Paradise Pier Hotel during Halloween Time
So I’ve never cared much about hotel quality in the past. I’ve always cared more about proximity to the Disney parks, rather than the quality of the hotel. Of course, I used to appreciate nice hotel rooms, but I didn’t go out of my way to book them when visiting Disneyland.
Now that I’m a parent, booking the perfect hotel is EVERYTHING. I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, which really made me realize how important hotels can be for a family with young children. I love getting someone else’s view on a hotel before booking, so I felt it would be nice to share my own experience with hotel rooms near Disneyland.
This review will be for Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Breakdown of Information
Before getting into the review of the hotel itself, I want to provide you with some helpful information. Let’s breakdown some of the necessary details:
Walking Distance: 10-15 minutes (dependent upon pace of walking and security lines).
You walk through Downtown Disney to get to the parks.
Average Cost Per Night: Around $295
Parking Cost: Self parking is $20/night, Valet is $30/night
Food: In-room dining, the Sand Bar, Surfside Lounge, and Disney’s PCH Grill (which offers character breakfasts)
My daughter and I in the lobby
To preface - this specific trip was taken during Halloween-time. So with that being said, the lobby was decked out. There were decorations everywhere… I’ve never been so excited to walk into a hotel. The main decorative area had a Cast Member present to take pictures for guests, which was a nice touch.
Another decorated photo area in the hotel
There was also a second decorative area near the stairs. This year, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel was pirate-themed. They meticulously decorated the hotel. I’ve stayed at Grand Californian previously for Christmas, and while that was a sight to behold, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel during Halloween-time was honestly no different.
The elevator system is quite interesting - you walk up to a screen, and press the floor number you need to reach. Once you put in your floor number, the screen gives you the letter of the elevator that you will use. In a way, it does organize the guests, but it was a little wonky during our visit, and elevators wouldn’t show up all the time. We ended up waiting an average of 5-10 minutes for the elevators to finally get us, because our selected elevator wouldn’t actually come for us.
There was a theater room for children to watch Disney shorts, and even this was pirate-themed. The chairs were beach chairs, and the entire room was very inviting. These shorts seemed to be playing 24/7, as they were playing when we left for the park at six in the morning and when we returned at midnight. My daughter wasn’t old enough to use this room, but it did seem to attract many tiny guests.
Guest Services Desk*
I honestly can’t say enough about how AMAZING this is. There’s a cast member in charge of guest services, 24/7. We often used Guest Services to find out the best route to the park (which really wasn’t that bad of a walk) and discover new activities, along with general information. As always, the Cast Member behind the desk was extremely helpful.
Well, I bought my daughter a big Pooh Bear stuffed animal on our last day in the park. She had kissed Pooh Bear that day when she met him, so I really wanted to get her that stuffed animal. I picked him up at World of Disney in Downtown Disney at midnight and walked back to the hotel. I packed after we got back, and as I was putting Pooh Bear into a suitcase, I realized he still had the security sensor on him. There was no way we were taking it off. I called down to guest services at 2:30 AM and told them my predicament. I’m not sure what I was hoping they could do, but I was definitely hopeful that they could assist me. The cast member quickly took down my receipt number and called World of Disney. The cast member was able to tell them what had happened, and walked over to switch out the stuffed animals and give me one without a sensor. I’ve never had such amazing customer service at a hotel...but it is Disney.
The room! It was beautiful! We had been staying at another hotel down the street that was...let’s just say less spacious. It was nice to have room to move. There were two huge beds, a couch that doubles as a daybed, a desk, a fridge, a TV, a coffee-maker, a closet, and a bathroom. The bathroom was amazing as well, honestly. The view was of Disney California Adventure, and it was gorgeous to look at during the night. It was absolutely perfect.
Amazing piece of information for families - each room in Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel has a PACK-AND-PLAY! How helpful is that? The pack and play is in the closet, so you just take it out, and put it together. My daughter usually sleeps in one at home, so this was very comfortable for her.
The desk was so big that I used it as a diaper changing station. I usually use a bed as a diaper changing station when we travel, so it was nice to actually have a seperate surface for it. The fridge was also pretty amazing, because I could bring milk back to the hotel for my daughter to drink in the middle of the night or in the morning.
The bathroom was spacious and had travel-sized lotion, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner bottles that they re-stocked every single day. I brought the lotion into the park with me each day, because my hands always get dry with the crazy amount of hand-washing I do. There was also plenty of counter space for makeup and toiletries. The shower was a decent size, and I never had an issue with the water temperature! This is probably one of the best bathrooms I’ve had in a hotel room while visiting Disneyland.
There were channels on their televisions that synced up with the different shows that take place in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Depending on the view from your room, you could actually turn to the station that has the firework music synced up, and watch the fireworks from the comfort of your own room!
We didn’t actually take advantage of this amazing area; however, I’m completely aware of how much it actually offers guests. From pools, infant pools, slides, and lounging chairs - this area is an amazing place for families to relax. If the park is too hot and crowded, this is an amazing option for Paradise Pier Hotel guests.
Now, one of the coolest parts about this area, is that they actually play the firework music at the pool area and allow guests to watch the fireworks show. It’s an amazing view and an intimate experience for guests.
Extra Magic Hour*
So, as with every other Disneyland Resort Hotel, guests get Extra Magic Hour with their hotel stay! That means that every single day of your stay, you will have access to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure an hour before opening. All you do is arrive to the selected park an hour before opening, show them your room key, and you’re in.
This is amazing. We went during a weekend where the parks were high-volume. Instead of waiting hours to get on popular rides, we were able to do them two-to-three times before park opening. This was especially helpful when we had Extra Magic Hour in Disneyland, as we went on Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Peter Pan’s Flight before both of those rides saw hour long wait times after park opening.
This is one an amenity that I never needed to use during my stay, but one that I feel many people could benefit from. At no extra charge, you can buy items in the Disneyland Resort, and have them sent to your room. How amazing is that? You know that Starbucks mug you just bought that you’re worried will break on a ride? Send it to the hotel. Just bought too many clothes for way too many people back home? Send it to the hotel. After you send the item to the hotel, you’ll be able to pick it up in the lobby or bell desk after 7 AM the next morning.
The Final Verdict
In order to truly give you guys a good overview on whether or not this hotel is for you, here are the pros and cons:
Less expensive than other Disneyland Resort Hotels
Rooftop pool with access to an intimate fireworks experience
Cast member service and assistance 24/7
Still within walking distance to Disneyland
Amazing offerings and amenities for families
Extra Magic Hour
Further away in proximity than other Disneyland Resort Hotels
Elevators take a while to get to you, and sometimes skip you
More expensive than other non-Disney hotels that are actually closer to Disneyland
This hotel was amazing, and was perfect for myself and my family. But that was because of our unique interests. We enjoy hotels that offer families an easy, friendly experience. We care more about the quality of the hotel, rather than proximity to the park. And we thoroughly enjoyed having Disney magic as part of our stay! It’s also important to mention that the theming is very kid-friendly. Your kids will thoroughly enjoy the rooms and decor; however, adults without children may not enjoy it as much.
If you care more about proximity and cost, this hotel is probably not for you. As mentioned in the cons list, there are hotels right across the street from the park that have extremely low rates. While the quality isn’t as high as Disneyland Resort Hotels, they are extremely close and cheap.
This is the best hotel I’ve stayed at with my daughter by far, so I definitely recommend it to someone whose interests align with mine!
*Special services available to guests staying in all three Disneyland Resort Hotels