Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate offers complimentary parking and breakfast. // © 2017 Marriott International
Feature image (above): Fireworks view rooms at Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance sleep six people. // © 2017 Courtyard by Marriott
Disneyland Resort has three on-site hotels: Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Although there are many benefits to staying at any of them, there are also great off-site hotels for clients visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
A good place to start when looking for off-site hotels near Disneyland is with Disney-approved properties known as Good Neighbor Hotels. All Good Neighbor Hotels must maintain Disneyland’s guest service standards and provide Disneyland Resort transportation, and they are all located near the parks — some as close as across the street.
It’s more cost-effective to stay off-property, according to Marianne Thompson of Avanti Travel in Redding, Calif. She notes that many Good Neighbor Hotels offer Disneyland packages that include benefits such as free nights, free or reduced-rate parking or breakfast when it might not otherwise be included.
These properties also have Disney Desks in the lobby — staffed by official Disney Cast Members — where guests can purchase park tickets and annual passports, as well as make dining reservations. Disney Desk Cast Members can also suggest itineraries and offer insider tips, all with the goal of creating memorable and magical Disneyland vacations.
If skipping ticket lines at the parks isn’t enough, many off-site hotels also offer additional benefits that may make them the perfect choice for families visiting Disneyland.
One reason Disneyland guests stay at Disneyland hotels is for kid-friendly activities and Disney magic. Luckily, families don’t have to miss out on Disney-related fun if they stay off-site.
At Hyatt Regency Orange County’s dedicated Kids Korner, Hyatt staff members lead guests in fun Disney-themed crafts and other activities. Children can also watch Disney movies in a special kid-size area in the lobby and participate in water balloon tosses or scavenger hunts on the third-floor pool deck. Plus, for a sweet ending to the day, families can enjoy Story Time under the Stars and make s’mores at the hotel’s fire pit.
With the exception of suites, Disneyland Resort hotel rooms sleep up to five people, so large families — or groups traveling together — may need more than one room. On the other hand, several off-site hotels offer suite-style rooms that sleep six.
“Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance was the best hotel we've stayed at for Disneyland,” said Kelly Whitty, a mother of four from Vancouver, British Columbia. “The room was spacious with two queens and a bunk bed, which was great for our family of six. We will certainly be staying there again.”
Meredith Wallace of Minnie Memories Travel in Bedford, N.Y., frequently books Good Neighbor Hotels for clients traveling to Disneyland.
“In terms of room size and proximity, you can’t beat Candy Cane Inn,” she said. “It has larger accommodations and is right across the street from the parks.”
Transportation and Parking
Parking can take a big bite out of a vacation budget, so when a hotel offers complimentary parking, that’s a definite plus. For properties close to the parks, walking is certainly an option, but for families who don’t want to walk, a hotel with transportation is a must.
“Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate has complimentary parking and a shuttle that will take you to the parks,” said Abby Smith, a mother of three from San Diego. “Even though it’s not a long walk, it’s nice to know that we have the choice to ride to the hotel at the end of a long day.”
Breakfast and Snacks
There’s a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day — and it’s even more important on a Disneyland day. Feeding a family in a theme park can be expensive and time-consuming, so complimentary hotel breakfast is not only a money-saver; it also frees up time to eat before entering the parks.
“We stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton Anaheim South every time we go to Disneyland,” said Peggy Gordon, a grandmother of two from Phoenix, Ariz. “They have free breakfast, with made-to-order eggs. Plus, they have a happy hour and free snacks we grab for the next day.”
Whitty from Vancouver notes that Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance has a small 24-hour market, which is perfect for picking up drinks, snacks and treats on the way to the parks. And Hyatt Regency Orange County’s grab-and-go spot offers fresh, made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, plus snacks and drinks.
Hotels know that park tickets, meals and accommodations can add up. They also know that offering low rates can attract Disneyland guests to their properties.
“We tend to stay at Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard by Marriott hotels because they have consistent quality for the right price,” said Greg Konkoff, a father of one from Roseville, Calif. “For our family, price is our No.1 concern, but we're not willing to give up quality just to save a buck.”
Seasonal packages and special pricing are also often available at Good Neighbor Hotels to commemorate holidays or special events. Through Nov. 14, guests who book a room for a minimum of three nights and ticket packages at select Good Neighbor Hotels receive the fourth night free. Plus, clients booking Good Neighbor Hotel Vacation Packages with the Walt Disney Travel Company receive extras, including collectible items and Disney PhotoPass photos.