Disneyland stay... DLH Standard vs. PPH Premium

I have heard that Paradise Pier is “fine”. Nothing bad about it, but nothing that really leaves a mark on you. Just “fine”

I’m not sure I’d pay Disney prices for “fine” (okay even I have stayed value at WDW LOL so maybe that’s not true)

I would probably go DLH if these were my two choices.

But we know you’ll book one of them today, change to the other next week, and then go offsite in the end :laughing:

(I hope you don’t mind my teasing you about this LOL I get it because I keep making changes to my own plans, too!)


I hear you. We only stayed there b/c we got a 40% military room discount.

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It’s cool. I was actually off-property to begin with, but have decided to fully commit to on-property as a special treat for this trip. :smiley:

I’m just very nervous reading about some rooms at DLH that seem to have been squeezed into any available space making them very tiny. PPH at least seems to have rooms that are the same size.

I am trying to keep my changes to a minimum with this trip as for DL my TA has to call in any changes, not just go on the computer and make them.

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Yeah I don’t know why that is but it’s wicked frustrating, especially given the time difference

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I haven’t stayed at any of the three onsite hotels. I will stay at both GCH (DVC) and DLH in early November. My friend stayed at PPH and we visited her there. It’s a nice hotel. I think it compares favorably to the WDW hotels, so I think it’s nicer than fine. (Way better than the values and maybe better than the moderates. I have no experience with those other than CSR.) But when you can pay so much less and be just as close off-site … it becomes fine. DLH has the nostalgia factor. GCH has the practically-in-the-park factor. PPH is just not on par with either of those. However, if you get the right view, you might see fireworks from the room! and maybe WoC? Not sure about that one. If you aren’t staying at DLH for nostalgic reasons, I would save money and do PPH.


I have stayed at DLH more than the other 2, it’s the best. Never had a small or bad room. Plus if you don’t like what they originally give you, it is easy to switch. In July they gave us a room with 2 queens but we wanted the sofa pull down bed thing as well. Easy peasy getting them to change it. Stick with DLH, as a Disney fan you will love it.


We have stayed at a DLH and PPH once each so I’ll weigh in on what we liked/loved and didn’t.

We booked DLH as a standard room using Orbitz. We were upgraded at check-in to a view of some kind, ( don’t remember exactly what it was called but it was the Frontierland Tower looking out over the central area where the pool/grounds are, maybe it was a pool view???). The room itself was absolutely amazingly fantastic. I loved every single little tiny detail about it. You just can’t beat the touches they have in there that make it classic Disney magical. For instance, pulling back the curtains to see the monorail slide a bit yonder and the Frontier Mickey floral right under our window. And I don’t know if there will be any finishing touch that compares to the DLH’s classic light-up fireworks headboards. The walk through DTD wasn’t bad at all and the security line at that end of DTD right next to the DLH grounds has never once been backed up, so that’s a definite plus. I will say the probability that a room is small does exist - I could totally see that, but our room that we had ourselves was nice and spacious. But IMHO worth it due to all the other pro’s that exist about the room.

As for PPH, we booked it as a part of an AP special that came with a Fastpass or two, discount and some (small like $20) dining credit. Because PPH also felt a little ‘meh’ to us too, we decided to spring for a park view room to increase the element of magic in our stay. At check-in we were upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite on a high floor and it was most definitely magical. The suite was gigantic (we only ever needed the bedroom and one bathroom part of it, but the gigantic living room suite and whole second bathroom were amazing and would’ve been awesome use of space with a larger group). The hotel itself is quite nice, but nothing about it (except if you have a theme park room) is especially magical and it doesn’t really have grounds to speak of and right now no real dining or restaurants either. You can absolutely watch World of Color from a theme park view room - we brought popcorn up to our room one night and watched it right from our window munching on the popcorn, the TV channel turned on to sync up the music. It was a very fantastic memory. I wouldn’t recommend it for your first viewing of it as the water screens were quite distorted/small/fuzzy and the scale of Word of Color is lost from that distance, but having enjoyed it many times from the pier, it was really neat to have this other opportunity/fun way of feeling very VIP in the comfort of our room watching the show go on below us. We did also very much enjoy our view (overlooking the Pixar Pier/Paradise Garden area of DCA). Our stay happened to coincide with one of the last RunDisney events at DL and so the morning of the run events, the pier was abuzz with the rides lit up and in motion (even with no people on them) just for the runners to enjoy (they were running the Fun Wheel/Pixar Pal-Around, Golden Zephyr and Jumpin’ Jellyfish with no one on them starting from 5am) and we saw the runners making their way through the pier area. Because of that extra activity and buzz in the morning, we extra enjoyed the view. But I’m sure waking up to a theme park view all still and quiet isn’t a bad deal either. It was also lots of fun to be in the park, and point over to our hotel and say “Oh yea, that’s where we’re at”. However, as close and visible as it was from inside the parks and as close as it “looks”, because there is no easy access park entrance for PPH on that side of DCA, the walk is a little long. Not much longer than DLH, but it can feel like a slog when you are tired. It should be noted that on the way to the parks, you must use the DTD security entrance closest to DLH that is somewhat long-ish, and there is absolutely no way you can cross the street and enter GCH to gain access to their much closer proximity to the parks. However, on the way out and back towards the hotel, you’re absolutely able to cut through the GCH and it’s a very nice shortcut to get you back to your room in quick order (unless you need something in DTD on your way back). So knowing that shortcut can help a lot, but it’s only available one-way.

For me personally, being in the room is so limited (because we like to be in parks open- close with sometimes a midday break just for rest/nap) that we really just need a clean space to safely lay everyone down and aren’t looking for much else. But that’s probably why we’ve only done on property twice in our many trips. I would tip towards DLH, but if you think you’d like PPH, then the theme park view is definitely the way to go and it’s a fine option, and like mentioned above, it probably only gets that ‘fine’ designation because the other 2 on-site options have so much more to offer in terms of their theme/charm/location and with the cost, many off-site options are at least on par if not better than what the PPH can provide (for example, while no hotel has ever given me quite that same view of DCA as PPH, there are many high-rise convention area hotels that can give the general feeling of still waking up to the theme park like being able to have a clear view of the Fun Wheel/Pixar Pal Around from the room- and those hotels are a fraction of the cost, about the same distance walking & depending on the chain may include some really nice breakfast options with my stay that is still far cheaper than what PPH would’ve been).

Thanks for all your thoughts. I do appreciate them!

I stayed off-property my only other trip out there, but feel like splurging this time.

I have seen other reports of people being upgraded at DLH, but also reports of people being put in the area that was supposed to be closed because of the construction and not being able to move - so I don’t want to count on an upgrade. And others talk about such different sizes in the same category - one with a “weird” hall to get to the room where the bed was up against the window and there was barely room for a small desk and chair but one with enough floor space to do cartwheels. I expect that kind of variance from older independent hotels in NYC and Europe - not from a fairly modern hotel at Disney.

Likewise the gate at GCH seems to vary. Some vlogs I’ve seen have had no issues and were told they could since essentially Disneyland is saying guests at PPH may utilize the dining options at GCH. Others where people didn’t know if their card would have worked because they went in right after someone or as someone was coming out. And others where there was a guard who said no.

I’ve got a lot to ponder. :slight_smile:

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The DLH is the oldest Disney property being built soon after Disneyland so there are some quirks. I imagine it is fairly modern compared to NYC and definitely to Europe though.

As for the GCH, I think it does vary and it does require Disney to staff security on the sidewalk corner there to screen & ask guests who they visibly see come out of the PPH and approach the GCH entrance. But if you see security standing on that corner then it’s a fair bet they are screening for and sending non-GCH guests who do not have an ADR away. When they are screening, they don’t generally allow you to access GCH just for QS, but will allow you through with an ADR (Storyteller’s or Napa’s). But as with all things Disney YMMV.

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I wonder if this policy has loosened due to lack of dining at PPH? It is entirely possible.


That is what the indication in the vlogs I’ve seen is.

Disneyland’s site doesn’t address it, but it does list “Dining at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa” under dining on the Paradise Pier page and say “Guests of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel can enjoy a variety of dining options available at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa”. So it kind of makes sense that they are allowing PPH guests through it due to dining. But maybe not all the time. (Kind of like parking in resort lots where you’re not staying at WDW without an ADR.)

Not a huge deal for me either way, really. But consistency would be good. LOL.


What I wouldn’t give for this in DL.


Ok completely newbie to DLRs in general
What am I missing here? Is this the park entrance gate?
Again apologies for silly questions i

Or WDW in general.

Apparently there is a gate that is for guests - either of GCH or possibly now with no restaurants open at PPH (or those following someone else in if no guard is there) - that allows you entrance from I think the far end of Downtown Disney? Not 100% on that. LOL. I’m still learning myself.

And speaking of consistency… I’m glad I thought to ask on another forum about Disney Gift Cards at Downtown Disney restaurants! Being used to Disney Springs accepting them, I would have had pretty much just that for food/souvenirs - and been hungry or going to DL hotels or back into the parks!

Unlike Disney Springs where even the non-Disney-owned places take them, NONE of them take them at Downtown Disney.

It’s killing me…Unofficial guide for DLR for this year either didn’t happen or was stopped shortly after and I can’t get my hands on a copy. I pre-orderd a copy for next year but that’s not till at best December.

I did get my hands on an older book but their was no mention of this gate lol

Ok, so there was a very good discussion with maps on the various entrances for GCH to the parks and I’ve tracked down the thread for you @noreen99 and @lizzieanne771 below.

For the purposes of this thread and being a guest at PPH: PPH is just across the street from GCH with a pedestrian light crossing that if you could always use the GCH shortcut would always be the fastest/easiest way to get to the parks. To use the shortcut you would cross the street towards GCH, enter through the main lobby and then navigate from their lobby to either of the two paths to the parks shown in maps in the thread below.

However, since the GCH is outside of the security bubble that encompasses DTD and the two parks, and the space they have for security at the GCH isn’t all that big, if they expect a flux of crowds to try to access GCH they will limit who can enter the GCH at all, especially from the direction of the PPH to not have those chokepoints back-up and give the guests paying the deluxe prices to stay (and dine at the GCH table service restaurants) priority. So it may be that they require you to have business specific to either being a guest/dining with an ADR to enter the lobby of GCH from that main lobby entrance right across the street from PPH. If they limiting the entry, then to get to the parks, PPH guests have to walk towards the Disneyland Hotel which is a total back-track away from the parks, do security at the entry of DTD (with the DLH hotel guests but there is vast amounts of space here for security and lanes are always proceeding clear) to then walk the the entire length of DTD (which is REALLY small compared to WDW - it can be done in under 10 min at a speed walk and a more normal pace is 15 or so min.- so not bad at all). But because of the back-track is remarkably longer than the shortcut through the GCH. And if you’re still confused, go ahead and open the maps in the thread and ask away on any questions you have on it and we can add clarity to the GCH entrances.


I haven’t read all the responses but 1000 times over DLH over PP. from a standard view you may get a fireworks view of Disneyland, it’s a shorter walk and has a wonderful Disney vibe with a fantastic outdoor area.

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Thanks all!

I ultimately decided to go with PPH in a Premium Room (guaranteed TPV). I really like the themeing, the fact that I would not possibly be put next to a construction hole in the ground, more consistent room sizes, etc. I am not one who gets the appeal of sitting in my room watching fireworks (which is not even a guarantee at DLH in standard, so…), so that part really didn’t matter to me. And walking doesn’t bother me - big advantage of living where I walk most places - and even to get to public transportation - rather than hopping in a car to go a couple of blocks away.

And as. bonus, I’m getting a little money back as I’d already paid in full. Once the refund hits, it’s going on a gift card for food.