Disneyland Resort Hotel Review – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

 Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa - A Rustic Respite in the City

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa – A Rustic Respite in the City

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Earlier this year we spent one overnight at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa for the first time. We’ve stayed many times at the other two Disneyland Resort hotels, the Paradise Pier Hotel and the original Disneyland Hotel. We were so excited to stay at this rustic respite since we’d walked through it a few times before, simply to admire the lobby. Fortunately our stay met all of our expectations, read on for the full review.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Lobby & Check-in

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa lobby is as you would expect, grand! There are fantastic details at every turn, from the stained glass lamps, classic phones, pretty floral arrangements and sparkling diamond ‘D’ to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. Alcoves around the main lobby are homey and inviting, including a rustic fireplace.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Check-in desk at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

We checked in early on a Saturday morning and there were only a few ahead of us in line but they had a Cast Member asking us a few questions in advance. She then introduced us when we did get to the counter and let them know that we were there to celebrate an upcoming birthday. The Cast Member checking us in was able to write up a birthday button as well as celebration buttons for everyone in our group. While I went through the check-in process, my kids waited in front of a television, seated in tiny wooden rockers.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Our room wasn’t ready yet, so they were able to hold our bags so we could venture into the parks. I was told that I would receive a text message when our room was ready (and I did!) Later in the day, we came back through the lobby to get into bathing suits and there was a man playing the piano in front of the towering stone fireplace. It certainly added even more charm to the grand, yet still cozy, feeling.


The rooms at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel face the lobby. I thought that the noise from below might carry up into the rooms, but we couldn’t hear any noise. In fact the room was very quiet, even thought it was overlooking the front of the hotel and valet area. We had a small balcony with a table and chairs to get fresh air outside and we were able to catch a view of the Monorail as it drove by.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Decor in the rooms doesn’t scream Disney but there are subtle details like the Bambi print on the shower curtain and a picture on the wall of the dwarf’s cottage from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The room was nicely sized, with enough room for our family of five to spread out. We were only there overnight so luggage was minimal (just one big bag) but I can see that space might have been tighter if we’d been staying longer. We were given a bunk bed set-up, alongside a queen bed. There was also a desk against the wall, dresser, closet, sink area and a separate toilet/shower space. In the evening when we returned from the parks, we found a roll-out bed had been made up for our preschooler and each pillow had a chocolate treat!

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

I liked having the sink area separate from the bathroom so we weren’t on top of each other getting ready in the morning. A nice supply of h2O spa products was a plus, including foot rub and after-sun gel. You can be sure these top-notch toiletries came home with me after the trip! My husband appreciated having a coffee maker in the room as well.


We’ve eaten at Storyteller’s Cafe twice (once for lunch and another time, for the dinner buffet). It’s definitely a favorite of ours (read my review on Storyteller’s Cafe here).

Storyteller's Cafe at Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Napa Rose is a fancier dining restaurant so we’ve yet to dine here. There is also Whitewater Snacks which is close-by the pool area and would be a good choice for a quick grab and go meal. Disney’s Grand Californian is very close to the Downtown Disney District and lots of other dining choices. For our morning at the park, we were able to walk into the Downtown Disney District and grab breakfast sandwiches from La Brea Bakery Express.

Pool Area

Just like at the Disneyland Hotel, spending time at Disney’s Grand Californian pool area can easily be an all-day affair! We arrived at the pool midday and couldn’t secure a lounge chair because they were all taken. I’d definitely recommend arriving early if you want a place to rest because I ended up having to sit on a brick wall in the shade while my family was swimming.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

The three pools are beautiful and unique. However they are spread out so you can’t just post yourself in one place if you’re trying to keep an eye on the kids. Fortunately there are very diligent lifeguards there to remind kids about running poolside and keeping a close eye on all the activity.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

The twisty slide was a highlight here, of course! I appreciated the amenities here, like ample bathrooms, cold water and cups, swim diapers for babies and life vests for kids. See also my overview on all the pools at the Disneyland Resort Hotels as well as this post on Traveling Mom about what you can expect at Disneyland Resort pools.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Bottom Line

As with the other hotels at the Disneyland Resort, we felt that our stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa really added to the magic of our vacation. We loved the easy access and guest-only private entrance to Disney California Adventure park. This made swinging back to the hotel for lunch and a swim a simple mid-day break. The Cast Members were efficient and helpful anytime we requested assistance. Our room and all of the hotel was well-kept and clean. Yes, this is the most expensive of the three Disneyland Resort hotels but it easily became a fast favorite of the area hotels simply because of the location. Will we stay here again? Yes, for a one-night splurge we will stay again!

See my other posts about the Disneyland Resort hotels, Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel (click the thumbnail images below). I also have a post on Traveling Mom about the 18 Valuable Reasons To Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed  Disneyland Resort Hotel Review - Paradise Pier Hotel  PIN-18 Valuable Reasons

I received a complimentary stay at Disney’s Californian Hotel & Spa. As always, opinions are my own.

Have you stayed at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels? Which is your favorite and why? Share with me below in the comments!


Disneyland Hotel – Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Welcome to the next stop on the Magical Blogorail. Today we are discussing some of the best Disney resorts around the world.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


The Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California is the first hotel to bear the Disney name. It opened in October of 1955, nearly 3 months after Disneyland opened. There were 100 rooms in five two-story guest room complexes. Guests could book a night for $15.00. Today none of the original hotel buildings from 1955 remain standing however the entire resort has recently undergone drastic remodel that makes it shine brighter than ever.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

I’ve stayed at the Disneyland Resort with my family countless times over the years. Since we live in San Diego, a drive to Disneyland only takes about 90 minutes so our trips were generally just one day and we didn’t often stay overnight. Staying at the Disneyland Hotel was, and still is, a special treat for us. Even though there are technically closer hotels to the Park entrances at much cheaper prices (see my post Disneyland Resort VS. Good Neighbor Hotels), there is just a magic that envelopes you when you stay at the Disneyland Hotel.

Neverland Pool at the Disneyland Hotel

Yesteryears…the Neverland Pool at the Disneyland Resort (circa 2007)

I’ve discussed on this blog before how much we love the pool at the Disneyland Hotel (see my post outlining all the fantastic Disneyland Resort Pools). Shaded by the three resort towers sits the newly re-themed pool area with three retro-styled pools, water slides, cabanas for rent, the Tangaroa Terrace for lunch and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar for drinks.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


I cherish how the Disneyland Hotel pays tribute to its iconic past. In the remodeling process the three towers that make up the Disneyland Hotel were renamed Fantasy, Frontier and Adventure. We have stayed in two of the three (Fantasy and Frontier) and love the unique lobby theme in each. Even at Christmas, the decorated trees in the individual lobbies were in the theme of the tower.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The main lobby and check in for the hotel is inside the Fantasy Tower, which features this enormous light-up map of the Disneyland Park on the wall.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Inside the lobby of the Frontier Tower is a scale replica model of the ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The Disneyland Hotel pool is our favorite place to spend an afternoon and I love that even the pool area pays tribute to Disneyland’s roots.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed


Okay, so we’ll probably never have the opportunity to stay in one, but just knowing the the Disneyland Hotel has the amazing themed signature suites available gives me goosebumps! Which one of the five would you choose?

Adventureland, Fairy Tale, Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean or Mickey Mouse Penthouse?

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Adventureland Suite (Image from

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Fairy Tale Suite (Image from

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Big Thunder Suite (Image from

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Pirates of the Caribbean Suite (Image from

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Mickey Mouse Penthouse (Image from

And if you’re done with corn dogs and popcorn, Disneyland also offers upscale dining at Steakhouse 55 for either breakfast or dinner. Mmmm, you had me at prime rib!


Yes, of course the Disneyland Hotel doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is the house of the mouse and you can find him in subtle (and not-so-subtle ways) throughout the resort. The front entrance of the hotel features statues of Mickey and Minnie.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

The hotel is rife with Hidden Mickeys to find from floor to ceiling and the amazing double headboard houses a magical surprise!

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Along the pathway from the hotel to the Downtown Disney District is Mickey’s huge sorcerer’s hat, that Tinker Bell illuminates with twinkling lights at night.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

There are Disney touches everywhere you look, even in these sweet Minnie & Mickey topiaries just outside the pool grounds.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Do you delight in dining with a slapstick crew? Then Goofy’s Kitchen is for you! We met at least a half dozen characters including a chipmunk who joined us for dinner!

Dining with Chip (or Dale?) at Goofy's Kitchen (circa 2008)

Dining with Chip (or Dale?) at Goofy’s Kitchen (circa 2008)

Want to learn more about the Disneyland Hotel? Guests 14+ can take this complimentary one-hour walking tour, the Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour and discover how the Disneyland Hotel was a part of Walt Disney’s dream of the “Happiest Place on Earth” (reserve a spot at the Guest Services desk).

For more about the Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, click the link where I address Extra Magic Hours, Character Wake-Up Calls and use of an exclusive entrance to the Park.

Disneyland Hotel - Classic, Classy and Character-Kissed

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail | Special Edition : Best Disney Resorts Around the World Loop:

Exercising on Vacation?! – Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

Exercising on Vacation?! - Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

You didn’t get enough of a workout strolling through the Parks? No worries, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort have you covered. There are gyms for breaking a sweat in, pools to cool off in and fun group exercise activities that even take you inside the Park!


I will be totally honest with you: I’ve never worked out on a Disneyland vacation. However, because we live so close my “trips” are usually only overnight and the days are jam-packed with Park walking. If I were to take a longer vacation, I know I’d want to supplement the walking with some cardio or weight training as well. It’s great to know that even while you’re indulging in fried chicken at the Plaza Inn you can still keep up your healthy exercise habits!

Images from

The fitness centers at the Disneyland Resort hotels are well-equipped with treadmills, bicycles (both regular and recumbent), ellipticals, stair climbers, free weights and weight machines. There are lockers available. Use of the fitness centers is complimentary for Resort Hotel Guests. Guests must be 14 years or older to use the fitness centers. Guests 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Eureka Fitness Center at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel – closes at 8 pm daily.

Goofy About Health Club at the Disneyland Hotel -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Mickey’s Beach Fitness Center at the Paradise Pier -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Image from

The pools of the Disneyland Resort offer Guests a refreshing swim, though it might be a challenge getting a decent water-workout during peak times. Early morning or late evening are probably your best bet for getting a space in the pool to exercise. The D-Ticket pool at the Disneyland pool is recommended for lap swimming.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa pools

Disneyland Hotel pools

Paradise Pier pool

Each pool also offers whirlpool hot tubs for relaxing those sore muscles after your workout (or after a long day on your feet in the Park!)

Images from

All Guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels can participate in the Get Up & Go Power Walk. Beginning at 7am, this is a 15-minute, one-mile walk through Disney California Adventure Park. It is led by a Guest Activities Coordinator and free for Resort Guests. Minimum age to participate is 14 years; Guests 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the Guest Services desk in the main lobby to reserve a space.

A Pilates-inspired, non-impact fitness class is held near the Outdoor Fireplace in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This one-hour workout session is appropriate for men and women of all fitness levels. Minimum age to participate is 14 years old. Contact the Guest Services desk upon arrival for the class schedule and to sign up; Reservations are required.

Do you exercise on your Disney vacations? Share below in the comments and please consider signing up for my newsletter so you’ll be notified when new posts are listed.



Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation.

You’re going to Disneyland! So where are you going to stay? The Disneyland Resort is located in the middle of the city of Anaheim and surrounded on all sides by hotels. Unlike Walt Disney World, where the resort is spread out by miles and miles, Disneyland is compact and very walk-able. This means you have tons of choices when it comes to choosing a hotel in the Disneyland area.

This breaks down to two different thoughts:

  • Stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel, which is “on-site”.
  • Or at any other Anaheim area hotel, which would be “off-site”.

Take a look at this  Disneyland Resort Hotels Map to better understand the area. With so many hotels in close proximity, you can definitely stay “off-site” and be able to walk to the front gate in ten minutes! Check out these tips for choosing between a Disneyland Resort hotel and a Good Neighbor Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation.

Bunk beds at Disney’s Grand Californian

Disneyland Resort Hotels

There are three Disneyland Resort hotels, The Paradise PierThe Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

You’ll be immersed in all things Disney from the moment you step onto the property. The restaurants are Disney themed, the shampoo and hand lotion have Mouse Ears, everything from the bedding to the pictures on the walls will be Disney themed. And if you have a park view room, even what you see out the window will be Disney themed because it will overlook the parks!

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels

I have stayed at all three Disneyland Resort hotels and each one has their own charm. Check out these posts with in-depth reviews on each hotel (click the thumbnail)

Disneyland Hotel-PIN  Disneyland Resort Hotel Review  Paradise Pier-PIN

Good-Neighbors Hotels

Disney has an online list of Good Neighbor Hotels including a comparison chart. I have stayed at about 10 of these hotels. Some good (Some not so good!) Keep reading for the breakdown on choosing between a Disneyland Resort Hotel versus a Good Neighbor Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels

Here is a review of one Good Neighbor Hotel that we loved (click the thumbnail)

PIN-Anaheim Majestic

Hotel Rooms – What to Expect

What to expect of a Disneyland Resort (ON-SITE) hotel room: 

  • Disney Resort hotels each have a specific theme based on the resort. The Paradise Pier has a beach-theme, The Disneyland Hotel is classic and modern and the Grand Californian is in a Craftsman-style. There will be special Disney touches throughout like the Mickey hands holding the sconces in the bathroom or the subtle Mouse ear silhouettes on the wallpaper. Your room will have an interior hallway with guest room doors inside. Your room will be very clean and well-maintained. The pricing of Disneyland Resort hotels is at a premium.
Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation.

Castle-themed room at Anaheim Majestic Gardens

What to expect of a Good Neighbor (OFF-SITE) hotel room:

  • Good Neighbor Hotels are offered in a range of prices, from “motels” to suites so there is something for every budget.
  • You aren’t going to see much Disney theming. You’ll have a standard, ordinary hotel room for the most part. Some of the rooms have views of fireworks at night and some of the hotels have special Disney themed spaces or rooms but generally these are just standard, regular looking hotel rooms.
  • Keep in mind that when choosing the less expensive, the guest rooms often have exterior doors to the outside and not interior hallways. Unfortunately this means that some of the carpets in these places are really dirty from park guests pounding pavement all day and then immediately walking inside their hotel room.
Shaking hands with Minnie at the Disneyland Hotel.

Shaking hands with Minnie at the Disneyland Hotel.

What are the differences between Resort or Good Neighbor Hotels?


The big difference you’ll see is the price. Depending on the season, you’re going to pay around $175-400 per night (or more) for an on-site Disneyland resort hotel room. Sometimes you can get a coupon code in the mail with special offers but those don’t happen frequently. For this price you’d think you’d be getting a suite, right? Resorts rooms are slightly larger than average and you do have seating areas, a large bathroom and likely a nice view but they are just normal rooms. I will say that on-site spaces and rooms are cleaner and better maintained than some of the off-site hotels and for my neat-nik husband, that’s worth the extra cost.

Kickin' it in the kiddie pool at the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Kickin’ it in the kiddie pool at the Paradise Pier Hotel.



  • Most of the off-site pools are just standard pools, nothing more. I’ve not stayed there, but The Howard Johnson has a fun pirate-themed pool area.
  • Disney Resort hotels have amazing pools complete with water slides, hot tubs, fresh towels, swim diapers for babies, life-vests for toddlers, lots of lounging areas and pool-side dining & drink service. If you plan on using the pool on your vacation, consider paying a little more to stay at a site that has great water features!

Here are a few reviews on the Disneyland Resort pool areas and what you can expect (click the thumbnails)

PIN-Pools         Pool-PIN


  • Most of the off-site hotels have restaurants within walking distance. Some have cafes and coffee shops in their lobbies. We stayed at the Anaheim Hilton a few years ago and while the hotel was lovely, there weren’t any kid-friendly restaurants (either in the hotel or within walking distance) and so we had a pizza delivered. Prices are going to be reasonable at off-site restaurants and you’ll have a lot more choices when you stray from the resorts.

Goofy's Kitchen

  • The Disney Resort Hotels each have several themed restaurants. We’ve eaten at the Paradise Pier’s restaurant several times for breakfast and there are some nice choices at the all-you-care-to-eat buffet along with characters visiting each table. Dining at The Disneyland Hotel‘s Goofy’s Kitchen was a real treat. You’ll have your picture taken together before you’re seated and the dinner buffet is truly delicious! A multitude of characters came to visit us all evening, it was a lot of fun. The dinner buffet at StoryTeller’s inside the Grand Californian was decadent, my husband is still talking about that one! All this good food and theming comes at a price however and the Resort restaurants have a premium cost, especially those that feature character dining.

Here is a dining review about eating at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel (click the thumbnail)

Storyteller's Cafe

Location, location, location

Now, before you book any off-site hotel that boasts, “We’re RIGHT across the street!”, PLEASE look at this area hotel map for some of the local hotels.

Yes, some of the Good Neighbor hotels might really be just across the street from the resort but they aren’t across the street from the ENTRANCE GATE, which means you’ll still be walking a long distance to get to the entrance. And who wants to waste all their energy walking to get there…save those legs for inside the park! Let alone walking back to the hotel after a long day, forget about it.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation.

Magical Little Details

The Disneyland website will lead you to believe that if you stay on-site, you are closer to the parks. The truth is that you will be close, but closer isn’t necessarily the whole truth. Many of the off-site hotels are literally right across the street with a 5 to 10 minute walk from the front gates.

Good-Neighbor Hotels:

  • If you plan on walking to the park from your hotel, I would recommend sticking to hotels on Harbor Blvd, namely the ones right in front of the park entrance. The Park Vue Inn and Tropicana Inn are literally across the street from the entrance. Any hotel on Katella or Ball is going to be a bit more of a hike.  I have stayed at the Quality Inn & Suites and it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to get to the entrance gates, not too bad. And once you get to the gate you’re home free. There are no trams to ride (like when you park at the garages). You simply walk to the bag check area and then in line to enter the park!
  • I’ve stayed at the Anaheim Hilton and while it looks like it would be close on a map, it’s still a good length walk. Keep in mind that if you drive from your hotel and park on Disney property, you will be parking off-site and need to take a tram (about a 5 minute ride) to get into the parks. Parking is pricey and tram waits can be really long (even longer at the end of the day when everyone is trying to get to their car) so I still recommend staying at a closer hotel and walking in. Or choose a hotel, like the Anaheim Majestic Gardens, that offers a free shuttle.
Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels

Interactive map of Disneyland inside the hotel.

Disney Resort Hotels:

  • If you stay at the Paradise Pier, it’s going to take a bit longer to get into the park. You need to walk past the Disneyland Hotel and then through Downtown Disney District. The Disneyland Hotel is closer but not by much, you still have to walk through Downtown Disney.

Two Shortcuts:

  1. Downtown Disney Monorail Station. Hitch a ride here and be deposited into the middle of the park with a quick ride. Note that the Monorail station can get really busy so you might be waiting there for 10-20 minutes to catch a ride and you will also have to fold up your stroller to get aboard. You don’t need to be resort guest to take the Monorail, but you do need a valid park ticket.
  2. At the Grand Californian, there is a private entrance for resort guests that will allow admission into Disney’s California Adventure park. You will be required to show your valid Key to the Magic (room key) to use this entrance. You will also need your valid park admission ticket.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation.

Other Benefits to Staying On-Site at a Disney Resort:

  • A few years ago when we stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel, we were able to watch and hear the parade inside California Adventure from our window. Later that night, we went up onto the roof top, pulled up a pool chair and watched the Disneyland fireworks show. They even had the narration and music piped in over loudspeakers.
  • I paid extra for Concierge on one particular trip. This allowed us use of the Concierge lounge. We ate breakfast in the lounge, stocked up with drinks and snacks that we took to the pool in the afternoon, and had appetizers (they also serve wine) in the evening before dinner. When we got back to the room, there was a plate with Mickey shaped Rice Krispy Treats and fresh strawberries waiting for us. I really enjoyed the Concierge service and we did take advantage of the drinks and snacks. If it wasn’t quite so pricey, I’d consider it again. Also, all the rooms are the same so you do not receive a larger room with Concierge service.

Read more in this Traveling Mom post about the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel (click the thumbnail)

Other Benefits to Staying Off-Site:

  • A few of these Good Neighbor Hotels offer complimentary breakfasts or “happy hour” snacks. This might be as simple as cereal and milk with juice or as nice as make-your-own-waffles, fresh fruit, mini-chicken sandwiches and salad. Look at the hotel’s website and see what they offer as far as these extras. The Marriott Anaheim Residence Inn Maingate had a wonderful indoor/outdoor seating space with a nice complimentary serve-yourself breakfast including oatmeal, muffins and juice. We grabbed some apples and bananas to take with us to the Park!
Fantasyland Tower at Disneyland Hotel.

Fantasyland Tower at Disneyland Hotel.

The Bottom Line

  • Deciding on a hotel really comes down to what you want, how much time you’ll be spending at the room, how much you want to spend and how far you want to be from the park.
  • If you have the money and want the convenience of being close and appreciate high customer service, than by all means, stay on-site at an official Disneyland Resort hotel like The Paradise Pier, The Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian. The Extra Magic Hour and use of the fantastic pools might be enough to tip the scales.
  • If you are spending more than a few days in Anaheim and not just walking to Disneyland, consider an off-site suite which often has separate rooms. Getting a breakfast that is included in the cost is always nice too. I highly recommend the Marriott Anaheim Residence Inn Maingate, which was quite large and had a full kitchen.
  • Do you like to go back to your room in the afternoon for a nap or a swim-break? Consider either a Disney Resort hotel or one that is directly across the street so you can walk back and forth easily during the day. Either of these options is only about 10-15 minutes versus the 45-60 minutes it might take to get your car out of the lot and drive there or wait for a shuttle pick-up.
  • Though you can purchase Park tickets in the lobby at many of the Good Neighbor Hotels, I’d recommend purchasing upfront from Park Savers. You can save a few dollars this way as well (affiliate link).

Park Savers affiliate link

Do you prefer to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel or branch out into the Good Neighbors? Share in the comments!