As a traveler who is always looking for ways to travel more frugally, why would I pay the money to stay at the Disneyland Grand Hotel?  This may seem like an oxymoron.

Staying at the Grand was a dream of mine for a long time.  When I finally graduated with my Doctorate of Education, I decided to treat myself to that dream. Anyone familiar with Disneyland Resort hotels knows that each of the three hotels (Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, and Disneyland Hotel) are considered in the “deluxe” category. This means they are costlier than the average hotels in the area.

Even though I was fulfilling a long-held dream, I could not go against the side of me that is always looking for a more frugal way to do a trip.  Therefore, I started researching what times the room prices were at their lowest price.  I took advantage of one of these times.

I booked the Grand Californian Hotel in May, an off-season time.  The rooms sleep five, which is very family friendly, and saved us from having to book two rooms.

I loved my stay there for a multitude of reasons.

8 compelling reasons to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel.

1. Wake up Calls

A wakeup call can be scheduled with the Concierge Desk, for each morning of your stay.  This wakeup call will have one of your favorite Disney characters on the other end of the line.  The kids loved answering the phone and finding Mickey or Goofy on the line.

2. Resort Amenities

All three hotels have amazing pools.  There are water slides, hot tubs, spas, saunas, and lounging areas.  Fresh towels, swim diapers, and life vests for toddlers, are all supplied.

Notice where my focus was? The comfortable lounge chairs.

3. Your Key to a Magic Card

By staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, you can use a Key to the Magic card for shopping and dining.  You can charge your meals and merchandise right to your hotel room with the card while you are in Disneyland Park, California Adventure, and even Downtown Disney.  A Cast Member can help you with this when you check into your room.

4. Package Delivery

I love this service.  You can shop all you want and not have to carry the bags around all day.  As you buy something in Disneyland Park or Downtown Disney, you can ask the Cast Member to have it delivered to your hotel room.  In the evening, when you get back to your room, all your purchases will be there waiting for you.

Exclusive entrance to California Adventure

5. Exclusive Entrance to the Park

At the Grand California Hotel, there is a private entrance for quests into California Adventure.  We used this entrance multiple times a day.  We did have to show our hotel key and our park ticket each time we entered. This saved us so much time each day.

6. Extra Magic Hour

Guests staying at a Disney Resort Hotel receive an Extra Hour each morning of their stay.  The extra hour rotates between Disneyland and California Adventure.  This means that for each day of your resort stay you are able to enter the park (with a valid ticket) one hour before the general public.  This is HUGE!!  This is what the parks look like during that magic hour…

This and the Exclusive Entrance were probably the biggest reasons I loved staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel.

7. Preferred Reservations

Guests of a Disneyland Resort Hotel receive preferred access to reservations for popular eating-places throughout Disneyland.  They also can book one preferred transformation at Biddidi Bobbidi Boutique or Anna and Elsa’s Boutique.

8. Experience Disney Parks from your hotel

Your room could have a view of California Adventure.  This was our room’s view.

You might be able to see the parade from your room. At Paradise Pier, the guests are able to watch Disneyland’s fireworks show, from the rooftop pool area, with the narration and music piped into loudspeakers.

Will I do this again? YES.  Will I look for deals?  YES.  Will I post the deals I find here on Traveling Wease?  YES.

See Ya Makin Memories!

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I am Wease, and my traveling days started early with a father that loved to travel. As a family, a large one, we always traveled and always by car. No matter how far we went, we made the famous road trip. My father’s mantra on these trips was “we are making memories”. No matter what happened on those trips, whether good or bad, we always made memories. These memories are very precious to me. My husband and I have continued this tradition in our family, with our children, of traveling and making memories. I have learned some valuable lessons and tricks and I plan to share these with you here. Here is what I live by: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we have been, and the memories we have made along the way”. Anonymous


  1. Congratulations on your Doctorate degree! You definitely deserved a treat. I would love to stay at the Grand Californian. I love that you can walk right into the park from the hotel.

  2. This is all great information, thanks! I am planning a trip to Disney for our family and trying to weigh the benefits of paying so much more for the resort vs. a cheaper hotel. I will definitely be taking these into consideration 🙂

  3. I have not stayed at the Grand Californian but I am a fan of The Walt Disney World Deluxe Hotels. It is a dream and so many benefits to staying on property, right now star wars land priority!

  4. Although we visit Disney World all the time, I haven’t made it to Disneyland yet, but it’s on my list. All your reasons are similar to why we always try to stay onsite at WDW – just something about those resorts that make the stay that much more special.

  5. First congratulations on your degree. Second I love California and completely forgot about Disney. You’re post is well written and makes me want to go and book a vacation!


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