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Disneyland Hotels

ChanceH

Active Member
Original Poster
#1
The family and I are thinking about making our first trip to DL as we have been going to DW 3 times a year for the last 3 years. We want to do something different. Question I have is about where to stay. I’ve been told to stay off site and I’ve been told to stay onsite. I like the idea of staying in one of the good neighbor hotels “across the street “ if they are truly across the street. They appear to be about $700 cheaper at least for the one I priced for a week vs the lowest resort on property. Are the Disney resorts that much more worth it? If so I have no problem paying for them. And let me say we ALWAYS stay onsite at DW. We love POFQ
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
#2
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Staying on-site is nowhere near as important to the overall experience as it is at WDW. So unless you have a ton of money you're willing to shell out, I would personally go for one of the good neighbor hotels. Someone else can give you a better geographic description of where the hotels are in relation to the resort, but the good neighbors I've stayed at were usually around a 10 min walk from the esplanade.

The biggest benefit of the Disney hotels is the extra magic hour, which allows you an extra hour before park opening. If you stay at Grand Californian you can also enter DCA directly from a back entrance built into the hotel, which is pretty convenient.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#5
We have stayed onsite and offsite at DL multiple times over the years. I would start by asking you what you want from you hotel. If you are just using it as a place to sleep or don't want the Disney immersion experience then by all means you don't need the DL hotels. They do offer you some benefits such as magic hours, but the value of those depends on whether you will use them and which time of the year you are going because sometimes the park gets really crowded and the are nice to have to get a jump on the crowds but other times of the year they aren't necessary. So when do you plan on going? Also do you have small kids, older kids or none at all on the trip... My kids really enjoyed the full DL resort experience when they were really young but as they got older it didn't matter as much to them.

Staying off site can actually even get you closer to DL than any of the Disney hotels... Not closer to California Adventure as the Grand Californian is right there connected to California Adventure, but it is probably the one DL onsite I wouldn't recommend even if you want onsite as it seemed to be the least Disneyfied of all the resorts.

Howard Johnson on Harbor Blvd is probably the best place outside the park that is walking distance. I've stayed as some of the other hotels that are closer to the parks walking wise, and although I didn't think any of them were just flat out bad, they were not up to the level of cleanliness that I like in a hotel and lacked a nicer quality pool.

Now if you want the onsite experience, go for the Disneyland Hotel. It is not the cheapest option in fact it is the next to the most expensive but it gives you a very nice immersion. Also although it is on the other end of Downtown Disney from the parks you are very close to the monorail stop which unlike WDW will drop you off right there near the Finding Nemo Submarines and the lines are rarely that bad... downside of that is sometimes you might have to wait about 10 or 15 minutes for a monorail to arrive... but hey you can still ride up front in the monorail which is something I miss at WDW.
 

ChanceH

Active Member
Original Poster
#6
Well we are talking a fly in Sunday fly home Friday trip with Disneyland 2 days and 2 days elsewhere. By we I’m speaking of my wife, our 9yr old son, and wife’s brother. The hotel will be just somewhere to sleep and relax. offsite is the more appealing strictly for pricing but at the same time this will be a one time only trip probably being we love Disney world.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
#7
Well we are talking a fly in Sunday fly home Friday trip with Disneyland 2 days and 2 days elsewhere. By we I’m speaking of my wife, our 9yr old son, and wife’s brother. The hotel will be just somewhere to sleep and relax. offsite is the more appealing strictly for pricing but at the same time this will be a one time only trip probably being we love Disney world.
Agree with the offsite Hotel Option, lots of great choices, many with a free breakfast.
 

Texas84

DVC Fan Boy
Premium Member
#9
I was just at Paradise Pier and it was nice not to have to deal with Harbor. But that is a LONG walk through Downtown. The monorail helps but wasn't running during the Halloween party.
 

Old Mouseketeer

Well-Known Member
#10
I hear a lot of people like HoJo's because it's more of a park-like setting (and what appears to be a really successful refresh). And you have three good breakfast choices on your walk--Mimi's, Panera, and McD's plus Denny's and IHOP with a small detour.
 
#11
Does anyone know if you can, very early in the morning before rope drop, roll up to the hotel you're staying at later that night, park there and go straight to the parks, planning to check in later? We're going in November and staying on a Sunday night. We plan to hit the parks Sunday morning/day/evening. Also if anyone has any tips whatsoever the maximize a one day park hopper trip while staying at a DL hotel (Grand Californian, super splurging once in a lifetime!) I'd love to hear it. We've been to DL a few times in the past few years and my +1 will be 30 weeks pregnant if it helps :)
 
#12
Does anyone know if you can, very early in the morning before rope drop, roll up to the hotel you're staying at later that night, park there and go straight to the parks, planning to check in later? We're going in November and staying on a Sunday night. We plan to hit the parks Sunday morning/day/evening. Also if anyone has any tips whatsoever the maximize a one day park hopper trip while staying at a DL hotel (Grand Californian, super splurging once in a lifetime!) I'd love to hear it. We've been to DL a few times in the past few years and my +1 will be 30 weeks pregnant if it helps :)
You can certainly arrive early at the Grand Californian.
If you arrive very early, you can even take advantage of Extra Magic Hour.

The procedure might be slightly different than you expect:
  1. Drive to GCH and tell CM at entrance you are checking in
  2. Drive to front of convention center (main entrance is under construction)
  3. Have Bell Services unload and store your luggage
  4. Valet park or tell valet you are self-parking
  5. Go to registration, check in and receive room keys (needed for EMH and self-park)
  6. Return to car and self-park (which is across the street), if you did not valet
  7. Enjoy EMH
  8. You will receive a text (or phone call) when your room is ready
  9. Go directly to you room, returning to registration is not needed
  10. Call Bell Services for your luggage
 
#13
You can certainly arrive early at the Grand Californian.
If you arrive very early, you can even take advantage of Extra Magic Hour.

The procedure might be slightly different than you expect:
  1. Drive to GCH and tell CM at entrance you are checking in
  2. Drive to front of convention center (main entrance is under construction)
  3. Have Bell Services unload and store your luggage
  4. Valet park or tell valet you are self-parking
  5. Go to registration, check in and receive room keys (needed for EMH and self-park)
  6. Return to car and self-park (which is across the street), if you did not valet
  7. Enjoy EMH
  8. You will receive a text (or phone call) when your room is ready
  9. Go directly to you room, returning to registration is not needed
  10. Call Bell Services for your luggage
Thank you very much! I didn't expect we'd be able to get room keys (even non-functioning ones) that early but I guess they are the "proof" needed for EMH. We'll see how early my wife will feel like rolling out of bed and into the rental car... we'll be driving from San Diego. For some reason the information you posted is difficult to find online :p
 
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