Paradise Pier is one of Disneyland’s hotels that is considered “on property”. The other two are Disney’s Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotel. The benefit of staying at a Disneyland hotel is that you get the benefit of an extra hour in the park and there are often extra deals and packages offered.
Paradise Pier Hotel was not always part of Disney’s property but was purchased in 1995 from another company and was rebranded as a Disney hotel. While it is considered on Disney property, it is a further walk to the parks and Downtown Disney than the Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotel. The Monorail does not reach Paradise Pier.
Paradise Pier is located at 1717 S Disneyland Drive in Anaheim. It has a parking garage attached that has no elevator. Eeh. We pulled into the parking lot instead of in front of the building, where we actually wanted to go to unload everything. Oops. Luckily, there was parking on the first ramp so we just hauled everything down the ramp. There is an entryway from the back end of the hotel to the lobby area.
The Parking Situation
At some points, there are valets with golf carts that will take you up to your car with your luggage, but I didn’t see valets bringing people down with their luggage. I guess most people drop off their luggage at the front, unlike us! Oops. Parking in does have a cost. For four days it was $260 (2019). It was not included in our room.
Our kids loved having their picture taken with Goofy who stands in the main entrance.
Entrance and first floor
On the first floor is a large gift shop, so if you forgot to get anything at the parks-no need to worry-a gift shop is just steps away. There is also a small cafe with food across from the gift shop and the PCH (Paradise Club House) Grill. The Grill was more of a Buffet. Mornings was Donald’s character breakfasts, but dinner time there was not any characters. This may change, so check your reservations. A lot of the character meals were buffets, and were pricey. Eat up! I found it a little funny that the ice cream machine was out and available, so you will often see that children are getting ice cream early in the morning!
Photos can be taken by the professional photographer or by anyone else. The staff was really open to having people take their own cameras out, which was super nice. If you have the Disney MaxPass, photos that were taken by the professional staff could be downloaded as a part of your package. More of the MaxPass later.
Buffets also were very allergy friendly, in the sense that the host staff would ask if there were any allergies and the staff would make a customized menu for those who had an allergy. If there was a birthday or special occasion, the staff would bring out a cupcake with a huge amount of frosting and sing (even at breakfast!). Watch out for that sugar high. For the most part, staff was very attentive and helpful, even when there was spills. Yes, we had spills. The characters were super fun and engaging with the kids and adults! We will go more in depth about dining in another post.
On the first floor was a little movie theater for kids. The seats were super cute and they had benches for parents too. Mickey Mouse cartoons were similar to a Ren and Stimpy of our day, as one other parent suggested. My kids loved watching these cartoons and they were also available in the room.
Bedrooms had two queen beds and a pull out couch. Good size for us. Full bathroom with tub too.
Pools and Slide
We had rooms 905 and 903. It gave us a great view of the slide! My kids, especially Dimples, couldn’t get enough of the slide! The other small round pool you see is a little baby wading pool that was about 1′ deep. A lifeguard was stationed and bottom of the slide. The lifeguard at the bottom of the slide walked back and forth between the baby pool and the bottom of the slide. Lifeguards rotated about every half an hour.
A bigger pool which went to about 6′ in depth sat behind the slide and there was a hot tub as well. Also available was a deck grill and bar. Sometimes servers came by to pool loungers to see if they wanted drinks. I got a free soda water, because I am that crazy these days! I enjoyed going down the slide, but we did see a few people get stuck going down the slide. There might not have been enough water going down the slide? I’m not sure. But, there were lots of lifeguards and they were very good! I have watched many lifeguards in my day, and these guards were extremely attentive.
The pool is on the third floor. You can also see the fireworks from the pool area. We chose to sleep instead.
Other Facilities Parents Might Need
The Laundry Room-Since vacations with kids are just parenting somewhere else, I had to do some laundry. YAY! Excited kids will spill and have spills. So, I found the amazing laundry room on level two. Hidden among the beachcomber club (if you have a suite you get private dining) and the conference rooms, this little room is tucked far, far away from all other human beings. There is a vending machine full of laundry goods. To use the washer or dryer, you need a Visa or Discover Credit or Debit card. I only have a Visa debit card linked to my bank (uh, no), bu luckily I have a Visa gift card so I used that to start the dryer. I did a hobo wash in the bathtub. Speaking of the bathtubs, they also have a line for stringing up wet bathing suits.
The one particularly weird thing I didn’t like about the hotel was the elevators. Instead of pressing a button “up” or “down”, there was a screen where you push your floor. In theory, this would work to get people efficiently to their floors quickly. However, it doesn’t take into account how many people are in each party, if the people have a stroller, wheelchair or luggage. Also, people become really impatient when there is no signal where the elevators are. So, people kept pressing for an elevator, which meant the elevators took even longer. Also, once you were in the elevator, you could only get off the elevator and then redial another floor. You could not press another floor while you are in the elevator. We forgot something in our hotel room which ended up taking us three extra elevator trips. In theory it might be more efficient for the elevators, but in practice it was not more efficient at all.
If you take Elevator D, You can see some amazing views.
How To Get Into The Park
The way into the park was through Downtown Disney from the hotel. When walking into Downtown Disney, there is a security stop. The Security people were super friendly as they rifled through my backpack of waters and snacks. If you enter Disneyland through Downtown Disney, you will not have to go through another layer of security. The monorail can take you to Disneyland into Tomorrowland right near the Nemo’s adventure. But, if you want to go to Main Street USA, it’s a bit further of a walk. I read that it would take about 12 minutes, which was about right.
The monorail does not go into California Adventure, so you will need to walk to the entrance.
Paradise Pier was a very nice hotel to stay at. There are lots of different options around Disney, but if you are looking for a Disney property and don’t mind a walk, this is a good one to check out!
Paradise Pier Hotel
1717 S Disneyland Drive