Want to be at the theme park gates the minute the park opens, and stay even after they shut? Then check out these theme park hotels where you can stay right where the action is.
Even after closing hours the fun never has to stop with excellent entertainment, bucket-list bedrooms and superb perks like fast-track queues and early access to the rides and attractions (plus you don’t have to deal with the traffic jam on the way out…).
Whether it’s your first ever visit to Disneyland or a midterm break closer to home, a night in a theme park resort hotel lets you make the most of your trip while creating some fun-filled family memories that will last forever.
Location: Berkshire, England
Legoland Windsor Resort opened in Berkshire, England in 1996 on the former Windsor Safari Park site. The second Legoland (after Legoland Billund in Denmark), the park is perfect for families with children between the ages 3-12.
Legoland Windsor is split into 12 themed lands which are a mixture of Lego-rides, models, workshops and restaurants. You and the kids can hunt down mummies in Kingdom of the Pharaohs or battle for honour in Knight’s Kingdom – it’s up to you!
There are over 55 rides and attractions where children can fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons, join Lego divers on a magical underwater adventure on Atlantis Submarine Voyage or enjoy the UK’s only Lego Star Wars Miniland Model Display.
Theme park hotel: Legoland Hotel
The experience continues after closing hours in the awesome Legoland Hotel, where visitors can spend the night in one of the fully-themed bedrooms. Set in the very heart of the Lego-themed resort, this is a hotel with a difference; with a spectacular dragon-guarded entrance and interactive features, it promises to be the sleepover to beat all sleepovers.
The hotel boasts a swimming pool, pirate-themed indoor splash pool with slides and water guns, play areas and special little extras such as treasure trails and hidden whoopee cushions. Individually styled in the iconic ‘Pirate’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Kingdom’ or ‘Friends’ motifs, the rooms are complete with either double or bunk-beds, televisions with a dedicated Lego TV channel and a free Lego gift.
Legoland Hotel has perfected the child-friendly dining experience, but it’s not all about the kids. The Bricks Family Restaurant lets mums and dads unwind as the kids enjoy a serving of organised Legoland chaos with colourful characters, great food and patient staff. Alternatively, their Skyline Bar serves drinks and snacks with a connecting outdoor seating area overlooking the lake.
Location: Staffordshire, England
Alton Towers Resort is the second-most popular theme park and water park in England. Operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, the site opened in Staffordshire in 1860 with flower shows and garden tours, until the theme park opened its gates in 1980.
The park is divided into ten themed areas: Towers Street, Mutiny Bay, Katanga Canyon, Gloomy Wood, Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest, Cloud Cuckoo Land, X-Sector, Adventure Land, and CBeebies Land. Face your fears on Oblivion, the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster, experience every single sense in Hex, the incredible multimedia thrill ride or for something more classic, the Runaway Mine Train never fails to disappoint. Visitors can also enjoy the historic Towers and Gardens, which can be seen when travelling on the SkyRide cable car over the park.
Alton Towers is a great mix of thrill rides and family-friendly attractions. Unwind in the water park’s Lagoona Bay or the Lazy River, or enjoy some adrenaline-filled adventure on the Master Blaster Water Coaster. Or why not try your hand at the two fantastical high ropes courses in the captivating Enchanted Village, or test your golf skills on the two wacky nine-hole courses?
Theme park hotel: Alton Towers Hotel
To top off this unforgettable experience, stay in adventure-themed Alton Towers Hotel. Situated right in the heart of the Alton Towers Resort, the hotel offers a unique glimpse into the wonderful inventions of the incredible and eccentric explorer, Sir Algernon Aloysius Alton. There are plenty of quirky features to discover, including the amazing flying ship that crash-landed in the middle of the building.
Next, choose your base for this eccentric escape. There’s the Explorer Room, decorated with some of Sir Algenon’s favourite things, and Themed Rooms for young families, including Postman Pat, Mike the Knight and Peter Rabbit. Make sure you check out the Chocolate Room – it’s a haven for chocoholics of all ages.
Then, after a wild day in the theme park, sit back and relax with good food and even better company in the Secret Garden Restaurant or The Emperor Grill, before you enjoy an evening of entertainment in the terrace of the Hotel Atrium and Dragon Bar. You’ll also get a free English breakfast to set you up for a jam-packed day in the park!
Location: Brühl, Germany
Enjoy an unforgettable weekend with your friends and family at Phantasialand. A family-friendly theme park in Brühl, Germany, it first opened in 1967 and attracts approximately 1.75 million visitors every year. The park is divided into six exciting themed areas: Berlin, Wuze Town, Mexico, China Town, Mystery/Klugheim and Deep in Africa.
Phantasialand’s summer season runs from 1 April to 5 November, with something to offer all the family (both little and big kids alike). As well as boasting the longest family boomerang in the world – the RAIK – the park’s attractions include a mine-train roller-coaster called Colorado Adventure which was opened by Michael Jackson.
Kids come first at Phantasialand. Whether they’re little or not-so-little, they’ll love the imaginative and colourful designs the face-painters create at no extra cost. And with free armbands printed with your phone number, there’s no reason your kids can’t be safe while having the time of their lives. If the adrenaline all gets a bit much, why not take a break and check out the fantastic live shows?
Theme park hotel: Hotel Matamba
Inside the family hotel set within Phantasialand, the mysterious sounds, exotic aromas, tropical plants and traditional masks help conjure an authentic African atmosphere. The hotel is styled after the eye-catching buildings of the Dogon people from Mali and was blessed by African priests before its opening in 2008.
Individually designed, the double and family rooms will see you staying in colonial and safari style interiors with dark, wooden furniture, brightly-coloured fabrics and patterns and artwork lovingly crafted by hand. Most of the rooms have views over the luscious green of the wild gardens.
The Watoto kids’ fun area is behind the tall palm trees in the foyer, featuring a large indoor centre and outdoor Adventure Garden with a climbing course in the Savannah. While the young ones go on an African safari adventure, the adults can relax with a drink in the Jafari Bar before or after a chilled out meal in Restaurant Zambesi or Restaurant Bantu.
Location: Salou, Spain
PortAventura World is one of Europe’s most iconic theme parks, set in the heart of one Spain’s most popular tourist areas, the Costa Dorada near Barcelona. The park attracts around 4 million visitors per year making it the most visited theme park in Spain.
PortAventura World’s five theme areas are based on civilisations (Mediterrània, Far West, México, China and Polynesia), and one theme area inspired by Sesame Street. The 41 rides and attractions for all ages include the iconic Shambhala, which holds three European records and the Huracán Cóndor which plummets vertically from a height of 86 metres at 100 km/h.
In summer, the fun continues at PortAventura Aquatic Park; with 50,000m2 of water-filled fun, it’s home to Europe’s highest water slide and thirteen more attractions in a colourful tropical setting. The second theme park, Ferrari Land, is planned to open on 7 April, 2017.
Theme park hotel: Hotel PortAventura
Hotel PortAventura is designed like a charming Mediterranean fishing village, with direct access to the PortAventura theme park. The resort is beautifully laid out, with winding streets surrounded by lakes, waterfalls and lush vegetation.
Rooms at Hotel PortAventura are distributed in small but beautiful cottages. Go all out and stay in the Deluxe Woody & Friends Rooms, specially designed for the kids and reflecting the fantasy world of Woody, the mascot of PortAventura. For something a little bit more grown-up, the comfortable standard rooms with sea-blue and sandy-coloured interiors transport you to an oasis of calm after a fun-filled day at the park.
Discover authentic cuisine at the Buffet del Port restaurant and Port Regata, where dishes are prepared using the best local produce and are given a twist with international cooking techniques. El Xiringuite serves delicious international cuisine on the open-air terrace facing the pool along with Cafe Saula, where you can sample traditional cakes, pastries, ice cream and milkshakes as well as salads, freshly-cooked pizzas and delicious sandwiches.
Location: Paris, France
The theme park that needs no introduction, few would dispute Disneyland Paris’ reputation for being “the happiest place on earth”. One of the most iconic theme parks worldwide and the most visited in all of Europe, Disneyland Paris has been delighting guests of all ages since 1992.
Fairytales take flight across five incredible lands (Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland), each filled with classic attractions, thrilling rides, fantastic live shows, street parades, shops and themed restaurants. While you’re there, discover the secrets behind the most magical scenes of Disney film and television at Walt Disney Studios Park, with five production zones showcasing legendary moments in motion and the glitz of the silver screen.
Plus, there’s never been a better time to finally check Disneyland off the list – this year, the park commemorates its 25th Anniversary! From 26th March 2017, Disneyland Paris turns into a sparkling wonderland bursting with more magic than ever before!
Theme park hotel: Disney’s Sequoia Lodge
Continue the magic that only Disney truly knows by enjoying the comfort of this cosy mountain lodge setting, surrounded by lush pine trees on the shores of Lake Disney Relax in Disney’s Sequoia Lodge. A 3-star homely retreat at the heart of nature, it’s modelled on the great American national parks and brimming with traditional rustic details, including staff in park-ranger uniforms.
Make yourself at home in cosy lodge-style connecting rooms, with wooden furniture and traditional touches that reflect American crafts from the 19th century. The lovingly-designed themed rooms make the stay picture-perfect, with Bambi and his friends giving the room that extra-special feel.
A piece of Wild West, Hunter’s Grill is a tempting and hearty buffet, while Beaver Creek is a tavern-style restaurant with classic North American dishes. The main building is centred around the magnificent hearth of the Redwood Bar and Lounge, where you can sit by the open fire and relax with a drink and a snack.
Why let the fun stop here? Make a splash with the best hotels with their own water parks.