Here’s Why You Need to Stay at Paradise Pier Hotel
When you visit the Happiest Place on Earth, you want to stay somewhere that will satisfy your Disney fandom without emptying your wallet. The Walt Disney Company only operates three hotels on the Disneyland Resort campus, and one of them is much more budget-friendly than the others. Here are seven reasons to stay at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Only one of the three official resorts at Disneyland was actually built by Disney. Imagineers lovingly crafted Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa from the ground up. The other two resorts, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and (I swear) Disneyland Hotel weren’t company projects but instead acquisitions.
At Paradise Pier, the change was a huge positive. The previous property owners, the Tokyu Group, wanted to be in the business of Disney vacations. They didn’t have a great plan regarding how to differentiate their well-located hotel from others in the area. In 1995, Disney took over, and the rest is, as they say, history.
Back in 2000, park planners knew that Disney California Adventure (DCA) would open soon. They recognized that a re-theming of their recently purchased property would deliver twin benefits. It would provide an identity to the blandly named Disneyland Pacific Hotel, and it would enhance the perception of the upcoming theme park to claim not one but two thematically connected hotels.
Long story short, the theme of Paradise Pier Hotel is Paradise Pier…and yes, Paradise Pier doesn’t exist anymore. Disney repurposed it into Pixar Pier but has yet to perform the parallel change at the hotel. Don’t worry, though! The theme works wonderfully, with or without a connecting themed land. When you stay here, you’ll relish the bright colors and beachy vibe of this 15-story high rise. It still exudes the spirit of Paradise Pier even if Disney California Adventure doesn’t.
How good is the food here? Even Anaheim locals make a practice of dining at Paradise Pier Hotel. Disney’s PCH Grill is one of the best-reviewed eateries in the city. It’s currently ranked #51 out of 722 on TripAdvisor and is beloved for its breakfast character meal.
Each morning, guests flock to Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast. It’s legitimately one of the toughest meals to book at Disneyland and rarely has availability after 7:30 a.m. in a town where nobody is up and about at 7:30 a.m. The Banana Foster French toast is especially appealing here, as is playtime with Donald. In fact, this was a Mickey Mouse-led character meal that became ducky due to popular demand.
Disney even extended the character breakfast to brunch. Since the West Coast crowd is comprised of people after my own heart, late sleepers, this meal bridges the gap between Mickey Waffles and…pizza. Yes, your kids will love eating here because Donald Duck will come to play at their table while they flip flop between cereal and pasta.
Dinner at Disney’s PCH Grill drops the characters but raises the stakes. The most exquisite Italian cuisine is available here. Whether you love antipasto, creamy cheeses, rich sauces, or “artisanal pizzas” (Disney’s term, not mine), your meal here will leave your tummy grinning for the rest of the day.
When you want a quick bite, Paradise Pier Hotel can satisfy those cravings as well. Surfside Lounge is a charming Table Service restaurant with an exotic menu of California cuisine and seafood. You’ll find poke bowls, street tacos, and chicken and waffles here. The flavors here encapsulate the multicultural nature of Southern California. You could eat here for several straight days, never ordering the same style of food.
The Pool with a View
Not that long ago, the most famous ride at DCA was California Screamin’. It’s since changed into something better, but its lesser-known sibling is still in tip-top shape. Disney built a slide called California Streamin’, the most famous landmark at the hotel pool. Then again, the location of the pool itself is kind of a landmark.
Paradise Pier Hotel features a rooftop pool deck, a rarity among official Disney resorts. From here, guests can look out to DCA and watch the sights and sounds from the park. The view of World of Color is one of the strongest amenities for this resort or ANY resort at Disneyland.
The clever part of the pool is the design. This “rooftop” patio is located only halfway up the high rise. So, you’re not 150 feet in the air, looking down at sights that look like ants. Instead, you’ll feel like you’re eye to eye with the roller coaster and Ferris wheel landmarks.
Most guests would state that the two best parts of a Paradise Pier Hotel stay are PCH Grill and the pool. These people are right. Although there’s an extra element that bears mentioning…
The Price and the Resort Benefits
Paradise Pier Hotel is a beautiful resort that Walt Disney World fans would perceive as part of the Moderate Tier. Some might even argue that it sneaks into the Deluxe Tier. In other words, it’s in the middle to upper tier of Disney resorts…and Disney resorts are the literal best.
At Disneyland, the situation is different. Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian are undeniably in the Deluxe Tier. They have the nightly rack rates to prove it. When you’re vacationing at Disneyland, Paradise Pier is the ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers. A night’s stay here could be as little as half the price of its more storied sibling hotels.
For that money, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits of an official hotel stay at Disneyland. You will get the Extra Magic Hour amenity, giving you an exclusive hour (technically 75 minutes) of park access. For reasons that will become clear in the next section, this benefit is HUGE in 2019 and beyond.
Additional advantages to staying onsite include booking reservations earlier than others, a Key to the Magic card that negates your need to carry around wallets/purses, and the ability to send your theme park purchases straight to the hotel rather than lugging them around all day. Staying at an official Disney resort is ALWAYS better. Paradise Pier Hotel provides these benefits at a budget-friendly price.
Star Wars Land!
You know why you want to visit Disneyland these days. Paradise Pier Hotel is a 10-minute walk away from the gate to the Happiest Place on Earth. When you want to beat the crowds, it’s only half that distance to the entrance to DCA. By staying here, you’re giving yourself the best possible vacation for your first/next visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
Keep in mind that Star Wars Land will cause a massive surge in Disneyland traffic. You should book as soon as possible to guarantee that you have a room and the accompanying Extra Magic Hour benefit. Speak to one of the gifted agents at MickeyTravels to book the vacation you deserve at the Happiest Place on Earth!