Finding a great hotel near Disneyland is one of the most important parts of planning any Disneyland trip. On-property vs off-property, price, distance, transportation, amenities, room size and more can make a big difference. The “best” hotel will be different for every family.
It’s Kimberly with Get Away Today, where we specialize in Disneyland vacations. I have personally visited all 50+ of our partner hotels near Disneyland. Each has its benefits, and I've learned what features families love most.
We can help you pick the perfect hotel! If you decide to use our low price guarantee on Disneyland hotel and ticket packages, save an extra $10 when you use coupon code Tips10Trips or mention Tips for Family Trips to one of our agents.
Here are 15 questions you can ask to find the best hotel near Disneyland for your family.
On-property vs Off-property
There are three Disneyland Resort hotels – Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian and Paradise Pier – and there are some nice benefits to staying on-property. They include:
- Extra Magic Hours
- Character greetings and Disney activities at your hotel
- Themed swimming pools and restaurants
- On-site character dining
- Easy access to Downtown Disney
- Use your key card to make purchases in the parks
- Park purchases delivered to your room
- Shorter security lines
- “Disney magic” around the clock
The downside to Disneyland Resort Hotels is that they are often more expensive than off-property hotels. A handful of off-property hotels are a shorter walk from the park entrance than Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier.
Disney's Grand Californian has the very best location of any hotel near Disneyland. It's the only Resort hotel with a private entrance to one of the Parks. It connects to California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Once you've stayed here, you may not be able to do Disneyland any other way.
Related: Our Review of the Disneyland Hotel
How far is it from Disneyland?
This is one of the most common questions we get.
Closer is better because lines are shortest just after Disneyland opens and before it closes. Southern California traffic is heavy and it can take a long time to drive a short distance.
I generally recommend hotels within 1-2 miles of Disneyland Resort. There are dozens of options. The Disneyland Resort Hotels are great choices because they're so close, but there are off-property hotels that are just as close.
How will we get to Disneyland?
Top ways to get to Disneyland include:
- drive your own car
Walking is easiest and least expensive, but don't overestimate how far your kids will be able to walk at the end of a long day. It's common to walk 5-7 miles per day at Disneyland.
If you’re staying within two miles of Disneyland, it’s likely that your hotel uses either the ART or PCA shuttle. After walking, a shuttle is usually the most convenient and least expensive way to get to the parks. Get Away Today offers discount ART tickets.
If your hotel has its own shuttle, make sure the schedule will work for you. You don't want to lose precious park time to a limited shuttle schedule!
It currently costs $25/day to park your own car at Disneyland. The Disneyland parking lots are about 10-15 minutes' walk from the park, or you can take a free shuttle. Expect to go through security at the parking lot.
Uber and Lyft ride sharing services work well in Southern California. This is a flexible and affordable alternative to walking or renting a car if you only need 1-2 rides per day.
Related: Tips for Using Uber or Lyft with Kids
Does the hotel offer breakfast?
Arriving before the park opens is the best way to beat the crowds at Disneyland. A quick breakfast at your hotel can help get your family out the door faster.
Many hotels near Disneyland offer a complimentary breakfast. A complimentary breakfast may not be a deal-breaker if you have a mini-fridge, but it's a favorite amenity for many families.
Our website makes it easy to search for hotels with free breakfast near Disneyland. Just make that selection on the left-hand side in the drop-down amenities menu and you'll only be shown hotels that include breakfast.
Get Away Today guests get complimentary breakfasts at some hotels that don't serve complimentary breakfast to all guests. Make sure to double-check the time breakfast is offered to ensure it works with your schedule.
Related: 30+ Ways to Save Money at Disneyland
What kind of breakfast?
Not all hotel breakfasts are the same. There is a big difference between a cold continental breakfast of pastries and coffee and a full breakfast buffet. The Embassy Suites offers one of the best breakfasts, with a wide array of options and a cook-to-order omelet station.
Does the room have a refrigerator?
An in-room refrigerator can save you a lot of time and money. Disneyland allows you to bring your own food into the parks, so you can bring food costs way down by packing your own lunches and snacks. A fridge is a necessity if you have medications that require refrigeration.
Freezers will likely be tiny or non-existent in a typical hotel mini-fridge. Disneyland Resort Hotels don't have freezers in their mini-fridges. Call your hotel (or us) for more information if you must have a freezer.
Related: Our Review of Disney's Grand Californian
Does the room have a microwave?
An in-room microwave will give you more ways to save money on food. You can heat restaurant leftovers or microwave meals from the grocery store. Microwave popcorn is easy to squeeze into a suitcase, and is a fun in-room snack.
Some hotels have in-room microwaves, and others – like Disney Resort Hotels – have public microwaves that guests can use.
How many people can sleep comfortably in the rooms?
There is a difference between maximum occupancy and whether your family will actually sleep comfortably in a room. Some hotels provide roll-away beds, and some don’t.
Hotels near Disneyland frequently offer larger rooms with bunk beds, extra bedrooms, trundles or pull-out couches. Look for family-sized options when you book.
Get Away Today partners with a number of hotels that offer suites, so you can ask about those options before you book.
Related: Our Review of Anaheim Hilton Garden Inn
What size are the beds?
Many hotel websites call double beds “queen” size. My husband is 6’ 4”. For him, there is a huge difference between a double and a queen-size bed.
If this is also important to you, call the front desk, ask us, or read reviews to find out if your beds are true queens.
Does my room have a tub, or just a shower?
Having a bathtub in your hotel room makes a difference when you have young children. Not all kids do well in a shower. It can save time to put a couple of toddlers in the tub together for a quick rinse or some play time.
A good bathroom layout is a big deal when your whole family is sharing a bathroom. If you book through us, we can tell you if your hotel has a bathtub, whether the toilet is separated from the sink and shower, and more.
What are the pool hours?
Even at Disneyland, the hotel pool might be your kids' favorite part of the vacation. Many hotels in Anaheim have longer pool hours, and a few even have 24 hour pools. If you want to relax in the pool after a long day at the parks, be sure to book a hotel with long pool hours.
Related: Our Review of Holiday Inn Buena Park
Is there a charge for parking?
Daily parking fees are a common charge at Anaheim hotels. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but it's not typically included in the room rate so it's smart to ask about it before you book.
Get Away Today has negotiated free or reduced parking rates at many of our partner hotels.
Is there a resort fee?
Resort fees are gaining popularity in Anaheim. This may cover amenities that you want, but it's smart to ask about these fees and what they include before you book so you can make a true cost comparison between hotel rates.
There’s no standard for what a resort fee includes. In some cases, a resort fee may cover your parking or in-room Wi-Fi. Elsewhere, it could include your shuttle to and from Disneyland.
Get Away Today has negotiated waived or reduced resort fees at many hotels around Disneyland.
Related: 11 Must-Have Items for Your Disneyland Packing List
Am I guaranteed a non-smoking/smoking room?
Many Anaheim hotels are now 100% smoke free, but not all. If you have a preference for a smoking or non-smoking room, make sure it's clear at the time of booking. Your request may not be guaranteed unless you submit a medical request or book a 100% smoke-free hotel.
What are check-in and check-out times?
Check-in times vary, but 3:00 PM is usually a safe bet. Check out is usually around 11:00 AM. Some hotels allow early check-in or late check-out based on availability, but don't count on it during busy seasons.
Most hotels will hold your luggage at the front desk if you want to spend the day at Disneyland before checking in or after checking out.
Related: 5 Rookie Mistakes to AVOID at Disneyland
Disneyland is one of those trips where you may not expect to spend a lot of time in your room, but finding the right hotel is still so important! Convenience to the parks, a good night's sleep, useful amenities, and knowing about hidden fees up front can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your vacation.
I hope this helps you narrow down your options and priorities for a hotel near Disneyland. If you have more questions, please visit getawaytoday.com or call us at 1-855-GET-AWAY. We'd love to help you out!
How else can I help?
Want the best price on a Disneyland hotel and tickets? I recommend Get Away Today, of course. Nobody knows Disneyland better, and if you find a better price on the same package, we’ll beat it by $10.
Save $10 on any Southern California vacation package at Get Away Today when you use our exclusive coupon code: Tips10Trips.
Read more about our partnership with Get Away Today here.
I love your posts, but I have a question I can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere online: obviously, the earlier you can book a Disneyland-area hotel, the better, but how late in your opinion is too late to try to book a room, if you want to stay somewhere within easy walking distance? In particular, if you’re looking at visiting in late fall/early Christmas season?
Hi! I consulted the experts at Get Away Today on this question, since they book hotels near Disneyland every day. Here is Kim’s answer:
“It’s a tricky question. Oftentimes the hotels will still have availability for peak times within the same week, but you’ll be paying much higher rates. I would say a safe bet for late fall/early Christmas season, a month out would be the latest I would feel comfortable booking a hotel, realizing that I may not have my first choice.”
Thank you for asking about this for me! I guessed (or at least hoped!) the answer would be less than a year, but it’s very good to know that a month out should still be feasible.
So glad to help! There are so many hotels near Disneyland that there are nearly always empty rooms for last-minute trips. However, the best rooms in the best locations for the best prices do fill months in advance, so it pays to book sooner when you can. Now is a great time to shop hotels for a late-2018 trip. 🙂 Happy planning!