Guests visiting the Disneyland Resort for the first time might be surprised to see how the Parks are completely surrounded on all sides by normal city life. Unlike the Walt Disney World Resort (which is approximately a whopping 25,000 acres), Disneyland is a petite 500+ acres.
When Disneyland opened in 1955, the city of Anaheim had five hotels and two motels with a total of 87 rooms. Today, Anaheim boasts approximately 150 hotels and motels with more than 18,000 rooms! Disneyland Guests certainly have plenty of choices when it comes to finding a place to lay their head. And many of these hotels are within walking distance of the Resort front gates!
Disneyland Resort Hotels
Inside any of these Resort hotels, you’ll be immersed in all things Disney. The restaurants are Disney themed, the shampoo and hand lotion have Mouse Ears and 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!
Resort Guests (with valid Park tickets) can access the exclusive Resort entry gate through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. There is also the option of taking the Monorail (valid Park ticket required). The station is located just inside the Downtown Disney District and deposits Guests to the middle of Disneyland Park‘s Tomorrowland.
DISNEY’S PARADISE PIER HOTEL
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel overlooks the Paradise Pier section of Disney’s California Adventure Park. This hotel is the farthest away from the Parks and generally the lowest priced of the three. Rooms are themed like a whimsical Disney beach-club down to lifeguard Mickey lamps and beach ball pillows! The roof-top swimming pool and water slide are especially fun in summer.
The Disneyland Hotel is the original and still a fan favorite. This resort is situated at the end of the Downtown Disney District and is generally mid-priced between the other two Resorts. Rooms are newly redesigned and feature charming details (including a surprise on the headboard). The pool area is a day of adventure in itself! We love spending the afternoon at the Monorail pool, zipping down one of the four water slides and dining on lunch and drinks from Tangaroa Terrace.
DISNEY’S GRAND CALIFORNIAN HOTEL
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is a deluxe AAA Four-Diamond resort. With its dramatic foyer, the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel celebrates the Arts & Crafts movement of early 20th century California. This hotel is the priciest of the three resorts and also features Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. This is the first Disney resort hotel in the world to be located inside a theme park—Disney’s California Adventure.
Good Neighbor Hotels
Disneyland has a listing on their website of neighboring hotels that have been given their “stamp of approval”. Disney calls these Good Neighbor Hotels. See this map for locations. There are selections across the board, including economy, moderate, superior and suites. I have personally stayed at over ten of these hotels, most recently at the beautiful Wyndham Hotel Anaheim and Hyatt Regency Orange County. The Disneyland website does offer vacation packages with perks for some of Good Neighbor Hotels. Many of these hotels also have a “Disney Desk”, staffed by Disneyland Cast Members who can offer services and tickets.
Naturally some motel/hotels in the Anaheim area are better than others. Do your research, read reviews and see what hotel is the best fit for your family needs. I highly recommend looking at an area hotel map before choosing a hotel location especially if you are considering walking to the Park gates. If you will not have a car, make sure that the hotel has a shuttle service.
If you are planning on driving in each day and parking in the lot, then it won’t matter so much to you what area of town your hotel is in. I am a big fan of the Priceline ‘Name Your Own Price’ feature. Plug in a low rate for a 4-star hotel and stay in luxury for the price of an economy motel!
Whatever hotel you choose in the Anaheim area, you won’t be too far from all the fun of the Disneyland Resort!