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The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland

by Mommy Frog on January 22, 2024
Los Angeles

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When you are looking for a budget-friendly Good Neighbor hotel near Disneyland, you want safety, a close walk and maybe even a free breakfast. The Desert Palms Hotel and Suites check these boxes and then some! We love that the hotel offers suite rooms equipped with kitchens and even some with bunk beds. The location is also close to drug stores, convenience stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Here's our Frog Family guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites in Anaheim — which is only about a 10-minute walk to Disneyland!

Exterior of Desert Palms Hotel

Overview of the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites - Desert Palms Sign sign

The Desert Palms Hotel is located at 631 West Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802. It's right near the corner of Harbor and Katella, about a block from Disneyland. It's only about a half-mile walk to the Disneyland security area on Harbor Blvd. What we love about the location is that you do not have to cross through any major intersections to get to the theme parks. The only crossing is where the Disneyland buses enter and exit the drop-off area, which feels a lot safer than dealing with cars in heavy traffic. The sidewalk is separated from the traffic lanes by plants and trees. We like to keep our tadpoles safe from traffic!

One thing we look for in a hotel is safety. The guest rooms at this hotel open into enclosed hallways. The lobby and access to the hotel are locked at night. You need a room key to get in and get to the elevators.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Breakfast at Desert Palms

Another way we save money is with free breakfast. This hotel has a complimentary breakfast buffet on the fifth floor. It offers some hot dishes, a waffle station, bread, muffins, doughnuts, cereal, juices and cold items such as fruit, cottage cheese and yogurt. Not only that, you can book suites with a full kitchen, which is another way to save money when traveling with a family. Get some groceries and make your own meals and snacks. If you have a big family, book a suite with two bedrooms! You'll be glad you did.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Lobby of Desert Palms Hotel

The Desert Palms Hotel is a deluxe Disney Good Neighbor hotel. So, what does that mean? Good Neighbor hotels are hotels near Disneyland that are not owned by Disney. But they are approved by Disney for quality, comfort and value. A Good Neighbor hotel is authorized to sell Disney Park tickets in the lobby. That being so, you'll want to get the best possible price on Disneyland Park tickets in advance through Undercover Tourist, so you can make your theme park reservations. We do not recommend waiting to purchase at the hotel lobby as park reservations will likely be full at that point.

The lobby has fruit-infused water and a coffee machine (with hot water for tea). Grab a drink as you come and go.

Desert Palms Hotel and Suites Rooms

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland-Bedroom of Desert Palms Hotel

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At this hotel, there are rooms for each kind of family. The resort offers basic rooms that sleep four and suites for families who need more space. There are double deluxe rooms, suites with bunk beds, suites with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and suites with kitchens. You can request a cot if you need one, too. The sofa bed in the suites can act as a double bed. The tadpoles always get extra frogcited about bunk beds! If you want the two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite, book early because this popular room sells out quickly.

You'll want to book as early as possible to have your choice of room type.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Kitchen of Desert Palms Hotel

We stayed in the suite with a kitchen. It includes a bedroom with two queens, a living room with a full pull-out couch, a kitchen and a table for four. The bathroom is divided with a toilet and tub behind the door, and the sink and mirror area outside the bathroom. We like that setup because it makes it easier for the family to get ready in the morning.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen has a refrigerator and freezer, sink, dishwasher, microwave and cooktop. No oven, though. However, there is a coffee maker, along with a selection of coffee and tea for those who need a little extra kick of energy in the mornings. The full-sized fridge has been a lifesaver in keeping our milk cold for the tadpoles!

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Living room and table

Amenities

Here are the amenities at the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites!

Pools

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Suites and Pool Area

The hotel has a heated saltwater pool and a hot tub. It's not a huge pool area, but it will cool you off (or warm you up in the hot tub) just the same. You can relax on the chaises poolside.

Fitness Center 

The hotel has a small gym, perfect for a convenient workout. It's located just off the lobby.

Business Center

You'll find a small business center with a computer and printer in the lobby as well.

Souvenir Shops and Snacks

You can find some souvenirs at the convenience stores and souvenir shops near the hotel. The hotel lobby has a small shop for snacks and drinks.

Kids' Activities

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites - Scavenger Hunt for kids

This tadpole-friendly hotel has a kid area in the lobby with a small table, toys, books and television. Your kids can complete a scavenger hunt. Pick it up at the front desk and return it for a magical surprise!

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites - Kids Area in Lobby

Laundry

Traveling with kids? You might want to know where you can do laundry because messes happen. The hotel has laundry facilities.

Housekeeping

As of early 2024, housekeeping only cleans on the fourth day of your stay. But you can have trash emptied or request fresh towels, linens and coffee at the front desk daily. That policy is subject to change.

ATM

There is an ATM machine right in the lobby.

Parking 

Hotel guests pay $25 per night per vehicle for self-parking (subject to change). There are parking spots around the building or in the garage below. One thing to note is that there is a strict rule only allowing one car per room. You'll receive a paper permit to place on the dashboard of your car during your stay. If you need overflow parking, consider Garden Walk.

Dining at and Near the Desert Palms Hotel

The Desert Palms Hotel offers free breakfast.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites - Food Hall sign and exterior

The hotel also has a restaurant on-site that offers free room delivery. Oasis is a one-stop food hall with a variety of food options. It is open for lunch and dinner from noon until 10 p.m. You can take food to-go or dine at the indoor or outdoor tables.

Desert Palms is located near other nearby restaurants across the street:

  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Starbucks
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Morton's The Steakhouse on Harbor
  • IHOP

There are several restaurants about a 10-minute walk. Here are a few just down the street in Garden Walk (a dining and entertainment district):

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • McCormick & Schmick's Grill
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • P.F. Chang's
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Roy's

There are several restaurants across from Disneyland, about a 10 to 15-minute walk away. Plus, you can always enjoy Disneyland character dining locations at the Disneyland hotels or try a restaurant in Downtown Disney.

The Frog Family's Guide to the Disneyland Hotel - chip

If you decide to walk to the Disneyland Resort hotels for dining, you can make a right out of the Desert Palms Hotel onto Katella and then turn right on Disneyland Drive to access those hotels a little faster than going down Harbor and walking through Downtown Disney.

Room Service

You can request food delivery through Oasis.

What to Consider Before Staying at Desert Palms Hotel

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites - View from across the intersection

If you are deciding between staying at the Palm Desert Hotel as opposed to another hotel near Disneyland, here are a few things to consider ...

Location

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Smiling kids at Disneyland

It's a great location just a short walking distance to both of the theme parks, as well as the restaurants and stores. Whenever we travel with kids, we always seem to need to visit a drugstore for snacks, drinks, umbrellas, medicine, bandages or other conveniences. Well, there is a Walgreens and CVS conveniently right across the street!

That street convenience does come with some traffic noise for rooms facing Katella. We solved it by turning on the air conditioning for some white noise. If you are able, request a room on the other side of the building away from the street.

While this hotel is a little further than the hotels located directly across the street from Disneyland, it does offer a walk without any major intersections (besides the Disney bus entrance). To us, it feels more comfortable and safe than a motel with doors that open to the parking lot.

Budget

This deluxe hotel is more affordable than the on-site Disneyland hotels, with a similar length of walk to the parks as the Disneyland Hotel or Pixar Place Hotel. You can get a room for as low as $238 per night plus tax. You can save money on your room when you book your Desert Palms Hotel stay through Undercover Tourist (psst ... we sell discount theme park tickets too!).

Your stay comes with free breakfast so you can fill up your bellies and save money on food in the theme parks. Also, if you get a room with a kitchen, you can keep your food costs down.

If you are flying in and are there mainly to visit Disneyland, you can skip renting a car, which saves more money. But if you want to explore other areas, you can bundle a rental car with your hotel stay or discount theme park tickets to save even more! Ribbit! 

Decor

The last refurbishment of this location was in 2011. So, although this may not be the newest hotel on the block, it is definitely clean and comfortable.

View 

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - View of Guardians from Back

The view can vary per room. You might be facing the street, with a view of restaurants and other hotels. Or you may be looking over the backside of Disney California Adventure. Some rooms look over the pool.

Vibe

The vibe of this hotel is more family-focused and less corporate. It falls between a resort hotel and one of the many motels in the area. You walk out the door and have options in terms of dining, entertainment, conveniences, shopping and theme parks all within a few minutes walk.

Walking Distance to Theme Parks and Anaheim Convention Center

The Frog Family's Guide to the Desert Palms Hotel Near Disneyland - Walk from Disneyland to the Hotel

We timed our walk at non-peak times. It took about 10 minutes from the hotel lobby to get to the Disney security screening (and vice-versa). Add five minutes for slower walkers and peak times when the sidewalks are more crowded. When you exit the hotel lobby, head to the left and take the sidewalk to the left before the intersection. Walk along Harbor Boulevard to the Disneyland entrance. You'll turn left at Disneyland to get to security. You can access both theme parks and Downtown Disney there.

This location is also a short walk to the Anaheim Convention Center, which is across the street and down a little further on Katella Ave. Garden Walk is an entertainment district just down the street from the hotel on Katella Ave. You can find restaurants, bowling, shopping, music and more there.

Time Spent at Hotel

If you are an open-to-close theme park warrior, you might not be spending a lot of time at the hotel. This is a great hotel for the theme park–centered visitor. It's an official Disney Good Neighbor hotel. There is a small, heated saltwater pool and hot tub to take a dip, but it's not a fancy resort pool area. The short walking distance is nice, and it saves money over staying on-site and parking at the theme parks. It's one of our favorite hotels near Disneyland for people who need a convenient place to stay and for larger families. It's also close enough to go back for a midday nap if needed.

Size of Your Party

This hotel has suites that accommodate larger parties as well as rooms for parties of four. We have a whole post on hotels for larger families. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite has two queens in each bedroom and a pullout. It's popular with large groups.

Security

The hotel lobby is locked at night. You need a room key to access the lobby to get to the elevators. The walk to your room is an enclosed hallway. The room has a safe.

Check here for a hoppin' deal on a room at the Desert Palms Hotel and Suites. If you need Disneyland theme park tickets, you can also get discount Disneyland Resort theme park tickets from your favorite froggy friends. Book a rental car at the same time you book a room to unlock even deeper discounts!

Related: Reasons to Stay at a Hotel Near Disneyland on Your Next Trip

Related: Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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