Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
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When planning your Disneyland vacation, you’re going to have to decide where to stay. Your two options are On Property (Disney Resort Hotel) or Off-Property (all other accommodations). I’m sure you have a lot of questions about Where to stay at Disneyland. Like: What are the differences between staying at a Disney Resort or something Off-Property? Or do you need to stay at a Disney Resort Hotel? What are the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort? So lets go over all these potential questions.
What are the Disneyland Resorts Hotels?
There are 3 Disney Resorts hotels at the Disneyland Resort
º Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
º Disneyland Hotel
º Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
What are the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort Hotel?
Guests staying at a Disney Resort Hotel can take advantage of Early Entry. Which allows ONLY On Property guests entrance to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park 30 minutes prior to the posted park opening time.
Another great benefit of staying at a Disney Resort Hotel is the Next Day Package Delivery. If you are in the parks and someone in your party finds a souvenir or piece of merchandise they just can’t live without. Guests of a Disney Resort Hotel can ask a Cast Member to have their purchase sent to their hotel where they can pick up later on (deliveries can take “up to 24 hour”). And the other notable benefit for On Property guests is the preferred access of a limited number of dining reservations set aside just for Disney Resort Hotel guests. This comes in handy if you’re trying to make a reservation for a popular Table Service location like Blue Bayou or Lamplight Lounge.
The Disney Resorts hotels are beautiful and incredibly magical. Staying On Property at a Disney Resort Hotel is clearly the dream, however, they do come at a price. Nightly rates at one of these hotels can be two, three, or even four times the cost of other hotels. Which for some families may not be an option. But for others who really want to stay in the “Disney Bubble”, a Disney Resort Hotel is the only way to go.
The Disneyland Resort hotels are broken down into three pricing categories.
- Most expensive
- Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- Moderately expensive
- Disneyland Hotel
- Least expensive
- Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Remember to always check the special offers page to see what promotions Disney is running for their resort hotels. If there isn’t a current promotion for your travel dates, keep checking back. If one becomes available after you book your room, be sure to call Disney and have a Cast Member apply the promotion to your reservation.
Do I need to stay at a Disney Resort hotel?
Need being operative word…No. You don’t “need” to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. With the close proximity of Off-Property hotels to the front entrances of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, you don’t “need” to stay at a Disney Resort hotel.
Since Disneyland is in the middle of Anaheim, it’s a very walkable distance from a lot of Disney’s “Good Neighbor” Hotels. Most of the hotels across the street from the main entrance of Disneyland Park are the same walking distance as the Disneyland Hotel. And some Off Property hotels are just as close if not closer than Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. So staying at a Disney Resort Hotel is more of a personal preference and most likely comes down to budget for most.
Where to stay Off-Property?
Like I said before since the Disneyland Resort is in the middle of Anaheim, there are a LOT of great options that are only a short walk away from the park entrances. Good Neighbor hotels are Off-Property hotels that have been given the Disney seal of approval. On Disneyland’s Good Neighbor webpage, you can filter the options by pricing category, proximity to the parks, hotel features (INCLUDING an option for free transportation to the parks), and room features.
Be sure you know where a specific Off-Property hotel is, how far it is from the parks, if there is transportation available, and if that transportation is free or not. Having grown up in California and have been to Disneyland more times than I can count, my preference is to stay directly across the street on S. Harbor Boulevard. Traveling with little kids, we have always gone back to the hotel in the middle of the day to let the little ones sleep and the older ones swim. Even if you stay in the parks all day and never take a break, having a hotel that is nice and close is important to my family. The last thing we want to do after spending an entire day in the parks with tired little ones is wait to get on a shuttle and ride back. Just something to think about when you’re looking at your options.
Compare & Price Out Your Options
When trying to decide where you should stay, the biggest factor for most people comes down to budget. When comparing and pricing out your hotel stay or vacation package, I definitely recommend doing your research on what each hotel offers and what works for your family.
One of the best sites to use when pricing out your Disneyland vacation is Get Away Today. Not only does Get Away Today sell discounted Disneyland Resort tickets and Disneyland vacation packages. But Get Away Today also has some THE best prices I’ve found; even when comparing to other big name travel sites. AND you can book your trip with as little as $200 down by taking advantage of their Layaway plan!
You can also save an additional $10 off your vacation package by using savings code PARKSSNOB10.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin