DL Hotel or GC Hotel?


Lover of all things Poly
Jan 25, 2000

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think we (me, husband, 10 year old DD and 21 month old DD) are going to be going to DL this May/June instead of WDW (boo hoo!). I think the plane ride (7 plus hours - from Phoenix) would be too much for the 2 year old so that's why I think it might be better to do DL instead of WDW.

Can anyone guide me towards the best hotel choice at DL? I see people post about the DL hotel and GC hotel but not much about PP. Which would be the better choice with kids? Which is closer to the DL park? I am thinking that, because of the 2 year old, we would be spending more time at DL park than we would at CA, right? I do want to stay on the property - if I can't have the Poly, then I at least want a Disney hotel with Disney gift shops close by!

Sorry for rambling, but I'm just so confused as to the location of everything. I am not good at this Disneyland stuff - my heart belongs to WDW and the Poly - those are no brainers for me but I need HELP with this stuff!

Thank you in advance!
I'm partial to the Grand Californian, but the Disneyland Hotel is nice too. :) The rooms are bigger at the Disneyland Hotel but the GC has better theming and more of a Disney feel, in my opinion.

Both are very short walking distance to Disneyland; the GC is actually CLOSER as you simply go through Downtown Disney or California Adventure to get to the Disneyland main entrance. You can also take the monorail from the Disneyland Hotel.

If you're familiar with WDW, then I will describe the GC as a cross between the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. :)

Hope that helps a little!

You don't mention whether you've been to DL before, but I think a lot of people here agree that it's not as much of a MUST to stay "onsite" as it is at WDW. There are a lot of nice, reasonably priced places in the immediate area (walking distance).

That being said, if I could, I would always stay onsite, but that can get expensive! However, I recently stayed at GC and totally fell in love with it! I've stayed at DLH before, but I wasn't nearly as impressed as I was with GC.

I think it's a tough choice with kids though. DLH may appeal more to them because their pool is a lot better themed (Neverland). The grounds at DLH are beautiful too, koi ponds and gardens. But, GC is also beautifully landscaped, and it does have a nice pool, just not as themed as DLH.

We found GC VERY convenient to both parks and DD, though DLH is not that much further away. DLH is closer to the monorail, but the monorail will only take you to DL. And GC is smack in the middle of DD too. We became very spoiled staying at GC and it is definitely our favorite of the three. (We walked through PP, but found it kind of "plain" by comparison.)

I don't think you could go wrong with your choice. You could always walk to the other hotels and enjoy what they have to offer (which is what we did during our stay).
My wife and I have stayed three times at Disneyland -- each time at the Disneyland Hotel. We wouldn't stay anywhere else.

While the Grand Californian is more luxurious, more elegantly and meticulously designed, the DL Hotel is a bit more kid-friendly, whimsical and fun. The atmosphere is brighter -- my wife finds the dark wood and stone of the GC dreary and depressing -- and there's a fun Peter Pan-themed pool with a clever water slide. It's a quick walk -- five minutes or so -- from almost any building to the monorail -- which will deposit you smack dab in the MIDDLE of Disneyland (NOT at the front gate, as at WDW). And DL is where you'll be spending most of your time anyway. (IMHO, DCA is pretty disappointing, especially for youngsters.)

And, yes, the Disneyland Hotel DOES have a nice - and very large - gift shop.

An added perk: most of the rooms have the fun "Tinkerbell" wall paper -- turn out the lights, and it sparkles in the dark!

Also, if you stay at the DL Hotel, another way to get to DL is to take a pleasant stroll through Downtown Disney -- which is far superior to its cousin in Orlando, and much classier than the similar City Walk at Universal. It's got some worthwhile shops and restaurants.
I'm usually not on this board but may be doing a trip to DL in June or so. I wanted to let you know that we have made the trek to WDW with our son at 2 years, 2.5 years and 3.5 years...at 2.5 and 3.5 it was from Sky Harbor here in Phoenix. It wasn't that bad. We just kept him busy.

That being said, we have stayed at the third Disney hotel. Can't remember the name as it has changed but it was the Pier Hotel, then, may still be. The rooms there were fine but not really upscale. A bit bigger than the moderate rooms at WDW, I think. At the time, it was considerably cheaper than the DL hotel. But, we could walk to DL hotel and use their facilities so it wasn't bad.

We have also stayed at "area" hotels at DL and be warned, it is quite different than staying onsite at WDW. The big thing is the transportation issue. Some hotels are better than others, but it you are driving, it wouldn't be a big deal.

Still, with a 2 year old, and being that DL and the new park are the only two things you would be doing, I would stay at the DL hotel. The theming is great for kids. No transportation issues. A quick jump back to the hotel. There would be a lot of pluses there with the down side being the cost.
I would have to add my vote for Disneyland Hotel. Even though the GC is conveniently located, the DL hotel truly is more kid-oriented. The lobby is more kid oriented. The restaurants are more kid oriented. The pool is kid-heaven. The grounds are interesting and more expansive. I have not stayed in the rooms, but my friends have told me that they are like the rooms at Wilderness Lodge and AK Lodge, as Michelle mentioned - well, I have stayed at both of those places and for each one, it was a one-time deal that I enjoyed but do not plan to repeat. The rooms are too small. The rooms at Disneyland Hotel are large. I am one who actually spends time in the room, because I have an autistic son who has serious tantrums when he is tired or overwhelmed. I definitely don't want to be stuck in a small room.
We have stayed at both, with kids, and if we return we will do our best to stay at the Grand Californian again. It is just absolutly the best location. Now if the Disneyland hotel is more than $80 cheaper a night then we will stay there. That is our personal amount we set that we beleive is the value of the GC. Yes the restaurants at the GC are more geared to adults, but then the Disneyland hotel is just a short walk away. So the only 2 factors that play a part for us is Price and Location.



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