3. Big Thunder Suite, Disneyland Hotel
Rate: $2,500 - $4,000 per night
If rustic is your thing, this suite is the proverbial mothership calling you home. The 1,400 square feet here provides up to six people with a frontiersman’s lifestyle, if and only if the frontiersman were multi-millionaire George Hearst.
No one else during the Wild West days could afford a real bath, much less a knotted dinner table for eight, one of the most basic yet coolest features of the dining area. It’s highlighted by a stagecoach wheel with hanging lanterns above the table, a pair of authentic elements that reinforce the 19th century gold rush nature of the suite.
The Big Thunder Suite is deluxe to be sure, but it’s also a fascinating throwback to a long-lost era of our country. Rather than add modern conveniences, Disney cast members have selected thematic accoutrements such as a stone-hearth fireplace, sliding barn doors, and a magnificent copper tub that seems like something the cast of Green Acres would use if they had Jed Clampett money.
Out of all the Disneyland suites, this one feels like the most passionate tribute to its attached attraction, Big Thunder Mountain. You’ll see what I mean in this video. Even though it’s slightly smaller than the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite and has (arguably) a worse view, Downtown Disney rather than Disneyland, it costs a bit more with a nightly range of $2,500 - $4,000.
4. The Adventureland Suite, Disneyland Hotel
Rate: Around $2,500 per night
You can tell by a recent article I wrote that I’m a huuuuuge fan of Adventureland. I’m also a fan of this suite but for different reasons. There’s something about the décor that feels oddly Indiana Jones-ish. That may not be accidental. Walt Disney’s original goal for the Adventureland hub was to sweep away the theme park tourist, making them feel as if they had been teleported to a faraway land.
The decorations for the Adventureland Suite do just that by displaying artifacts that feel like ones a triumphant archaeologist would bring home to commemorate his favorite adventures. There’s also a bookshelf that a learned world traveler would collate in order to know about all the faraway lands they’re about to visit. Finally, there’s a standalone globe you can spin to determine the next foreign destination you’ll hop on a plane to explore. All of this speaks to me.
If you’re not into the fluff, the 1,800 square feet of Polynesian, African, and Asian designs will still amaze you with their blended majesty. You’ll feel as if you’ve returned from safari and want to enjoy some downtime in your study before whisking away for another daring exploit. When you’re ready to return to California, simply gaze out the window at the Downtown Disney nightlife below or the Disneyland Forever fireworks display above.
As much as anything on this list, the Adventureland Suite has style and verve. You can see for yourself in this video. Of course, at $2,500 a night, it had better blow you away.
5. Mickey Mouse Penthouse, Disneyland Hotel
Rate: $4,000 per night
Considering the exorbitant price of admission for the suites above, you probably think those four rooms offer the utmost in Disneyland accommodations. Unbelievably, you’re wrong. There’s one suite that embodies Walt Disney’s plussing concept taken to its logical extreme. You can claim the penthouse of the hotel that has stood side by side with the Happiest Place on Earth for the past 60 years. If you want to feel like a big shot as a theme park tourist, there’s no better option than this one.
The penthouse of Disneyland Hotel delivers an unforgettable view of all the lands that Walt Disney transformed from orchard groves into the Happiest Place on Earth. Thanks to the floor to ceiling windows, you can look at both Downtown Disney and Disneyland from your suite. You probably want more than just a view for the cost of this place, of course. Fortunately, the Mickey Mouse Penthouse delivers.
There are two bedrooms including a master in this 1600 square foot extravaganza, and the style is basically everything Disney with a splash of art deco thrown in for good measure. The chairs, the closet doors, and the phone feature Mickey Mouse in all his Disney glory. Even the ceiling lighting provides a not-so-hidden Mickey. One of the walls in the media room demonstrates the proper procedure for drawing the famous character that started it all.
People who love Mickey Mouse and Disneyland would enjoy the experience of a lifetime by staying in this suite. Expect to pay around $4,000 for a single night for such a memorable evening, though. You can watch this video to decide if it’s worth the money.
6. Disneyland Dream Suite, Disneyland. Actual Disneyland.
You read that right. As part of the Year of a Million Dreams promotion that began in 2006, Disney Imagineers built an actual hotel suite on the floor above Pirates of the Caribbean. I don’t mean the suite mentioned above, either. I mean the actual boat ride above New Orleans Square in Disneyland. If you stay here, you’ll have the rope drop advantage of a lifetime when the park opens. Then again, you likely won’t want to leave your room.
The Disneyland Dream Suite resides in the prior space of the Disney Gallery. In the process of bringing the suite together, the creators went back to the roots of Uncle Walt. He had previously desired a residence where he could host guests while in Anaheim. Since he spent so much of his time at the park, he requested that his employees build a guest room for him there under the theory that his family would be the primary guests.
Functionally an apartment, this living space was ambitious from the start. Dorothea Redmond, the set designer for Gone with the Wind, embarked on the task of making a home for Walt Disney at Disneyland. The pressure must have been overwhelming. Redmond proved up to the challenge, adding loving details to the blueprints for something she called the Royal Suite.
In October of 2007, Disney officially confirmed the Disneyland Dream Suite, over 40 years after its original planning. Modern designers meticulously followed the plans of Redmond. They also followed the wisdom of Uncle Walt by plussing the suite. The company’s Imagineers wanted it to include ideas that inspired their founder when he built Disneyland. Suffice to say that the Disneyland Dream Suite is special.
From the start, you climb the grand stairs beside Pirates of the Caribbean and then…well, let’s not spoil this one. Enjoy this private video tour of the facility instead. As far as staying at the property, the “easiest” way to do so doesn’t involve money. Unlike a Stairway to Heaven, you can’t buy your way in here. You’ll have to win a contest.
Conveniently, Disney is running one right now, the Diamond Days sweepstakes in celebration of the park’s 60th anniversary. Inconveniently, the odds of your winning are only slightly better than of winning the actual lottery, which is too bad since if you do win the lottery, you still can’t buy a night’s stay at the suite. If you do win the Diamond Days sweepstakes, there’s an additional bonus. Some lucky contest winners also get to be the Grand Marshall for the parade.
7. Presidential Suite, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Rate: Around $2,200 - $3000 per night
There’s more than simply a name to this particular hotel room. Richard Nixon himself was actually staying in this suite on that fateful day in 1973 when he entered the Contemporary’s ballroom below and boldly announced to the world, “I am not a crook!” He was, of course, lying, and that’s why the Watergate scandal ultimately ended his presidency. The seminal historical event adds a backdrop of sincerity to the generally inaccurate term, Presidential Suite.
At the Contemporary, this suite isn’t as elegant as you might expect. As you’ll notice in this video, it’s lacking the usual character inspirations witnessed in most Disney rooms. Instead, it’s a stately residence full of the kind of amenities one would expect but lacking a bit in charm. The “just a room” complaint is one frequently made of the hotel as well as its twin site, Bay Lake Tower. As a huge fan of each, I don’t agree, but if you’re going to Disney to feel like you’re in the warm glow of Mickey Mouse, this isn’t the best option.
If you want to feel like someone who always gets past the velvet rope, however, you’ll love it here. Situated on the 14th floor, it offers more than 2,000 square feet of space and is capable of hosting up to eight guests. While the amenities are nice, the signature feature of the Presidential Suite is a series of five balconies that all provide dazzling perspectives of Magic Kingdom as well as Bay Lake. You’re also right below the vaunted California Grill just above, so you’ll enjoy wonderful food scents as you relax on the balcony.
The most impressive part of the Presidential Suite is the price. Keeping in mind that everything is relative, the nightly rate varies between $2,200 and $3,000. That’s not too shabby for the best suite at the closest hotel to the most popular theme park in the world.