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When it comes to a great Disneyland Resort visit, finding the right place to stay can make all the difference. We should know — 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! When you've found your favorite, hop over here to book your Los Angeles hotel at a discount! 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. 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. There are actually more benefits to stay off site at Disneyland.
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. 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.
Here Are Reasons to Stay at the Hotels Near Disneyland
1. There Are Budget Hotels Around Disneyland + More Hotel Options at Every Price
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. During the busiest times, rates are higher simply because the availability isn't there.
Enter the off site Anaheim hotels. From national chains to smaller boutique hotels, there is 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, 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 are the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Anaheim Resort and Fairfield Inn Anaheim.
As mentioned earlier, many of these are Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels.
Good Neighbor Hotels closest to Disneyland:
- Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites
- Anaheim Fairfield Inn by Marriott
- Best Western Plus - Anaheim Inn
- Tropicana Inn & Suites
Full list of Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels:
- Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites
- Anaheim Fairfield Inn by Marriott
- Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel
- Anaheim Marriott Hotel
- Anaheim Marriott Suites
- Anaheim Portofino Inn & Suites
- Anaheim Residence Inn Maingate
- Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn
- Best Western Plus Pavilions
- Best Western Plus Raffles Inn & Suites
- Best Western Plus Stovall’s Inn
- Candy Cane Inn
- Castle Inn & Suites
- Clarion Hotel Anaheim
- Cortona Inn & Suites
- Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
- Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim
- Desert Palms Hotel & Suites
- Doubletree Suites by Hilton
- Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim North
- Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim South
- Grand Legacy at the Park
- Hampton Inn & Suites
- Hilton Anaheim
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
- Homewood Suites Anaheim Resort
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- Hotel Ménage
- Howard Johnson Hotel
- Hyatt House Anaheim Resort
- Hyatt Place at Anaheim Resort
- Hyatt Regency Orange County
- Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate
- Quality Inn & Suites
- Red Lion Hotel Anaheim
- Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area
- Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Convention Center
- Sheraton Garden Grove Anaheim South
- Sheraton Anaheim Hotel
- Sheraton Park Anaheim Resort
- Springhill Suites Anaheim Maingate
- Springhill Suites Anaheim Resort Convention Center
- Staybridge Suites Anaheim Resort
- Tropicana Inn & Suites
2. Some of the Off-Site Hotels are Closer to Disneyland
One of the biggest reasons to stay on site at Disney World is the proximity to the parks (vs. 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 5-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 5- to 10-minute walk of Disneyland. There are many more hotels that offer shuttle service to Disneyland.
Depending on the time of day and where you stay, it could take you as little 5 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. Many Anaheim Hotels Offer Complimentary Shuttles to the Parks
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.
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 5-10 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.
4. Convenient Access to Grocery Stores and Pharmacies
Shampoo. Sunglasses. Bottles of water. These were just a few of the items that we had to purchase while on our 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.
5. Free Breakfast at Hotels Near Disneyland
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.
6. Dining Outside Disneyland
Downtown Disney has many dining options. However, staying off-site at a hotel 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.
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.
No matter whether you decide to stay offsite at a hotel 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 your hotel 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.