I know how it is, you go on Expedia and see a hundred different hotels pop up for your trip to Disneyland. Without the guidance of an experienced travel advisor you feel lost and overwhelmed.
Well I have been to Disney too many times to count and I am here to break down the best hotels to stay in for every budget when visiting Disneyland.
Disney’s Paradise Pier $$$
Want to stay onsite without breaking the bank? Disney’s Paradise Pier is it! Located across from Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, this property is your entry level to staying onsite. The rooms are a good size and can accommodate larger numbers with super comfy beds – you will want comfort at the end of a long day at the parks. The roof-top pool offers a waterslide – which was a rare find until the past few years. But in the winter months it can be too cool up there to use – even for us Canadians.
Why stay here? Because staying onsite provides many perks! Early admittance to the parks, charge purchases to your room – which to be honest is a little dangerous but so awesome that you never have to worry about carrying cash around! Another perk – parcel delivery. So when your son buys that double lightsaber you can send it back to the room instead of trying to squeeze it on Dumbo. One thing my boys loved was their activity program that offers things like movie under the stars. They set up a movie on select nights outside with little sleeping bags. Ask the front desk for their schedule of activities that are exclusive to Disney Resort Guests.
Downside – it is a bit of a walk to the gates of the park. We would cut through the Grand Californian to get to the parks that way but they have since stopped allowing guests to do so. Another downside is the lack of restaurants around the property.
JetNote final note – Stay here for the onsite perks and the feeling of never ending Disney magic!
Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance $$$
I am not going to lie this is my favourite hotel! Located only a 7 minute walk to the gates (yes, I timed it) with an onsite waterpark and massive rooms. Being a family of 5 now I realize how hard it is for larger families. This hotel saw a need and came to the rescue! Their rooms can accommodate up to six guests with every room featuring two queen beds plus a set of bunk beds. The rooms have a section to store the double stroller, a closet for the luggage with a safe, the bathroom has a shower and toilet separate from the tub and sink area. Which I don’t have to explain how useful this is for families. We stayed 10 days here so the oversized mini fridge housed all of our groceries and then some. Every room comes with a corner table seating area, great place for breakfasts/snack times.
The waterpark is something you will want to write home about! There is something for every age, a splash zone for my little one, a big water play structure for the toddlers/kids and two massive slides for the thrill seeker. Plus a pool, a hot tub, and plenty of lounge chairs/umbrellas to put your feet up. Fun Tip: have your kids ask the lifeguard for a whale. It is such a relaxing area that it felt like I was not at Disney.
This is also a great place to watch the fireworks at night. But my favourite place to watch the fireworks from this hotel was at the fire pits on the main level with the lounge chairs. View isn’t as good but the atmosphere was like your own private escape.
There is a Starbucks on site and lots of restaurant options like Mimi’s, Panera, and McDonalds within minutes. I must also mention the staff were so accommodating, knowledgeable and friendly.
JetNote final note – Stay here for the feeling of escape – you will not regret it!
Howard Johnson Anaheim Waterpark $$
The HoJo is located right across the street from the Courtyard. I recently stayed here for Halloween at Disney, this is my second time staying here. I choose it for the group for the pricing and the location, it is only an 8 minute walk to the gates. Lower priced than the Courtyard they have recently renovated select rooms. We had a room that was not upgraded and it was very dated but spacious and clean. Tip: if you are booking with WestJet Vacations they only offer the basic room category. You can call in after booking to upgrade at a fee.
The Waterpark here is great for kids I would say 10 and under, no thrills but an excellent play area with a pirate ship and one slide. My kids loved escaping to the pool at the back of the property to play games and a little bit of quiet time.
What makes this hotel stand out is the staff! The service was amazing and the front desk staff can make balloon animals! There were pirate hats for the kids upon arrival and the boys made sure to stop by for their gold chocolate coin on the way to parks daily.
JetNote final note – Stay here for pricing, location and amazing staff!
Best Western Stovalls – $$
I have stayed here several times in the past, great for student or value groups. This is one of the few hotels that are close to Disneyland that offer a free breakfast. This hotel is located down the street from the Paradise Pier on Katella. I would say the walking to the gates was at least 15 minutes and you walk through downtown Disney to get there. Rooms are spacious, clean but very basic with a good onsite pool.
The location can seem a little out there if you are used to the other side (as I call it) but surrounding the hotel are great amenities like Coco’s Bakery & Tiffy’s Restaurant. We would often grab a meal and take it back to our room at the end of the day. There is a bus stop close by connecting you to all the Anaheim attractions.
JetNote final note – Stay here for the price and who doesn’t love a free breakfast!
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