Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Disneyland Hotel: I Remember It Well. Sort Of.

Around the holidays I was invited to stay at the Disneyland Hotel while attending a blogger's event at Disneyland. In case you're not familiar with the hotel, it looks like this:

Actually, that's not how it looks today - that's the picture that's been stuck in my mind since the 60's. Rattling around in there with Monkees songs and episodes of Leave It To Beaver.


Here's how the hotel looks today:

Memory is a funny thing. The one thing that I remember, unequivocally, is that the coolest thing about the hotel was the Monorail going directly through the lobby. In fact, I distinctly remember stepping off of the Monorail and practically right into the gift shop. Yes, that Monorail would blaze straight through the hotel, mere feet away from guests toting suitcases and children running in from the pool. It was the 60's, a time of free love and reckless transport.

Except it turns out that the Monorail actually never ran right through the hotel, it ran near the hotel, a fact I wasn't willing to accept until my husband showed me some vintage photos that happened to be on display in the lobby. Even then I thought he was just playing with my head, like the time he tried to tell me that the Cleavers weren't a real family and Beaver wasn't his real name. Yeah, right.

But the Monorail just running near the hotel is fine, in fact it's one of my favorite things about the place. After a short stroll through Downtown Disney, you can actually enter Disneyland by going through security and showing your passes at the Monorail station, avoiding the long lines that you usually find at the main entrance. (Although one of the times we did this, there was a delay with one of the cars and we ended up waiting far longer there than the time it would have taken us to walk to the main gate.)

As for the rooms, I found them to be clean and comfortable and able to fit my husband and I, our two teens and one of their friends. Also, there was this lamp and 'magic' mirror that were a big hit with my girls:

It turns out that we weren't in one of their newly remodeled rooms, that apparently feature beds with light-up headboards. Which is just as well – when I mentioned that to my husband he just groaned and said sarcastically, "I'm crushed we missed it," which is what I would expect – I mean he wasn't jumping up and down about that lamp and mirror, either. I'm wondering if there isn't some sort of special Disney Man Suite, one that features shrunken heads on the bedposts, sawdust on the floors, skeleton hands holding the lamps and a toilet seat permanently in the 'up' position. (Disney Hotel Design People - call me!)

Also, if you are staying at the hotel, or even just in the vicinity, I suggest taking a stroll through the lobby. While we were there they had some beautiful vintage celebrity photographs on display, and then there's this huge collage of Disney memorabilia. I only got a portion of it here, but you get the idea:

 (Do you see eyes behind that mask? Kinda creepy, or most clever security camera ever?)

We didn't have time to use the Neverland Pool, which looks like it would be fun for the kids – it was recently remodeled and features a pirate ship. Here's a photo from their site. I think it's time for that woman sunning herself in the first chair to turn over:

I do recommend the hotel, especially for it's close proximity to Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. The service was excellent, as I've found it is in any of the hotels on the property. The one restaurant we ate in, Steakhouse 55, was good but pricey for breakfast, but that's expected for any hotel dining. Overall the hotel is a sensible choice for families and anyone going to the park on multiple days who are looking for accomodations close to the park.

Now, if they could only get that Monorail to run through the lobby...

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Antique Mommy said...

We just got back from DL, took 7YO for the first time and it was great fun. Will definitely try that hotel the next time! And yes, everything around DL is like 3X as expensive as everywhere else, as one might expect. Hamburger at our local Denny's is like $5 but $12 at the one near DL? Eh well. It's vacation, who cares?

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Perhaps you're thinking of the Contemporary Resort at Disney World? I have strong memories of that as a kid.

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