April 15, 2013

Advantages & Quirks of the Paradise Pier Hotel

Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort sign advantages reasons
At Disneyland Resort, the Paradise Pier Hotel has become my family's favorite lodgings choice for several reasons. Price, of course, has a lot to do with it; Paradise Pier is the least expensive of the three Disney-owned hotels in Anaheim, which translates to the least expensive way to get Extra Magic Hour at the parks. Over many visits, however, other factors have endeared this hotel to our group.

I'll be perfectly honest with this recommendation: If you can afford to stay at the Disneyland Hotel or the Grand Californian, by all means go for it. Disneyland Hotel has better theming, grounds, shopping and dining than Paradise Pier. The Grand Californian has superb dining, an awesome lobby that's practically an attraction in itself and incredible convenience with its direct gate into DCA. Both hotels have fancier pool options than Paradise Pier (though Paradise Pier's pool is a shorter walk from the rooms).

If you do choose Paradise Pier, however, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by its many excellent features. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect:

Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort Mickey parking
Not-So-Hidden Mickey atop the parking lot poles
1) Great Parking. One area in which Paradises Pier trounces the other two Disney hotels is the simple, basic matter of parking. There's a large security-patrolled parking garage right behind the hotel -- literally just a few steps away from the back entry doors. It's incredibly easy, safe and convenient -- parking doesn't get any better than this.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort Goofy Surfer statue
2) Basic but Effective Theme. It's always summer at this hotel, beginning with Surfer Goofy in the lobby and carrying over to the music and room decor. The light, toned-down-a-notch atmosphere provides a pleasant change of pace after a day in the parks; There's just enough whimsy to remind you you're still in Mouse territory.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort carpet pattern hallway
They should set up a DVC-like booth to sell this carpet for guests to install at home.
3) Short Walk to the Room. Paradise Pier Hotel is easy to navigate, with the elevators just a few yards from the front desk.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort room beach balls
4) Excellent Rooms - The rooms themselves are a nice size, with two double beds, a sofa bed and desk area. The bathrooms are what you'd expect: pleasant enough but nothing spectacular.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort beach ball warning
WARNING FOR PARENTS WITH SMALL CHILDREN: See those beach balls by the pillows? Cute, aren't they? Those aren't inflated, they're stuffed. See those little placards in front of the beach balls? Those are there to tell you that you must pay for any damage done to the room caused by stuffed beach balls being hurled around. Just a head's up: You might want to hide the beach balls in the closet before letting your kids in the room.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort view DCA Cars Land
Photo by Lana Whitham
5) Amazing DCA Views - If you don't mind paying a bit more for a park view, get ready to spend some quality time with the window as you gaze out at Paradise Pier and Cars Land. What's extra-fun about this is the way the park never really shuts completely down--there's always some kind of testing or cleaning going on over there between closing and opening (don't worry--you won't hear it). When you wake up early (you are planning on waking up early, right?), you can look out and see the park getting ready for the morning arrivals.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort character breakfast PCH
6) Food, Shopping and Swimming are all very close by. You don't have to walk far to find anything at Paradise Pier Hotel. The PCH Grill is the hotel's main restaurant, hosting the morning character breakfast and switching to steaks and design-your-own pizza options at night.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort Surfside Lounge
The Surfside Lounge provides a relaxing spot to unwind at the end of the day and/or catch up on news and sports.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort Surfside Lounge
In the morning, it's a convenient place to to grab Coffee, muffins and donuts. This is often our first early-early stop before heading out to stand in line at the park gates.You can also order breakfast, including Mickey Waffles, but in our experience the food might take twenty minutes to arrive.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort gift shop Mickey
Micky In Paradise is a pleasant, all-in-one shop with a bit of everything.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Resort pool waterslide Streamin
The third floor rooftop pool is...functional and rectangular. Off to the side, however, is a decent-sized coaster-themed waterslide (California Streamin'). The pool area was closed for refurb during this trip...but here's the top of the slide as seen from parking garage.

Near the lobby, you'll also find a small game arcade, a Disney Movie viewing room for children, a room full of vending machines and some genuinely awesome, beach-themed public restrooms.
Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland Drive walk parks Resort
7) A Reasonable Walk to the Parks -- Stepping out front, you're just a short walk away from all the fun. When you reach that traffic light ahead, you can either continue straight toward the Disneyland Hotel and the start of Downtown Disney, or cross the street to the Grand Californian.

Tomorrow, we'll run a sequence of photos showing the shortest route from Paradise Pier Hotel to the park gates -- That's one factor you'll definitely want to keep in mind when deciding whether or not the Paradise Pier Hotel suits your needs. See you then!

1 comment:

  1. I stayed off property my only trip to DL but I like this option a lot. I feel like it will probably be the perfect fit. But those beach ball pillows are so freaking cute! I love that detail in the room... it's so fun and HILARIOUS they have that warning attached to them.

    Thx for sharing this! I don't know much about the hotels at all and it's nice to get an indepth look like this.


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