Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel, VIP Tours, Club 33 and more

Disneyland offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the Magic of Disney in a less stressful, more nostalgic, and a little different way.

If you have boys (or girls!) who like the Cars Movies or Monster’s Inc, Disneyland offers a lot of fun that isn’t available at Walt Disney World.  Radiator Springs Racers is one of my most favorite rides in all of the Disney Parks!  Some of the rides we remember as children only remain at Disneyland Park like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.  The proximity of the parks to each other and the hotels makes for an easy day, or as I suggest, long weekend, at Disney Parks.

Anyways, I had the honor of being invited to our Gold Key Advisor meeting at Disneyland in October.  Favorite thing from the trip?  Dinner at Club 33, which was truly a bucket list item for me!  I took away so much from the short visit and wanted to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks–

  • DO: Visit during the Fall!  Great Weather, perfect decor, and the Nightmare Before Christmas layover on Haunted Mansion is worth a visit in itself.
  • DO: Make sure to get great seats for World of Color– it is truly magical!
  • DO: Spend more than a day, Disneyland is a 3 day trip in my opinion!

 

As always with any Disney Park, if you can splurge on a Disney VIP guide, do so.  It makes all the difference in a trip and I strongly encourage them for anyone who can only visit the parks for a day or two!

Where to Stay: Being recently remodeled and in the heart of everything, the Grand Californian is always a great option.  I also recommend the Resort at Pelican Hill for those looking for a little more pampering, huge accommodations, an amazing pool and kids club, and more.  Just a 20 minute drive from all of the action in Anaheim, it makes for a perfect place to stay for those who don’t mind the short drive or a great addition to any vacation.

St. Regis Aspen

Aspen is one of my favorite cities in the world.  Very few places in the world offer the arts, culture, shopping, and dining quality on par with New York, Paris, or London all bundled within a small mountain town.  Plus, what isn’t to love about the picturesque Maroon Bells, world class skiing, and summer weather that can’t be beat.

The St. Regis Hotel is iconic within the city.  Situated at the base of Ajax Mountain, just a block from the gondola and two blocks to the famous “Walking Mall,” the location is perfect both in winter and summer.  As the largest 5-star hotel in the city, it offers a variety of room types, all of which are well appointed with Ralph Lauren sleigh beds and marble bathroom vanities.  I love the Deluxe Patio rooms for summer time, which offer ample outdoor space for viewing the mountains.  Suite level and above comes with the Signature St. Regis Butler Service, which, if you are traveling with pets, I would say is definitely worth the splurge (even if you don’t have pets, I was incredibly spoiled by the Butler service).

Definitely 10/10, would St. Regis Aspen again!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

My daughter and I embarked on our annual Mother Daughter Disney trip this year in July, and as any good Travel Advisor would do, we experienced new things and stayed at a resort which we had visited but never stayed at.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom Area of the Walt Disney World property and is the only deluxe resort in that area that is not on the monorail.  This makes the price point significantly lower, generally speaking, but still has easy boat access to Magic Kingdom, so it is a great value for a lot of families.

 

Favorite things about this property:

  • The Restaurants- Whispering Canyon (casual dining option) is a really great time and Artist’s Point (signature dining option) is truly amazing
  • Location and Price Point- For a Deluxe Disney Resort in Magic Kingdom, it’s hard to beat the price point of Wilderness Lodge.
  • The new Copper Creek Villas and Cabins- the newly renovated Copper Creek Villas and Cabins are located within Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the new decor does not disappoint.

Drawbacks:

  • Standard rooms are smaller at this property than many of the other deluxe resorts.
  • Not being on the monorail, should you want to dine outside of the parks it is difficult to visit restaurants other than those on property.
  • The pool area was a disappointment to me.  The water features and even small size of the main pool would make me shy away from this resort during the summer months.

 

Have you stayed at this Disney property?  Would love to hear your thoughts!