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We have taken over 40 trips to Disneyland and we’ve stayed at a number of different hotels around the Disneyland resort. I am sharing my honest thoughts on all the hotels we have stayed at over the years. When it comes to booking the hotel for our Disneyland trips I always check the package deals through Get Away Today, because they always seem to have the lowest prices. Another option is through Costco Travel, their prices are usually a little higher, but their packages often include some bonuses like a gift card. I highly recommend checking out both Get Away Today and Costco Travel to compare prices.
I often get asked if I think staying at a Disneyland hotel is worth the extra cost. I think it’s fun to stay at a Disneyland hotel at least once or twice, but we mostly choose the good neighbor hotels around the resort for a couple of reasons. One, we don’t really spend much time in our hotel, we prefer to hang out at the Disney Parks or at the beach. Second, the prices of the Disneyland hotels are substantially higher, we prefer to go for a less expensive hotel which leaves extra money for Disney treats, meals and souvenirs. We can also make more trips to Disneyland each year by choosing hotels that are less expensive. Another way I get extra money for Disney meals and souvenirs is with the Disney Rewards credit card. I earned $200 in cash for signing up and we used that towards one of our Disney trips. The Disney card is currently offering $150-$300 if you sign up for the card. You can earn a free $150 just for signing up for the no fee Disney Rewards card.
When we started our Disney trips we had a family of 7, since some of our older kids have headed off to college we don’t need large rooms anymore. Plus, many of our trips have just been my husband and I (Yes! We do take kidless trips to Disneyland). You will find that many of these hotels have room options that work well for large families. My favorite hotel that fits 8 is the Grand Legacy (3 room suite). My favorite hotel for 5 is the Fairfield Inn or Tropicana Inn & Suites.
If I had to narrow down my top 5 choices, it would be these hotels, all of which are within walking distance. It really is a huge plus not to have to drive, park or ride the shuttle into the parks.
- Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – If it’s in the budget, this is such an amazing hotel to stay at, the location can’t be beat and we love the perk of getting into the parks 30 minutes before everyone else.
- Grand Legacy at the Park – The walking distance from this hotel is super easy, they have family suites which are great for large families and they have one of the nicest pools of the hotels on Harbour Blvd.
- Fairfield Inn – We love this location for it’s proximity and the fact that there is a Panera Bread in the parking lots which makes breakfast super easy. We also love the fact that it’s a Marriott hotel and we can use our Marriott rewards to get free stays.
- Tropicana Inn – This is a great hotel that is fairly easy on the budget and it is one of the closest hotels to the entrance to Disneyland.
- Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance – This is a great hotel with plenty of room for everyone. The rooms also have a microwave which is really handy. Kids will love the waterpark and pool!
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (4 times) – This hotel is amazing as far as location and ambiance. I love the huge open lobby and the atmosphere with the fireplace and the Craftsman decor. The restaurant selection is great! We love the Craftsman Grill for quick meals and Storyteller’s Cafe for sit down meals. The pool is wonderful. The rooms are lighter and brighter since the remodel and I really like them. The showers are amazing! Each room has a refrigerator and you can find a microwave on each level near the ice machine. Many rooms have amazing views of California Adventure from the balcony, but you will pay extra for those. This hotel is an amazing option if you have the funds and if you have small children, taking them back to the room for a nap is so easy. Keep in mind this hotel does not have tubs, they only have showers. The customer service is great, everyone was very friendly. The pool was only open until 8pm when we visited in January, which is a bummer, because we were hoping to sit in the hot tub after a long day at the parks. I know the pool hours are extended in the summer, but it’s something to check when you are visiting. This is probably my absolute favorite hotel around Disneyland, but the price is often a deal breaker for me. I’d prefer to stay at a less expensive hotel to allow for more trips.
Disneyland Hotel (4 times) – This hotel is completely magical! The rooms are stunning! I love all the little Disney touches you can find around the room and though out the entire hotel. This my favorite of all the Disneyland hotels as far as the rooms and the grounds. The floor to ceiling windows give you a great view and let in a lot of light. In addition to the property being amazing, the restaurant selection here is great too. We love Goofy’s Kitchen for character breakfast and Tangaroa Terrace is a great option too. The only drawback that I see (and it won’t be a drawback for everyone) is the fact that the pool is only about 4 feet deep. This is great if you have little ones, but we were traveling with 4 teens and they weren’t all that impressed with the pool.
Paradise Pier (2 times) – I love this hotel for it’s bright and fun room decor. Again, there are fun little touches around the room that makes your stay a little more magical. It’s pretty cool that many of the rooms in this hotel also have a spectacular view of California Adventure. This hotel is the least expensive of all three Disney hotels. The walk isn’t too bad, especially since you get to walk through Downtown Disney. The elevator at this hotel is really slow though, that was one of the downsides. I honestly would pick a Good Neighbor hotel over the Paradise Pier hotel, I don’t think it’s worth the price for as far away as it is. The pool is pretty basic and doesn’t have the theming that the other two Disney hotels have.
Super Easy Walking Distance
We have found that we love staying within walking distance so we don’t have to bother with parking. The hotels with an easy walking distance to Disneyland are always the hotels I check first. These hotels are located on Harbour Boulevard across the street from the entrance to the Disney Parks.
NEW! Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance (once) I have been wanting to stay at this hotel for awhile, I have heard so many great things from other people. The rooms are very nice with plenty of room. You can find either a king bed or two queens & then most rooms also have bunk beds for the kids. There are also two showers in the rooms too!. We have a room with a view and could actually see the Disneyland fireworks from our balcony. The service was great, and there is a Bistro restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner within the hotel. We love to take advantage of the Panera bread that is super close by, we just order our breakfast and stop by before we head to Disneyland. The pool and waterpark is still by reservation only and that’s a little difficult because it’s not always easy to plan pool time on your Disney days. We wanted to go in the hot tub after a day in the park and unfortunately there wasn’t any openings. If you are driving, valet parking is the only option at this property. This hotel is still a super option if you are looking for something a little nicer than most of the hotels on Harbour Blvd.
Fairfield Inn (7 times) – This is probably the hotel we like the best and use the most. The location is great and the rooms have 2 queen beds and one fold out loveseat so it makes it super easy to sleep 5 people. Many rooms at other hotels only sleep 4. The showers at this hotel are nice, too many other hotels have very low water pressure. There is a Panera Bread in the parking lot (this is a huge plus for us)! We have a Marriott Rewards/credit card so we can often times stay here with our points. There are 2 different rooms at this hotel. You can get a standard room or a deluxe room with a view (the photo above is a deluxe room). Save your money and just go for the standard room. I don’t feel the view is really worth the extra cost.
Best Western Park Place Inn (2 times) – The rooms aren’t over the top amazing, but they are comfortable and there is plenty of space. The staff here is amazing and super friendly. My husband had to make a copy for something business related and he went down to ask if they had a business center so he could make copies. They did not, but they said they would be happy to make the copies for him on their copier. Every time we walked by the desk they would greet us with a great big smile. I am so impressed with the employees here! One drawback is the pool is teeny tiny. If we know we are going to want to swim, I usually skip this hotel because of the pool. Breakfast is free here, but honestly it wasn’t all that impressive and I mostly just stuck to a granola bar in our room.
Grand Legacy at the Park (6 times) There are a couple of reasons we really like this hotel, one of which is they have great options for larger families. Twice now we have stayed in the three room suite, which fits our family of 7 perfectly. The pool at this hotel is a nice size too, it’s much bigger than the other hotels within walking distance. They also have a free snack in the morning, they give you a piece of fruit, granola bar, crackers & a water bottle in a lunch sack. I’m happy to report that they recently updated their wi-fi and it works perfectly now (it was pretty lame before the update).
Tropicana Inn & Suites (5 times) – We recently stayed at the Tropicana Inn & Suites and we will be adding this to our list of Disneyland hotels we will use on a regular basis. The room had a refrigerator and a microwave in the room. It’s not common to find microwaves in hotels near the Disneyland resort. Our room had a King bed and a sleeper chair. They do offer 2 queen beds and a sleeper chair, which makes it a great option if you have 5 members in your family. This hotel is just across the street from the main entrance to Disneyland. I love that it is super close, which is a huge perk. The pool was a little on the small side, so keep that in mind if your family wants to do some swimming.
Anaheim Desert Inn & Suites (once) – This location is fantastic! Just a stone’s throw from the entrance to Disneyland, this is a great place to stay if you enjoy taking breaks in the middle of the day and don’t want a long trek back to your hotel or dislike waiting for a shuttle. While this place may have a coveted spot on Harbor Blvd, the room itself wasn’t exactly top-tier. The shower was old and lightly stained and the beds left much to be desired. Not only that, but the pool was small and located indoors, which definitely feels strange for a place like California. But at the end of the day, this hotel is on the more affordable end, and you get what you pay for. Besides, most of your day is probably spent in the parks anyways, so if you want a great location for a great price, and are willing to give up some of the “luxuries” associated with hotels, this is a good spot! Also, worth noting they have some family suites that can sleep 8-10 people.
Howard Johnson (once) – We finally booked a stay at the Howard Johnson! We’ve been wanting to try this hotel for awhile. The staff was very friendly, We stayed in one of their newly updated rooms and we loved the decor and the layout of the room. The room had a refrigerator and a microwave which is very handy. If you have small children you will love having access to the Pirate’s Cove water playground that is included with your stay. The pool is decent size compared to some of the other hotels that are within walking distance. The one problem we experienced during our stay was the fact that the internet was really bad, most of the time we couldn’t get it to work at all. I did love the fact that we could place on online order for breakfast from Panera & pick it up on our walk to the park.The walk to the parks is about 8 minutes, so not bad at all.
Moderate Walking Distance
Four Points by Sheraton (2 times) – I was very impressed with this hotel. The rooms were nice and the walking distance wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s a straight walk on the sidewalk (over the freeway overpass), you are already on the side of Disneyland, so you won’t need to cross over Harbor Boulevard. One of the things I liked the most about this hotel is that the pool was open 24 hours. Often times when you get back from Disneyland the kids want to swim in the pool (no matter how late it is) or you want to sit in the hot tub and at other hotels the pool is closed. This was a great feature! This hotel has an on-site restaurant too.
Drive or Take a Shuttle
Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel (once) – This hotel has great prices. The further you get from Disneyland the less you will pay. It’s not too far away and the hotel has a shuttle that leaves every 30 minutes, which was super convenient. The shuttle ride takes about 5 minutes. The pool was great and a nice size too. I thought the rooms were spacious, but they weren’t the cleanest I’ve seen. I enjoyed the nice little garden areas around the hotel. The service was great. I enjoyed my stay, but wasn’t wow’d. I would stay here again if it was an amazing rate and the closer hotels weren’t available.
Candy Cane Inn (once) – This hotel is currently under renovation. There are three different room options at this hotel, Standard, Deluxe and Premium. We stayed in the standard room and it was a little on the small side. This hotel includes a deluxe complimentary breakfast with your stay, which is basically cereal, oatmeal, pastries, hard boiled eggs and fruit. Once again the pools is small, but the property is pretty. It does have a Disneyland shuttle from the hotel, but it only leaves every hour and a half during park hours.
Anaheim Marriott Convention Center (once) – We are quite fond of most Marriott properties. This hotel is beautiful and we received excellent service. The beds were super comfy. The wi-fi at this hotel is not free unless your are a Marriott Rewards member. There is a shuttle running to Disneyland, but it is not free. This hotel is very close to the Disneyland Toy Story lot parking lot so you can just walk over there and use the Disney shuttle to take you to the parks. The pool is nice, but it is little shallow.
Sonesta ES Suites (formerly Staybridge Inn & Suites) (2 times) – If you have a large family, I highly recommend this hotel. We booked a 2 bedroom suite which comes with 2 bathrooms (which is really handy when you have 7 people in your family). The rooms here come with a fully equipped kitchens, which is another big plus. The breakfast here is top notch, they give you more than just cereal and bagels. In addition to breakfast there is also an Evening Reception that serves food on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. This hotel is next to an Anaheim Resort Transit stop so you can use that for transportation instead of driving your car and dealing with parking.
Cortona Inn & Suites (once) – For the first time ever we are adding a hotel to the list that we wouldn’t actually recommend. This hotel states that is has free breakfast, free wi-fi and free parking, but they charge a $16 resort fee, so these items aren’t technically free. The room we stayed in had damaged furniture, the sink didn’t have any hot water, I could only find one open outlet (and it wasn’t near the bed). The room does have a microwave (which is rare) and a mini fridge. The pool is on the small side and the breakfast wasn’t all that impressive, mostly cereal, yogurt, sausage patties and square shaped scrambled eggs. This hotel is located near the Toy Story lot so you could walk over and catch the shuttle from the Disney lot. We did get an amazing rate on this hotel, but I think it’s mainly because it doesn’t come with many amenities and because it’s a little further away from the parks.
Hyatt Anaheim Orange County (once) – We love this hotel! It’s gorgeous, there is more than enough room for even our large family. The only drawback is it’s not that close to the parks and you will have to drive in or take a shuttle. We also have a Hyatt Rewards/credit card which is another reason why we like the Hyatt properties. This hotel offers exclusive shuttle service to Disneyland Resort for guests going to and from these theme parks for a daily fee.
NEW! ALO Hotel by Ayres (once) – This best feature about this hotel is the price! If you are looking for a budget-friendly hotel near-ish to Disneyland, this might be a great option for you. It’s actually about 3 miles from Disneyland, so not super close compared to most of our hotel recommendations. We really prefer to stay closer to Disneyland, so we probably won’t choose this one again, but overall we were impressed with the hotel in general. I loved the fact that parking was free (you will find free parking at more hotels the further you drive away from Disneyland). There is a free hot breakfast buffet every morning. It’s even a pet-friendly hotel.
Hotels We Want to Try
While we are happy with so many of the hotels on this list we are always open to trying new properties. Here are a couple we are looking forward to trying in the future.
SunCoast Park Hotel Anaheim – This is a newer hotel that looks like it would be a great option. It gets great reviews, has free breakfast and it looks like the pool is awesome too.
JW Marriott Anaheim Resort As far as Disneyland area hotels go, this is more on the luxurious side, it would be great for a kid-free trip to Disneyland (which we enjoy)!
Westin Anaheim Resort – I haven’t had a stay at a Westin resort that I haven’t enjoyed, so I am looking forward to giving this place a try.
If you have a Disneyland trip planned don’t forget to check the package deals through Get Away Today, they consistently offer the lowest prices I have seen. We have used them on more than 1/2 of our Disney trips and I am always pleased with the service. If you book a package deal you can use the the code THRIVING10 to save an addition $10 off the package price. I’d love to hear about your favorite Disneyland hotels. Do you use the same one every time, or do you like to switch it up? If you have questions about any of these hotels don’t hesitate to ask. I am happy to help!
We have plenty of other Disney posts to help with your vacation planning. Check them out!
- Complete Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Ultimate Guide to Disneyland Snacks
- Complete Guide to Pixar Pier
- Make a custom lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop
- Tips for One Day at Disneyland
- Saving Money when Dining at Disneyland
- 10 of the Best Places to eat Lunch at Disneyland
- 10 of the Best Places to eat Breakfast at Disneyland
- Our visit to Club 33
- Mickey Tic Tac Toe in a Bag
- 7 Reasons I Prefer Disneyland over Disney World
Liz Dickson says
Have you stayed/reviewed any of the hotels at Disney World? or near Universal?
I haven’t actually written up a review list for Disney World yet. We have stayed at quite a few different hotels there too. Nowadays I think it’s important to stay on property for the perks. I do have a review of the Caribbean Beach Resort. You can read it here: https://www.thriftyandthriving.com/review-disneys-caribbean-beach-resort-remodeled-2018/
We’ve only stayed at the moderate resorts so far, one of these days we hope to spring for a stay at one of the deluxe resorts.
When we go but don’t stay on Disney property we usually stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Anaheim Resort Area (on Manchester Ave). It’s like a 7-10 min. walk to Disneyland and they offer free continental breakfast. They have mini fridges and keurigs in each room. We have always had great experiences there. Only downside is, they’ve only got one washer and dryer for the entire hotel. One time we stayed and it poured on us and we needed to do laundry. We had to camp out to use the machines.
Hi! I’m planning my first trip with my twins to Disneyland. They’re 4 and one is special needs. Which hotel (other than the official ones) is the closest door to entrance? I know we’ll need mid day naps and am hoping to get something super close. Many hotels say they’re across the street but that could be across from the parking lot and a 15 min walk 🤦🏻♀️
The closest would Be Best Western Park Place Inn, but the Tropicana is right next door so not too much further. I also think the Grand Legacy is easy walking distance, not too far at all and they have a great pool.
Let me know if you have any other questions! Always happy to chat Disney.