No matter what your budget is for a Disneyland hotel, it's always nice to save money so you can spend it on something else. This guide will help you find the best possible Disneyland hotel deals for your trip.
The Simple Truth About Disneyland Hotel Deals
If you're looking for Disneyland hotel deals, you may see headlines online that say something like this: "Anaheim Hotels from $55." But — when you click through, everything costs three times that much.
Don't waste your time following those false leads.
Anytime Disneyland is super busy, hotels get packed to capacity, rates are high, and you won't find any good discounts or deals. That includes all summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day), spring and fall school breaks, major holidays and three-day holiday weekends, and anytime between mid-December and January 1.
The best deal can fall apart pretty fast when the hotel starts packing on hidden fees and charges. To keep that from happening to you, find out about price-raising pitfalls before you get started.
8 Ways to Find Disneyland Hotel Deals
1. Try searching for Anaheim hotels at TripAdvisor. They not only have lots of hotel reviews to look over, but they also search a bunch of sources at once to find the lowest rates available. Consumer Reports magazine says consolidators like the ones TripAdvisor searches often have the best prices for small hotel chains and independent hotels.
To get an idea of what rates will be like when you travel, start right now by searching there.
2. Go old school: You can often get the best Disneyland hotel deals by calling the reservations desk on the telephone. After you do the research at TripAdvisor, call your top two or three choices, using our tips for how to get a better hotel rate on the phone.
This strategy can even work at the Disney hotels which seldom offer advertised deals.
3. Go directly to the hotel website: Consumer Reports magazine reports that they frequently get the best prices for big hotel chains by going directly to the hotel website. The hotel might offer deals that include free breakfast or free parking, too. Join the hotel rewards program, which may give you access to more deals and benefits such as free WiFi.
4. Check membership discounts: Don’t overlook your AAA member discount if you have one. You'll have to try that directly through the hotel website. I use that strategy often and get as much as $10 off per night. You may also find AARP discounts if you're a member, but they are seldom as good as AAA rates. Also check for senior, corporate or military discounts.
5. Coupons: Look for Disneyland hotel deals by searching for coupon codes at Groupon or retailmenot, but don't expect miracles. In my experience, you may find some coupon deals, but not for Disneyland area hotels.
6. Twitter and Facebook: You can also check Twitter for Disneyland hotel deals. Don't follow accounts unless they actually post deals frequently. Instead, search Twitter for Disneyland hotel discount or Disneyland hotel deal.
Don't expect to find too much there, either, but it's worth a quick check. Liking the Facebook pages of local hotels may also bring some good discounts to your attention.
7. Use a so-called "blind" site like Hotwire or Priceline: On the plus side, you can sometimes get a nice hotel on these sites for the price of a mediocre one. But they have their limitations, including the fact that you won't know the name of your hotel until you have already paid for it, you can't get a refund, and you can't earn hotel loyalty points or make special requests. If you want to try it, a simple strategy for using them is to choose the nicest hotel class available and bid $10 to $15 less than the best rate you've already found.
8. Last Minute Check: Call the hotel on the day you'll arrive and see if they've lowered their rates.
It happens more often than you might think, and they'll often be willing to give you the lower rate if you ask.
Costco Travel and others sometimes have well-priced Disneyland packages, but you may still be able to get better deals by buying each part of your trip separately. Use this guide to find out more.
What About AirBNB?
If you're thinking about AirBNB as a way to save on your Disneyland lodging, you'd might as well forget it. In June 2016 the Anaheim city council voted to prohibit all home-sharing rentals, according to Curbed LA. That ban included renting out single rooms, whole houses or apartments. They gave permitted rentals 18 months to cease operation, so you might find a few places available through the begining of 2018.
You might still find AirBNB rentals in Garden Grove, Fullerton or Buena Park, but all of them are further from Disneyland than you might like.