to plan my workout before the trip so there are zero excuses. I came across this fun, free workout. There is a 35-minute speed walk that is held inside Disney California Adventure Park before opening. Hotel guests should meet the instructor by 5:45 AM at the theme park entrance. Participants must be able to walk fast without needing to stop. Reservations are required as space is limited. Contact "Hotel Guest Services" to reserve your spot. Camera & cell phones are not allowed! These classes rotate. I was beyond excited to find this amazing activity. How cool is it to have the park as your "workout room".
You can order food online at Amazon Prime and have it delivered to your room! How cool is that? We like to put plenty of snacks in our backpack so it's less we have to buy inside the park.
Magic Morning Entry
Anyone who purchases three day passes to the park, and is staying at the hotel can enter California Adventures an hour early. For us it was 7am and the park opened at 8am. I suggest heading to the Incredible's Ride and beat those lines. My family was able to ride it over and over again.
Day 1- Disneyland Park
We started at Downtown Disney for breakfast at Starbucks right outside the hotel. We had breakfast almost everyday at Starbucks, because you can't beat the Old Fashion Donuts $3.00 (for the kids) and Bacon & Gruyere egg bites $5.49. This seemed to be the cheapest avenue for us. We did not buy coffee at Starbucks, because we were able to carry our hotel coffee to breakfast. No fancy coffees on this vacation lol.
Unlike Disney World you receive park cards instead of park bands. The cards are your room key, credit card, park pass, and fast pass. You need to download the Disneyland app so you can schedule your fast passes through out the day and look at ride wait times.
I suggest carrying them in a lanyard for easy access to your card.
We have small kids so we never pay extra for park hopping, which gives you access to all the parks in one day. We usually try to complete an entire park in one day. Disneyland was our first choice for Day 1.
Sadly, in March of 2019 the castle was under construction. This is why having a travel agent is important. We were aware beforehand, therefore not completely disappointed. I have to say going to Disney without seeing the castle kinda takes away from the magical experience.
Let me just be clear, the Fast Passes cost extra at Disneyland and it sucks. Unlike Disney World you can only fast pass a small selection of rides. So, if you are used to fast passing everything, get ready to learn how to stand in line. This was hard for us. We are so lazy that we even fast pass characters at Disney World lol.
However, the fast passes does include the photo passes for no extra charge, so maybe that evens things out.
My favorite part is the amazing area for toddlers. There is so many rides and so much to do. Your toddler will have a blast! They have large section of toddler rides that you will only find at Disneyland. My kids loved Goofy's Fun House.
We had lunch at the Little Red Wagon which has hand dipped corn dogs. It's an all time classic at Disneyland. For $9.25 you get a large corn dog which is a bargain for Disney. My kids were able to split a corn dog. Win Win & so yummy!
We had dinner at La Brea Bakery around 4ish and there were not a crowd. The food was good; not great. The restaurant is located in Downtown Disney. You can leave the park and head to Downtown Disney then head back to park at any time. I suggest having dinner at 4pm otherwise you will need reservation to eat at any of the restaurant in Downtown Disney.
Day 2- California Adventures.
For some reason, I was thinking this would be a small park. No! It's just as big as Disneyland. This is where you will find Cars Land.
We started with breakfast at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney. I have to say the dinner here was okay, but the breakfast was AMAZING.
The french toast is to die for!
The park has a ton to do! The Ferris Wheel is the main attraction and The Incredible ride is awesome.
Beware of the ferris wheel. My husband had the bright idea that everyone needed to squeeze into the same ferris wheel cart, then......
We had lunch in Cars Land at Cozy Cone Motel where you can get these awesome cones:
Chili Cone Queso
with Beef Chili, Cheddar Cheese and Corn Chips served in a Bread Cone. Vegetarian Chili available $8.99
Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
creamy Mac 'n' Cheese mixed with Roasted Bacon served in a Bread Cone $8.99
It's so good and the best part is you can eat the cone. Also, we split root beer floats when we were done.
If you need a few minutes to relax, they have a really large play area for the kids.
Sadly, most places at Disney Downtown require reservations because they are slammed packed. We found a cute little pizza place and.....the pizza was horrible!!!! It was so bad my daughter wrote a review on yelp. On the bright side, my husband loved the $2 large refillable fountain sodas they sell there. Every time we were in Disney Downtown, he would order a large soda and we all would share it.
If you have a little extra time, then visit Orange County.
See my blog "24 Hours in Orange County". You can rent a car with Alamo Downtown Disneyland Car Rental. All you have to do is walk over to Pleasure Pier Hotel, and pick up the car then return it when you're done. It's super easy & the prices are reasonable.
In the end, I was beyond thrilled we took the time to visit Disneyland. It's an experience we will never forget! Disney World will always be my first love, but Disneyland can be my second.
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