Going to Disneyland for our Daughter’s 13th birthday was a great idea! We had a blast!
We stayed at the Grand Californian which was quite expensive, but we were able to get into California Adventure at 7:00 am with hardly any other people, and we were able to ride 15 rides before 11:00!
Because our family likes Disney for the rides, we find it worth the extra money of staying at the Grand Californian for the perks: 2 days “Extra Magic Hours” even with only 1 night booked, IN California Adventure & Downtown Disney, you can see the Disneyland Entrance from the hotel. If you don’s use the perks, I’m not sure it’s worth it.
Besides being an incredible 5 star hotel with very comfortable beds, soft sheets, many pillows, great service, fun pools, good restaurants, etc, we like how close it is to California Adventure and Disneyland and the “Extra Magic Hours” the most. This is worth the $450 per night price tag for our family. If you can’t get to the early hour…don’t stay here.
There are other hotels close by, like our other favorite, Park Vue Inn, which is right across the street, about a 5 minute walk. This hotel usually runs $190 per night, includes a light breakfast, and if you buy a 3 day Disneyland pass, you can go into the park for 1-2 mornings on the “Extra Magic Hour”. The difference in these “Extra Magic Hours” is that the entire crowd of all the other hotels goes into either Disneyland or California Adventure and ONLY the Grand Californian guests go into the OTHER. It changes daily.
For example: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Friday are California Adventure, and the other days are Disneyland early entry for Grand Californian guests. These days change randomly, so make sure to check when you are booking to see which park is on
which day. All the “neighbor” hotels get in only 2-3 days per week early, and the number of people with this option from the “neighbor” hotels is many compared with the handful of Grand Californian guests going in the OTHER park on the same day.
So, for us, by lunchtime, we have finished one park. We eat lunch at the Big Thunder Mountain Ranch BBQ, take a nap at our AWESOME hotel, and then we are back at it until Midnight. If you EVER have Disney questions, PLEASE email me! I would love to give you any tips I can!
Happy Birthday our gorgeous, brilliant, courageous, funny, obnoxious, playful, happy, kind, daughter! We love you! I’m so thankful that you are in our lives. You rock.
Love, Mom & Dad