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

by Mommy Frog on March 1, 2019 6 Los Angeles

Hotel Near Disneyland - PinterestWhen it comes to a great Disneyland Resort visit, finding the right place to stay can make all the difference. If you're visiting Disneyland right now — when shuttles and parking trams are not running — staying at one of the hotels near Disneyland becomes extra important, especially for guests who cannot walk long distances or who need to rent wheelchairs and scooters. The one-mile walk from the parking structures may not work for some families, so closer accommodations can make life easier. For those who enjoy the walk, some hotels offer a similar length journey to the parks as the walk from the parking structures. That means you can save some green and time by walking from your hotel!

Hotels Near Disneyland

Our frog family has hopped around many of the different hotels in the Anaheim area. We've gone from luxury to budget and experienced what it's like to stay at a hotel that doesn't sparkle with Disney "magic" but provides a great stay. Today, we're looking at the reasons to stay at one of the hotels near Disneyland. BONUS — We offer discounted rooms on many of the hotels found in this post (as well as the Disneyland hotels on-site)!

When you've found your favorite, click the link or hop over here to book your Los Angeles hotel at a discount! If you need to rent a car, you can bundle a car rental with your hotel stay to save the most money. Many of these hotels are Disneyland Good Neighbor hotels, which is just a fancy term for off-site hotels that Disneyland has identified as ideal for guests.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention there are good reasons for staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. But Disneyland hotel availability is limited and, let's face it, the price tag may be out of some travelers' budgets. This is especially true if you plan to spend most of your time in the theme park and not at the hotel anyway. Those of you who have visited the Walt Disney World Resort know that there are definite advantages to staying on property. This is true at Disneyland, as well — there are just fewer benefits in Anaheim than there are in Orlando. Now that Extra Magic Hour is temporarily unavailable during the Disneyland reopening, staying off-site at Disneyland may have even more appeal.

Hotels Near Disneyland - Crystal Arcade

Some quick Disney history — it's been said that Walt Disney was not too thrilled with motels that popped up around Disneyland after the park opened in 1955. He felt as if the "real world" hotels interfered with the magical experiences he wanted people to feel when approaching his magic kingdom. Part of the reason that Disney World is so large is that Walt wanted to keep outside intrusions away from his parks.

While we toadally understand Walt's thinking, it's a fact that staying at one of the "real world" hotels near Disneyland makes it possible for many families to visit the parks. If your budget doesn't work with the on-property hotels, you can still find clean, safe and affordable accommodations just across the street. After considering the benefits below, you may find staying off-site at one of the many hotels around Disneyland is your preferred way to stay.

Top Reasons to Stay at Hotels Near Disneyland

1. Hotels in every price range — including budget options.

Hotels Near Disneyland - Katella Boulevard

Unlike Disney World, there is no value option at the Disneyland Resort. The three Disney properties — Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian and Disney's Paradise Pier — are in the deluxe to moderate categories for hotels. The other price-driving consideration is availability. With only three resort hotels at Disneyland, these hotel rooms are harder to come by. And during the Disneyland phased reopening, the hotels will reopen in stages. The first hotel to open is Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The other two hotels on property will open at a later date.

Enter the off-site Anaheim hotels (To filter the results, under "Hotel Area" click Anaheim/Disneyland Area.) From national chains to smaller boutique hotels, there are a variety of options at all prices. These competing hotels near Disneyland can drive down prices to rates that are considerably less than those on property.

Lodging takes up a good chunk of a family's vacation budget, and every family travels differently. Some just need a place with clean beds and a shower. Others enjoy amenities such as spas, kid-friendly splash pads and pools, meeting rooms and in-lobby Starbucks coffee. However you travel, your needs — and budget — are covered at one of the many hotels near Disneyland. A few of our favorites almost across the street are the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance and Fairfield Inn Anaheim. The Tropicana Inn & Suites is directly across the street from Disneyland! If you want something more luxurious, the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Anaheim Resort is a bit further down the road but within walking distance for families that do not mind a 20-minute walk. It's near the Toy Story lot and shuttles when that lot is open.

As mentioned earlier, many of these are Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels.

Good Neighbor Hotels closest to Disneyland: 

Full list of Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels:

Even though some hotels have wheelchair rentals practically on-site just across from Disneyland, several companies will deliver a wheelchair or scooter or stroller to your hotel. Hop over to our post on using a wheelchair at Disneyland for options and tips.

2. Close proximity to Disneyland.

One of the biggest reasons to stay on-site at Disney World is the proximity to the parks (versus the relative distance of non-Disney hotels). At Disneyland, this is less of an issue (and in some cases, not an issue at all), as there are dozens of hotels within walking distance of Disneyland (or hopping distance in our case ;) ).

Several of the hotels along Harbor Boulevard are a five-minute walk to the entrance plaza of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park (with security lines, it can take a bit longer to reach the theme park gates). They are even a shorter walk than two of Disneyland's resort hotels, Disney's Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel. Plenty of other Anaheim hotels are within a five- to 10-minute walk of Disneyland. There are many more hotels that offer shuttle service to Disneyland (be sure to call and ask before booking to see if shuttles are running at this time).

Hotels Near Disneyland - Crosswalk On Harbor Blvd

Depending on the time of day and where you stay, it could take you as little five to 10 minutes to get from the Disneyland entrance plaza to your hotel room. That's a huge plus — not just at the start or end of the day — but in the middle, as well. Walking across Harbor Boulevard for a shower, swim, snack or nap for the tadpoles won't eat up your day.

Even if you're not across the street, walking to the park is safe and convenient. On a recent trip, we stayed at the Hyatt Place at Anaheim Resort. Less than a mile from the park, we made the trip numerous times and never felt inconvenienced. The city has made the pathways along Harbor Boulevard are clean, landscaped and well lit. We were among the many families making the way to the park in the day and late at night. Those were excellent days for the Fit Bit steps.

3. Complimentary shuttles to the parks.

Hotels Around Disneyland - Disneyland Shuttle Bus

We get it. You'll be spending enough time walking around the park that you'd like to cut down on walking to the park. There are a number of hotels that offer shuttle service to the parks — some for an additional fee. While you may be stuck with rigid pick-up and drop-off times, these shuttles can give your tired feet a sigh of relief. Again, you'll need to call ahead to find out if shuttles are running and their fee (if there is one).

Some families have the benefit of having Disney giving them a lift. Whuuut? The Toy Story Parking lot, located at Harbor Boulevard and Convention Way, is only a five- to 10-minute walk from many hotels. While this is a parking lot, area hotel guests can hop on one of the shuttles that zoom you right to the Disneyland entrance plaza.

As the Toy Story Lot is currently a regional vaccination site, it may not operate as a Disneyland parking lot for some time. That means taking a city bus or walking from those hotels. The walk from these hotels may be a similar length to the walk from the Disneyland parking structures, so they are still a good option if you have some hop in your step. Just be careful crossing the busy streets with your tadpoles in tow.

4. Convenient access to grocery stores and pharmacies.

Hotels Around Disneyland - CVS on Harbor Blvd

Shampoo. Sunglasses. Bottles of water. These were just a few of the items that we had to purchase while on our most recent visit. We also needed some green from an ATM. If you're staying at a hotel near Disneyland, getting these items elsewhere is usually less expensive than getting them from your hotel's small sundry shop.

Two convenience stores — CVS and Walgreens — are located at the corner of Harbor and Katella Boulevards. These are great spots for last-minute items, soda, snacks and other items you may need. Need a prescription? Diapers? Motion sickness medicine? One of these spots will have it, saving you the hassle of wondering where to find a missing sundry or taking a cab to a drug store. Many hotels do have gift stores or small marketplaces, but they can be pricey and lack variety or specialty items you may need. You'll also find a number of restaurants in the area.

5. Free breakfast!

Hotels Around Dinseyland - French Toast

Don't underestimate the power of breakfast. As we've discussed before, we're big fans of arriving at the parks before the gates open. Arriving early means you'll have relatively short lines for the first hour of your visit. At the same time, you need a big breakfast to satisfy the tadpoles, as well as glorious coffee for yourself.

Many hotels near Disneyland offer a free breakfast buffet every morning. This provides you a great opportunity to fuel up before you hit the park. Our Hyatt Place stay perfectly demonstrates this advantage. Promptly at 6:30 a.m., the hotel's breakfast buffet was ready for us. There were yummy items such as fruit, bread, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, sausage and a potato skillet offering. Also — coffee. With full frog bellies, we hopped down the road and reached the Disneyland gates ready to rock.

One other benefit of a free breakfast — it's free! Assuming that a family of four could spend $40 or more on a sit-down breakfast, you save big by having one meal a day covered! Roll those savings over into your Dole Whip binge.

The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Anaheim Resort Area (as low as $150 a night) has free breakfast. It's about a 15-minute walk from Disneyland. The Homewood Suites by Hilton (as low as $132 a night) has a great breakfast, spacious suites and a lot of room to play and grill outside with your kids. It's about a 20-minute walk from the park, but it's right next door to the Toy Story lot when the lot is in use.

Again, call ahead to make sure the breakfast buffets are still operating right now. Hotels do not always note changes to offerings on their sites.

6. Dining options outside Disneyland.

Downtown Disney has many dining options. However, staying off-site at one of the hotels near Disneyland opens you up to more restaurants. Along Harbor Boulevard, you'll find familiar dining spots such as McDonald's, Panera Bread, Denny's and IHOP. We stopped into The Pizza Press — make your own pizza with a great selection of craft beer.

Hotels Around Disneyland - Anaheim Garden Walk

Just a few steps away from Harbor and Katella is Anaheim GardenWalk. A similar setup to Downtown Disney, this shopping plaza offers up fun dining such as the House of Blues, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and California Pizza Kitchen. You'll find a bowling alley and an escape room, as well. For families who enjoy evening entertainment but don't want to travel back to Downtown Disney, Anaheim GardenWalk is a pleasant option. Candlewood Suites Anaheim Resort is a hotel near GardenWalk. It's about a 20-minute walk to Disneyland, but its affordable price makes it a good option if you want a suite that doesn't break the bank (as low as $105 a night). Another hotel near stores and GardenWalk is Hotel Indigo (as low as $125 a night). The suites sleep up to six. It, too, is about a 20-minute walk to Disneyland.

7. Skip the rental car.

If you stay at one of the hotels near Disneyland, you may be able to skip the rental car. You can walk to the park. That can also save on hotel parking fees that some hotels charge. Of course, if you want to do some sightseeing, you'll want to look into a car rental. You'll need a car to visit Universal Studios Hollywood or the beach. You can rent one nearby if you do not need it for your entire stay. Hop over to our complete guide to Los Angeles transportation options.

8. Kid-friendly pools.

8 Reasons to Stay at a Hotel Near Disneyland on Your Next Trip-Pool Area at the Courtyard Marriott

Even though all three on-site Disneyland hotels have waterslides, you'll find that several of the hotels near Disneyland also have kid-friendly pools and splash pads.

About one block from Disneyland is the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground  (as low as $177 a night). It's close enough to hop back to midday to cool off in the water play area. You can catch the fireworks from some rooms at this location.

Arr, me hearties! If you have a large family of swashbucklers, the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim is just one block from Disneyland. It has a two bedroom, two bath pirate-themed suite that sleeps up to eight people! The tadpoles will love the splash zone no matter which room you stay in.

The Courtyard Marriott Theme Park Entrance has rooftop waterslides and a toadally cool splash pad. It's a short hop from the theme parks and has a fireworks view.

8 Reasons to Stay at a Hotel Near Disneyland on Your Next Trip-Girls at Great Wolf Lodge

The Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim/Garden Grove is a hotel with an indoor water park. It's a bit farther from Disneyland. It's about a six-minute drive, and it's almost a destination in itself. This suite hotel is great for large families.

No matter whether you decide to stay offsite at one of the hotels near Disneyland or at one of the official hotels when you visit, you're bound to have a great time at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Don't froget, you can book hotels near Disneyland at a discount from us! Do you have any experience staying at one of the hotels near Disneyland? Have any tips or favorites to share? Let us know in the comments below!  If you need more trip planning resources, hop over to our Los Angeles Planning Guide

Related: Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

Related: Best Los Angeles Hotels for Large Families

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Aug 12, 2021 at 1:15 a.m. Lynn Harbison Says...

Want to make reservations for April 2022 at Disney Grand Californian and still waiting for Disney to open April of 2022 up. Do you know when this will happen?

Thank you!!!

Lynn r Harbison

Aug 12, 2021 at 12:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lynn!

Rates & availability for 2022 should become available soon, but there is not an exact date for when it'll happen just yet. Our best suggestion is to check back once a week in the meantime.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 16, 2020 at 2:13 p.m. Trace Nyhagen Says...

My wife and I are planning our first childless trip to Disneyland for either this October or next. What close-to the parks hotel do you recommend for a more quiet, romantic time?

May 19, 2020 at 7:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trace!

Disney's Grand Californian is the quietest and most romantic hotel onsite. But it's also the priciest. Offsite, the Sheraton Park Hotel has private balconies, and you can request a fireworks view. It is close to nice restaurants such as Morton's. Also near that area is the Doubletree near the Anaheim Convention Center (you get chocolate chip cookies at check-in).

If you are looking to pair your theme park time with relaxing time at the beach, south Orange County has several great romantic seaside resorts about 30-40 minutes from Disneyland such as the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, Monarch Beach Resort, and The Montage in Laguna Beach. Wishing you and your wife a hoppy trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 7, 2019 at 4:58 a.m. Ausha Benner Says...

Do any of these Good Neighbor Hotels offer Early Magic Hour for Disneyland or DCA? Or do you have to stay at one of the Disneyland hotels on site to receive that perk?

Jul 8, 2019 at 11:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ausha!

At this time, only the Disneyland Resort Hotels (The Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian and Paradise Pier) are the only ones that offer the Extra Magic Hour benefit.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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