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“Nice Value, compared to The Disney and The Grand. I've stayed at all of them.” 4 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 #35 of 115 Hotels in Anaheim
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
142 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,249 helpful votes
“Nice Value, compared to The Disney and The Grand. I've stayed at all of them.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2011

OK.. I am finally getting around to writing some reviews from trips I took a while ago. For the record I have stayed at all 3 Disney Resorts. Disney and The Grand California multiple times, but this review is about our first stay at the Paradise Pier, for a weekend vistit in July of last year. I have always wanted to give this hotel a whirl since it was the only of the three I hadn't tried yet. I have a lot to share, I'm going to give details from my own perspective as well as what I think the majority of Disney visitors might want to know. I will try to be as helpful as possible as I know so many people anguish over these 3 resort properties and how to decide which one is right for your family.
This hotel is situated across the street from The Grand Californian. The Grand has an entrance to California Adventure, which leads you into Disneyland. So it's not nearly as direct as staying at the Disneyland Hotel. Just for the record The Disneyland Hotel is my favorite. I have stayed in many different rooms at the Grand Californian including their suites/cabins and still prefer The Disney. But more about Paradise Pier because I think this is an excellent choice for many families.

So, on this trip we came down for the weekend with our youngest child and left our older 3 with Grandparents. When we went to check in, we expected to get a King bed without giving it a thought. No such luck. We were told by the very friendly "Cast Member" ( Cast Member is what Disney calls all their employees) that the hotel had only a few King bed rooms, I think she said 4 or 6 in a hotel of nearly 500 rooms. When she told me this, I think my jaw literally dropped. She said this is a "family" hotel and we don't get many requests for a King bed.

This was a huge disappointment to me so I asked if there was availability at the other "Disney" hotels and there was not, they were sold out. I reminded them that I was a good Disney customer staying at Disney Resorts regularly usually several times a year. She stared at her computer screen, typed in a few things, not sure if she was looking at my hotel record, (they keep track of everything, when ever you call for a reservation, they know all your kids names, and ages of each of them.) or maybe she was emailing her manager, not sure, but suddenly she shouted " YOU'RE THE BIG KAHUNA FAMILY!" My husband and I looked at each other and laughed. "Thank you, but what does that mean?" I asked. She replied, every day one family is picked "randomly" ( ya right) to be The Big Kahuna Family and you are upgraded to a Park View room, you get treats, balloons, your photo taken with Goofy,..." She went on and on.

My husband and I knew immediately that The Big Kahunas must be "code" word for The Big Complainers. But we were happy with the upgrade none the less. We joked that they must want to take your photo, so that they can email it around to staff, to make sure people are extra nice to you if they see you. I am pretty sure they do this at certain hotels, some hotels like the Four Seasons, and The Ritz, even have staff with mini walkie talkie things in their ears so they can say Mr. and Mrs. so and so are coming down, blah blah blah.

Anyway, we got to our Park View room and it was very cute. A 2 bedroom (ug) but great view. All the other decor was average but same quality as the rooms that have not been remodeled yet at the Disney. I know they are renovating The Disney right now and some rooms are already done. Maybe most by now.

The Park View at Paradise Pier at night however was quite spectacular, we were able to watch the new World Of Color show, and turned on the TV to have the music to the show in stereo in our room. Even for us oldies, it was fun! People line up early every morning to get tickets (fast passes) to get good seats to this show and you have a fantastic view of it from your Park View room at the Paradise Pier. I think you have to request a Park View that the show is visible from to be safe.

The 2 restaurants at the hotel did not impress. One was Lilo and Stitch Character breakfast. We skipped it, since we only had the baby with us but I am sure if we had our other kids with us we would have gone. The other one was like a cafe with crappy food.

The pool here, is my my least favorite for many reasons. It is not on the ground floor and you have to go up exterior stairs just to get to the pool. It also is not very attractive.

So why I would recommend this hotel? Most families who visit Disneyland save up their money to come out and spend multiple days at the parks. While I think staying in the hotels downtown Anaheim ( I have done that too) are not as desirable for people with little kids because you have to take a bus or car to get to the parks. However, this hotel is right across the street. There are a few other hotels right next to this one too. Best Western? I think. Never stayed there but you might check that out too.

Anyway.. the reason I would recommend this to most families is that it is within a short walking distance into the park, it's a fun hotel and it will save you hundreds of dollars per night as compared to a very similar room at the Disney or at the Grand. The Grand "Downtown Disney View" rooms for instance, sound great but this means you have a view of people walking down the street. Not very pretty in my opinion.The rooms are small too. Also, even though the common areas of the Grand are beautiful with the Craftsman style architecture, really, you will not be hanging out there, you will see it when you check in, check out and when you are walking down to the parks. That's it. One year we stayed at the Grand for Easter and they had an Easter Egg hunt on the grass. That was the most time we spent in the common area. Other than the pool. The pool at the Grand is great. You could spend a whole day there. Also, the Grand has a Spa, but as a mother of 4, I would feel guilty spending time at the Spa at Disneyland. I suppose if you had teens, and they were running on their own at the parks this would be an excellent combo. The Napa Rose is an upscale restaurant at the Grand and has the best food of all the restaurants in the Disney Resorts. No characters will be running around in here. Hee hee.

Anyway, Disney is constantly changing the pricing on all of their hotels but sometimes the Californian seems to run a few hundred more per night. Save that money for all the "stuff" (could have used a different word there), if you know what I mean) that your kids will expect you to buy. Mouse ears, Light up twirly things, $10 balloons, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and on. Be prepared. I tell my kids if they are really good all day, at the end of the day they can pick one thing. Trust me, you do not want to be walking around the park, lugging all that stuff on ever yride, or leaving it in the stroller hoping nobody swipes it. also, at the end of the day they will be so wiped out that they will not care as much and you can pick up something less cheesy in Downtown Disney at the disney Store that they might actually keep. Most of the stuff at the park that they sell at the little stands near the parade etc is just junkie.

Another tip, really think through the "Park Hopper" passes. Disney tries to presell these to you when you book, then when you check in. I would buy your park passes at the front desk, you do not want to wait in line at the park for these, but sit down and really think it through, the 10-20 minutes you spend with your family reviewing what you want to do you get there, will be worth it. For a large family not getting park hoppers for one day could save you a bunch. A few good example for this, one time we came in the spring and it rained and our kids didn't want to be outside at all. So we wound up doing indoor stuff, but had prepaid for tickets to the park. Also, my kids are young, my oldest is 10 so they all prefer Disneyland and don't want to got to California Adventure at all so buying "Hoppers" is a total waste. There are fun things for little kids at California Adventure, don't get me wrong, but my kids are strictly interested in Disney and everytime I got suckered into the idea of buying the hoppers, and they went to waste. Note: If you stay at The Grand, you will want to get hoppers because you go through California Adventure to get to Disney. If you stay at the Pier, there is a way to Disney without going through the short cut of the Grand thru California Adventure. Hope that all makes sense, when you get there, you'll know what I mean.

Anyway, Disneyland Hotel is my first choice, best for little kids. Paradise Pier is a fabulous choice to save money and it's very close, and The Grand is probably best for parents of teens who will let their kids run free at the parks and want a nice hotel to hang out at. One last note about The Grand.. I almost had to threaten to take away a few cast members mouse ears at this hotel. They have a bit of an attitude here, and I had a few mishaps on one of my trips. Also, I was disappointed with housekeeping. This hotel seems to be the most popular, but I think the staff gets this attitude, and they forget it's suppose to be the "Happiest Place on Earth."

I hope you found this helpful! Let me know please, I love helping people. If you want to know more about the Disney Hotel from me, I reviewed that too. See my profile for all my reviews. Thank you!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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1,700 reviews from our community

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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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English first
Silverdale, Wa
Level Contributor
98 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

We stayed here for two of our 5 nights at Disneyland. We booked via a special we recieved online and we upgraded to the concierge level and resort view. All in all, we loved this hotel. We have stayed on site at the Grand Californian twice before but this was our first stay at Paradise Pier. The rooms were really clean and comfy. I loved the shampoo and conditioner bottles with the little Mickey shaped lids...very nice touch. The service for us was outstanding and such a nice change from our first three nights at the Sheraton (I also reviewed that hotel as well). The concierge level provided a good breakfast and light dinner...my husband was surprised that there was not an option for oatmeal but the cereals, fruit, bagels, juice, sweet rolls were quite nice.
There is a $15/night parking charge if you self park and I believe it was $22 for valet parking.
The only down side is the walk to the park and it really isn't bad but if you have little ones they may find it too long. I think Disney should think about offering a designated shuttle to the park...I can't imagine why they don't and I think it would draw in even more people if they knew they had that option. Otherwise I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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Level Contributor
63 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

Stayed here prior to Christmas in lieu of the Villas at Grand Californian as t hey were all booked. Excellent service from the front desk and bell staff, housekeeping and room service also. Even the maintenance crew I encountered was very friendly and pleasant.

The room was nice and had a pool view. Very well outfitted with amenities. The thermostat and HVAC system worked very well, always toasty when we needed those cold, rainy days. The beds are incredible, slept like a happy baby.

We ordered breakfast in the room as is our habit when traveling, and DL dining didn't disappoint however, we noticed that the bananas Foster was served in plastic cups where DL hotel serves it in stainless steel. Obviously not a big deal, just a small detail.

Parking was very convenient in the structure adjacent to the hotel, but the structure does need an elevator. Tip: ask the bell service to fetch your bags at check-in/out and save yourself the trouble. Alternatively, park just inside the first floor of the structure near the walkway to the hotel, and handle the bags there.

Overall we enjoyed the stay and will be back, especially whenever we just need a hotel room and want to save points on our Disney Vacation Club timeshare.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 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
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Piqua, Ohio
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

Great stay at the Paradise Pier. Ive been to Disneyland many, many times since the 60's but have never stayed on property before. I will return to this place. We stayed on the concierge level in a cabana room which had a patio that faced the pool very nice. Went around Dec 13/2010 very warm temps so we did use the pool and slide. The slide does not exit into the pool which was kind of a bummer. The room was great and I talked to some other folks who were locals that regularly stay here during the holidays. They told me the rooms here were actually larger than the Grand Californian at one quarter of the price for concierge level. The food and snacks in the private concierge level were plentiful and great. The staff here did a great job and even encouraged us to grab six packs of water to take into the park. They never said no to bringing food back to the room or drinks (including wine and beer). Yoshi the beverage and food manager does a great job here as well as Timothy and the rest of the concierge staff who added a lot of Disney magic to our stay. We had 5 first time visitors with us and the staff at the desk gave them first timer badges and they were recognized all around the Paradise Pier and given little keepsake gifts by staff. Sorry to say the badges must have disappeared once we entered the parks where staff never (not once) recognized them once. That was the only down side about our trip. Don't miss the character breakfast here as well. It is interactive with a great Disney cast member who will get you up dancing with Mickey and the gang. Lots of fun and the food was fantastic. All for a very reasonable price.
Lots of stuff going on here during Christmas including some carolers who sang in the lobby (incredible voices).
I cant say enough about the staff here. Stay at the Paradise Pier-Disneylands best kept secret.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

The are good things about Paradise Pier - location and the kid friendly swimming pool.

Almost everything else is past its prime - the hotel's decor resembled the furnishing in the basement of my parents: not touched since the 1980s.

The restaurants in the hotel are sub-par with mostly food prepared via microwave or fryer - after a long flight to get to Anaheim, I was looking for a good dining experience: the restaurant staff were friendly but the food was such a disappointment (kraft dinners would be a comparison).

The rooms are small - we chose to pay extra to get on the concierge floor with better rooms. The food provided by the concierge lounge is really sub-standard (worse than Kraft dinner - there is free beer which many parents drink and probably allow them to forget the decor).

A selling point the Disney hotels use is that there are princess stories piped on cable - these are reasonably okay but there is only one story per 24 hour (repeated every 20 mins or so) - big disappointment for our daughter.

Perhaps Disney has had to cut corners - and this really shows in the Paradise Pier hotel, the amusement ground and quality of staff. It is really quite sad as I had grown up with Disney and had previously associated the name with quality.

Another drawback we had at Paradise Pier was the reception - the staff could not find our paid booking (this may be due to miscommunication from Alaska Airlines); but it would appear that the staff member was making us to feel guilty and was at fault for this. Maybe she was having a bad day but it did leave a negative impression - having said that, she did call Alaska Airlines and resolved what ever it was (she did not offer explanation was was very cold to enquiries on why it happened). Again this sub-standard service would have been expected at the average 3 start hotel - I would not have thought I would experience it with Disney.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2010

I have stayed in many of the good neighbor hotel and have never minded the commute to the park but travelling with a 1 1/2 year old this time we decided to stay in one of the resort hotels to make nap time easier. I don't think I can ever go back to another hotel. The staff was incredible, the rooms were clean, the beds were comfortable (although after a long day in Disney anything would be comfortable haha), and I can't say it enough the staff was incredible. The walk to the park through Downtown Disney was quick and the private entrance through the Grand Californian was fantastic! We chose it because it was the cheapest of the Disney hotels so we weren't expecting much and we were blown away. I recommend it to everyone now! Oh and the rooms were very large. I stay in hotels regularly for work and was pleasantly surprised by the size of these rooms. Many say the decor is dated but I think they were going for that old fashioned boardwalk theme. I thought it was charming.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
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Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2010

The pp was awesome. We found the accessibiity to both parks close, easy (through the Grand) and could not fault this place at all. The beds were big, comfy and the pillows amazing. The room was immaculate, well decked out and spacious enough to spread out your stuff. We spent most of our waking time in the parks or in the hotel pool. We loved this hotel and would stay there again if we are ever fortunate enough to return to Disneyland.

We loved the fact that If you stay at the resort you get special passes into attractions such as Aladin(VIP seating), toontown and early morning entry into the park.... Well worth it. The. Free pin and lanyard was great as the kids got into pin collecting.

Make sure you find out all the short cuts into the parks too!!!!

Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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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
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:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#29 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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