How Disney made their stay more Magical

When we visited Disneyland this past year we had such a magical stay at the Disneyland Hotel.  Recently our friend Lois visited Disneyland for the Dumbo Double Dare weekend of races with her two young daughters.  They stayed at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. Please enjoy her story on how Disney made their stay SO Magical!

Disney Magic.  It is a term heard frequently, but who really experiences it? I think it is a term that can apply to many things, the feeling of being at Disney, on vacation, and stepping away from the everyday realities.  It can be something special that happens at the park, seeing a character come to life, seeing the joy on a child’s face when they see that character.  It can be enjoying a special moment with your family.  And then, there is the special touches that Disney does randomly. 

My daughters and I were checking into our hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier, for race weekend.  As we were checking in, we were told by the cast member (earning her ears) that they decided to upgrade us to Big Kahunas, since we were there for race weekend and were running.  It was so special and so unexpected, that it really did seem like magic.  They gave all of us leis, and then took us in front of Surfer Goofy that is in the lobby of the hotel and took our picture.  They gave us a little keepsake photo.  The best part of the upgrade, was that our room was on the 8th floor, and we could look out to see Disney’s California Adventure.  We could see ScreaminOver California, the Mickey Wheel, and Goofy’s Fly School coaster.  It was so much fun to look out the window and see Disney.  It truly added that special touch to our weekend.  Every night, we came to our room with a little piece of chocolate on our pillows, a special touch for the Big Kahunas.  The best part of the room was the Donald Duck poster hanging on the wall, I loved coming into the room to see that! 
Since it was race weekend  that meant early bed times, with no nights in the park until after the races were done. 

Because we had such a great view of DCA, we could see World of Color from our room.  This allowed me to get the rest I needed for the races, but allowed my girls to watch the program.  While we didn’t have a perfect view (you have to be in the park for that), we could see the dancing colors and the water.  We could turn the TV on, and we heard the sounds of the show.  The girls even discovered we could see the fireworks from our room, and a different channel piped in the sound for that.   We even found that Paradise Pier has a great view of the fireworks from the rooftop pool. 

We went to the pool and the girls loved being on a roof and swimming, that was so much fun for them.  However, one day the slide was not working.  We were told on arrival to the pool that we were free to walk over to the Disneyland pool and use their pool, our room keys would work to get us in.  We loved being able to have access to both pools, especially since the pool at the DL hotel has more slides for the kids to play on.  I loved having a nice pool for the kids to play in while I had my feet up to get ready for the next day. 
As far as location, I loved Paradise Pier.  It was close to the start and finish line of all the races, so it was only a 10 minute walk (at most) to get to the races.  The start of all the races went right past our hotel, so that was fun.  The finish of the half marathon was right out the south end of Paradise Pier, then we circled around the back side of the hotel.  We had easy access to the Grand Californian to get into Disney’s California Adventure, without ever a line.  Even tired little girls could make the easy walk back to Paradise Pier from Disneyland without too much complaining.  We had easy access to Downtown Disney.   

We ate two meals at Paradise Pier, one was the beachside barbeque for dinner, and the other was a character breakfast.  Both were in the same restaurant, but each had a different feel.  It was nice to walk downstairs to eat, without having to leave the hotel.  We loved the character breakfast, and Stitch was a hoot.  We had 11 people join us for breakfast after the 10K.  

Was Disney Magic present on our trip?  Absolutely.  We had a great time at Paradise Pier, and I would stay there again if I got the chance.    -Lois

*Photographs in this post are courtesy of


  1. We love Paradise Pier and stayed there for our 1st Anniversary several years back! They truly helped make our time with them extra magical...I'll definitely never forget it! Glad Lois and the girls were able to experience it, too!

    1. We had a great time! I love the location and all the extra touches!!

  2. Paradise Pier sounds amazing! How awesome that you got upgraded! Definitely seemed magical!

  3. I always choose to stay at the DL Hotel since it was the first. However, PP sounds like a great option if we were unable to get the DL property. What fun that Lois and her girls experienced Disney magic. Having spent time with Lois at Princess race weekend, it could not have happened to a nicer family.

  4. Sounds like an amazing time- there is nothing better than Disney!

  5. Looks like a beautiful hotel to stay in!
    I think every time I have been to Disneyland I have stayed at one of the hotels across the street, maybe not as fancy as this, but they were a quick walk to the parks:)

  6. I love it when I get an upgrade!
    I like the theme of the rooms too :)

  7. I would love to stay there! This past January at the Disney marathon, I got upgraded to the Lion King suite at Art of Animation. I seriously almost started crying because A. it was the Lion King which is my favorite and B. I never get upgraded for things. It truly was a magical Disney moment for me too.

  8. How nice!!! I love's such a magical place.


Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today. Some links may contain affiliate links. Some links are just to pages we'd like to share.