Surrounding Disneyland, hotels range from the seedy no-name, to the ritzy Grand Californian and everything in between. Choosing a hotel for your trip can seem daunting but there are many factors to consider such as distance to the entrance, overall cost including parking and hotel amenities.
1. Resort or Not
Unlike the other US Disney Resort, Disneyland in California has limited on-property resort hotels. For me, this makes the choice easier.
There are three Disneyland resort hotels, from most to least expensive: Disney's Grand Californian, The Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier. These hotels are fantastically close, are all 4 star quality and have a perk no other hotel can offer: merchandise purchased in the parks can get delivered directly to your hotel room!
On the other hand, splurging on an incredible Disneyland Resort Hotel isn't an every trip type of expense. Staying at the Super 8 down the street looks a-lot more glamorous when you realize there's tons of resort amenities you can take advantage of without booking a room. Character dining, hotel restaurants, bars, and lounge areas are available to everyone.
2. Walk or Not
If the idea of parking once at the beginning of your trip and avoiding re-parking sounds good, a close hotel is for you. Staying at a cheaper and possibly nicer hotel is definitely possible if you're willing to drive 5-15 minutes.
There are plenty of hotels within walking distance to the Disneyland Resort. These choices are mostly on the east side of the resort on Harbor Boulevard and adjoining streets. Hotels closer to the entrance have a lower value, usually require booking further in advance, with steeper parking fees. Something else to keep in mind: hotels in the city of Anaheim carry a higher resort fee than those in the surrounding cities.
3. Do Double Check Addresses
There are so many hotels, it's no surprise how many of the same brand or chain exist within just a couple blocks. You may easily mistake one Marriott you thought was across the street for one not remotely walkable. Also, the streets that surround the resort are very long roads, so you might find dozens of one brand hotel in a dozen different cities, but all on Harbor Boulevard.
4. Don't Sweat It
When visiting Disneyland, there will be so many other places to spend your money and time, save the hassle and expense and use a discount hotel website like Hotwire.com where you choose your general hotel location and star rating and buy what fits your budget. These websites always let you know if you'll be charged additionally for resort fees or parking, so you can budget accordingly.
5. Do Take The Deal
With so many hotel choices, you may tend to over-research each property, sometimes missing your price window. If you see a good deal, take it. It may not last long.