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Anaheim’s magical Disneyland Resort is home to Disneyland Park (opened by Walt Disney himself in 1955); and Disney California Adventure Park, a newer attraction inspired by the fascinating culture of the Golden State. In this article, we look at the best Disneyland Resorts and Walt Disney Good Neighbor hotels - ranging from budget off-site options perfect for young families, to luxury resorts in the heart of the park. Choose any one of them and discover for yourself why Disneyland is known as the Happiest Place on Earth.
Best Boutique: Hotel Indigo Anaheim
Despite being located a 15-minute walk from Disneyland’s main gate, Hotel Indigo Anaheim is a far cry from the larger-than-life world of the park itself. With just 104 rooms, it offers an intimate sanctuary for those in search of peace and quiet. The hotel decor is bright and contemporary, evoking the area’s farming heritage with a series of agricultural murals. Rooms and suites ensure your comfort with cable TV, a mini-fridge, an iPod dock and a spacious ensuite bathroom.
Soak up the California sunshine in the garden or by the sparkling swimming pool, where a hot tub and cabanas add to the vacation atmosphere. All-day dining restaurant Chambers Bar & Bistro serves gourmet Californian cuisine in a relaxed setting, while a menu of hand-crafted cocktails allows you to unwind in style. A fitness room, free Wi-Fi and complimentary parking complete the list of on-site amenities.
Best Overall: Disneyland Hotel
Located a short walk from both theme parks and the restaurants of Downtown Disney, Disneyland Hotel is the ideal choice for those who like to be in the heart of the action. Best of all, staying at one of only three on-site hotels means that you qualify for early admission to the parks each morning. The hotel’s three towers honor Disneyland’s iconic Adventure, Fantasy and Frontier themes. All rooms and suites sleep at least five adults and include free Wi-Fi and satellite TV.
For a truly magical experience, book a Signature Suite. Choose from six different themes, ranging from Fairytale to Pirates of the Caribbean and Mickey Mouse. The hotel has a choice of swimming pools, including one with two monorail-style water slides. Head to Steakhouse 55 restaurant for romantic fine-dining; or to Goofy’s Kitchen for kid-friendly buffets amidst a cast of Disney characters. In the evening, adults can unwind with cocktails and live music at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Other amenities include a fitness center and spa.
Best Budget: Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn
Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn is not the cheapest hotel in the Disneyland area, but it is hard to beat in terms of value. A Disney Good Neighbor hotel, it’s located across the street from the resort’s main gate - allowing you to save money on transport. Rooms and suites include premium cable TV, complimentary tea and coffee and free Wi-Fi, while a mini-fridge and microwave allow for basic self-catering. Avoid pricey dining in the park by fixing your own lunches before you go in.
This is an especially good choice for families on a budget, since children under 18 stay for free. The hotel serves a hot and cold breakfast buffet every morning, and there’s a restaurant and lounge next door for convenient evening meals. When you’re not in the park, relax by the heated pool and spa. Other highlights include a fitness room and laundry services, while free parking minimizes costs for those driving to Disneyland.
Best for Families: Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
The Howard Johnson has won TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Hotels for Families in the United States award five times. It’s an eight-minute walk from Disneyland Resort - allowing you to avoid the stress of riding public transport with small kids. All rooms include a 37” TV and a Keurig coffee maker, though the pirate-themed Kids Suite stands out as the best choice for families with two separate en-suite bedrooms.
The hotel’s Castaway Cove water park boasts water slides and cannons, a toddlers’ wading pool and a 30-foot pirate ship. Alternatively, spend a quiet moment in the secluded Garden Pool or play foosball together in the game room. Mimi’s Café has an extensive kids’ menu and cocktails for Mom and Dad. Save money by buying ingredients for packed lunches at Main Street Market and by using the free Wi-Fi and parking.
Best for Romance: Hotel Ménage
A tranquil option located a 15-minute walk from the resort’s main gate, Hotel Ménage is the perfect choice for couples with a love of all things Disney. Contemporary rooms and suites offer a seductive cream-and-chocolate color scheme. Keep celebratory champagne cool in the mini-fridge, then curl up together for a romantic moment in front of the 42” TV. All rooms include a hot buffet breakfast.
In the evening, treat your loved one to a cozy meal at gourmet comfort food restaurant Tru Grits. The hotel’s heated outdoor swimming pool is fringed with slender palms and illuminated at night. From here, you can enjoy front-row views of Disney’s famous fireworks, before sharing specialty cocktails at tiki-style Palapa Bar & Lounge. There’s also a fitness center and free Wi-Fi.
Best Luxury: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
The most luxurious of the Disney resorts, the Grand Californian includes a private entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. A rustic haven with woodsy grounds and Craftsman-style decor, all rooms have plush beds, satellite TV and a private balcony or patio. Splash out on a Signature Suite,or upgrade to a Club Level room for complimentary afternoon tea and wine receptions at the exclusive Craftsman Club.
There are several pools, including one with a giant water slide wrapped around a redwood stump, as well as one with a hot tub and private cabanas. Napa Rose restaurant pairs five-star California cuisine with rare regional wines. If you’re traveling with kids, head to Storytellers Café for Disney Character buffet breakfasts. Other unforgettable experiences include open-air movie nights, craft workshops and luxury spa massages.
Best for Nightlife: Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
For a true taste of Disneyland nightlife, stay at retro-boardwalk-inspired Paradise Pier Hotel. Located within the park gates, this option puts you within a 10-minute walk of the bars, restaurants and entertainment venues of Downtown Disney. Start your celebrations in one of the private cabanas on the rooftop pool deck. In season, Sand Bar serves specialty cocktails, while the Disney fireworks are clearly visible from the water. Surfside Lounge is another excellent option for relaxed pre-dinner drinks, while PCH Grill gets you in the mood for fun with a bonfire-inspired dinner buffet. After a late night, your beach-style room or suite provides a place to recharge with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a luxuriously comfy bed.
Best Business: Hyatt Regency Orange County
Ideally situated for work and play, Hyatt Regency Orange County is a seven-minute drive from Disneyland and a five-minute drive from Anaheim Convention Center. You can also host meetings of all sizes at the hotel, which boasts 65,000 square feet of event space. Choose a Business Plan room for complimentary benefits, including premium Internet access, a pressed shirt service and a full breakfast each morning. A 37” TV and a plush bed help you to unwind after a busy day. The hotel also offers tennis and basketball courts, two heated pools and a gym. Sample Italian pizzas and pastas at TusCA restaurant, followed by local microbrews at OC Brewhouse.
Best B&B: Candy Cane Inn
A much-loved Disneyland accommodation option for more than 50 years, Candy Cane Inn welcomes you with a cobblestone driveway and an atmosphere of retro nostalgia. It’s a 10-minute walk to the park, and there’s a free shuttle every 30 minutes. Rooms and suites are quaintly comfortable with a Queen-sized bed and coffee maker. Every morning, enjoy a free deluxe continental breakfast on the pool terrace, surrounded by the hotel’s landscaped gardens. There’s a hot tub, a wading pool for kids and a spa and fitness center for adults.