The Best Place to Stay When Visiting Disneyland

by | Feb 5, 2024 | California | 0 comments

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Planning a trip to Disneyland can be very exciting and daunting all at the same time. It can be hard to decide where to stay, what things you want to do in each park and where you want to eat. One of the things that I find the hardest is deciding where to stay when visiting Disneyland. 

The biggest question I always ask myself is should we stay on property or off property. Disneyland is a little different than Disney World because there are so many hotels that are within walking distance to Disney. This can make it hard to choose which hotel will be best for your family as the location of Disney hotels are not that much closer than some off property hotels. 

The other thing I like to consider are the perks of staying on property. This is what swayed us to choose to stay on property during our recent visit to Disneyland. We also chose to stay on property because we were traveling with our two small children. The perks of staying on property definitely outweighed the slightly higher price point. 

In the post, I will go into detail about our experience staying at the Disneyland Hotel and why we choose to stay here. I will also talk about why I think it is the best hotel to stay at when visiting Disneyland with small children.  



The Disneyland Hotel is located right on the edge of Downtown Disney. It is the second closest Disney hotel to the parks with the Grand Californian being the closest. It is a short 8-10 minute walk to the entrance gates of both Disneyland and California Adventure. The entire walk is through Downtown Disney which made me feel very safe when walking back from the parks at night.

I also loved how close this hotel was to the parks since we came back in the afternoons for naptime or pool time. When traveling to Disney with toddlers, it’s important to take some breaks during the day so they don’t get worn out. It was so nice to be able to take a short walk back to our hotel in the middle of the day.

Another thing to note about the Disneyland Hotel is that the monorail is only a few minute walk from the Hotel. It is located right inside the entrance to Downtown Disney and it will drop you off inside Disneyland park near Tomorrowland. This is an excellent way to get back to your hotel quickly if you have tired kiddos at the end of the day.



Like most hotels around Disneyland, the Disneyland Hotel does charge guests to park their cars at the hotel. The cheapest option is the self park which is $40.00 per day. This seems to be pretty standard at most hotels around Disneyland so it did not effect our decision to stay or not stay at this hotel.

I like to mention this when reviewing hotels in case some people do not know that parking is not included for hotel guests. It is something that I budget for before going on trips if I know about it ahead of time.

Checking In:

The check in process was very smooth and they provide text updates at your request. We arrived early in the day so our room was not ready yet but we still had access to the pools and grounds. They texted us as soon as our room was ready and it was earlier than standard check in time which was a bonus. Obviously this is not guaranteed but it was nice. 

When we were checking in, the people were extremely nice and they gave each of our kids special buttons since it was their first visit to Disneyland. They also gave us directions to where everything was on the grounds and how to best access the parks in the morning.

Disney hotels always go above and beyond in my opinion so I expected nothing less from the Disneyland Hotel


The Grounds:

The grounds at the Disneyland Hotel are beautifully manicured and well kept. This is what I expect when staying at Disney properties and this hotel did not disappoint. 

First, I will start with the pool area. The pool area consists of two separate areas; there is one area with slides and the second area has two pools. The slide area is perfect for kids and the big waterslides look like monorails. They also have three slides that are perfect for toddlers. They do require younger children to wear lifejackets if they want to go down any of the taller slides. Life jackets are available to all guests at no extra charge. 

There are also two pools available for swimming that are only a few yards away from the waterslide area. These pools are watched by lifeguards so you can feel safer with your kids swimming in these pools. There are also life jackets available if you want them. This was great for our 15 month old who loves the water but doesn’t swim much yet.

The pool area also has food service available for you to order. This is a great opition if you have some downtime at the pool area or on a day that you are not visiting the parks. 

Another great thing about this hotel is that it is not extremely big. It was very easy to walk from one side of the hotel to the other. I liked that this hotel had lots of ammenities but was not huge.  

The Restaurants:

There are four onsite restaurants and one coffee shop at the Disneyland Hotel. The first one is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar which is located right next to the pool area in the middle of the property. The restaurant is Jungle Cruise themed and reservations are recommended. 

The second place is Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar and Grill. This is also located near the pool area and in the center of the hotel grounds. This place offers classic American food with a Polynesian twist. 

The third place is the Palm Breeze Bar which is located in the new Disney Villas section of the hotel. This place offers American food as well and is the newest restaurant in the Disneyland Hotel.

The last place is one of the reasons why we decided to stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Goofy’s Kitchen is located at the Disneyland Hotel and is an amazing character meal to take your kids too. This is a buffet style meal which you can enjoy for breakfast, brunch or dinner. This place tends to fill up fast so be sure to make your reservations 60 days in advance. If you have it in your budget, I would highly recommend taking your kids to this character meal. You can read my full review of Goofy’s Kitchen here. 


The Rooms:

Like most Disney Hotels, there are a large range of hotel rooms to choose from. We stayed in a standard room with two queen beds. This was perfect for our family of four and we were able to save some money by booking the cheapest option. 

Since we were traveling with a 15 month old, we requested a pack and play which was set up right when we checked in. There was plenty of space for the pack and play and my three year olds bed. She prefers to sleep on her blow up mattress which we packed along for this trip. 

The details in the room were what made our stay truely magical. The whole room is Disney themed of course which make the rooms extra special. There are Mickey Mouses throughout the whole room including the faucets and bathtub handles. My kids favorite part of the room was the magical headboard above the beds. The headboards light up a magical castle, stars and play a song. We had to turn the headboard on every night before bed.

The view from our room was nothing special but you can pay more for a better view. I personally did not think it was worth the extra money since we did not spend that much time in our hotel room.

The rooms also include a small fridge which is perfect if you are staying with kids. I always like having a fridge in the room to keep some snacks and milk on hand for my youngest. 

Overall, the rooms were magical and perfect for our family of four. If you have more than four people in your group, I would recommend upgrading to a suite for more space.    


The Perks:

The best part about staying at the Disneyland Hotel is the Early Entry perk for all hotel guests. Early entry is where you get to enter the theme park 30 minutes before the park opens for all other guests. I think this perk is definitely worth it especially if you are visiting with young kids. 

During early entry, we were able to ride a bunch of rides in Fantasyland with our toddlers before the park opened. This was perfect for us since we did not have to spend a lot of time waiting in lines. It is important to note that only a few areas are open during early entry. Fantasyland and Tommorowland were the only areas open which was perfect since we were traveling with toddlers.

Some people also utilize early entry to wait for other lands to be open so they can be in the front of the line for other rides. I would highly recommend doing this for some of the more popular rides if you are traveling with older kids. 

Currently, early entry is only available for one park each day. You should make sure that you check the calender online before your visit to make sure early entry is available for the park you want to visit each day.   

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, the Disneyland Hotel is an excellent choice for families visiting Disneyland. It is within walking distance to both parks and the walk to get into the parks is through Downtown Disney which makes you feel very safe. 

The pool areas are also a big bonus when staying with kids. The pool area is close to all the towers of the hotel and is the perfect place to take a mid afternoon break when visiting the parks.

The most valuable thing about staying at the Disneyland Hotel was the early entry to the parks. This proved to be a huge advantage and it was well worth staying on Disney grounds to get into the parks 30 minutes early. I think this is especially important when visiting with young kids since waiting in long lines can be a challenge with them. 

If you are looking for a family friendly hotel on the Disneys grounds with great perks, look not further than the Disneyland Hotel. 


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