Big Kahuna Trip Report May 17, Part 5

Saturday, May 17, Part 5: The “Big Kahuna Suite”

The monorail took us to the Downtown Disney station. I had to laugh because one woman told her daughter that the monorail station had been moved because it used to be at the Disneyland Hotel. Actually, it’s where it always was but several things have happened that may have confused her: Downtown Disney replaced the shops that used to be between the Disneyland Hotel and the monorail, the Olympic-sized pool is gone, and an overpass was created so that part of Downtown Disney was built to go over the street.

So we got off the Monorail and took the long hike to Paradise Pier. Okay, so it’s not that long of a hike from the Monorail but it really is a hike from the parks. And after walking around the parks, you really don’t want an extra hike. There is no transportation to Paradise Pier.

On one of our calls checking to see if our “Big Kahuna Suite” was ready, we were told no, but our picture was. But upon learning that our suite was ready, we headed straight there—all the way up on the 15th Floor—the top floor.

Well, we approached the suite with a set of double doors leading to two separate rooms—1515 and 1517. We inserted the key in the door on the left, walked in, and took a look around. Apparently, we had entered the sitting area of the suite complete with sofa, dining room table, TV, refrigerator, safe and bathroom. But we couldn’t figure out where the bedroom portion of the suite was. We saw a connecting door but it only opened on our side. Hmmm… this didn’t make sense.

We turned around and entered the key to the separate door on the right. It opened and wah-la, it was a regular room with bathroom, king bed, desk, TV armoire, coffee maker and a couch.

At this point you are probably as confused as we were. We didn’t even think to take pictures except for the Mickey Mouse appointments, which we’ll post next. But, really, it was 2 rooms—a standard hotel room and a separate sitting room. We could close the set of double doors but then had to use the key to open each door and prop the door open so we can go from room to room. The sitting room was nice and we’ll tell you more about that later, but this hotel just didn’t feel like a Disney hotel—even with the Mickey décor. And after all of the hoopla, it was a bit of a disappointment—even before we knew about the technical difficulties.

One person on the internet said they were “underwhelmed” with the suite and that’s exactly how we felt. In fact, it was worse than that. I’m getting ahead of the story but I may as well tell you now that we saw Engineering quite a bit as they had to fix at least one thing in the room every single day.

This hotel was “refurbished” in 2004 but it’s still an old hotel. There were nice appointments, nice tile, nice carpet, but there didn’t seem to be any padding underneath the carpet—pure cement—and that really killed tired feet at the end of the day.

But the CMs were absolutely wonderful as we’ll show you throughout the report. And every time they saw us they said, “Congratuations, you’re the Big Kahuna Family.” We smiled because they were so excited for us and it really was nice to get the special attention. But after while what we really wanted to hear was, “Congratulations, you’re the family we’re going to transfer to the Grand Californian.”

The Disney touch was everywhere in the bedroom. The room decor was in keeping with the beach theme of Paradise Pier (which we loved). There were Mickey towel animals and Mickey personal amenities in the bathroom. The bedspread and pictures on the wall were beach-themed. And there were extra Disney touches around the room. Here are a few pics:

Mickey Lamp on Top of the TV Armoire

Mickey Wash Cloth

Lighthouse Lamp on the Desk with Sun-Dial Mirror

Kathy’s “Big Kahuna” Lei

Rich’s “Big Kahuna” Lei and Balloons

You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer