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View Full Version : Stay inside DLR or outside?? Looking for WDW vets opinions...


lourodrigis
11-07-2006, 05:04 PM
My family (DW, DS8, DD6) is planning our first trip to DLR the weekend after Easter 2007 (3 days, 2 nights). We're from NJ and have been to WDW 3 times in the last five years and always stay inside WDW. The last time we stayed at POR and LOVED it.

However, we generally do not spend very much time in our hotel room. I usually plan to hit the parks 30 minutes before opening and stay til closing. We also love to eat at WDW and it seems like the best eating places in DLR are at the hotels.

I have some questions regarding staying inside DLR and I'm looking for other people who go to WDW regularly and have stayed inside or outside DLR recently.

1. Is it worth the extra $$$ to stay inside DLR?
2. Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel cost about the same with Disneyland costing slightly more. Which resort is better? (proximity, restaurants, theming)
3. Is it worth the extra $300 to stay at the Grand Californian?

Thanks for your help!

lisah0711
11-07-2006, 05:33 PM
We went to Disneyland in 2/05 and stayed at the Hilton Suites Anaheim Orange. It was very nice and we used the Anaheim Resort Transportation which only took a few minutes for the route we were on. When we go to WDW we have always stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. The big difference between DLR and WDW is that everything at DLR is much, much closer together so staying off site is more of an option. We like to spread out after a day of family togetherness so like a suite :goodvibes We are going the first week of December staying one night at the Hilton and two at GCH. I will let you know what we think.

wendypooh22
11-07-2006, 06:07 PM
We have stayed both off site and at the DH. Personally, I prefer to stay onsite.. I love the fact that mid-day if the kids get tired we are just a monorail ride away from the room... Since we have stayed only at the DH, I am a little jaded in my opinion.... I love the DH!! :banana: The rooms are decorated in true disney style ::MickeyMo and are very comfortable. We reserve a room with a view so we can watch the fireworks from our room... pixiedust: I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the GCH, but I would rather save the extra $$$.
JMHO

Lollipop's Mom
11-07-2006, 06:28 PM
I personally don't think you need to stay on site at DL. It is literally in the middle of a city with hotels all around it. You are actually closer to the main gates staying across the street than you are at one of the actual DL hotels.
If money is not an issue,I would stay at the grand californian in a heartbeat (its the closest), but if you are on a budget, stay across the street. Free breakfast at those hotels too!
The monorail doesn't go right to the hotels as it does in WDW, and they have no shuttles either. Its probably a 10 min walk to the main gates.
DL is very very different than WDW in its set up, and doesn't have the same 'resort feel' to it that once you are there, there is nothing else around you.
I love DL! But we always stay across the street. If we went to WDW, I would be on property for sure!

Judy from Boise
11-07-2006, 08:21 PM
With that short a trip I think you would be very happy with GC, if money is not a big issue.

Between DLH and off site, I would consider off site as long as it is right on Harbor in walking distance.

GhostlyHitchhiker
11-07-2006, 08:28 PM
Having done WDW multiple times staying on property all but once, and having done DL mutliple times and only staying on property once I'd like to add my couple of pennies.

I just got back from our Halloween trip to DL last week where we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel for the first time (3 nights pool/resort view). In my personal opinion it would have been worth the extra $$ for the "Disney Magic" if the monorail had been working. Without this extra perk, however, I wouldn't stay on property again I don't think. The Disney touches in the room and hotel were very nice, but for the price I paid the walk to/from the parks through Downtown Disney was a deal breaker.

As has already been said, you can get a much, much cheaper room across the street and have a shorter walk to the parks than staying on property with the monorail down. There is much less "Disney Magic" at the Disneyland Hotel than staying at the resorts in WDW, imo. Then again, I'm one of those people who feels less "Disney Magic" in general at Disneyland than WDW. I still love DL though, don't get me wrong. :)

So if the monorail is working next time I go, I'll probably do the Disneyland Hotel or if money isn't an issue I'd love to stay at the Grand Californian. If the monorail isn't, I'd just stay across the street.

dmk1021
11-07-2006, 08:52 PM
I am a WDW annual passholder and go about 4 times per year. I will only stay on-property. I first went to DL in 2002 and stayed at Paradise Pier, and then in 2003, and stayed off-property. At the time, I was extremely impressed that you could stay off property and be so close (which any way you look at it you are not that close off-property at WDW). I thought it was great. Paradise Pier was OK, but not that close...even the "special" entrance to DCA is across the street.

Then in December 2005 and March 2006, I stayed at the Grand Californian and DL Hotel, respectively. I loved GC, walking right into DCA and so close to Jamba Juice (sigh) and DL. It was great, and beautiful, but so expensive. Then in March we stayed at the DL Hotel. It is by far my favorite experience and now I will only stay at the DL Hotel when I go to DL. The hotel theming is beautiful, the monorail is right outside your door (so is all of DTD, of course)...it's the best all-around deal, including off-property and the other two on-site hotels.

I have some problemes with heat and stomach problems, and if I get sick in the parks, it's hard to wait sometimes 30 minutes for a bus, get off at your hotel and hurry up and get to your room. Unless you're on the monorail, that's a reality. Try no waiting for buses, but all the amenties of a Disney hotel (i.e. sending packages to the hotel). You can leave either park and be back in your room, in bed, within 10 minutes. I highly recommend it. As a WDW passholder, and now a semi-frequent visitor to DL, that is my "professional" opinion :thumbsup2

Either way - have fun!!!

abby
11-07-2006, 09:25 PM
We have stayed at the DLH twice and at HOJO's once. While HOJO's was fine, big room, clean, nice property, we both missed staying at DLH. The walk was about the same, but no monorail. Food was cheaper off site, but still we missed the "magic" of the DLH and walking through downtown disney. If the only way to go is staying off site, go for it, if you can afford it, I'd go with the DLH.

Scrap'nPatty
11-07-2006, 09:49 PM
I Just got back from a 5 day/4night first ever trip.
I stayed at the PPH.

I was disapointed in the walk, mainly because I am disabled to a point.
I really wished I had stayed across the street. I found out just how far the walk was to get from the hotel to the parks and over to get lunch and back. Bummer!

We also didn't spend much time in the hotel and I found out that ART does NOT work the resort hotels.
If I wanted to do anything other than the parks, I was told I had to order a taxi.
But if you travel a block away, Aneheim has large reader boards that read "Use ART while visiting the resorts" ya right.
You don't have as much "magic" when you are in pain.

I would suggest staying accross the street so you can have a decent meal when you want. I personally found I had no interest in walking all the way across the parks AND back again for a meal. But for the young and able it prob would not be an issue.

For a less expensive meal you can also order delivery. Round Table pizza was awesome and they were able to bring me my much needed PEPSI that the town of Aneheim is so against.(No bitter feelings honest)Yep I received a ice cold 2 liter for half the price of a 20 oz coke anywhere in the hotels or in the parks!

I really need to get my trip report done.
Patty

If you ask me if I would go again...I would say yes, but I would be much better aware and have a better plan for transpertation and meals.
(I actually planned on using the ART this trip for groceries and sight seeing, only to find out it was not available for the resort hotels)

mystic_path
11-07-2006, 10:52 PM
I've never stayed onsite just off site. But honestly, there are hotels like RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from Disneyland, which are nice, and so much cheaper then on site hotels. PLUS I dont see the need for using a monorail. Its just a quick walk across the street and your at your bed. Cause with the monorail you still have to wait for it to show up etc. Meh I couldnt be bothered with that. lol.

lourodrigis
11-08-2006, 07:15 AM
Well, after reading these posts I am leaning towards DLH. I don't expect to be going to DLR that much in the future so I'm willing to spend a little extra $$$ to stay inside the park to experience a little more Disney magic. I know I could stay at a Hilton across the street for less but there doesn't seem to be anything special about that.

I'm the same way with restaurants. I probably won't do the Rainforest Cafe because I have one 40 minutes from my house in Atlantic City that I can eat at anytime (House of Blues as well).

Thanks for your help! :thumbsup2

alfredromero1975
11-08-2006, 08:00 AM
My friends enjoyed their stay inside.

PattiPB
11-08-2006, 11:14 AM
Hi Lou! I'm from Montclair (Essex County).

The off-site options at DL are fairly "Wildwood-ish", KWIM? They are older two to four story hotels that remind me of Seaside or Wildwood (these are NJ references for everybody else!). They are clean, and certainly inexpensive, but don't go into it thinking they are like newer, fancy accommodations.

For that short a period of time, if you can swing the money stay at the DLH. It is beautiful, and gives you an awesome dose of ORIGINAL Disney magic. GC is certainly fancier and newer, but I still defend the DLH as the place where the magic resides permanently.

At DL, you may choose to take a short break. There is no walking to the bus, waiting for the bus, walking to hotel room hour-long event like at WDW. It's a quick 10-15 from anywhere in the resort to your room.

You cant' lose---you're going to DL!!!

honeymom
11-08-2006, 12:06 PM
We stayed at the DLH in Sierra Tower in August 2002. It was very noisy and quite the hike. The pool was insane. We have stayed at POR French Quarter and Wilderness Lodge at WDW. DLH had big rooms, but just did not compare. There was hardly any real theming and the pool was crowded to the point that my kids didn't even want to be in it. We did, however, enjoy the quiet pool and the grounds otherwise.

We thought long and hard about it and decided to splurge on GC for our January trip. It was so much closer to the parks and it had true theming. We just feel that for the Disney magic, this is the only place that really gives it. We had even said that if we couldn't stay there, we would stay offsite this time, because we just didn't feel that DLH was worth the money and there are so many nearby, much cheaper motels.

mnasf
11-08-2006, 12:37 PM
[QUOTE=lourodrigis]My family (DW, DS8, DD6) is planning our first trip to DLR the weekend after Easter 2007 (3 days, 2 nights). We're from NJ and have been to WDW 3 times in the last five years and always stay inside WDW. The last time we stayed at POR and LOVED it.

We always stay onsite in Orlando and rarely do at DL. It just has a different feel than Orlando. We just usually bid priceline and take whatever we get and we like it. Most everything has transportation. If we want to splurge a little, we stay across the pedestrian crosswalk at the Best Western Park Place Inn. It is closer and faster to the main entrances to both parks then the DL hotel or PP hotel. It is okay. It is a motel, but it's location is amazing. I don't know if you've been to DL before or not, but you will be amazed at how close the BW Park Place Inn is. One time, we really did splurge and stayed at the Grand Californian. A beautiful hotel with a special entrance to California Adventure. It has a nice pool (as does the DL hotel). It reminds us of the Wilderness Lodge. It is right at Downtown Disney and is closer than the Best Western probably. It is a long hotel, so it could be a toss-up. But very close and very nice. We have stayed at the DL hotel, but it is a walk to get up there. In WDW perspective, it is not far though. I hope I haven't confused you. If you've never been to DL, I recommend the Blue Bayou for dining. It may just be our favorite of both WDW and DL. We haven't been since they remodeled. HOpefully, it's the same.

Tasmen
11-08-2006, 01:05 PM
I've never stayed onsite at DL. I've wanted to and would have probably tried it out on this last trip I went on if the monorail had been running. As it wasn't, we stayed offsite again. I actually like staying offsite. It gives you a lot of options when it comes to dining and such. And as everything is closer at DL than WDW, you don't feel like you are too far away. I've found it not at all inconvenient to leave the park for a nap and then come back later in the afternoon/evening.

The last two times I've gone, we've stayed in a complex of hotels in Garden Grove (about 5 minutes from DL via the ART). Both the Hampton Inn & Suites and Embassy Suites are very nice. Embassy is definitely my favorite so far. Hot breakfast is provided free of charge for all folks staying there. It's a nice little perk.

Amy&Dan
11-08-2006, 01:40 PM
I have stayed at all three onsite DLR hotels and prefer the DLH. To me it is themed, Disney themed. The theming at the Grand Californian was lovely and the location was FANTASTIC but I missed that Disney magic. The walk up DTD to the DLH is very nice, at night they have many live muscial acts to enjoy and lots of window shopping. It just keeps the magic going. Now that said, I have stayed offsite at Disneyland too and the trips were just as fun and wonderful but we missed staying onsite. Its that thing that once you stay in, its hard to go out! But sometimes we can't justify staying onsite and so when given the choice of staying offsite or not going, there is no choice and we are quite happy to stay across the street. While many of the motels on Harbor are closer, they are just that, motels. So if you like amenities such as room service, bell service, laundry and valet service, the motels on Harbor, very close to Disneyland might disappoint and not fit your needs. Most of them have older, small pools that will cool you off but again are not themed with slides and pool bars. Most kids couldn't care less unless they are used to WDW resorts and maybe have that connection that when they are Disney they need a fun pool with a cool slide! It all depends on how much you are willing to pay. For a onetime trip to Disneyland, if you are okay with the splurge go for the Disneyland Hotel. If not, save some money, you will still have a great time. Just know that pricewise the motels on Harbor are the same as a value or moderate at WDW but nothing like them in any other way. As long as you know that, then you can't be disappointed.

Now as far as WDW, I would never stay offsite, heck I even bought DVC to insure I don't have to! But as others have said, Disneyland is different. And while I love to stay onsite at Disneyland, their onsite hotels cannot really compare to WDW ones of any level, because they just don't have the space to theme and landscape at Disneyland. The DLH does have some lovely landscaping, Koi ponds and more of a spreadout feel than the other two. But its not the same as POR for example which is like being in a whole different world.

P.S. I just reread your OP and see you want comparisons between PP and DLH. I really like PP but only stay there when I can save quite a bit of $$ over the DLH. It used to be PP was always much cheaper, lately it seems about neck in neck with the DLH. PP also has nice, large rooms with a comfy daybed. However the pool is boring except for its slide and they don't have as many onsite dining choices. Also, it has no landscaping to enjoy. As far as $300 more for GCH, thats a tough one. One of the great things about the GCH is that most of the rooms have a balcony. Very nice to unwind and relax on. That is one edge it has on the DLH besides location. But I am not sure I would pay $300 for that. The rooms are smaller but nicely appointed. My biggest beef with the GCH is the price and the fact that if you don't get a bunkbed room or daybed, you end up with a sleeping bag for your third bed option. They don't have rollaways there. So for my boy and girl that can't share a bed, that doesn't work too well.

judimouse
11-08-2006, 04:03 PM
Having taken 8 trips to WDW and staying onsite for all but one of those trips I would like to throw in my two cents worth LOL

I have stayed at all three DLR hotels with Paradise Pier being my favorite but would not stay there now as it's just too far of a walk.

Disneyland Hotel is next and with no monorail it can be a long walk.

Grand stayed there last year and had a terrible experience and will not stay there agan.

Have hundreds of nights off property at DLR and find the off site hotels the best deal.

There is a good chance the monorail will not be working during your trip in Spring 2007.

lourodrigis
11-08-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi Lou! I'm from Montclair (Essex County).

The off-site options at DL are fairly "Wildwood-ish", KWIM? They are older two to four story hotels that remind me of Seaside or Wildwood (these are NJ references for everybody else!). They are clean, and certainly inexpensive, but don't go into it thinking they are like newer, fancy accommodations.

For that short a period of time, if you can swing the money stay at the DLH. It is beautiful, and gives you an awesome dose of ORIGINAL Disney magic. GC is certainly fancier and newer, but I still defend the DLH as the place where the magic resides permanently.

At DL, you may choose to take a short break. There is no walking to the bus, waiting for the bus, walking to hotel room hour-long event like at WDW. It's a quick 10-15 from anywhere in the resort to your room.

You cant' lose---you're going to DL!!!

Patti,

I appreciate the great response. The Wildwood/Seaside Heights references are well taken, having stayed in motels at Wildwood many a summer growing up. It was nice then but I have no desire to stay at any Wildwood-ish motels anymore.

I think we will be staying at DLH for all the reasons you stated. I just want to get lost in the Disney experience and do not need to be reminded of Days Inn, Hiltons, or other hotel/motels while away. I can do that at home.

If the monorail is open it would be even better but I can live without it. My bigger concern is a rumor that POTC pirate: will be closed during our stay for the next movie. This would be a MAJOR BUMMER as we missed POTC in WDW in May for movie #2. I was SOOOOOOOO looking forward to seeing the DLR version which is supposed to be so much better then WDW. We'll see.

Thanks again for the great advice!

PattiPB
11-08-2006, 07:36 PM
WOW! :blush: I rarely feel I can help people on the boards! We go to both coasts, but nowhere near as often as others, and I always feel that I "take" way more than I "offer" on the DIS!

Wildwood is one of the very few things I miss from NJ! I also miss beefsteak tomatoes and corn on the cob from a roadside stand. :confused3

I hope you get to experience POTC at DL---it is one of the rides that is obviously, clearly better here than at WDW.