The NEW Disneyland Hotel: A perfect blend of nostalgia & modern amenities
The first Disney property I ever stayed at was the Disneyland Hotel. It was also the property we chose when we took our three-year-old niece on her first trip to Disneyland in 2002. We have tons of photos of her at the hotel — smiling in front of the statue of Mickey Mouse, riding the elevators (she was living in a town that didn’t have many such fancy contraptions, so, for her, this was as much fun as Disneyland itself), splashing around in the Neverland pool, and, of course, eating lots of meals at Goofy’s Kitchen.
So, I was slightly apprehensive when I learned that Disney was planning a remodel of its now 57-year-old landmark property. What if the hotel looked so different that it no longer brought back memories of my childhood visits to Disneyland … or reminiscences of the many trips that followed with our nieces and nephew?
I never should have worried. Disney, as usual, did it right.
“The hotel is so important to the park’s history,” says John Mauro, Walt Disney Imagineering Development Manager. “We know guests have an emotional connection to it. We wanted to be really respectful of that.”
Mission accomplished. The renovation of the hotel, which was completed just a few months ago, showcases a terrific blend of nostalgia, contemporary comforts, and luxuries accented by Disney storytelling.
Among the highlights:
Thankfully, Goofy’s Kitchen and Mickey’s brass statue are still there. And Mickey’s giant sorcerer’s hat, which marks the entrance to Downtown Disney, remains intact. Oh, and the memories are still there too — along with lots of new memories waiting to be made.
- Beautifully remodeled guest rooms that feature such Disney touches as headboards carved with a representation of Sleeping Beauty Castle. And, as if that wasn’t cool enough, just flick a switch and the castle lights up, providing you with a musical bedtime light show.
- In addition to the Mickey Mouse Penthouse, guests can now personalize their stay, choosing from the Pirates of the Caribbean, Fairy Tale, Big Thunder and Adventureland suites, all with wonderful Disney touches.
- The Monorail Pool, where two huge water slides (the larger of the two is 26 feet high and 187 feet long) send guests zipping through replicated monorail cars before dropping them into the splash pool below. The pool also offers the Minnie Spa outdoor hot tub.
- Nearby, the four-foot-deep D-Ticket Pool — perfect for families with smaller children — boasts tiles that resemble the historic ticket books used in the early days of the Disneyland Resort.
- Tangaroa Terrace – Casual Dining Island (pool area, between the Monorail Slide and the D-Ticket Pool): This Polynesian-themed eatery features tiki torches and South Seas music. Signature items include French toast with warm banana-caramel sauce and the 1/3-pound Hawaiian cheeseburger with teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki Bar: Inspired by the Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam’s is named for the “head” salesman passengers see during the Jungle Cruise ride. The bar features many of the exotic wares Sam has collected over the years. Serving appetizers, lunch and dinner.