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Pros and cons of Disneyland hotels (onsite and nearby offsite options)

Pros and cons of Disneyland hotels (onsite and nearby offsite options)

Choosing a resort at Disneyland is a little different process than at Disney World.

Unlike Disney World with a couple of dozen onsite resorts, Disneyland has just 3.

But the offsite resorts are a huge factor at Disneyland, with many of them being within walking distance and enjoying some extra perks. 

Let’s take a look at the onsite options and some good offsite choices as well.

UPDATE: The information below may be impacted by current reopening procedures. Please visit our Disneyland reopening guide for the most up-to-date information.

Onsite Disneyland Resort Hotels

Though there are many great offsite options, there are some fantastic perks of staying in onsite Disneyland resorts.

Those onsite perks include:

  • characters in the hotel lobby
  • being immersed in the history of Disneyland
  • Extra Magic Hour access to both parks (only way to get into California Adventure early and a much better perk than Disney World since there’s only 3 hotels)
  • being on campus with easy access to everything
  • wake-up call from a character 
  • package delivery to hotel
  • room charging privileges
  • Club Level option at all resorts
  • Preferred Reservation Access at some restaurants

Something to note: all onsite hotels have a parking fee. 

Let’s take a look at the 3 onsite options…

Grand Californian

The Grand Californian is the most deluxe of the Disneyland resorts and very similar in appearance to Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge. 

At the Grand Californian, you’ll find fantastic restaurants and an entrance to California Adventure. 

Pros: private entrance to California Adventure, closest to the parks, evening turndown service, spacious rooms with lots of storage options, gorgeous lobby, fantastic dining options

Cons: expensive compared to nearby hotels

Disneyland Hotel (WDW Prep Fave!)

With its retro theming, tea cups in the lobby, and light-up headboards, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Disneyland Hotel. 

Disneyland Hotel Room

In fact, not only is it our favorite Disneyland hotel, but it’s our favorite Disney hotel we’ve ever stayed in (and we’ve stayed at all Disney World resorts). 

This place just oozes charm. 

Pros: great location right at the end of Downtown Disney, large pool area with fun slides, light-up headboards, convenient to board monorail into Disneyland, the most Disney-themed of the onsite resorts

Cons: not all under one roof (spread out among three towers), rooms can look worn

Paradise Pier

The least Disney of all the resorts (it was formerly owned by a hotel chain and converted) and also the least expensive, Paradise Pier sits on the end of Disneyland Resort and overlooks California Adventure.

Pros: most affordable onsite option, great views of California Adventure, fun onsite character meal

Cons: outdated rooms, confusing elevator system, have to use main California Adventure entrance even though hotel is located very close to one end of the park, furthest walk to the parks

Offsite Disneyland Resorts

Unlike Disney World, there are many offsite resorts at Disneyland within walking distance.

Also unlike Disney World, guests staying offsite at Disneyland are entitled to 1 Magic Morning entry to Disneyland with 3+ days of park tickets. 

What is a Good Neighbor Hotel?

Good Neighbor Hotels are offsite resorts that can be booked as part of packages through Disney. Some of these properties give extra perks when booking as a package. 

All of the hotels below are Good Neighbor Hotels. Extra perks are noted when applicable.

Though there are many to choose from, here are a few of our favorite offsite options (all within easy walking distance):

Candy Cane Inn

Candy Cane Inn

Good Neighbor Hotel: Yes

Hotel Category: Moderate

Pros: complimentary self-parking, complimentary shuttle (though most people will find the short walk very easy), outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast, very close to Disneyland and on the same side of the street, queen-sized beds, affordable, fantastic service

Cons: outdated rooms, dining space for complimentary breakfast is very small (often easier to take food back to your room)

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground

Good Neighbor Hotel: Yes

Hotel Category: Moderate

Pros: shuttle available (for a fee), pool and waterpark onsite, great service, queen-sized beds, large rooms, lots of nearby restaurants, complimentary self parking, some rooms have fireworks view

Cons: some rooms are outdated, waterpark more suited to younger kids than older ones

SpringHill Suites Anaheim Resort Area/Convention Center

SpringHill Suites Anaheim Resort Area/Convention Center

Good Neighbor Hotel: Yes

Hotel Category: Suites

Pros: complimentary breakfast when booking a Disneyland package (including Mickey waffles!), heated rooftop swimming pool, fireworks viewing area, queen-sized beds, spacious rooms, lots of nearby dining options

Cons: daily parking fee, pool is small, slightly longer walk to Disneyland than other nearby options (can catch shuttle from Toy Story parking lot across the street if you don’t want to walk), lots of families with young kids stay here so can be noisy

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Anaheim Resort

Good Neighbor Hotel: Yes

Hotel Category: Moderate

Pros: fireworks views, onsite pool, people who book packages get deal for kids to eat for 99 cents with purchase of adult meal at Pizza Hut, restaurants nearby, Disney-themed rooms

Cons: pool is small, hotel can feel outdated, parking fee

The Anaheim Hotel

The Anaheim Hotel

Good Neighbor Hotel: Yes

Hotel Category: Moderate

Pros: located right across from main entrance to Disneyland, large onsite heated pool, onsite dining and bar (can be brought poolside as well!), friendly staff, beautiful grounds

Cons: parking fee, rooms are fairly basic

Map of Disneyland Hotels

To give you an idea where all of these options are located, check out the map below.

Click to view larger.

Disneyland Hotel Map