Disneyland (CA)Resorts

10 Good Reasons to Stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel

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In previous blogs I’ve covered the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and the Disneyland Hotel, so I thought Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel needed a little love! I won’t for one second claim that Paradise Pier is my first choice for a hotel at Disneyland. The Grand Californian definitely takes that honor. And there are certainly much cheaper offsite options that are within walking distance of the parks. But there are some good reasons to stay at Paradise Pier. And here are 10 of them!

1. Price – I am definitely not saying that Paradise Pier is your cheapest option near Disneyland, but it is your cheapest option to stay in one of the Disney hotels on property. The Grand Californian is always the most expensive, and usually the Disneyland Hotel is less, with Paradise Pier coming in as the least pricey. I’ve found there are times there is only a minimal difference between the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier, and there are other times when there is a big difference. Frequently, a standard room at the Disneyland Hotel is the same price as a theme park view room at Paradise Pier. Disney doesn’t publish rack rates for its Disneyland hotels, but you can probably expect to pay around $200 a night at Paradise Pier, depending on the time of year, without any discounts.

2. Onsite Privileges – Of course, one benefit of staying at Paradise Pier as opposed to offsite is that you can take part in the onsite guest privileges. Some of the more well known privileges are charging purchases to your room and package delivery back to your room so you don’t have to carry your souvenirs around all day. One of the lesser known privileges is early entry into both parks. Guests staying onsite get entry into Disneyland for Magic Mornings during their stay. Onsite guests can also get into California Adventure 30 minutes early through the Grand Californian entrance each and every day.

3. Location – The location is a good one! Not as close as the Grand Californian, but depending on where you’re going, a little closer than the Disneyland Hotel. Paradise Pier is kind of situated between and a little set back from the other two hotels. When you walk out of Paradise Pier, and cross the street, you’re at the Grand Californian. You can then take advantage of the awesome Grand Californian entrances into the Downtown Disney District or California Adventure. If you go the other direction when you exit Paradise Pier, you’ll end up at the Disneyland Hotel.

4. PCH Grill – I’m a big fan of Goofy’s Kitchen and I wasn’t expecting much at Surf’s Up character breakfast in the PCH Grill. I was very pleasantly surprised, however! The food was great and the characters were plentiful. The characters each spent a lot of time with our table. Mickey was stationed near the door in his surfer gear for pictures and there was never a long line to see him. Every so often there was a call for kids to join in and “ride some waves” and hula hoop. We’ve also eaten dinner at the PCH Grill and while there were no characters, the food was good and the ambience was relaxing. They did something fascinating with the straws there, by the way. This may be common place at other restaurants, but I’ve never noticed it before our dinner at the PCH Grill. The drinks were all color coded by straws. We each had a different kind of soda and we each had a different color straw. Whenever we needed a refill, any server walking by could take care of it because they knew what we were drinking because of our straw color. I thought it was genius!

5. Paradise Theater – Or as it’s affectionately known – the Mickey Movie Room! Paradise Theater shows Disney films and TV shows all the time. It’s right down the hall from the lobby and a great place for kids to be entertained while a parent checks in. It’s themed in a beach setting with kid sized Adirondack beach chairs to get comfy in. The TV looks like it’s in a giant sandcastle.

6. Mickey Details – Disney has added some lovely Mickey touches to their rooms in Paradise Pier. The Mickey surfer lamp, the Mickey Heads on the bedspreads, and the Disney picture on the wall to name a few. Some may say it’s a quick fix to make a formerly non-Disney hotel more Disney, but I like it! Mickey makes me happy.

7. Rice Krispie Treats – Your mileage may definitely vary for this one. In years past at Paradise Pier, you would often find chocolate dipped Mickey shaped rice krispie treats in your room at night. These days it seems to be hit or miss. I’ve heard some guests are still getting them with somewhat random turn down service, and others had luck if they asked. So if you’re staying there, ask the front desk if they can help you out with that one! You never know!

8. Cool pool – The pool is cool! It’s called a rooftop pool, but it’s not on the roof of the main hotel which is 14 stories up. It’s on the roof of a shorter wing, just 3 stories up. It’s not terribly themed, but it’s got a great slide, a hot tub, a toddler wading pool, and it’s a good size. It’s usually much less crowded than the other two Disney hotel pools also. It probably goes without saying that it can’t compete with the other two Disney themed pools, but it puts most pools on Harbor Boulevard to shame.

9. Fireworks From the Pool Deck –You can watch Disneyland fireworks from the pool deck! The music is piped in while you see the fireworks from a whole different location. While actually being in the park will always beat other views, it’s a neat and different way to enjoy the show. Definitely worth doing on one night you’re there.


10. Theme Park View Rooms – Speaking of watching things from your hotel, the theme park view rooms in Paradise Pier are excellent. When we first walked into our room and looked out the window, I think there was a little cheer from our group! The views into California Adventure are just gorgeous. The picture on the right was the view from our room. At night you can even watch World of Color while the music plays on one of your TV channels. I’m not saying you should watch from your room if this is your only chance to see it, but the view from the rooms is a whole different perspective on the show. It’s also the only socially acceptable way you can watch World of Color in your pajamas.

So what do you think? Are there any other reasons you like to stay at Paradise Pier?

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Tammy Whiting

Tammy has been a lover of all things Disney for most of her life. There’s nowhere on this Earth she’d rather be than on a Disney cruise with her family. She’s a Space Force wife and proud mom of two wonderful children and one beautiful daughter-in-law . She fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2008 and became a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations. She now owns her own travel agency - Storybook Destinations. You can reach Tammy at Tammy@StorybookDestinations.com.

31 thoughts on “10 Good Reasons to Stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel

  • What are the birthday benifits? My daughter and husband’s birthdays are mid nov and were planning to go nov 30th. Can’t decided where to stay, maybe this would help.

  • I just booked a stay this afternoon for later this year. It will be my son’s first time that he will actually remember (he was a baby the last time) and it will be my best friend’s first time going. This will also be my first time going during Halloween time! I am truly excited. I have been to Disneyland several times before, but never stayed at the Paradise Pier. I looked into other hotels down the street…whilst cheaper, they did not offer any birthday benefits that the Disneyland hotels offered. That was honestly the deciding factor for me, as we are going for my son’s birthday and I want it to be extra, extra special. Last time we went right before his second birthday and stayed at the Grand California. It was beautiful and the benefits (early admittance, special entrance, etc.) were amazing, but once was honestly enough for me. It was worth the price and worth experiencing at least once, but in a budget, it unfortunately was a one-time thing. I would rather spend the extra money on souvenirs. I will follow-up after our vacation. I cannot wait. I am sure this hotel and experience will be beyond memorable for my family.

    • That sounds like a great vacation, KD! I really enjoyed Paradise Pier and wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. And the onsite benefits are nice! I hope your son has a great birthday! 🙂

  • They have supended it before, that’s true. It’s hard to predict what they will do this year since now they’ve changed up a bit. Right now resort guests can get into Disneyland early on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They can get into California Adventure early on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I would guess that the half marathon would disrupt that a little.

    • Thanks Tammy for the help. I guess when DCA opens up, I’ll be running to the fastpass line to Cars land. Thanks again.

      • You won’t be alone, Peter! 🙂

  • Hey guys. I’m new to this forum and I’m just curious. My family and I are staying at the Paradise Pier during Labor day. I was wondering if anyone had information regarding the use of all three Disney resort pools. If I’m staying at Paradise Pier can I use the pool at…let’s say…the Disneyland Hotel?

    • Hi Peter!
      Welcome to the blog! Unfortunately you can not pool hop among resorts. You can certainly walk around and explore the other hotels though!

      • Aww…Thanks Tammy for the info. Well at least I can enter DCA through the California Grand Hotel.

      • You sure can! You will also get early entry for California Adventure/Cars Land on certain mornings. That’s a great perk for staying onsite!

      • Since you mention early entry to Carsland. I was also wondering. I’m going to Disneyland to also run the Half Marathon in September. I heard they suspend the early entry mornings during the race weekend. Is that true?

  • perfect timing for us, we’ll be checking in on 5/14 for our first on property stay since I was a kid. Sure the Grand Californian would have been nice but I get the feeling we’ll be very satisfied.

    • I think you will be happy too! Have a wonderful trip, Anne!

  • In my humble opinion, none of the Disney hotels compare to the Candy Cane Inn.

    • Interesting Bill! Even the Grand Californian? I can see the Candy Cane Inn beating it on price, and the Candy Cane Inn is great, but better than the Grand Californian?

  • Great post! I’ve often figured that I might as well save even more and stay across Harbor at one of the hotels that are closer than Paradise Pier, but the onsite benefits and fireworks at the pool… Hmmm… Maybe we should give it a try!

    • Great, Stephanie! You should definitely give it a try!

  • The Paradise Pier is our preferred hotel at Disneyland. It’s the perfect mix of cost versus benefits! You covered that aspect of the hotel very well. Sure it’s not as themed as the GCH, but the rooms are bigger and IIRC they all have daybeds, not just a select few. It’s closer to the parks than the Disneyland Hotel, and even then it’s only 5/10 minutes (depending which park you are going to). Can’t beat that! If your’e leaving the park with a big crowd (say, after Fantasmic or the fireworks) you can’t beat leaving the gate and turning to the right to walk through Downtown Disney, rather than with the hordes over to the ART or Harbor Blvd. And early entry just can’t be beat!

    So you get a deluxe resort (yes, this would be a deluxe resort at WDW, no question) with early entry and close walking location for a much cheaper price than the GCH. No contest!

    • I also think it’s closer to both parks than the Disneyland Hotel. We were just there without the theme park view and Disneyland Hotel was out our window – behind PP. With the handy entrances through GCH it’s great!

      • Did you miss having a great view, JoAnn? Do you think it’s worth it to upgrade to a theme park view? I left the Disneyland Hotel thinking it was worth it to pay to upgrade from a standard view because all I could see was a parking lot out my window. I’m not sure if I would feel the same about Paradise Pier. A view of Disneyland Hotel might not be bad!

      • I did try to upgrade but there were no rooms available. I might do the theme park view next time although it’s hard to justify hundred(s) when we only sleep and shower:)

      • It is hard to justify if you don’t spend much time in your room. 🙂

    • I agree with all of your points, Helen! I also think it would qualify as a deluxe at Disney World. When you put it in that category, it makes the price even more reasonable.

      • Yep! If you compare the Disneyland hotels with the WDW Bay Lake resorts, I think of PCH as the Contemporary, Disneyland Hotel as the Polynesian and GCH as the Grand Floridian.

      • I may switch the Polynesian and Contemporary on that list, only because I personally prefer the Contemporary over the Polynesian. So it ranks a little higher for me. As far as prices go though, your order is better. 🙂

      • I agree, it’s not ideal, partially because the Polynesian is the hotel with the most ‘theming’, which would be the GCH at Disneyland. But the analogy I suggested works in terms of both price and distance to MK. 😉

        Oh year, and also in that the Disneyland Hotel is closest to the Disneyland monorail, while the Polynesian is closest to the TTC.

      • Absolutley. It works in terms of price, distance to MK and the monorail! It’s a great analogy!

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