Disneyland Hotel – A Review

As most of my readers know I took the kids to Disneyland for my youngest son’s birthday. We live very close to Disneyland, and although most of the time that we go to Disneyland we don’t stay overnight, sometimes we enjoy spending a few days there in a hotel. When that happens we always stay at The Grand Californian, which is a wonderful hotel with a beautiful lobby and a great location.

This time I thought we would try something different and stay at the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel had gone through a major renovation a while back, and I thought it would be worth a stay to see what it was like. The last time I stayed there was when I was a teenager, and I remember not being very impressed. I thought it was time to try it again.

The highlight of our stay was the newly renovated rooms. They were very well done and spacious. Our room had two queen beds and a sofa that converted to a twin bed. Between the bed and the sofas there was plenty of room for spreading out. In addition there was many Disney touches throughout the room which the kids loved. From the wooden panel over the bed that lit up and played music to the Mickey lights in the bathroom it really made our stay in the hotel magical and added to the birthday celebration.

The panel above the beds.

One of two lights in the bathroom

There was plenty of room for a birthday!

There are three towers at the Disneyland Hotel, and there isn’t much space in the lobby of the main tower or in any of the other two towers. The hotel lobby was nice, although it was very small. It had some great Disney memorabilia  and teacup chairs near the guest registration area. There was also two little Disney stores in the main tower. I enjoyed all the little details, but I missed the grand lobby of the Grand Californian. I love having an area to hang out in and people-watch, and I was sorely disappointed by this.

Goofing off in the teacup chair.

One of the great vintage posters found in the main tower of the Disneyland Hotel.

Tru studying an old sketch of Disneyland.

The pool area at the hotel was the other area I was very disappointed with. The pool area was crowded and the water was extremely cold. It took us nearly twenty minutes to find a place to sit, and we were lucky with that. Many people were walking around for a long time trying to find a lounge chair to sit on. And the water, don’t get me started on the water. My youngest son jumped in the pool, and then got right out again because it was so cold. The twins stayed in the water, but after twenty minutes they were so cold their teeth were chattering. The crazy thing is that it was a fairly hot day, but the water was so cold. For the amount Disney charges for a stay you would think they would warm the pools.

The slides at the pool are in a monorail theme.

Overall we had a great time at the Disneyland Hotel. I loved the rooms and felt all five of us fit in there nicely. The small details were great. I did miss a large lobby and a decent pool experience. I also missed the warmth of The Grand Californian. I am conflicted about where to stay next time we go. I love the experience of The Grand Californian but I love the rooms of the Disneyland Hotel.

Outside the Disneyland Hotel on the way to Downtown Disney.

Strange Visitors

Last Sunday I was awaken at 6:00 A.M. by a loud honking outside my bedroom window. At first I thought it was a car, but as I woke up further, I realized the honking was a bird of some sort. I got out of bed and looked out my window and saw this.

A second later another duck (or goose?) joined the first, and now I had two birds on the roof outside my window.

They were honking quite loud, and I couldn’t figure out why. Their honking woke up all three kids, and the kids were so excited to see the visitors. The kids and I love birds, as we have been bird watching for years. To them it seemed like we had hit the jackpot. Autry was concerned something was wrong, Decca wanted to catch them and bring them in, and Tru thought they were cool and then went back to bed (he was excited, it’s just that he loves to sleep!). Anyway, they stayed at our house for an hour or so, and then they flew off. The kids are hoping for more visitors, but I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon.

In other news, Autry had her last day of school today. She was sad, but we celebrated her great year, and the start of summer, so I think she is feeling better now. We went swimming today, and the kids loved it.

We then ate lots of ice-cream and home-made cookies.

Now all of the kids (and their cousins) are lounging in front of the tv having an Avatar marathon. I think they are on the 3rd part of the series. To them summer has just started, and it is already perfect.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summer Fun

We have spent a great deal of our summer at the pool this year. We live in a warm climate, so actually we spend most of the year in the pool, but the pool this summer has brought all of us a great deal of pleasure. The reason being, that prior to this summer, my oldest son never enjoyed it. He wouldn’t get his hair wet, he refused to swim much, and he got mad if anyone splashed him. In short he was miserable!

Someone told  me I should really think about getting him prescription goggles. I thought they would be very expensive, but I was surprised when I found this website:


I ordered some goggles, and in a week he had them. I thought he would put them on and jump in the pool! I was very wrong. He wouldn’t put them on, and he wouldn’t go in the pool. I was very frustrated, so the next thing I did was sign him up for private swim lessons. My son complained and told me he would not go in the pool. Well he was truly blessed with an amazing teacher and within five minutes of his first lesson he was in the pool and under the water. He has been swimming ever since, and he now loves the pool!  We have all enjoyed seeing the wonderful transformation in him, and he has a great deal more confidence.