Tag Archives: disneyland hotel
I decided I had to write some about what I want to do and not just what I have done… On a trip in the future I fully intend to spend a few nights in EVERY Disneyland Hotel Signature Suite! Have you had a chance to experience one? Let us know! Or is it on your bucket list too?
What are the Signature Suites exactly? Think of the High Roller suites in Las Vegas and you’re on the way to understanding. I may be a dreamer but I know I’ll stay in each one of the themed suites…
These rooms are located on the 11th Floor of the Adventure Tower at Disneyland Hotel. There are a total of 5 themed Signature Suites. The Mickey Mouse Penthouse, Big Thunder Suite, Pirates of the Caribbean Suite, Fairy Tale Suite, and Adventureland Suite.
Disneyland Hotel – New And Improved!
Usually this just means new packaging. We’re often sold on things that are new and improved that are nothing more than a shining up of the previous product. I should note that I am calling Disneyland Hotel “New and Improved” on my own. To my knowledge Disney themselves haven’t referred to it that way. They will tell you they are a AAA 4-Diamond Award Hotel though… Which I would too, I suppose…
However, in the case of Disneyland Hotel it truly is new and improved with the same charm we’ve always known it to have. Disney truly went in and updated this hotel while maintaining the classic feel.
Disneyland Hotel has undergone major renovations this past few years. From the rooms, to new Suites and the pool. With very few exceptions, the new Disneyland Resort is fresh, fun and a blast to stay at. The first night we stayed in the room, my then 5 year old son went on a exploration of the room and found that when he turned a specific switch on the nightstand the mural on the wall behind us lit up with fireworks. Not only did this surprise us but he found that he could also make music play for us to go to sleep to, not that we could go to sleep after discovering this magic. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that we stayed up another hour to play with the fireworks and music. I’m not telling you the song that plays because you need to be surprised too!
Save up to 20% on Select Rooms at Hotels of Disneyland Resort
Now, you can save up to 20%* on most Sunday-Thursday night stays at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland® Resort, and save up to 15% most Friday and Saturday nights, for arrivals April 7 – May 22, 2013. A two-night minimum stay is required.
Save 20% off a room-only reservation most Sunday-Thursday nights, or save 15% off a room-only reservation most Friday-Saturday nights with a two-night minimum stay, at the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa or Disney’s Paradise Pier® Hotel.
Booking & Travel Windows:
Book this offer March 12 – April 27, 2013 for arrivals April 7 – May 22, 2013. Travel on this offer must be completed by May 24, 2013.
Planning a vacation for a military family can be hard. There are deployment schedules and training exercises that always seem to get in the way, but with the right amount of planning, it can be pulled off.
The first thing to consider is who is going with you. Sometimes, it is best to go as just your own small family unit. Other times, it is a great time to get together with your extended family. This is actually the first thing you need to decide, because it will affect all of the rest of your trip planning.
The personalities of your family members can make or break your trip, as well. My husband is “that guy” who likes to ask Cast Members what time the 3 o’clock parade is. My dad is the one who will nudge an unsuspecting family member toward a nearby trash can or spin the teacup fast enough to have everyone squished all on one side. They make trips fun.
On the other hand, we have family members who don’t exactly get along with each other, and a lot of thought has to go into a trip on whether or not they even want to travel together.
Once you know who you are travelling with, you can decide when to travel. School schedules, deployment schedules, training schedules. You name it, it can get in the way, and the bigger your group, the harder it can be to fit in a trip. The other thing to keep in mind is that every unit has its own leave policy. My husband’s current unit wants leave requests no more than 60 days and no less than 30 days out. Our last unit wanted them 90 days out. Because of this, we made sure to mention the trip to the unit commander so that he wouldn’t be surprised when the request came across his desk. Luckily, our commander is very approachable and easily accessible. Not everyone has that luxury. Our previous unit had two very unapproachable commanders in a row and did not want to hear anything until the request showed up on their desks.
Proximity to the World, or Disneyland, can also be a factor. When we lived in Georgia, we took quite a few Disney trips. Long weekends made for easy trips to plan and execute. Now that we live in Missouri, we’re much further away and have to decide between flying a driving, length of stay, and whether or not we want grandparents, aunts, uncles, and/or siblings to come with us.
Whatever you decide, you will certainly have taken the first steps toward a memorable, military family vacation.
Choosing your hotel can always be a challenge. These days, price is almost always a factor. For the military family, this can be an easier question to answer than it is for others. There are three options available to help military families save money on lodging.
The first option, is Disney’s military discount. Right now, they are offering 40% on select hotels. The Disney website says that the discount is available at select moderate resorts in Disney World. It does not say which moderate resorts are included. I find this a little bit disappointing because, when they first started offering the discount, you could use it at all of the hotels, and I got a great deal at the Polynesian. In Disneyland, the discount can be applied at Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel, and the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. There are also limits on how many rooms you can have and the discount cannot be combined with any other discounts.
The second option, only in Florida, is the Shades of Green Resort. Operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, this hotel is only open to current and former servicemembers and their families, Department of Defense civilian employees, and a few others related to the military. For specifics, you can check eligibility on their website, www.shadesofgreen.org. Shades of Green underwent some major rennovations a few years ago, and they added a significant amount of rooms. The size of the rooms are comperable to a Disney deluxe hotel and everyone gets a private balcony or patio. The cost of the hotel depends on your paygrade, so that people who make more money, pay more money, but the difference in cost still keeps the room rates lower than Disney’s. Also, since it is considered federal property, there are no taxes.
Each service member and spouse is eligible to sponsor up to 3 rooms each, but the cost for the other two rooms will be higher than the cost of the sponsor’s room. Shades of Green guests are not eligible for the Magical Express from the airport and must find their own transportation, and there is also a $5 a day fee to park your car. They are, however, eligible for free bus transportation throughout the resort, Extra Magic Hours and package delivery from the parks to the hotel.
The third option, is going to the travel office aboard your local military installation, and asking about off-property discounts. Two years ago, I got my hands on a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, with a kitchen, dining area, living room, and screened in porch for under $100 a night. They offered complimentary transportation to and from the parks, but had a specific schedule that didn’t work for us. Luckily, we had a car, and could get around ourselves. There was a grocery store nearby, so we were able to save ourselves some money on food, and we were only about a mile from the gate.
One last thing. If you want to use a Disney Travel Agent for your trip, they cannot help with Shades of Green. It is not a Disney hotel, so you would be on your own. Whatever your needs, whether they be based on the size of your party, or price, there are plenty of options for the military family.
Buying tickets can always be an issue. How many days you want, to hop or not to hop, water parks or no water parks. Disney’s current military special in Florida is a for a 4 day base ticket, with the option to add the hopper and the water park and more. In California, the deal is for a 3 day park hopper. Disney limits each service member or spouse to 6 tickets, including their own, and it is only open to active duty. The sponsoring service member or spouse must also be present to activate the tickets at the ticket window if you purchase your tickets ahead of time. If you buy them at the park, the service member or spouse must be present to make the purchase.
Sometimes, though, 6 tickets just isn’t enough. When that happens, you do still have options. Every military installation should have a travel office that carries discounted tickets. This also comes in handy if you want more than the 4, or 3 days that are being offered as part of the special. However, I would strongly recommend doing your research, because the military discount offered by your travel office may not be the best deal you can get. If you do decide to check around, make sure you are getting your tickets from a reputable company that is approved by Disney. You don’t want to buy tickets and then show up at the park and find out you’ve been taken. It would certainly put a damper on your trip right from the start.
Good luck, and have fun!
Guest Blogger Corey Applegate, former Marine and current military spouse.
- Strategies for Paying for Disney – Military Discounts (couponingtodisney.com)
- Disney World: 8 Great Money Saving Tips! (onlywdworld.com)
The big question on our trips is which resort hotel we will stay at in Disneyland. We have to fly over the ocean to go, so we have a long time to save up between trips and love the on-property perks. Now that we’ve stayed at all 3, it’s nice to have an overview of the ones we will stay at for future trips that might help your planning as well.
Paradise Pier Hotel
This hotel wasn’t originally a resort hotel, it is the lowest priced of the 3 resort hotels, yet not value-priced. The decor is California beach style, my boys had lots of fun with the beach ball pillows. My biggest complaint is the elevator situation- there are 3 main elevators for the whole hotel and one glass elevator on a different system. We did learn the trick- go up to get down, which reminded us of “go left to turn right”. Just one of those opposite-world kind of things. The 3rd-floor rooftop pool is heated and the kids loved the “California Screamin’” waterslide. The lobby stays pretty busy and they have a few restaurants there as well: PCH Grill (home to Mickey’s Surf’s Up breakfast and the Kitchen Sink dessert) and Surfside Lounge.
Just coming off a refurbishment, the Disneyland Hotel is the original and my favorite of the resort hotels. The headboards come alive with lights and music (“A Dream is a Wish”) and I also like that the building names reflect more of the parks: Adventure, Fantasy and Frontier. The D-ticket pool, E-ticket pool and Monorail pool with waterslides and hot tubs are newly open as well with a kiddie area. There are a few more dining options here: Coffee House, Goofy’s Kitchen (premium character dining), Steakhouse 55, Tagaroa Terrace- Casual Island Dining and Trader Sam’s- Enchanted Tiki Bar. It’s best proximity is to the monorail that goes into Tomorrowland of Disneyland park, which I love after a long day of walking the parks!
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
This resort hotel reminds me of the Wilderness Lodge- very similar with the same architecture and big open feel. It is the most deluxe of the 3 and also has the Villas associated with it for DVC members. It has it’s own entrance into the California Adventure park and is right in the middle of Downtown Disney with about the same distance to the monorail as Disneyland Hotel, and it’s proximity to both parks are the best. There are also 3 pool areas to play in at this resort, the Fountain pool, Redwood pool with waterslide and the Mariposa pool with hot tub. Whitewater Snacks is near one of the pools, Hearthstone Lounge is in the main lobby, Storytellers’ Cafe is home to the buffets and Chip and Dale’s Critter breakfast and their signature restaurant is the Napa Rose. It’s amazing to me how you can find peace and quiet in this resort even with how many guests there are and how it’s right in the middle of all the action. The Mandara Spa is also in this hotel as well as many other services (babysitting for ages 5-12, tours and classes)
All of the resort hotels sleep 5 in a room, usually with 2 Queens and a daybed but the Grand Californian has some rooms with a bunkbed and pull out trundle.
Have you stayed at any of these resorts? What did you think? Let me know in the comment box below.
- Disneyland Resort Dining: Fun Facts (chipandco.com)
- Special Ticket at Disneyland Resort Offers Two Days of Fun for $99 for Southern California Residents (chipandco.com)