June 22, 2024

Inside the NEW Villas at Disneyland Hotel!

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The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is now open! This shares photos & video of the standard rooms, plus a peek inside the 1-bedroom, 2-BR, and duo studios. Also, some thoughts on how these compare to

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is now open! This shares photos & video of the standard rooms, plus a peek inside the 1-bedroom, 2-BR, and duo studios. Also, some thoughts on how these compare to Disney Vacation Club’s newest and recently redone resorts at Walt Disney World.

Disney has been marketing the Villas at Disneyland Hotel (VDH) as blending artwork from Walt Disney Animation Studios classics with contemporary designs, offering a celebration of Disney history in the place where it all started. Every space in the 12-story tower at Disneyland Hotel is designed to immerse guests in the storytelling process, bringing to life fan-favorite Disney stories in a variety of themed rooms.

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is the fourth tower at the AAA Four Diamond resort, albeit with a much larger footprint and higher room count size it’s not just a giant rectangle. VDH is located within walking distance of Downtown Disney District, Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure.

Before going through the rooms, let’s discuss the practical side of staying here. If you love what you see and want to immediately go all in, Disney Vacation Club sales for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel are now open. The per point cost is $230, with add-on incentives available for existing Disney Vacation Club Members who purchase VDH. The savings are far less significant for new buyers, unfortunately.

Personally, I would wait until seeing the Villas at Disneyland Hotel before busting out my checkbook and dropping tens of thousands of dollars. But that’s just me–you do you! Although it’s only the second DVC property in California, there should be absolutely no concerns whatsoever about the Villas at Disneyland Hotel “selling out” anytime soon.

Although we anticipate this DVC addition being incredibly popular, it’ll still take years for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel to sell out. So you have plenty of time to take a trip out and see them in person before you commit to buying here and paying upkeep for decades to come.

To that point, one option is trying before you buy. As regular readers know, we’re big fans of renting DVC points. (See How to Save Money Renting Disney Vacation Club Points.) Unfortunately, unless you’re looking pretty far out or book confirmed reservations, availability via DVC point rentals is going to be difficult.

The other alternative is paying a cash rate via Disneyland directly. That’s going to be much more expensive but, on the plus side, you shouldn’t have issues booking. You might be wondering why Disneyland has availability but not DVC or about to shout that “it’s a scam!” In actuality, it’s because so few DVC points have sold, that Disney hasn’t declared all of the inventory. In very reductionist terms, the hotel side still owns most of the nights for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel because the DVC contracts haven’t sold and ‘converted’ to points yet.

On the plus side, there are (very meager) Halloween & Christmas 2023 Discounts on Disneyland Resort Hotels, including the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. If you’re patient, time will be your friend. There’s a near-certainty that discounts will be better and overall prices will be significantly lower from mid-January through early March 2024. Just something to keep in mind.

In the interest of full disclosure before getting going, we were invited to a media preview to tour the new rooms and stay in a studio on opening night at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. That’s why this is a room tour rather than a full review. We already have stays booked at VDH with our own DVC points in the coming months, and we’ll do a comprehensive review based on those experiences. In the meantime, you’re welcome to ask whatever questions you might have in the comments. I’m not shy about editorializing–good, bad or ugly.

Anyway, on with the room tours. I’m not going to caption every photo with text that pertains to the corresponding image, but these are presented with the studio photos first:

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel’s Deluxe Studios sleep up to four guests and are themed to the tales of “Sleeping Beauty” or “The Princess and the Frog.”

Deluxe Studios are the most common room category in the tower. Of the 344 rooms at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, approximately 250 are Deluxe Studios.

These rooms are DVC’s latest designs, very similar to what was first pioneered at Disney’s Riviera Resort. That style of room has since been introduced to many other Disney Vacation Club resorts that have been renovated, and for good reason, member satisfaction surveys give these rooms very high marks.

These studios have made great strides in space-saving design and adding innovative features like the pull-down Murphy sleeper that is somehow both a comfortable couch and a comfortable bed. This is the culmination of a lot of lessons learned by DVC over the last decade. They iterate on past successes, disregard past failures, and come together perfectly. They’re a sharp contrast to the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which are a few years overdue for their own overhaul.

In particular, the new Inova pull-down sofa bed and couch combo is an absolute game-changer.

This is a colossal upgrade over the pull-out couches, and has been a huge hit with Disney Vacation Club members. It has been one of several functional improvements that have really improved the ‘quality of life’ of DVC rooms–while Imagineering has also done a solid job weaving themed design into the upgraded units.

To that point, the Deluxe Studios at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel are tastefully designed, with an animation-meets-modern aesthetic. They look clean and crisp, with nice color choices that pop and give the rooms plenty of personality. If you’re a fan of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, you’ll probably like these.

Personally, I wish they would’ve made this a love letter to Walt Disney’s original magic kingdom, like the rest of Disneyland Hotel. This would have been the perfect opportunity for a Tomorrowland tower, featuring mid-century modern design and self-referential nods to Disneyland history.

I presume this was not done because Disney Vacation Club wanted the tower to be more “mainstream,” but I truly think that underestimates the passion and knowledge of Disneyland fans who are inclined to drop tens of thousands of dollars to commit to staying here for decades to come. Much about the big-picture stylistic choices here perplex me, but I guess that’s another topic for another post (the full review).

Regardless, there’s a ton of texture and detail to the rooms at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, and the interior design exudes a stately quality.

Details like tile wall behind the television, bed frames, patterned carpet, and nice ambient lighting give the room a sense of luxury. Even though there’s a lot that’s “cartoonish” about the rooms–lots of details in ours from the Princess and the Frog–they still feel sophisticated.

My only real complaint is that this is another room that minimizes desk and table space, but this is hardly unique to the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. It’s becoming increasingly common with new Disney designs and in the hotel industry as a whole. If you want a dedicated table, family suites or 1-bedroom accommodations are increasingly the way to go.

As someone who actually uses hotel room desks, I don’t love the trend of removing or minimizing them, but it’s not a huge thing. I can use my laptop on the sofa or in bed. Plus, I think the wall behind the mirror and the whole look of this area really pops. It makes a great first impression, and punctuates the design as a whole.

Another disappointment is the lack of any type of bedding beyond the crisp hospital sheets.

I know I’ve been beating this drum often (too often?) when it comes to new hotel designs, but I mention it here because Disney Vacation Club had been one of the last holdouts when it comes to bed-runners. For a brief period, DVC had bed runners even when they’d vanished elsewhere. That hasn’t been the case in the last few years, though.

The bathrooms in the Deluxe Studio are quite nice, with the kind of lighting, sink, and shower you’d expect of newer DVC rooms. I appreciate the unique mirror. I also like that it’s an actual walk-in shower instead of a bathtub. (Well, I like this for now. I might end up eating those words in a few months or years.)

What I’m not wild about is the shower and sink sharing the same space. For some reason, I was under the impression that the shower and sink would be separated, but instead, it’s the toilet that’s in its own room–but still behind the main door of the bathroom.

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel’s guest rooms are fairly consistent with the concept art, but as with many things, are more impressive when you’re standing in them rather than looking at a flat image on a computer screen.

My first and lasting impression was that the rooms are nicer than I was expecting. Sarah also loves the light-up headboard and the yellow accent window (for lack of a better term) adjacent to the bed.

Here’s a video tour of our Deluxe Studio shot by Sarah:

Next, let’s take a quick look at the Duo Studio:

If you’re looking for more space, you and your family can spread out in a one or two-bedroom villa, sleeping up to five and nine guests, respectively. These rooms are inspired by the vibrant colors of “Fantasia” or “The Princess and the Frog.”

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel should feature 20 two-bedroom villas and 19 one-bedroom villas. These villas include a washer and dryer, comfortable living area, plus a full-size kitchen equipped with all the cookware you need to prepare meals.

Here’s a look at those:

Like other recent rooms, the Villas at Disneyland Hotel’s rooms do a great job of balancing competing interests and guest preferences. They’re simultaneously luxurious, modern, and tastefully decorated with inspiration from Walt Disney Animation Studios films. Achieving this trifecta is something with which Disney has struggled in the past, but they’re increasingly hitting their stride with recent redesigns and new rooms.

My personal preference is for rooms that skew more towards the themed end of the spectrum, as I think that’s what Disney does best. However, it’s also fair to say that Disneyland Hotel doesn’t have an immersive unifying theme in the first place. It’s a self-referential love letter to the park, whereas this tower is one to animation. Same idea, different subject.

However, I can recognize that not everything Disney does needs to cater to my personal tastes. For what Disneyland Hotel is, the rooms hit the right notes. The studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units are on par with the guest rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World.

We’d add that the guest rooms at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel are also superior to the last ‘wave’ of redone rooms, back before the Inova Murphy beds were added. Even though I far prefer the Grand Californian as a whole, these rooms absolutely trounce the old DVC rooms there. It’s not even a remotely close call. At least, for now. Grand Californian should be getting new rooms very soon. (For a comparison of the resorts as a whole, see Grand Californian vs. Disneyland Hotel.)

Ultimately, the guest rooms at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel continue Disney Vacation Club’s recent trend of marrying form with function. The end result is accommodations that look and feel luxurious while also offering plenty of nods to Walt Disney Animation Studios, and have convenient and comfortable features. These rooms are well-appointed, have cute Disney touches, and the craftsmanship generally seems high.

All of this is unsurprising after the last several years–it’s a lot easier to critique exteriors or where they’re building, but the rooms have been exceptional across the board. For prospective or current Disney Vacation Club members wanting a home resort on the West Coast, the Villas at Disneyland Hotel is a strong option. Which is good, because aside from paying a premium for the Grand Californian via the resale market, it’s the only option!

For comprehensive planning advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide for everything you need to know! If you’re considering joining DVC, first be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” with the recommendations in How to Save BIG on Deluxe Disney Accommodations Renting DVC Points.

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of the rooms at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel? Better or worse than you expected? Any particular details or design elements you love or hate? Will you be buying (or do you already own) at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, or sitting this one out? Any questions about VDH? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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