Sunday, January 27, 2013

To Travel: Disneyland- Hotels

In the previous travel post, I mentioned that I really love booking my hotels on Hotwire.  Since I am familiar with the area around Disneyland and all of the surrounding hotels, I feel comfortable booking a room this way.

If you don't want to risk it, but still want to save, check out for some help in determining what hotel you will be purchasing your room from.  The people on those forums are really good at what they do!

Here's a quick overview of some of the hotels I have stayed at in the past two years:

The Disneyland Hotel: $$$$
This hotel is more of a splurge, but definitely worth it for the full Disneyland experience.  We stayed in early 2011 when the hotel renovations were still in progress.  The rooms were amazing (it was a family trip, so we had 3 connecting rooms and a "living room").

Prices for the Disneyland hotel vary by the season, of course.  There is an added convenience of being right at the entrance of Downtown Disney, the Disneyland tram is not too far and the hotel staff is always willing to help make your stay more magical.

The entrance into Downtown Disney (from the DD angle).  You can see the construction walls at the hotel in blue.

The wall behind the bed is so amazing!  It lights up and plays music.

A piece of art in the room.  Love you Walt!

Room service.

I also made a brief tour/vlog of the room back in the day that you can watch here or down below.

This hotel is definitely amazing and I would stay there again in a heart beat if budget allowed it!  There are also tons of hidden Mickey's in the room which I can really appreciate!

Anaheim Courtyard by Marriott $$ (if you're splitting the room rate with others)

We love staying at this hotel when it's more than just the two of us and we are willing to share a suite with the others.  Typically, the suite we book has two rooms (each with its own bathroom) and a common room with a TV, kitchen and desk area.  The best part about this hotel is the free breakfast!  It's hot and delicious... you just have to make sure that you wake up early or the dining area gets crowded quickly. 

The room is clean and I have literally zero complaints.

This hotel is not within walking distance to the parks... or it would be quite the trek if you opted to try it out.  Shuttles are offered in front of the hotel.  However, we do prefer to drive over instead.

Anaheim Marriott Suites $$$ (if booked on a normal website)

We really lucked out in August 2012 and booked this hotel for about $74/night!  The normal rate right now appears to be around $140/night.  Valet parking is $12/night and we opted to use this service every day that we were there.  

A room here is perfect for two people with a living room area with access to the bathroom, and a room that also leads into that same bathroom.  It has by far been our favorite place we have stayed with just the two of us and I'm hoping the chance to stay there via Hotwire pops up again!  There is a restaurant in the hotel, but we did not check it out since breakfast is $16.95/person and we can find a better deal elsewhere.  A Starbucks is also located in the hotel, which was an added convenience on the morning we left.  It is also worth noting that the front desk staff is superb and so incredibly nice!  There is often a stigma out on the interwebs that booking through discount sites will lead to lower rate service as well.  This was not true here!  We got an early check in on our first day with zero hassle.

I wish I had taken some photos, but the website above does have some great ones to provide a better idea of the hotels ambiance.

The rates for this hotel are funny.  Sometimes they are a steal on other times they are through the roof.  Last February, I was able to get a room for $50/night (this was before I tried out Hotwire), because we were aiming to super budget our hotel in order to have three nights of nice dinners.

I'm not going to lie- the exterior appearance of this hotel made me cringe.  Nick and I even considered booking a different hotel at the last minute, the moment we pulled up.  However, the interior was not too bad for what we paid.  The room was pretty big and appeared to be clean.  Our biggest complaints were the huge gap under the door (it made nights pretty loud with the freeway right next door) and we also found a few drops of blood on a pillowcase (eek!).

But, really- it was a place to sleep and you get what you pay for...

We have stayed at other hotels on trips to Disneyland, but really it was at the luck of the draw with Hotwire.

Overall, the best tips and questions you should ask yourself when booking a hotel are as follows:

  • Determine if you need to be within walking distance of the parks, or if driving over and parking ($15/day) is an option.
  • Determine the size of the room you will need and how much time will actually be spent there.
  • Will you be eating at the parks?  Does your hotel need to be near the Target or restaurants so you can stock up on items or eat outside of the parks?
  • What kind of experience do you want on this trip?  Is it worth it to book a high end hotel because this trip is a big deal?  Or is a budget room better so I can put my money toward things like food and souvenirs?
Make sure you check out my last To Travel post where I break down my normal budget for a 3 day trip to Disneyland!  

In the next post, I will discuss the best food options at Disneyland in both the low and high price ranges!


IWW Sandeep said...

If you don't want to risk it, but still want to save, check out for some help in determining what hotel you will be purchasing your room from. The people on those forums are really good at what they do!

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abbeyinncedar said...

Hotel service is also very important if they want us to keep coming back to them.

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