For the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Brooke and I opted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel. This was a life long dream come true for me! Brooke and I have stayed on Disney property at Walt Disney World, but never at Disneyland. There are pros and cons to staying on Disney property for a runDisney race weekend. The cost is significantly higher than other hotel options and staying on Disney property is not as necessary at Disneyland as it is at Walt Disney World. That said, I chose the Disneyland Hotel for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend precisely because it had the best location of any hotel for the races. So, if you’re looking to stay at a Disney hotel for the Disneyland runDisney races, I would say that the Disneyland Hotel is the absolute best location to stay.
When we went to the Disneyland Hotel, it didn’t start off magical. It took a half hour to get from the freeway exit at Disneyland Way to the Disneyland Hotel parking lot. This was largely due to limited parking at the Downtown Disney parking lot for the races. So, it was just part of the circumstances for the weekend. Once we were parked and made our way to the front desk, the magic started. The line to check in was super quick to get through and the cast member that checked us in was as friendly as you’d expect. Here is what you get when you check in…
First, you get your room key which is still the Keys to the Kingdom key that you used to get at Walt Disney World (before the Magic Band).
I love the personal touches Disney puts into the experience. Both Brooke and I were excited to see our names on the keys. Of course, these keys are free keepsake of your trip to the Disneyland Hotel! Since they are tied to your room, you can charge things to the card and take care of payment once you check out.
Additionally, you get a map of the Disneyland Hotel. The Disney cast member showed us where our tower was located and hot to get there. We were staying in the Adventure Tower (which is themed to Adventureland).
On the other side is a map of the entire Disneyland Resort to give you an idea of where you are located in relation to everything else.
The next sheet gives you gives you some pertinent information for the hotel.
On the back is more relevant information.
The next sheet you get gives you a listing of the special activities that you, as a hotel guest, have access to for the week you’re staying. Brooke and I were a little bummed that we arrived a little too late to catch a pool side showing of Frozen at the Grand Californian Spa and Resort.
On the back was explanations of the activities listed on the front and how you can take advantage of these activities.
Lastly, you get Guide Maps for both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure along with the schedule of shows at each theme park for the week you are staying! What I like about this is that you don’t have to wait until you get to the theme parks to plan your time! Plus, you can keep these maps in a safe place to keep a nice clean copy. After all, when you’re in the theme parks, the Guide Maps you get tend to get a little out of shape.
After we got checked in, we were off to see our room. What an awesome room it was! The room we were in was large and spacious. It was perfect for a race weekend. I loved being able to come back to the room and relax after the races!
I loved the big comfy chair!
Opposite the big comfy chair was this sofa with a pull out bed in it. Let me tell you, I laid on this bad boy after the 10K and fell asleep. That’s how comfortable it was.
Here’s a close up of the picture that was hanging behind the sofa. Staying in a room with all the Disney touches was so much fun! Since we were in the Adventure tower, a majority of the pics in this mural of sorts were from Adventureland.
Here is the desk and the television. Everything about this room not only felt very Walt and very Disney, but also very classy.
Isn’t the headboard absolutely magical.
One thing my wife and I realized after we got home that we never did was get a video like the one above. We played “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” quite a few times over the weekend. It just added to the magic. Of course, after it plays through once, you have to turn everything off and start again if you want to hear it again. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the LED fireworks display over the bed. Brooke and I loved this aspect of the room a lot!
The Walt touches in the room cannot be ignored. I loved waking up to the iconic image of Walt walking through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle every day.
After the Disneyland Half Marathon, I just had to pose with my medals next to this iconic image!
They use the same image on the directory of services at the Disneyland Hotel.
Walt is also there on the Telephone and Internet information booklet.
Right by the telephone.
Walt is on the Express Menu as well.
Even in the bathroom, Walt is there to remind you to be a friend to the earth with come conservation tips. As a Walt Disney fan, I was loving all the Walt touches!
The bathroom was spacious with two sinks.
The shower was very roomy as well, Let me tell you having those jets hitting you after a long run was just what the doctor ordered! Fantastic shower. Although, in our first use of the shower, we noticed that the drain was sort of clogged. So, we told housekeeping and someone was out within an hour to fix it. Great job Disney Cast Members!
And, of course, you can’t forget the toilet. Right? I liked that it had a separate door, making its own room. There was an image from Adventureland hanging on the wall next to the toilet.
One of the first things that stands out in the restroom is the Mickey hands holding the light fixtures. I totally want one! Also, notice the Mickey’s that serve as a boarder to the light shade.
More Mickeys lie in the handles.
See? The sink…
and even the shower!
Another nice touch was this pillow on the bed. Of course, it fits perfectly with the headboard music!
Lastly, who couldn’t get used to this view out the window? Seriously awesome.
The unfortunate part of the weekend is that my only time at the pool was after the half marathon…
when I soaked my feet and lower legs. It was heavenly! I would have liked to try out the Monorail water slide. However, there wasn’t enough time. If there is a next time, I’ll have to make time for that!
I covered other things to do at the Disneyland Hotel here. So, I won’t go into that. Brooke and I ended our time at the Disneyland Hotel with breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. I’ll cover that in more detail tomorrow.
My stay at the Disneyland Hotel was everything I ever imagined it being. Brooke and I have stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside, Caribbean Beach Resort, and All Star Sports Resort at Walt Disney World. So, this was our 4th Disney property to stay at. I must say that the Disneyland Hotel is my absolute favorite of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Port Orleans Riverside and we had fun at the All Star Sports (didn’t like the Caribbean Beach Resort). However, the Disneyland Hotel had more of Walt. As a Walt Disney fan, it appealed to me more.
If you’re coming out to run in a runDisney race, I think that the Disneyland Hotel is the most ideally located of any hotel. It’s easy to get to the start line of the races and back from the finish line. Every other hotel will require you to wait for a gap in the runners to cross. Not the Disneyland Hotel. You can go from the family reunion area to the hotel uninterrupted.
The downside of the Disneyland Hotel? Price. It is rather pricey. So, if you are more budget conscious or would rather put your money towards other things in your Disneyland vacation (or race-cation), there are plenty of Good Neighbor Hotels out there to serve you. Also, the Paradise Pier Hotel is a little less expensive than the Disneyland Hotel. Of the three Disney owned hotels, the Disneyland Hotel‘s price is in the middle. I liked my stay at the Disneyland Hotel so much that I would recommend it over the Grand Californian for a runDisney race.
The most surprising element of this whole experience was how cool it was to be able to stay in the Disney bubble while at the Disneyland Resort. I’ve never done this before. Staying at the Disneyland Hotel made this race more of a race-cation than my previous runDisney races at Disneyland. I loved being so close to Downtown Disney! When Brooke and I had lunch with my parents at the Rain Forrest Cafe, I walked down and made a reservation while the rest waited in the room. I came back, relaxed for a bit (instead of standing around and walking around the gift shop for 30 minutes) and then returned close to our reserved time. It was awesome! Same with the ESPN Zone. We were less than 5 minutes from the ESPN Zone! It was also fun to walk by the trams to the Mickey and Friends Parking Lot and through Downtown Disney to get to a bed. Every other Disneyland trip involves waiting at least 10 minutes to get on the tram, walking back to the car, and around a 45 minute car ride home. It was bliss to avoid all of that!
Final Verdict? I give this two thumbs up! 10 out of 10! You can’t go wrong with the Disneyland Hotel. Have you ever stayed at the Disneyland Hotel? Grand Californian Resort and Spa? Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel? What did you think?