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Disneyland Resort Offers Endless Opportunities for Magical Meetings and Events

World of Color Dessert Party, Disney California Adventure Park

When a meeting planner wishes upon a star, perhaps they’re asking for perfect weather during their event, or a walkable destination with everything their meeting attendees are looking for all in one place. Maybe they’re wishing for a one-of-a-kind venue or experience guaranteed to wow their guests, or perks and packages to make planning a large gathering a bit more affordable.

Disneyland Resort is where all those meeting planner dreams come true.

Banquet-Style Meeting Setup, Disneyland Hotel
Banquet-Style Meeting Setup, Disneyland Hotel

Located less than an hour south of Los Angeles and just a few miles outside of downtown Anaheim, Disneyland Resort consists of three hotels—two of which are particularly focused on conference business. The resort also features Downtown Disney, a dining, retail and entertainment district, and two world-class theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. 

“When you combine all those assets together, all within a walkable distance to each other, it’s a great destination for a conference,” said Robert Donahue, director of sales and services at Disneyland Resort. “We have everything you need onsite within our resort area, and then the added benefit is we’re in Orange County, California, so if groups want to explore and depart elsewhere, whether it’s to the beach or the rest of Orange County, we’re in very close proximity.”

Disneyland Resort is also easily accessible from an airport standpoint, with four serving the destination: John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, Ontario International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, all of which are between a 20- to 90-minute drive away. 

Once clients make it to Disneyland Resort, Donahue said, is when the destination really begins to shine.

“Clients come to us with an expectation of quality without question,” Donahue said. “They really do expect that we will deliver the magic, if you will, and that’s truly our goal. We’re fortunate in that we have the resources available to make sure that every client, every organization that has a conference or event with us really walks away with an exceptional experience.”

[Related: Leave Your Attendees Inspired at the Disneyland® Resort]

Disney Meetings & Events

Those exceptional experiences begin the moment clients decide to host their next meeting or event at Disneyland Resort, as the resort’s team is involved in the planning process from the very beginning. 

Through Disney Meetings & Events, the team at Disneyland Resort helps deliver the “Disney difference,” creating tailor-made meeting or event experiences that incorporate imaginative planning, world-class creative teams, culinary experts and unparalleled service “that only Disney can deliver.” 

“We have the event mangers, or catering and convention services managers, that pick up the client from contract stage to pre-planning, to onsite and post event,” Donahue said. “Our mentality is really to work with the client from the very start, the initial concept, whether it’s the client direct or any number of meeting industry third-party companies that are representing a client to come with a meeting. We’re adept at client direct or third-party discussions to make sure that everybody wins in that equation.” 

The Disneyland Resort team also has access to a number of resources to make these events possible, from unique venues inside and outside the theme parks to an endless array of entertainment choices and two four-star hotels, making Disneyland Resort a perfect fit for everything from intimate executive retreats to gatherings of up to 2,000 attendees and more.

[Related: Disney Announces New Brand Encompassing Group Experiences]

Sequoia Ballroom, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Sequoia Ballroom, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

One of three hotels within Disneyland Resort, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a popular option for group gatherings. The AAA Four-Diamond property is one of very few Forbes Travel-recommended hotels in Orange County, Donahue said, and features 948 guest rooms, including 41 suites, all uniquely designed in the refined Craftsman style and overlooking Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. 

“First and foremost, the distinct Disney difference is what makes this hotel incredibly special,” said Nic Hockman, general manager of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. “We have three gorgeous hotels here at the Disneyland Resort, but this is the only one that was designed from the ground up from our very own Walt Disney Imagineering team, and so there are really incredible components to the story that are so authentic not only to the state of California and the importance of California history and the Arts and Crafts Movement, but also hidden Disney components throughout the property as well. It makes this place incredibly special.”

Upon arrival, guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa make their way through handcrafted stained-glass doors leading into the Great Hall, the hotel’s six-story lobby adorned with massive and iconic chandeliers and a fireplace. Despite the hotel’s grandeur, Hockman said, “you feel like you’re at home.”

Prefunction Meeting Space, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Prefunction Meeting Space, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

“I think that it’s really incredible to be able to have that balance,” Hockman added. “Sometimes when architecture is so big and so grand, you kind of lose some of the coziness that comes along with spaces. And so I think that our design team did a great job of delivering a hotel that is not only distinctly Disney and grand, yet it still feels like home all at the same time. When you think about a place that you want to have meetings and events at, you want it to be notable, and you want it to be memorable.”

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and 18 meeting rooms, including a main 12,000-square-foot ballroom that’s divisible into eight smaller spaces. One of the most notable and memorable gathering spaces within the hotel, though, is the 1,080-square-foot California Boardroom, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired space that pays homage to the playroom he designed for his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois.

“I think that this is perhaps one of the most incredible boardrooms in California,” Hockman said. “It is spectacular. It seats anywhere from 20 to 24 people. When it’s available, I may or may not have my own meetings in there because it’s so special…It features a barrel-vaulted ceiling with these gorgeous stained glass panels on either end of the space. It has one private bathroom and a small phone room for private meetings if you needed to step out. And it has a gorgeous California plein air painting as you enter, so the aesthetic is incredible.”

If there’s any one thing to note about meetings and events at Disneyland Resort, both Donahue and Hockman emphasized, it’s that the opportunities are practically limitless, and the resort’s team will always go above and beyond to ensure that Disney magic is delivered.

“When we bring group groups in and we’re working through what they’re trying to accomplish, our team takes that very seriously and looks to the needs of the individual group or the individual event and finds venues to make it incredibly special in ways that no other hotel anywhere else in the world can do,” Hockman said. “And that’s not to suggest that we’re better than [those hotels]…What I mean is we provide something incredibly unique. We build memories.

“It’s part of our Disney culture to constantly push the envelope and constantly seek opportunities to provide value to our guests,” Hockman added, “and we take that very, very seriously.”

Disney Meetings & Events Logo
Disney Meetings & Events Logo


Disneyland Resort 

Disney Meetings & Events

This article was produced in partnership with Disneyland Resort.

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About the author
Taylor Smith | Content Developer, Destinations and Features

Taylor Smith joined Stamats in May 2022 as a content developer, destinations and features for Meetings Today. Smith has experience covering everything from travel to breaking news and graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in news and magazine journalism. Previously, she’s written for St. Louis Magazine and worked as an editorial assistant and apprentice for Aubree Nichols, who has been published in premier publications such as The New York TimesELLE and The Los Angeles Times.