Picking a hotel is hard. You want a hotel that’s close to the park, clean, and inexpensive. But around Disneyland, you have to compromise a bit. If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, you may expect that the majority of the visitors stay in Disney owned hotels. That’s not the case at Disneyland. Lots of visitors stay at nearby hotels or the rely on the parking system.
Disney has three “on property” hotels. These hotels are owned and run by Disney and are part of Disneyland. These are high quality hotels with the Disney name, which means they can be a pricey.
The Disneyland Hotel was built in 1955 for Disneyland’s opening. The hotel has gone through several expansions and upgrades over the years. It’s located at the west side of Downtown Disney. It’s very close to one of the two monorail stops (the other stop is inside Disneyland), so you can get into the park without walking through the shopping district.
The Grand Californian opened with California Adventure. It has an entrance to that park for hotel guests. It does not have an entrance to Disneyland Park, and non-hotel guests are not allowed to use the entrance.
Paradise Pier Hotel is on the southwest corner of the Disneyland property. This puts it close to the parks, but there is no direct entrance to the park. You have to walk along the perimeter of the property to get to the parks, so some of the Good Neighbor Hotels have a shorter walk.
Good Neighbor Hotels
Disney works closely with some of the nearby hotels. They’re called Good Neighbor Hotels. Many of the hotels within walking distance are Good Neighbors. These are the hotels that Disney recommends as convenient, comfortable, and clean, even though they’re not Disney owned. That recommendation does not mean that these are the best hotels you can find, but they are good places to sleep. Being closer to the parks is a nice plus. The downside is that having the recommendation from Disney means they can charge more. It’s not uncommon for a Good Neighbor Hotel to charge close to $200 per night during busy season. These hotels also sell park tickets at their front desks.
Hotels Not in Walking Distance
If your hotel isn’t within walking distance, you have several good options. Disney has designated areas for services like Uber and Lyft. Some hotels have shuttles to the parks, but unless there are only one or two of you, it’ll be cheaper to use Disney’s parking lots.
There are a lot of locals going to the park, and driving is how most of them get to the parks. There are two parking lots: Mickey and Friends, and Toy Story. Parking costs are the same at each, starting at $20 for a car.
Mickey and Friends is a six-story parking structure on the northwest side of the resort. It has escalators and a few elevators all the way up, so you don’t have to worry about climbing lots of stairs. There is a tram that runs from Mickey and Friends through Downtown Disney to the parks. Trams leave regularly, about every five minutes. It can be difficult to get some strollers into the tram, but it’s doable.
Toy Story is a large parking lot on the southeast side of the resort. It’s a separated from the rest of the Disney property in Anaheim, but there are city buses running to and from Toy Story and the parks. Their timing is less consistent than the Mickey and Friends Tram, but you can typically expect one every ten minutes.
For more parking details, visit Disneyland’s parking page.