Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Views from Disneyland Hotels

When deciding on which Disney hotel to stay in, some people first compare prices. Others look at the room sizes, amenities, and location. But what about the view a particular hotel has to offer? Does this thought ever cross your mind when planning a vacation?

The three hotels in the Disneyland Resort - the Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel - all share differences in pricing and special offers. But the biggest difference comes when you compare the view outside their windows.

The Disneyland Hotel

The Disneyland Hotel: Is that Space Mountain I see?, 2008.

When you stay at the Disneyland Hotel, you're greeted with fantastic angles of every area in the Resort: Disneyland Park, Disney's California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. You can observe people as they hop on the Monorail just as easily as you can watch the fireworks in Disneyland at night. It's the classic hotel, so it's only natural to have the classic views.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Grand Californian Hotel: The perfect way to end a day in Disneyland. Personal photo, 2007.

It's famous (infamous, even) for having some of the highest prices in Disneyland Resort, so technically Disney's Grand Californian Hotel should have some of the best photo opportunities, right? Well, yes. Depending on where you're at in the hotel, you've got the chance for some amazing views. You can see the entire DCA layout, watch the Disneyland Monorail whiz by, or observe the nightlife in Downtown Disney.

I've stayed at GCH three times in the past, so I've been able to experience each of these (well, except for the Monorail - I haven't been able to see that yet), and can easily say they're well worth the price. Plus, at night you've got a front row seat of the fireworks in Disneyland!

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Paradise Pier Hotel: Wow, I think I can see my house from here!, 2005.

And lastly, the often forgotten Paradise Pier Hotel. Cons aside, this hotel has some amazing views of not only DCA, but Anaheim as a whole. It wasn't named after the section of DCA for nothing, after all! In addition, guests are able to have a bird's-eye view of any parade happening in Disneyland's sister park.

So, what's your verdict? Tell me which hotel you think has the "best" view for the price!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's your favorite land in Disneyland?

Frontierland is just one of your options for this poll! Personal photo, 2005.

In case you haven't already, here's a friendly reminder to vote on the new poll feature concerning your favorite land in the Happiest Place on Earth. Do you prefer the classic Fantasyland, or are you more attracted to the cinnamon smells of Main Street, U.S.A.? Vote now!

After the poll is over, I will write up a post discussing the results and what my answer would be. I plan on creating a new poll every two weeks, so if you've got any ideas for questions, leave me a comment!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New look, same blog

As you may have noticed, the Disneyland Expert has a shiny new look. Finally, there's some color! And a background! Plus, I've added a neat Digg button, so you can recommend my posts to people all over the Internet. It'd be much appreciated!

Let me know your feedback on the updated layout. Also, I'm looking for interesting story ideas, so any of those would be welcomed as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's Going On in Disneyland

On February 8, Disney's California Adventure turned 7 years old! As expected, this occasion brought to light the usual debate over DCA, and many Disney websites are dishing out their thoughts on the good and bad qualities of Disneyland's sister park. What do you all think? Is DCA enjoyable for you, or do you simply walk past the entrance when you're in Disneyland?

Make sure to wish DCA a Happy Birthday! Miro-Foto on, 2008.

In other news, the Associated Press recently announced that Disneyland, along with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and others, will collaborate to build a new version of the 1957 "House of the Future," this time referred to as the Innoventions Dream Home. The Tomorrowland attraction is set to open in May 2008.

On a side note, here are the latest ride closures in Disneyland: King Arthur Carrousel (closed for repairs; opening date unknown), and the Matterhorn Bobsleds (testing and basic repairs; closed February 25 - 27).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More information than you'd ever need on the new Toy Story attraction!

The New York Times published an extensive article today on Disney's California Adventure, discussing its unpopularity among guests (compare 6 million visitors/year to Disneyland's 15 million), and plans for refurbishment.

Disney cast members take a test spin on Toy Story Mania. J. Emilio Flores for the New York Times, 2008.

However, one of the more notable features of the piece was the staggering amount of information on DCA's new attraction, Toy Story Mania. If you've visited DCA recently, it's clear that something major is being built. Now, though, we've got plenty of information to help better imagine what exactly is going on!

  • Toy Story Mania will open in June 2008, after over three years of planning, designing, and building.
  • The attraction is estimated to cost $80 million.
  • The ride is designed to put guests "inside a video game," by having riders wear 3-D glasses and play "virtual-reality versions of classic carnival games" on large screens.
  • If you plan on working at Toy Story Mania, be prepared: Your costume will be based off the outfits of "Toy Story" characters.
  • Mr. Potato Head himself will star as a 5'0" tall animatronic figure in the attraction queue of Toy Story Mania. Spoiler Alert: Much like DCA's Monsters, Inc. ride, where a cast member-controlled animatronic figure of "Roz" makes specific comments about riders, Mr. Potato Head will talk to guests waiting in line.

The original article is much longer than this entry, and features more information about DCA in general. If you'd like to read more, here's the link.