The 15 Day Disneyland Challenge: Day 8

Note: This post is part of a 15 Day challenge with questions referring to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. For more information, or to see all 15 questions, please refer to the introductory post, The 15 Day Disneyland Challenge. As stated in that post, I am not the creator of the challenge – just a willing participant!

Day 8: Your favorite hotel or resort.

I’m not a hotel snob. I’m far from it. I need a clean room and a bed to be happy – mind you, the more comfortable the bed, the happier I am. The most important thing for me is location and cost. Due to that criteria, I’ve stayed at many of the hotels up and down Harbor – just a few  more before I’ve tried them all! The point being, I don’t need a Disney-owned property to make me happy when on vacation. In fact, I’ve only stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel and couldn’t even judge the others. That’s fine by me, though. I doubt either of them would take away from my favorite place to stay when visiting The Land.

The Candy Cane Inn

To me, there’s nothing that says Disney to me more than a stay at The Candy Cane Inn. I’ve stayed there since I was very young. The place looked much different than it does now, but it still had candy canes at the front desk! While not on Disney property, its close proximity (on Harbor Blvd) makes for a pleasant walk. And while the Cane offers a shuttle, for me, the walk has always been a part of the experience; perhaps that’s one reason I hold it in high respects. Walking down Harbor, taking in the smell of Anaheim air (you know, that, muggy, misty, early morning smell you get while walking near Disneyland? It’s very distinctive…), watching my little girl run and race to each star on the Anaheim Walk of Fame, just to end on Walt’s star… it’s definitely a part of the routine I love when staying there.

Of course, if it wasn’t a good hotel with courteous staff, it would all be for naught. The rooms are small and quaint, but comfortable. The staff is friendly: Edd, the hotel’s resident ambassador is there to great guests every morning as they eat their continental breakfasts (which, I may add, is one of the best continental breakfasts around), chatting up the children about Tinker Bell, showing off his collection on his lanyard. It’s a very homey, independently owned hotel, and very much worth the stay if you can afford it.

Not to mention, free candy canes!

Now it’s your turn? Do you have a favorite place to stay when you visit a Disney park? Can’t wait to hear your answers!

8 thoughts on “The 15 Day Disneyland Challenge: Day 8

  1. It’s amazing how so many of our answers are alike. I miss a few special people that worked at the Cane for some time. But it’s still he only place we stay, for all the reasons you mention above. We’ll be there in another week.

  2. My family has 6 people, so we can only stay at hotels with suite options, since two of the kids are too young for us to be able to comfortably do two rooms, and two rooms is expensive anyways. At Disneyworld for a long time this meant we could only stay at the cabins at Fort Wilderness, and those cabins were cramped and outdated- especially the old mattresses made for a tough stay. The plus side was that they have a kitchen which is such a blessing on a long vacation. I have a feeling that the new Art of Animation family suites will be my favorite place to stay- everything about them was designed really well. And Disney listened to their guest surveys when they built these and updated other rooms! I can’t wait to go to wdw again and stay in their hotels.
    Meanwhile in California, my grandparents live 20 minutes from the park, so we have always stayed at hotel d’grandparents, never any of the Disney hotels here.
    I’ve been in the Grand Californian though and it’s beautiful. And the rooms are wonderful and large and comfy, and the restaurants are amazing. If I could choose I’d stay there.

  3. Our new hotel of choice is Paradise Pier. Much cheaper than the other two Disney resorts yet still Disney owned which gives that added Disney magic to the night. And you can usually talk your way into a free upgrade to a room with incredible views of DCA as well as World of Color when you check in for free. Now that I’ve gone “Disney” with the hotel choice, I can’t do anything but when visiting!

  4. To me, the issue is largely economic. I would LOVE to stay in the Disneyland Hotel, but one night costs the same there as a whole week’s stay at one of the cheap motels around the convention centre. GIven that, it’s no contest.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would if I could. Disneyland Hotel would be my hotel of choice because that’s the original hotel (more or less), part of the authentic Disney experience that makes Disneyland USA still my favourite park despite having been to more technically sophisticated Disney parks around the world. The Grand Californian is gorgeous, but really just makes me want to go to Yosemite or Yellowstone and stay in the actual historic lodges there. Paradise Pier is an also-ran. The only thing I find kind of weird about the Disneyland Hotel now is that they’ve undergone this rennovation project where they’ve deliberately tried to affect heritage branding, but in the process effaced the actual history of the hotel (i.e.: the tower names).

    However, a room is a room and unless the room or hotel it’s in is intentionally part of the experience (sometimes it is), then I too prefer affordable comfort for the few hours each night and morning I’ll actually be in it. So far the best cheap motel I’ve stayed at is the Anaheim Discovery Inn. Nice operators, better “continental breakfast” than other cheap motels I’ve stayed at, decent enough rooms, Disney Channel on TV… I’ll probably stay there again next trip.

  5. Can’t really answer as I haven’t stayed at a hotel near Disneyland in years – decades, actually. But when my kids were little I loved the convenience of the Disneyland Hotel.

  6. We used to stay at the Disneyland Hotel and I loved it. That was when there was still a tram to the park, so you know how long ago that was. I loved the atmosphere and the feeling that you never really left Disneyland. I also have enjoyed Paradise Pier more recently. I too enjoy the Candy Cane for the reasons you stated, and I also like Ho Jo and The Carousel. The Carousel has the perfect view of the park while eating breakfast.

  7. I’m going to break mine down into 2 categories: Disney and non-Disney…

    Disney: Paradise Pier. I feel the rooms are the quietest of the 3 Disney Hotels. We have stayed here numerous times and have always enjoyed our stay. I’d say the only thing we ever complain about are the elevators. 1. I wish there were elevators in the parking structure. Sometimes we don’t give the bell man all of our stuff and it’s a hike to get the rest of it out of the car and to the room with no elevators. 2. Slowness of the elevators in the hotel. I’ve read the reviews on tripadvisor and people were always complaining about the elevator situation. i had never experienced the issue until our last trip in March. When we were leaving it literally took me 20 minutes to squish (and i mean squish) into an elevator that was going UP, so we could could eventually go down. It was miserable. And to top it off, there were about 15 other people waiting by the time I got on the elevator. If I didn’t have my 2 year old and a stroller full of stuff, I would have taken the stairs, but walking down 11 flights of stairs didn’t really sound fun 😉 Other then that, we really enjoy our stays. The room are always SUPER clean and a view room is the best, especially now since they pipe in the WOC music to the TV’s. Plus, it’s the cheapest of the 3 Disney hotels =)

    Non-Disney:
    Candy Cane. For all the reasons you mentioned Craig. They are SUPER clean (and I’m really picky about the cleanliness). Parking was plentiful and FREE! The breakfast offers a much wider variety then anywhere else I have stayed (besides the Embassy Suites) And the rooms were quiet! I love that they give AP discount and the $10 off a night your next stay coupon. AND you combine them both for $20 off a night. SCORE! The walk is super easy and you don’t have to cross at Harbor Blvd! We are going on Saturday and really wanted to stay here, but only premium rooms were left and it was just too pricey, even with the $20 off.

  8. Candy Cane Inn is definitely my pick too! The first time we stayed there was because the Fairfield was sold out and they put us up at the Cane. Best incovenience experience I ever had. We absolutely enjoyed our stay. This is now our choice of hotel when spending a weekend at Disneyland. I love that it’s quaint and yet it feels very upscale. I concur with Crystal Miles their cleaniless is superb! Next to Godliness!

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