Disneyland Resort – A Quick Overview

I was privileged to attend this event as a representative of Carefree Vacations.  It was a wonderful experience.

We stayed at the beautiful Grand Californian Resort and Spa.  Throughout the three-day program, we met for educational seminars, we did site inspections of the Disney Resort properties as well as Good Neighbor properties, we had a trade show, and we experienced firsthand Disney’s World of Color, Paint the Night Parade, and Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular.  All were truly amazing.

Here are a few tips—

  1. You can get a Fast Pass for Disney’s World of Color at California Adventure Park and it will help to get a better viewing position. FastPass is available at Grizzly River Run and should be gotten early in the day. Reserved viewing areas are also available by purchasing a World of Color Dining Package. General viewing is available all around Paradise Bay.
  2. Best viewing of Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular is along Main Street. Some people also like to view down in front of It’s a Small World. There are projections on the buildings along Main Street and on the front of Small World.
  3. Reserved viewing options are available for Paint the Night by purchasing a Paint the Night Dining package for Blue Bayou Dinner or Aladdin’s Oasis On-the-Go Dining.
  4. If you are interested in the Jedi Training you must pre-register at the Kiosk outside the exit of Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland.

The three Disney resort hotels are the Paradise Pier Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  Guests who stay at one of these properties will be able to enter the parks one hour before the general public—Extra Magic Hour A nice perk!

The Grand Californian has direct entry to California Adventure park and to Downtown Disney.  All rooms have DVD players. Childcare for 5-12 year olds is available at Pinocchio’s Workshop for a fee. It is reminiscent of a national park lodge.  Some rooms overlook the California Adventure park.

Paradise Pier is a great place to interact with characters in the morning at the Surf’s Up with Mickey & Friends buffet breakfast.  Even if you aren’t having breakfast, the characters are out and about and mingling before the buffet.

Disneyland Hotel has been renovated.  Good idea to upgrade to a premium view room and request a higher floor.  Very nice feature is the fireworks that light up on the headboards in the rooms (except the suites).  There are five Signature suites in the Adventure Tower (the original Disneyland Hotel)—Adventureland Suite, Fairytale Suite, Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite, Big Thunder Suite and Pirates of the Caribbean Suite.  All are exquisitely decorated for the theme they represent.  The Frontier Tower is the newest and only has balconies in their suites.  In the afternoon there are characters hanging around in the lobby.  Great little place to kick back and have a drink is at Trader Sam’s on the grounds of the Disneyland Resort.  

VIP experiences 

Disney Dream Suite

The Dream Suite is located in Disneyland above the entrance area to Pirates of the Caribbean.  It is a 2200 square foot apartment with two Master Bedrooms.  The suite is full of magical touches and the famous Goodnight Kiss, which is different for each room.  If your clients want to see the Dream Suite, it is included in the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” guided tour.

Disney Dream Suite

Disney Dream Suite

Walt’s Apartment was an extra special treat and I am not aware of any tour that includes this.  The apartment is located above the Disneyland Fire Department on Main Street Square.  You can always see the light in the window that is lit every day for Walt.  The apartment is approximately a 500 square foot studio.  It was used by Walt so he didn’t have to drive home every evening.  His wife Lillian also stayed and their grandchildren were frequent guests also, with sleeping bags on the floor.

Walt's apartment

Walt’s apartment

Good Neighbor Hotels 

Walt Disney Travel currently has 41 good neighbor hotels–most are in close proximity to the Parks.   They all use one of three transportation systems.  ART – Anaheim Resort Transit (passes can be included in packages or you can buy direct.  If you want a family pass, then you can only get that with the package),  PCA – Parking Company of America, and HOS – Hotel Operated Shuttle.

People who are flying into SNA or LAX can use the Disneyland Resort Express.  It drops at all three Disneyland resorts and you can check on their website to see what Good Neighbor hotels they drop at.  Some of the Good Neighbor properties are within walking distance.  I am adding a map, which should be very helpful.

Good Neighbor Hotels Map

Good Neighbor Hotels Map

Note:  The Red Lion Anaheim Resort has been downgraded from the Superior category to the Moderate category.

One of my favorite Good Neighbor properties that we inspected was the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel.  It has a hotel shuttle to the parks.  It is a very charming property.  Nicer perhaps for a couple.  There are many other properties, much closer to the Parks.


It had been many years since I had visited Disneyland.  I was re-energized by this training and all of the experiences we had.  I finally got to see Cars Land, which I thought was great and the Radiator Springs Racers is a lot of fun.  Even the people in our group who came from the Disney World area also agreed that it was better than their Test Track.

You don’t need to have children to enjoy the parks.  There are so many different experiences for people of all ages.  The new Star Wars Land will undoubtedly be amazing.

REMEMBER-   The 60th Diamond Celebration ends September 5, 2016

Contact me for more information about your Disneyland Resort vacation!

Wanda Frecks

Branch: Chula Vista
878 Eastlake Parkway, Suite 1310
Chula Vista, CA 91914 | Directions
Toll-Free: 800-266-1167
Direct Line: 619.591.7209

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