Paradise Pier Hotel Review & Secrets to Maximize Your Fun!

Written by Jordan

If you are looking to stay in Paradise Pier at Disneyland, this is my Paradise Pier Hotel Review. Between luxury hotels and lower cost ones, this is a fan favorite that you cannot go wrong booking.

Paradise Pier opened in 1984 and has since become one of the top performing hotels in the entire area due to its accommodating, whimsical beach themed nature. Seriously, this hotel is super fun and amazing for both families and soloists alike. Here are the details to help you decide if the Paradise Pier is right for your trip!

What’s So Special About the Paradise Pier?

One reason so many people opt for this hotel is due to its incredibly close proximity to the park. Though the Disneyland Hotel is the closest by far, Paradise Pier is a close second. You will have to walk only around eleven minutes to get to the park entrance and the route itself is rather scenic and does not cross through traffic as frequently as the route of other hotels. As an added bonus, you can actually get into select areas of the park an hour early as a guest of the Paradise Pier and have the option to take a guided power walk through California Adventure before opening hours as a quick, fun workout if you so choose, for free with your reservation. You just have to sign up before the event begins.

A Few Perks

Additionally, there is quite a bit of consideration taken to make sure your Disneyland adventure as easy and streamlined as possible. You literally do not have to worry about a single thing while you are at Paradise Pier; they make sure everything is taken care of. In fact, you only have to use your credit card once; after that, you just swipe your room key to pay for food, drinks, and events. Furthermore, if you buy something in the park you can opt to have it delivered to your room to prevent having to carry it around all day long and risk losing it!

The Atmosphere

The beach themed hotel has all of the usual amenities you would expect from a high end residence. A gym is available that is stocked with tons of equipment and designated areas for classes like pilates and yoga. The business room offers free printing services and computer access, making getting your Disneyland tickets and parking passes sorted a breeze. The rooftop pool offers some serious fun with ts numerous waterslides and you can go to the in-hotel arcade for some gaming time. Probably my favorite park of the entire building is the adorable sandcastle themed television that displays Disney movies all day and showcases the firework show from inside the park each night; some nights you can also go up to the roof and watch the show in person from there, too!

The staff of the Paradise Pier are some of the best hotel staff members I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. They truly go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need. During our first visit, while we were heading out the woman at the front desk actually took time to tell us the easiest footpath to Downtown Disney and gave us a list of events going on that day.

Decor wise, this hotel is quite fun. It could be updated a bit but overall I have no issues. When you walk through the doors, you are greeted by a giant surfer Goofy statue and during the Holidays they decorate accordingly. To the right of that is a gift shop and to the left is the service desk. The gift shop carries toiletries, snacks, and other small items you may have forgotten to pack along with a ton of Disney themed items that make for fun souvenirs. The surfing theme is carried through into the rooms, where niche decor items like beach ball shaped pillows (my toddler loved these; we actually considered buying one from the hotel shop) liven up the space. All in all, it is an incredibly well thought out hotel that fits the Disney theme in a subtle way, which makes sense considering the hotel was not originally owned by Disney and once served as just a Pan Pacific beach spot hotel.

Character Dining

For thirty five dollars per person, you can actually get a character dining experience in right in your hotel! The PCH Grill offers Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast, a buffet featuring some of your favorite characters, including Stitch, who can be incredibly difficult to find elsewhere in the park. Four characters come to this event and are very interactive due to the small nature of the dining room. This is probably my favorite character dining event since it is a little more fun for my toddler; every hour or so one of the characters starts a dance party or game and encourages the kiddos to get involved so it becomes a little less structured and gives some leeway for the wiggly little ones.



Dining Options

Aside from character dining, there are, of course, other dining options. The hotel does offer room service and the menu can be found in your room. For dinner and lunch, the PCH Grill carries some delicious Californian fare, including a bonfire themed dinner buffet with a ton of unique options. For breakfast if character dining is not your thing, you can grab a bit from the smaller buffet at the Surfside Lounge; for dinner at the Surfside you can find delicious bites like poke bowls, burgers, pizzas, and a selection of desserts and other savory dishes. A third dining option is available in the form of a tiny snackbar next to the pool, known as the Sand Bar. If none of these catch your eye, the hotel is a very short walk from tons of restaurants and food carts, too!


The pricing on most Disney hotels will fluctuate somewhat depending on the season and level of guest booking. Due to this, you may find the price is cheaper or more expensive than it was when this article was written.

Currently, the price is around three hundred and forty dollars for two adults and one three year old child in a single room per night. This may seem incredibly expensive but you are definitely paying for the experience of staying in a fun hotel so in my opinion, it is worth it if you can swing for the price tag. Larger rooms and more people will work out to be more expensive.

There are also rooms with disability accessibility so be sure to check in before booking if you would like to reserve one of these specialized rooms; the staff will be more than happy to help you book everything you need.

My Experience: Paradise Pier Hotel Review

We have stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel twice and found it to be one of the best hotels available closest to the park.

Our first trip:

For the first trip, we booked it for my daughters birthday. We wanted to take her to experience the Bippity Boppity Boutique and also for us to experience traveling on our own. Being our first family trip on our own and since we were planning on staying at Disneyland for a whole week, we decided to stay at Paradise Pier. At the time we were able to walk through The Grand Californian to make our way into the park, which was a major plus. During the first night we decided to order room service and give the food a try. The food was pricey as expected, however it was delicious and I was craving another serving. The next day we also wanted to give breakfast a try as long as the character wake-up call; my daughter enjoyed both.

We have nothing negative to say about this trip in the slightest. The entire hotel was very clean and housekeeping popped by frequently during our week visit to add towels and such to the room while we were out at the park. To top it all off, when we were a bit tired and checked out of the park early one night we thought we would miss the fireworks but at Paradise Pier you’re able to view the fireworks from the rooftop, music and dialogue included!

Our second Trip:

paradise-pier-surfside-lounge-nachos-supremeThe second visit was even better. We went for my girlfriend and I’s birthday (yes, we share the same birthday). The staff gave us birthday pins when we checked in. On our first day I got a fever, luckily Mickey in Paradise had some Tylenol I could buy. During this trip we actually got the chance to eat at Surfside Lounge, I ordered their Nachos Supreme with beef and I liked it so much I recommended to my girlfriend we eat at Surfside Lounge again just so I can order it a second time.

We did run into one hiccup during our second stay, we found out that we weren’t able to walk through The Grand Californian to enter the park. I talked to the security guard and he said that it was a security change and it was to keep the exclusivity to those staying at The Grand Californian. Nonetheless, we didn’t let this affect our plans. We just woke up a bit earlier than usual to make sure we could enter during magic morning. On our last day we asked for a late checkout, even though we were checked out we asked the staff to hold onto our luggage while we did some last minute Downtown Disney shopping; free of charge! After we got back we still had some time to spare so my girlfriend and I took our daughter to play in the arcade, then went into the lounge room where our daughter watched the T.V. while we sat down and relaxed. Picking up our luggage from the staff was a breeze, just hand them the ticket they give you.

Paradise Pier Hotel Secrets

  1. Play the trivia game! This one is not exactly a secret but many people are surprised to find out this event exists. You can request a trivia sheet from the front desk and find the answers as you walk through the park. Completing it and returning it to the front desk with correct answers will earn you a unique themed prize for free! Do know that park admission is required to play.
  2. Take advantage of the hotel perks! You get early entry to the park with your purchase of a regular entry ticket and booking of a Disney hotel room. Called Extra Magic Hour, this feature allows you to go into the park an hour before the official opening time if you present your valid park admission ticket. Check with the front desk to see if this is available on the days of your stay; times are subject to change and this special entry cannot happen every single day but does occur more often than not.
  3. If you are bringing a large group, call customer service. Paradise Pier can actually accommodate up to thirteen people in one room. This is a massive moneysaver and also allows you to all hang out together without having to move back and forth between multiple rooms! Frugal and fun are two adjectives that certainly fit my dream Disneyland vacation so if I am ever in a large group I will certainly take advantage of this option.
  4. If you want a good view to see into California Adventure and maybe catch a glimpse of the World of Color but do not want to pay the price for the premium suites, ask to be put in rooms 502-518; you may not have the best view but outside of the premium suites these are the best.
  5. Speaking of, if you opt for one of the nicer rooms, ask for 1200–1218, 1300–1318, 1400–1418, 1500, or 1510. These have the best views of California Adventure and the best for viewing events and people watching.
  6. Take advantage of having roof access and climb up to watch the firework show. The hotel even pumps in the music from the show to give a better visualization of what it is like to be in the park during the event. This is perfect for parents with little ones who get overstimulated easily or those who are just too tired from hanging out in the parks all day. Ask the front desk what time the show begins and go up early to get a good spot! It is completely worth checking out!
  7. If you are thirsty, do not waste money on bottled water in the hotel. You can find fruit infused water in a dispenser in the Surfside Lounge. The flavor changes from cucumber water, orange water, and lemon water infusions. It’s a nice alternative to regular water.

Questions and Answers

1. Can I book one of the large party Signature Suites online?

Not at this point in time. All large party suites must be booked through the hotel’s phone line due to the price varying based on group size. There are only a few of these suites available (the Dana Point, the Newport, the Huntington, the Laguna, and the Malibu) so the bookings must be done in advance to ensure that there is space available, as well.

You can call (714) 956-6425 for more information on these rooms, including prices and availability. Be warned, you must be eighteen or older to call or book the rooms and a person of legal age must be at the hotel upon check in.

2. Is there a fee for room service?

Room service is considered a premium service within Paradise Pier. Due to that, you will pay a couple of fees. First, you pay the price of the item itself and the additional tax. Next, the hotel adds on a nineteen percent service charge and three dollar delivery fee to cover the transport and delivery of your item. Please note that there may be a minimum order amount for room service to make things run more smoothly for the staff.

3. Do I have to pay for parking?

Yes and no.

For self parking you do not so long as you have reservations with the hotel.

Guests who are only coming to use the restaurants get a three hour parking grace period or five hour grace period with validation from the Napa Rose Restaurant or Mandara Spa.

Self parking is twenty five dollars per night and valet night time parking is thirty five dollars per night. Valet and serviced parking can also be used during the day for an extra fee, as well. Additionally, electric vehicles can be charged in the parking lot at a limited amount ChargePoint charging ports.

4. Are laundry services available?

The hotel has a twenty four hour laundry room available for usage with the payment of a fee. All machines in this laundry room only accept cards as a form of payment, including the soap dispensing machines and dryers. Dry cleaning services are also available for a fee, as well, alongside other linen services.

About the author


Hi, my name is Jordan and welcome to my blog where I help families enjoy their Disneyland vacation by offering top tips, advice, planning strategies, and insider secrets.

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