Mousejunkie regular Kevin Linn and his family let us in on they’re Disneyland vacation.
The Disneyland Hotel
Our Los Angeles driving adventure now complete, we checked in to the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel has three towers set in a “u” pattern with the pool in the middle. Much like the cruise ships the towers are named Magic, Wonder, and Dreams. We were assigned a room in the Magic Tower which faces the east and offers a great view of the park.
The Magic Tower is last in the current renovation cycle so the rooms are a little dated with old carpet and televisions with tubes, but being a child of the 60’s and 70’s I was glad it was in color. The bright side of the construction is that the available rooms start on the eighth floor. From our room we could see Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn, and the Monorail. If you haven’t been to Disneyland before, Sleeping Beauty Castle is about half the height as its Magic Kingdom counterpart so only the tips of the turrets were visible.
Our babies’ marching orders required us to muster at the Never Land Pool, also undergoing a major refurbishment.
While the kids swam I took the opportunity to check out the construction progress. I’ve been following on the Disney blogs so it was fun to see it come to life. The most visible element is the Polynesian themed restaurant and bar but I don’t drink so my attention was focused on the steel structure for the Monorail-themed water slides. Squirrel! The kids said the pool water was very warm and seeing the pool filled primarily by the under-five crowd, that made a lot of sense to me.
After swimming, we headed a few football fields away to Downtown Disney for dinner. Unfortunately, it is also a stone’s throw away for Paradise Pier, and the Grand Californian, too. They have several excellent restaurants including Rainforest Café, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, House of Blues, and Tortilla Jo’s but our quest for food was denied by excessively long lines and dwindling patience.
We headed back to the Disneyland Hotel to see what was being served in the hotel food court. We then discovered the biggest difference between a Disneyland resort hotel and a Walt Disney World hotel, no food court. Noticing that anarchy was securing a foothold in the ranks and my son eyeing my calf like a Thanksgiving turkey leg, we did the next best thing, GPS. We consulted our magic electronic box for guidance and it led us on a short, half-mile journey to Taco Bell and family bliss. Our run for the border also dropped us in front of a supermarket so we stocked up on water and park snacks.
Finally fat and happy, we headed back to the room to prepare for our first day at Disneyland. First, though, we need a taste of magic. At 9:30 we turned the television to channel 43, turned off the lights and opened the curtains as far as we could. We sat back and watched the Remember…Dreams Come True fireworks show just outside our window.
Welcome to Disneyland.