Disneyland Resort is a bit different from Disney World in that there are only three Disney official hotels, but the resort is surrounded by a number of nearby, local hotels, with some even within walking distance. So…should you stay on property, or venture out? Here’s a pros and cons list of staying in a Disneyland hotel, and you might be surprised!
PRO: Disneyland Hotels are REALLY close
If you stay in one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels, aka Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel (which is being reimagined), or the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you’re RIGHT there on property. You don’t need a bus to get to the parks because you’re smack dab in the middle of the fun, located a short walk from both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park.
Both Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel are just steps from Downtown Disney, and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa even has access directly into Disney California Adventure right from the hotel. Disney recently announced that they are building a walkway so that guests of the Paradise Pier Hotel will also have easy access to Disney California Adventure!
CON: They’re PRICEY
It’s not really a secret that Disneyland hotels will cost you, but they really will eat into your budget. These are not value hotels, and you’re looking at prices on the Disney World deluxe hotel side of the spectrum. Luckily, there are a number of hotels (aka Good Neighbor Hotels) nearby in Anaheim, California, with several hotels within half a mile or less from the parks.
Not only are many local hotels within a short walk, some of them also provide complimentary shuttles to the parks, like the Candy Cane Inn. If you’d rather use transportation to travel back and forth to the parks, you might still have the option!
PRO: Special perks
Traditionally, you’d get special perks for staying in a Disneyland hotel, like Extra Magic Hours, which allowed Disneyland hotel guests an extra hour in the parks before official opening time.
For example, hotel guests could visit Disneyland Park an hour early on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, or Disney California Adventure on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Getting an early start to your day can be a huge help! As of now, however, this perk has been suspended, but Disney recently said that Early Theme Park Entry will be introduced in Summer 2022.
PRO: Delicious restaurants
Disneyland hotels are full of incredible restaurants, like the award-winning Napa Rose, where you can do the Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures, or you can enjoy the breakfast buffet at Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel, among many other restaurants.
Because the Disneyland hotels are located so close to Downtown Disney, you also have a number of restaurants and entertainment to choose from there as well. Visit Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes for burgers and drinks, or go bowling at Splitsville Luxury Lanes!
CON: Expensive restaurants
You’re probably not looking at a small bill if you dine in a Disneyland hotel restaurant, and there’s typically no free breakfast, either. But on the other hand, lots of nearby hotels actually do offer free continental breakfasts.
Good neighbor hotel Candy Cane Inn offers an expanded complimentary breakfast buffet, with a daily assortment of cereals, oatmeal, pastries, eggs, fruit, and lots more. It never hurts to save a little bit of money when you’re on vacation!
PRO: Officially Disney
The Disneyland hotels have fun Disney themes, decor, and details that you might prefer over a more generic hotel. The Disneyland Hotel rooms have headboards that light up with fireworks, as well as rooms themed to Adventureland, Big Thunder, Mickey Mouse, and Pirates.
You’re also experiencing Disney history at the Disneyland Hotel, which opened in 1955. And all the Disneyland hotels are located so close to Downtown Disney that it’s easy to feel fully immersed in the Disney experience, which might be an important part of a Disney vacation for you.
CON: Do you need a Disney theme?
There are nearby Anaheim hotels that also have fun with themes, like the Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites, which is a good neighbor hotel. Not only is it located across from Disneyland Resort, you can even see the Matterhorn and fireworks from some areas of the hotel. And it looks like a castle!
It might not be an official Disneyland hotel, but many local Anaheim hotels still offer a sense of fun that you can’t find at any run-of-the-mill average hotel! You don’t HAVE to stay at a Disneyland hotel to experience a bit of magic.
PRO: Disneyland views
Because Disneyland hotels are located so close to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, you can opt to book a theme park view room with views of Disney California Adventure and beyond. Some Grand Californian Hotel & Spa rooms have quite the view!
Select Disneyland Hotel rooms have views of Downtown Disney, while Paradise Pier Hotel has some great views of Disney California Adventure. Imagine looking right outside your window at the Pixar Pal-A-Round ferris wheel!
CON: Not all Disneyland hotel rooms have good views
Theme park view rooms in Disneyland will cost you extra, and not all Disneyland hotel rooms have views of the parks. However, some nearby non-Disney hotels actually do have fireworks and park views!
The Westin Anaheim Resort is located across from Disneyland Resort, and some of their rooms have views of both Disney California Adventure and fireworks shows. You are looking at higher room rates for park views, even at non-Disney hotels, but the prices don’t necessarily quite reach what you’d be paying for at a Disneyland hotel.
PRO: GREAT pools
Disneyland hotels have some incredible pools, with Disneyland Hotel’s pool area all about nostalgia and retro Disneyland. Not only are there Monorail waterslides, you can also swim in huge D-Ticket and E-Ticket pools.
You can relax in the Mickey and Minnie Spa whirlpools too! Paradise Pier Hotel has a rooftop pool with a waterslide, and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has three different luxury pools. And with California weather, who doesn’t want to go for a dip during your vacation?
CON: There are other great pools
There are nearby Anaheim hotels that also have fun waterpark-type playgrounds, with rooms that tend to cost less money. The Howard Johnson by Wyndham Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground features Castaway Cove, a pirate-themed water playground with water cannons, a waterslide, spray fountains, and more. This hotel is also located directly across the street from Disneyland, which means you’re paying less and still getting some great amenities!
So what do you think? Is it worth it to stay in a Disneyland hotel? Our friends over at Small World Vacations can work with you and your budget to help you decide which option is best for your family. And better yet, their services are 100% free to use!!
Keep reading DFB for more Disneyland and Disney World news!
Would you stay in a Disneyland hotel? Tell us in the comments!