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With Jennifer and I wanting to take our cast members to Disneyland for a company retreat, I thought I would share my knowledge and experience with the Disney hotels. I have to admit that I’ve only stayed at 2 of the 3 properties: The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Disneyland Hotel. I love both places and really enjoyed my time at each.

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The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa:

This hotel is the flagship of Disney Resort and is absolutely wonderful.  When my children were small, the Grand Californian was a no brainer for us. Back then, it was really important to be able to quickly whisk our kids up to the hotel room for some much needed downtime during the day.  One of the main pluses for this hotel is it’s location because it’s right at the entrance of Disney Californian Adventure Park. For us, that quick access to our room meant everything because our kids needed to either nap, play quietly, or swim at the pool for a little while. I now have to laugh because as I get older, I want to go back to the room for the same reasons! The hotel is designed in Craftsman style and has the largest rooms of the three properties. The lobby is wonderfully designed with high beamed ceilings and fire places. There is also lounge areas and shops. As for dining, there’s the family style Storyteller’s Cafe, where you can  either order off the menu or enjoy the buffet.  You can also breakfast with classic Disney characters. Napa Rose is also another option and is really more for the adult experience and older children. Andy Sutton is the chef who has been there for years and prior to that he use to be the chef at Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley where I am located. You can order  either a la carte or off the tasting menu which is phenomenal .  The restaurant has a high price point.

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 The Disneyland Hotel:

This is my new favorite and has a slightly lower price point. After staying at the Grand Californian for several years, our family decided to try the Disneyland Hotel to change things up a bit. All I can say is that I am so glad that I did. The entire hotel has been completely refurbished. The rooms are a little smaller than the GC but who cares, as they are tastefully decorated; I love how the head boards on the bed light up and play music. I also love the layout of this hotel. The hotel itself is a little further away from the park, but as my children are older the walk is okay. There is also the nearby monorail you can jump on which drops you off in Tomorrow Land. Disney thinks of everything!!! The hotel has three different towers: Fantasy, Adventure and Frontier. If booking in the Adventure tower, they have a concierge level which you can add to your stay. The concierge level will get you a Continental breakfast, snacks, appetizer at dinner and beer and wine. They also have bottled water, soda, juice boxes that you can take into the parks as well. My favorite part of this hotel though is the outdoor lounge area and fire place where you can sit have a drink and conversation if you’re on park overload. They also have Trader Sams which is my all-time favorite place to visit!!!! Mom and dad’s trip would not be complete without having a mai tai there!. The pools are also great.

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 Paradise Pier:

This is the one hotel that I have not stayed at.   However, I have a feeling this is where Jennifer and I will end up booking for our company retreat.  The hotel is furthest from the park but is the most affordable.  The hotel offers a 1920’s sand and surf theme which is very cute.  I wish I could offer more on this, but won’t be able to do that until we stay there.  As with everything Disney, I know it will be fabulous for its price point.