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Reasons to Stay Off-Site When You Visit Disneyland

by Mommy Frog on July 2, 2014 30 Los Angeles

Last week we outlined the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, this week we wanted to go through all of the reasons to stay offsite. 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. Today, we're going to explore the reasons to stay offsite when you visit Disneyland.

Should you stay offsite at Disneyland - Main Street Railroad Station

One of the biggest reasons to stay onsite 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 five-minute walk to the entrance of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. They are even a shorter walk than two of Disneyland's resort hotels, Disney's Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel. Plenty of other hotels are within the 5-10 minute walk range, and still there are plenty more that offer shuttle service to the resort.

Disneyland Tram

Being this close to the park is a big convenience when every bit of time savings helps. It also means when your little tadpoles get tired you can easily leave the park in the afternoons for a nap or a swim and come back later in the evening for Fantasmic! or World of Color. Bear in mind that if you drive yourself to the park, expect to spend a boatload of time navigating the parking garage (although every bit as organized as the parking situation at the Walt Disney World Resort) and then still more time waiting for and riding the tram over to the entrance esplanade during the busiest times.

Even bigger considerations than convenience are price and availability. With only three resort hotels at Disneyland, these hotel rooms are harder to come by and cost considerably more than what you would pay for offsite hotels. During the busiest times, rates are higher simply because the availability isn't there.

Unlike at the Walt Disney World Resort, there is no value option at the Disneyland Resort. Instead, Disneyland has developed a network of Good Neighbor Hotels that it has partnered with to bring you a range of accommodation options at varying price points. With Disneyland partnering with them it is likely they are a clean and reputable lodging option. Here is the list of Good Neighbor Hotels. (Note that if you're looking at pricing on this site, Disney includes the hotels as a package with park hoppers for the same number of days as your stay).

Here are the Good Neighbor Hotels across the street from Disneyland: 

  • Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites
  • Anaheim Fairfield Inn by Marriott
  • Best Western Plus - Anaheim Inn
  • Best Western Plus Park Place Inn - Mini Suite
  • Carousel Inn & Suites
  • Tropicana Inn & Suites

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

We hope you've found this overview of the benefits offsite when you visit Disneyland Resort helpful as you consider a visit to Los Angeles. You'll find more resources and tips inside our Los Angeles Planning Guide.

Hoppy planning!


Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Aug 28, 2016 at 5:22 p.m. Billy Says...

SO we're taking the family to Disneyland early October and I just need some insight bc I have never been. My wife and I have 4 children(1,2,4,6) and I really want to make it as easy and fun as possible. Onsite v offsite hotels, fast passes, magical morning.... So many options and I would like some opinions on what is worth the money so to speak. So Hotels, Passes, Convenience and Packages, really anything would be extremely helpful.

Thank You in Advance,

Blue Collar Dad

Sep 19, 2016 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Billy,

There are a number of offsite hotels on Harbor Boulevard that are a short walk to Disneyland, and you can walk from all the on-site hotels. Having a stroller or two, you'll want to avoid folding them up to put on shuttles and busses (while still holding your baby—it is hard to juggle all that). Whether you stay on-site or off-site, you can request a fireworks view room. You can see and hear the fireworks well from these locations, but they are always better in park, of course. But with tired little ones it is nice to have the option.

If you are early risers and can take advantage of early morning entry (with on-site hotels and certain multi-day tickets), then go for it. If not, then try to go to the other park not offering Magic Morning at opening. Disneyland priorities will be signing up for Jedi Training in the a.m. if your 4- and 6-year-old are interested—spaces go pretty quickly! We recommend hitting Peter Pan and Dumbo early as they get the longest Fantasyland lines. FastPasses for Space Mountain and Indiana Jones are priority early FastPasses.

Your two youngest are free (yay!) and do not need a ticket or FastPasses—they can just go in with your FastPasses if they are tall enough for the ride. FastPasses are free and you will want to acquire Frozen Live FastPasses in the morning. Other morning priority FastPasses in California Adventure include Soarin' and Radiator Springs Racers. They do have height requirements, so be sure to ask about rider switch so both adults can take a turn riding/babysitting without waiting twice. Be sure to visit the Baby Care Centers!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 5, 2016 at 10:16 a.m. Rachel Radcliffe Says...

Hi there - Can you tell me how the Disneyland tickets work? Are they good for a 24-hour period once you enter the park or are they good for a specific date regardless of how late you enter the park? Thanks!

Feb 10, 2016 at 12:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachel,

These tickets can be used at any time. Generally once activated, the ticket (regardless of number of days) expires 13 days later. A three-day ticket would offer admission for three days over a 13-day period.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 25, 2015 at 3:40 p.m. tiggerbs Says...

Summer '14, we rented a townhouse (3 BR; 2 1/2 Bath plus FREE washer/dryer, etc) 5 minutes walking from the tram. It was cheaper than the cheapest, decent motel we could find for each family. We had 2 families. Somehow, I felt very safe walking back to the townhouse @ 1-1:30 AM by myself. It was a great way to experience our 1st time visit to Disneyland! And, great value for our $$ (~ $125/family per night) in prime season of June. Check out rentals too...

May 22, 2016 at 12:07 a.m. M lynn Says...

I too would like to know how you found this town house or if there is a link to view

May 25, 2015 at 8:02 p.m. Wesley Says...

What is the link to the townhomes?

Apr 21, 2015 at 10:24 a.m. notebook Says...

We usually stay at the Disney hotels at WDW Florida & take the Disney transports to other hotels & parks. Why not take advantage of the front entrance drop off rather than waiting again for a tram. If we needed to go outwith of Disney, then we use a taxi or the I4 busses. Some hotels also provide alternative transports to the parks.

Mar 18, 2015 at 9 p.m. Cathy Says...

We LOVED the Park Vue Inn right across from the entrance to Disneyland!! Family Suites & bunk bed rooms. We were very happy there (party of 4, kids ages 5 & 7). p.s. I'm a very picky traveler, who normally stays at 4 star hotels. This "motel" was perfect, clean, hospitable; and had a pool w/ hot tub, free parking, Cold Stone Creamery on site. We'll stay there again for sure!

Feb 6, 2015 at 5:13 a.m. Tina Says...

Don't forget the Howard Johnson Anaheim -- a fantastic family oriented moderate price hotel right across the street. In fact, they cater to folks with kiddos with their Castaway Cove pirate-themed kid swimming pool, an arcade and mini sundries store on-site...and FREE parking. You can walk to the front gates of the parks in about 10 minutes so you really don't need a car; we always use a shuttle from the airport to the hotel. They also offer discounts almost year-round (best in off-peak times) if you follow them on Twitter or ask for the Yelp! discount but call them direct, not the HOJO national 800-number. They also give out Wyndham Rewards if you are part of that club but you'll need to call Wyndham to redeem points for stays at this property. I'm not affiliated with HOJO in any way but I really appreciate this close, clean property and their polite and accommodating staff.

P.S. They also have rooms facing Disneyland just across from the Matterhorn...great for watching fireworks from your room and not fighting the crowds to leave the park at night!

Jun 10, 2015 at 9:28 a.m. David Says...

Tina, do you perhaps work there, or even own it. Sounds very like an advert to me.

Jun 25, 2016 at 8 a.m. M Alan Lauder Says...

Tina is absolutely right. I have never stayed at the Howard Johnson next to Disneyland, but if I could afford it, I would, especially with children. I used to live nearby 30 years ago and always thought it's location was fantastic. You can see and hear the Monorails as they skirt Harbor Boulevard right across the street. Now I live across the ocean and stay with family when I visit. Really a 5 min walk to the crosswalk into Disneyland. Next time maybe with my grandkids.

Jun 11, 2015 at 8:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...


Whether an advert or not, the HoJo is very popular among Disneyland devotees.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 12, 2015 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for sharing, Tina!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 3, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. Bobster1985 Says...

I visited Disneyland quite a few times during the 1990s, and there were always lots of affordable motels just across the street from the park. Have those places disappeared?

Jan 19, 2015 at 9:23 p.m. Donna Says...

No, they haven't disappeared, and are a much more affordable option. They range from small Motel 6 types to Ramada, Best Western and Marriott chains.

Dec 1, 2014 at 6:14 p.m. Niall Says...

I'm a UK visitor and have had several wonderful holidays in the Disney resorts in Ordlando :The pricing of Disney has been quite prohibitive , but when you have children , and both parents work hard, then I feel it is worth paying that bit extra to stay in a Disney hotel, however, a I do know UK and Irish visitors often prefer to stay on I-Drive , as they like to take in Universal and Sea World , and I-Drive is well placed for visiting all the attractions. OK, well, Disney is a bit too "cheesy" for some, but I feel that it shows the very best of America , there really is nowhere like it.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for sharing, Niall.

If you can spring for it, staying on site is a magical experience!

Mommy Frog

Oct 4, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. Ian Smith Says...

Our family and a friends have been twice to Disney World, Florida both occasions stayed in a rented villa less than 10 minutes drive from the Magic Kingdom, Thoroughly enjoyed the immersive experience all the Parks offered but was glad at the end of the day to be able to retreat to our temporary home and pool and chill out away from the full on Disney experience. We also explored the various restaurants along the route to the Park and ate at some lovely places at reasonable expense. Particularly used to enjoy a lovely breakfast at Sizzlers on the way to the park. Friendly staff and warm welcome, every visit.

Home in the evening and trip to local supermarket for some beers and to get photographs printed.

Was a brilliant decision, would love to go again one day.

Sep 11, 2014 at 4:59 p.m. Reg Hooper Says...

I have visited Disney Orlando about 5 or 6 times and have always stayed in Kissimmee. No problems with a car to access all the parks. Only gripe I have is the horrendous cost to a) park and b) parks entrance fees. These people must be making a country's ransom with what they charge. So very many people visit that I am sure the parks would still make a very handsome profit and the punters would benefit also with more frequent visits.

Sep 1, 2014 at 12:21 p.m. RB Says...

Living in the LA area for almost 50 years; I have seen the prices at Disneyland go up and up. It costs close to $100 per person to get in now. Plus, you have to pay for parking and food. To me it has become a big Orange County rip off.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:34 p.m. Marie Says...

I agree with you. It is getting really expensive. We still stay on site but for middle to lower income families it can be a real financial challenge. It seems like the corporation is getting greedier. I don't think G Factor has any compassion toward families with little kids who dream of going to a Disney park and can't afford it.

Sep 15, 2014 at 1:53 p.m. G-Factor Says...

Gas is also $4.00 a gallon now, not 45 cents. I too remember the $25 tickets, but times have changed and things are much more expensive.

The beauty of our country is the fact you can choose what you can and can not do, Don't like the prices? Then don't go! However, if you are on this great site, my guess is you ARE planning to go!

Jul 19, 2014 at 5:37 p.m. Kimberly Buckley Says...

We have been going to Disneyland every year since I was six and since I was ten we have stayed at the same hotel. (I'm 34 now, do the math!) The Candy Cane Inn is a beautiful hotel with a great continental breakfast and is the only hotel left on the same side as Disneyland on Harbor. It's behind Cars Land and a five minute walk but they do trams every fifteen minutes and we just love the people there.

Nov 1, 2014 at 3:19 a.m. craig Says...

agree 100% on Candy Cane. Our #1 motel since 1977.

Jul 16, 2014 at 5:08 p.m. Cindy Trujillo Says...

This passed spring we stayed at the World of Animation I must say we enjoyed staying there, It was only for 2 days but we got to use the shuttle to the park and didn't have to pay $17 dollars each time for parking and we had a 4 day pass, So it was well worth staying at a Disney Resort. Were a retired military family and our 4 day pass was well worth the trip!

Jul 15, 2014 at 8:04 p.m. Gary Ward Says...

Disney World has dozens of cheaper restauranats and motels on US 192 just ouside of Disney World and there are other attractiosn to be enjoyed, some free and family oriented. Whay remain a prisoner of Disney 100% of your vacation?

Apr 8, 2015 at 1:54 a.m. Angela Says...

Who says Disney is holding anyone hostage? The more Disney the merrier I say.

Jul 16, 2014 at 2:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gary,

We generally prefer to stay on site, but there are good reasons for staying off too. It all depends on your family and needs/wants. Thanks for sharing!

Mommy Frog

Aug 4, 2014 at 5:54 p.m. Bigdog Says...

It is much safer on site

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