If your household is like mine, a summertime visit to the Disneyland Resort is just as much about relaxation and low-key fun as it is theme park excitement. We’ve stayed at many hotels in and around the resort, and one of the best parts about being a guest of one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels is never leaving the Disney magic and attention to detail, and that is just as true of the recreation areas as the guest rooms. All three pool areas offer ADA-compliant access lifts, heated water, comfortable lounge chairs, umbrellas and tables. Each pool is also themed to suit the décor of its hotel and offers a variety of extra amenities to make your day in the sun extra fun.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel features a rooftop pool that is accessible from the third floor of the hotel. There’s a fun water slide called California Streamin’ that is reminiscent of a classic boardwalk rollercoaster to complement the Paradise Bay theme and a spa hot tub. The area is cheerful, very sunny, and has a touch of retro charm with vintage-inspired art and bold, bright colors. Slurpin’ USA is a counter service restaurant and bar near the pool, serving items like hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, snacks and beverages.
Our experience: Although this is the smallest of the three resort hotel pool areas, it still boasts many benefits. First, any parent who has supervised a child in a busy public place knows that sometimes, less is more. The layout and containment of the area makes it easier to keep track of kids, and the entire pool and water slide (which ends in a run-out, not the pool) is visible from almost any lounge chair you choose. In my opinion, this is the best pool choice if you’re trying to keep a small or medium-sized group together. If you plan to stay in a Club Level accommodation, you can request a room on the third floor with walk-out access to the pool area directly from your gated patio!
At the Disneyland Hotel, the Monorail Pool features a 26-foot
tall, 187-foot long monorail-themed water slide that empties into a splash pool. There’s an immersive water play area under the slide, as well as a four-foot-deep pool and smaller waterslide for visitors who may not be confident swimmers yet. For a more tranquil swim, you can cool off in the E-Ticket and D-Ticket pools or relax on one of the reclining plush chaise lounges. There are also Mickey and Minnie-shaped spa hot tubs for a leisurely soak.
Our experience: The pool area here is probably the most popular choice for families with school-age children and teens because of the extensive theming and sprawling water play features. For an additional fee, guests can get the VIP treatment in one of the six private cabanas. Check out Kendra’s post for lots of photos and tips on reserving your own poolside paradise for the day at the Disneyland Hotel’s Monorail Pool.
There are three separate pools on property at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and my son particularly especially enjoys the small, preschooler-friendly water slide. The towering centerpiece of the Redwood Pool is a circular water slide that flows around a large tree and into the waters below. You’ll also find two spa hot tubs and an abundance of billowy reclining lounge chairs lining the area—these chairs are probably the most comfortable thing you will ever sit in poolside! Like the other resort hotel pools, fresh towels, life vests, life guards, and beverage services are offered. There are cabanas available for full- and half-day rental here, too, which are located at the north side of the Mariposa Pool for added luxurious comfort during your day by the water.
Our experience: Although the Redwood Pool is themed and you’ll find many children and families enjoying the amenities there on any given day, the ambiance definitely appeals more to adults, with the California Craftsman theme carried outside from the inside of the hotel. The spas here also are the largest of the three resorts, which adults tend to flock to. In addition to readily available poolside service, if your group gets hungry during the swim, White Water Snacks is just a few steps away.
If you’re planning a magical vacation in the next few months, be sure to build some downtime into your busy theme park-touring schedule, especially if you don’t usually take time to enjoy the water recreation the resort hotels have to offer. Some of our favorite family vacation memories have been made poolside at the Disneyland Resort!