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Tips for Booking Your Hotel Near Disneyland and California Adventure

Show Summary

Welcome to ParkMagic. This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, we share some of the basics you need to know before booking your hotel near Disneyland.

We have additional information in our free course including:

  • A map of hotels within walking distance

  • Perks of staying at Pixar Place Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel, or the Grand California Resort and Spa

  • Benefits of booking refundable reservations early

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There are so many wonderful hotels within walking distance of Disneyland, so we will provide you with some tips for booking the best hotel for your family.

Chapters and Time Stamps

0:00 Intro

6:21 Outro

Show Transcript

Booking Hotels Near Disneyland

Let's go ahead and talk about booking your hotel for your Disneyland trip. There are a lot of options nearby Disneyland, and so I want to walk through the pros and cons of booking at different kinds of locations and about how far away you can go, and some ways that you can save money, and what kind of splurges are worth it. So let's go ahead and start by whether or not you should book a Disneyland hotel.

About The Official Disneyland Hotels

There are three hotels that are owned by Disney in the Disneyland Resort area. All three of these hotels are wonderful. They are very expensive though. If you want to stay inside the Disney bubble the entire time of your visit, if you have young kids where you think you want to go walk back to the hotel a lot, then they can really be quite helpful because they are some of the closest hotels to the parks.

Benefits of Staying at Disneyland Hotels

The other thing is that if you stay at these Disneyland hotels, you get access to early entry, which means you get to enter the parks a half hour early, which can allow you to get some of those rides done, quickly.

Now, it's important to note that during this early entry period, not every ride is open. And that can be very useful if you know you're going to buy a lot of souvenirs. You can also have any items that you purchase delivered directly to the hotel for you to pick up from Bell Services the next day. Disneyland's website also says that there are preferred dining reservations. That isn't the case right now, but it says that they are going to be launching that soon.

Hotels Within Walking Distance of Disneyland and California Adventure

So at Disney World, it's much more important to be at a Disney hotel than it is at Disneyland.

With that, there are a lot of hotels within walking distance. We have a map in the course here below with hotels that are in walking distance, and we have the hotels that are the closest walking distance to the main entrance in green and the ones that are walkable, but a little bit  farther in yellow.

Make sure you consider not just how close they are to the parks, but how close they are to the entrance of the parks because you will have to go in through those main entrances, unless you're going in much later in the day.

Strategies for Getting the Best Price

When I book my hotels. I like to book reservations where I don't pay ahead of time and that I can cancel maybe up to a week before. Then what I do is I go back and I check the price to see if I can find a cheaper hotel or if I can get that room at a lower price, and then I can cancel my early reservations. So it locks me into a price in case prices go up. But it still gives me the option to check back periodically to see if prices go down.

 If you're booking with a travel agent, you can do this with Disneyland hotels, as well. Just a note, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes prices go up, sometimes prices go down. Sometimes they stay the same, but for me it's a fairly low cost to book that refundable room and it gives me flexibility in case something was to go wrong and I'm not able to make that trip. I'm able to cancel that reservation without a fee.

If you're trying to start booking your tickets, but you already have to pay for the tickets up front and their flights, a way to be able to pay over time is to book directly with a hotel or with a service like Kayak or price line that have a pay later option.  So in these situations, you're able to book the hotel and then pay upon arrival.

Checking for Free Breakfast

If free breakfast is important to you, make sure that you check the location as many hotel brands that normally offer free breakfast do not offer free breakfast at hotels that are walking distance to the park. Fairfield Inn is an example of that. Normally at Fairfield Inn there is a breakfast that's free for guests, however, that is not the case at the one across the street, and this is true for many of the hotels that are near the entrance of the park. So if free breakfast is important to you, make sure that you verify that free breakfast is available at that location.

Considering Hotels Further Away

There are also other great hotels within a 10 to 15 minute drive. Just plan for the cost of the daily Uber or resort parking and know that if you have to park at the resort. If you have to drive and then park at Disneyland, there will be the time to drive to get to the parking structure, and then you have to load a tram and then be taken to the park entrance.

Unless you're on a strict budget, I don't really recommend staying more than about three to five miles from the resort. There are a group of hotels that are three miles south of Disneyland that it's a really great location because right next to it there's a Red Robin. There's a couple of other great restaurants, and it's across the street walking distance from a target. But even those that are just about three miles away from Disneyland still have about a 10 to 15 minute drive.

Traffic in Los Angeles can mean that a 20 mile distance could be a half hour away depending on the direction and the time of day. So whenever possible, stay as close as you can to the Disneyland Resort. If you're pinching pennies, then there are a lot of hotels that are much less expensive if you go a little bit further out, but just know it'll be more difficult for you to leave, take a nap during the day, and you'll have to get up a little bit earlier if you are planning to try to be there when the park opens each day.

Traveling with a Bigger Family

 If you're traveling with a large group, there are several hotels that have rooms that can hold up to six people. There are several hotels that offer suites and some that offer kitchens that are all within walking distance, but these do tend to book out earlier. So if that is what you are looking for, book those hotel rooms early, and then you can always cancel as long as you've booked a refundable reservation as you get closer to your park dates.

Those are the most important things to note about booking your hotels when you come to visit the Disneyland resort. Don't forget to look down further in the course for the map of the hotels that are the closest walking distance away. In fact, some of these hotels are actually just as close, if not even a little bit closer to being able to get the quickest entrance into the parks.

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