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“Great place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

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Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1717 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 115 Hotels in Anaheim
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013 via mobile

Paradise Pier is a great place to stay if you have kids. If you can afford it, get a room that faces Calif. Adventure. You get a great view of the fireworks and World of Color. The only minus is, even though its in Disney property, it's quite a walk through downtown Disney to get to the park. You can hop the monorail in Downtown Disney and get to tomorrow land. Or, if your going to Ca. Adventure, you can take a shortcut through The Calif Grand by the pool. There is an entrance there. The kids seem to really like the "Beach" scene. Pool area is very good!! Have fun!!!!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Crown Point, Indiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

This will be my third trip advisor review of a Disney Hotel. My previous two, of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Aulani garnered over 80 “helpful” reviews. I’m told that’s a lot, and judging by the amount of people who email me and ask me for advice for their upcoming vacations, I think it’s fair to say I do a pretty good job at this. As such, my review of the Disney Paradise Pier Hotel (DPP) will be in the same format as my other reviews. I will break each section of the hotel down into an individual subparagraph for easier comprehension. And please note that this will not be your typical “oh Disney is so magical and they can do no wrong,” type of reviews. While I am a huge Disney fan, I am not one of those people who refuse to admit that in certain areas, Disney hotels have serious shortcomings.
Getting There
The first issue with DPP (as is the problem with all hotels around Disneyland) is getting there. Unlike Disney World, there is no magical express. And, unlike Disney World, you can’t spend an entire vacation at Disneyland. So, really you have two options. First, rent a car. If you do so, parking at the DPP is $15/day. The other is some form of paid transportation. We used “super shuttle” from LAX. It cost $16/person each way (there was only two of us). It worked fine, and was very efficient, except the smell of our shuttle on the way back was enough to choke a donkey. But for $32, beggars can’t be choosers.
Depending on your party size, you may have to determine if taking the shuttle will actually cost you more than renting a car. Plus, if you want to explore Southern California, you will need a car as public transportation is non-existent. Disney does have an Alamo rent-a-car on site if you wish to spend a few days at Disneyland, then get a car and explore the rest of SoCal. However, it will cost you about twice as much for a car from that Alamo as opposed to at the airport.
Arrival/Décor
Arriving and checking in at DPP is exactly like arriving and checking into every other hotel you have ever been to. There are no tricks nor is there anything special about it. Your room will not be ready until after 3:00 p.m. They will send you a text message when it’s ready. But, just like every other Disney hotel, you can buy your park tickets right at the front desk, leave your bags with the bell hop and get on your way.
The décor of the DPP is…well…not up to Disney standards. Most Disney hotels have intricate decorations and elaborate back stories. The DPP does not as it was not originally built as a Disney hotel. It was purchased already built due to its location, and after its purchase, some Mickey ears were slapped on the building and it was deemed a Disney hotel. Personally, I don’t care about decorations, so it didn’t bother me in the least, but my Wife said it didn’t have the “Disney magic.”
The Staff
It’s a Disney hotel staff. They are perfect, as is the staff at every Disney owned hotel.
Location
The location of the DPP in relation to the two SoCal parks is pretty close. It is about a 5 minute walk to the California Adventure Park through the Grand California Hotel, and about a 10 minute walk to the Disneyland Park. Note that if you are going through the Grand California Hotel to the private entrance to California Adventure, you must show your room key to prove you are staying at a Disney Hotel. The Downtown Disney area is only about a 5 minute walk from the DPP as well.
Disneyland is not like Disney World in that there is no on-site transportation (other than the monorail). Everything at Disneyland is walking distance, so if you do want to go back to your hotel for a midafternoon nap, go eat lunch or dinner at downtown Disney, or park hop, you will never be walking more than about 10 minutes.
Food
There are two places to eat at DPP. The “PCH Grille” is a character buffet. No different than the dozen or so character buffets in WDW. The food is fine, but way overpriced. You’re paying to eat with the characters, which is worth if you have small children. We traveled as a couple, so $24.95 for breakfast seemed a tad on the excessive side, but that’s just us.
The other option is a quick service dining option which (I think) is only open for breakfast, then operates as the hotel bar in the afternoon/evening. Again the food there is overpriced, but it was quick and did fine for the two of us who never wanted a full on buffet meal. They had the standard Mickey ears waffles, egg sandwiches, muffins, etc. I’m not a huge breakfast eater myself, so it worked for us just to grab a quick snack on our way to the park.
I will also note here that, unlike at WDW where, if you try to show up to a table service restaurant without a reservation, they will laugh you out the door, the only restaurant I saw that was requiring a reservation was the “Carthay Circle Restaurant” in California Adventure. Every other restaurant, in the park, at the hotels, or at downtown Disney took walk ins without any problems. If you really want to eat at a certain restaurant, I would still suggest making a reservation, but if one night you just get tired of the park and want a sit down meal in downtown Disney, just wonder over, and you shouldn’t have a problem being seated.
The Room
This is the part of other people’s reviews that annoy me the most. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: IT IS A HOTEL ROOM! It looks like every other hotel room you have ever stayed in. There are a couple of beds, a bathroom and a TV. You sleep, shower and change there. That’s it. I don’t know what people expect in a simple hotel room that they always seem to be so disappointed. Who cares? Frankly, if you’re spending more than 2 waking hours per day in your room, you’re wasting your trip anyways.
We had a theme park view. It was not worth the extra money. Cheap out and get a standard view. Yes, we could see the fireworks at Disneyland and the California Adventure World of Color water show from our room (there is also a channel on the TV that allows you to pipe in the music from either), but that wasn’t enough to justify the extra costs.
I will say that the elevators take a long time. It’s a tall building. It takes a long time for the elevators to go up and down.
The Pool
The pool was not impressive. As stated previous, this hotel was not built by Disney. It was built by another company, operated for a few years, then bought after the fact and retrofitted with Disney decorations. As such, the pool does not have the same styling and detail you would expect of a Disney hotel.
The pool was just a boring, rectangular pool. There was a slide that did not dump into the pool, and there is a pool deck bar. There was really nothing special about the pool here, and actually I found the layout (pool area fenced off and up a few steps from the bar area) to be a tad annoying if you wanted to go get a drink while hanging out by the pool.
The pool deck faces out to the Disneyland park, so at night you can go to the pool deck, drink at the pool bar and watch the fireworks from up there, which I found to be kind of fun. Get there early. There are not many seats and it fills up fast.
Radiator Springs Racers
Radiator Springs Racers is the newest “thrill ride” attraction at Disney’s California Adventure Park. It has absolutely nothing to do with the DPP hotel, but I feel so strongly about this ride, I need to write my opinion somewhere.
For those of you who don’t know, Radiator Springs Racers (RSR) is the newest and most technologically advanced ride ever built (or so I read online). It is basically “test track” at EPCOT, except set in the world of the movie, “Cars.” The lines for this ride will exceed two hours from the minute the park opens until at least an hour after closing time. Even the line to get the fast pass (not the line to ride with a fast pass, just the line to be issued a fast pass) will take you about 15-20 minutes to get through. At 8:00 a.m. the line just to get a fast pass was over half a mile long.
Take what I’m about to say to heart: while this ride is very cool to look at, and you can tell an insane amount of detail went into designing it, IT IS NOT WORTH STANDING IN LINE FOR 2 HOURS!!! The fun part (i.e. the part where you “race”) lasts for all of 10 seconds. That’s it. 10 seconds of going fast. If not for those 10 seconds, RSR is a fancy, up to date version of Peter Pan’s Flight, or Snow White’s Scary Adventure.
If you can get a fast pass, then yes, the ride is worth the 10 minute wait. But, you have to get your fast pass early. The 3 days I was there, all of the fast passes were gone for the day before 11:00 a.m. Basically, you need to be at the park when the gates open, and run straight for the fast pass line. Hint: everyone else will be doing the same thing, so get a cup of coffee for the line.
Overall
Overall, DPP is a nice hotel. But, this is not Disney World. There is little benefit of staying “on site.” There is no transportation system, no magical express and the “extra magic hours” are a joke. You can arrive at the park 1 hour prior to opening. No evening extra magic hours.
My assessment of the DPP is: do not stay there. If you are going to stay at a Disney hotel at Disneyland, make it the Grand California. The Grand California was absolutely spectacular. If you don’t want to spend the money on the Grand California, then just forget it and stay at any random hotel on Harbor Blvd. They will cost you 1/3 what the DPP costs and you will be just as close, if not closer, to the parks.
If you read this and want my advice about Disney Parks or hotels, feel free to email me, I’m always happy to give my insight.

Room Tip: Because of the size of the hotel and speed of the elevators, try to get a room on a lower floor.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Everywhere
Level Contributor
188 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

As DVC members we are use to staying in Disney Villa rooms at Disney World, however, we decided to take a trip to Disneyland and all of Disney Californian rooms were booked. We used our points at Paradise Pier. Front desk cast members were ok, seemed to lack knowledge of the area. Room was relatively clean, but was in need of a deep cleaning. Pool was adequate; kids enjoyed the water slide and the hot tub. Location was good for Downtown Disney and the parks. We were on the 12 floor with pool view.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

We stayed here for three nights. Were surprised to have been selected as the 'Big Kahuna Family of the Day' which entitled us to a complimentary photo next to Goofy in the entrance hall plus we got an upgrade from a city view to a park view which we really appreciated as was amazing to see the California Adventure Park from our room especially during the World of Colour show on our second night. The room was clean although small as there were 5 of us sharing. Two queen beds and a sofa bed didn't leave much room for anything else although we did have a fridge! Bathroom was fine - clean but again, small with not much space for 5 washbags! We stayed on the 9th floor. Pool area was on 3rd floor. Great pool and sun loungers, amazing water slide and a bar there also although we didn't have a drink from it. The cast members put on a pool party for the kids every evening from 5pm. Pool was heavily chlorinated. We had a character breakfast in the hotel on our last morning which was great although at $33 was rather expensive given that I only ate fruit (can't abide the huge American breakfasts!) but my kids loved it. Always wonder why there is a need to serve pizza, chicken and rice, flatbreads at breakfast. Was told on countless occasions to 'Have a Magical Day' which after a while annoyed me as sometimes it was said through gritted teeth, I felt!

Room Tip: I added poor for breakfast in that it was expensive although the selection of food on offer was amaz...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

This was a really nice hotel, the room was large and we were lucky enough to get a room on a high floor with a view of the California Adventure park.
The room had a few nice Disney touches and a few hidden mickeys.
It was only a short walk to the parks, it is the same distance away from the parks as the more expensive Disneyland Hotel.
The only problem we had was that it was an inter-connecting room. A family checked in at about 11pm and were clearly excited and talking very loudly and then ordered room service. We wanted to be up very early so spoke to reception who quickly asked them to be a bit more considerate.
Although the hotel is great it is expensive, so best if you're prepared to take advantage of the extra park hours. We got to the parks at 6.50am and it meant we got on a few popular rides before the park even opens to the public at 8am. Together with the free fast-pass system it meant we were able to get most things done in the morning and return the hotel pool all afternoon.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oakland, ca
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We stayed at the cheapest of the Disney properties to take advantage of the magic morning hour. I think you have to if you want to ride Radiator Springs Racers more than once. Our wait for RSR was 30 minutes (first ride of the morning) and we were able to get a fast pass for later. They were out of fast passes by 9:30 when we were there.
The rooms are spacious and super clean. My teenager thought that the room was not overly themed. We had two beds in our room and a sofa. There was plenty of room for our stuff. The bathrooms were big, too. Everything was clean!
There are lifeguards at the pool and at the lone waterslide. The slide was fun and twisty, not steep. And, we had regular pool side service while we were there waiting for our room to be ready.
I think it's cheaper than the other two hotels because it's the furthest away from the parks. That's okay by me! It's also probably the least crowded and busy, too. We still had a nice, clean room, a nice pool, and great service.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sylmar
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

To be honest I thought that i was going to have a not so nice time at this hotel, It seemed like too much of a kids hotel and not so much of a adult one. I traveled to disneyland for a 2 day 2 night excursion with my friends ( all 20.yrs old) We were so surprised at how clean the rooms were and how nice everything was we had a view of the Farris wheel (and that was with a normal non-view room) and at night we left the curtains open so that we could fall asleep to the amazing lights and colors. The only ONLY down side it that it is a bit of a walk to the parks and down town disney, While we didn't mind it much, others might because of small children. Staff was amazing and kind as always and I had an amazing birthday get away. :)

Room Tip: the rooms on the south side of the hotel have a view from the 3rd floor up
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Address: 1717 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#27 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 481
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Return to the heyday of California beachfront boardwalks at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. Loaded with special Disney touches, this seaside-themed hotel will carry you on a wave of relaxation, all the way up to the whimsical waterslide at the scenic rooftop pool. Located in the heart of Downtown Disney District, exceptional dining and entertainment are just steps away. Hotel Guests can also enjoy a special entrance through Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to Disney California Adventure Park with a valid Park ticket. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradise Pier Hotel
Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel
Disney Paradise Pier Hotel
Disneys Paradise Pier Hotel
Disneys Anaheim
Paradise Pier Anaheim

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