Top 5 restrooms at Disneyland

When it comes to restrooms, not all of Disneyland's are created equal. You may know which bathrooms to avoid (New Orleans Square's hive of pushing and screaming; Main Street's cramped, poorly ventilated closets), but what are your best alternatives when you've enjoyed the last drop of your souvenir soda sipper? Read on! Because when you gotta go, it's nice to go somewhere quiet, clean, and thoughtfully decorated. Join us as we countdown the top five bathrooms in the Happiest Place on Earth.

5. At Disney California Adventure

DCA has plenty of facilities, but really the only ones worth noting are those on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood Land. The inside of these restrooms is nothing special, and they are quite busy due to their location, but they must receive recognition for the fantastic stonework out front. Reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's Los Angeles Ennis House, the intricate patterns and textures are a perfect fit for the theming of the area. The space's water fountain and plantings are also spot on. These restrooms are just that - a place to rest - and you'll see a lot of people taking breaks that go beyond just waiting for their parties to use the bathroom. Go ahead and join them!

4. At Disneyland

A stop at the Hungry Bear Restaurant restrooms is always a good choice. These bathrooms are located on the lower deck of the Critter Country restaurant, where it's cool and shady in the day and beautifully quiet at night. If you're with a buddy, he or she can sit down at one of the tables surrounding the entrance to the restrooms to wait for you. The Hungry Bear bathrooms are a pretty well kept secret, which, when coupled with their enormous size, means there is never a wait to use them. Inside, notice the complementary patterns on the inside and outside of the stall doors, the textured tiles and relief sculptures in the walls, and the leafy light fixtures.

The so-called King and Queen restrooms are the other go-to at Disneyland. Located between Alice In Wonderland and the backside of the Matterhorn, these facilities are a little bit busy but pleasant nonetheless. Appreciate the castle walls and climbing vines on the outside, then be sure to notice the playing card decor on the inside. Tiles and light fixtures display cheery red hearts, and stall doors feature suits and numbers in black and red. This space is huge and also provides plenty of sinks, but like most Disneyland bathrooms is short on mirror space.

3. Downtown Disney

Leaving the movie theater during your presentation is usually something you try pretty hard not to do. But make an exception the next time you're at the AMC 16 Theaters in Downtown Disney. The women's restroom in particular is stunning. With a light art deco feel to the theater's lobby, the circular banquette in silver upholstery makes perfect sense in the restroom. The ceiling soffit and beveled mirrors are also classic, and check out the makeup mirror for even more deco details.

2. Disneyland Resort Hotels

Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's are beloved for many reasons, not the least of which is their coordinating bathrooms. These two eateries are side by side and share the same kitchen, so it's no shock that their restrooms are variations on the same tropical theme. Unlike many restrooms at the Disneyland Resort, these have music piped in: dreamy, kitsch melodies known as exotica, many of which were composed for the famed 1964 World's Fair. While you're appreciating details like carved tikis and embossed, tribal print door handles, let the steel-string guitars and vibraphones take you away.

Real talk, the Paradise Pier Hotel has almost nothing going for it. They probably should just bulldoze it and start over, but until they come to their senses and do that, take advantage of one nice thing it does have: a great restroom on the second floor. Adjacent to the meeting rooms, a large staircase will lead you up to the only semblance of paradise in the place. Inside, enjoy the lack of people, the beachy furnishings, and the faux plants. Most of all, appreciate the sea glass stone accents on the floors and walls. Those are really nice.

For the best-smelling Disneyland restroom experience, head over to the Grand California Hotel and Spa. On your visit, stop into the facilities nestled between Whitewater Snacks and Mandara Spa, where all the lovely essential oils of the spa are vented directly into the bathrooms. In this case, the experience is about quality, not quantity. The spaces are small (though almost always empty) and well appointed. Take a moment or two with those calming aromatherapy scents and emerge refreshed.

1. And the Winner Is...

Hands down, the best bathrooms in all of Disneyland are those near the ballrooms of the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. Sure, they're beyond some glass doors it looks like you're not supposed to go through. Just go on ahead. Hang a right at the end of that grand hallway and you'll see the fabled restrooms immediately on your left. What makes these ones the best? Fancy wallpaper, framed art, private compartments with floor-to-ceiling walls and doors, and actual towels. Well, washcloths. Need to dry your precious hands on something other than rough, recycled paper? Step in here. Want to wash your face after a long day in the parks? Come on over. Get soaked in the rain and need to dry off? This bathroom's for you. Clean yourself up, replenish your skin with a squirt of lotion, then toss your towels in the wicker basket and depart. You deserve this.

More articles by Autumn Hilden:
Autumn Hilden is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. She has worked for Disney Publishing Worldwide and The Jim Henson Company and is currently writing books for young adults. Disneyland is her happiest place on Earth. You can follow Autumn on Twitter here.