5 Best Budget-Friendly Places to Stay Near Disneyland for Families
Disneyland is the undisputed happiest place on earth – if you're a kid three years old and above.
But, if you're a parent, the happiest place on earth is a family-friendly hotel with all the amenities for a cost efficient, stress-free, and memorable trip with your kids.
We’ve put together our top five picks for the best budget places to stay near Disneyland. So let us be your fairy godmother and help you get ready to plan your trip.
1. Great Wolf Lodge
Just three miles away from Disneyland, the Great Wolf Lodge boasts of a 105,000-square-foot indoor water park, that's immediately available for guests to use upon check-in.
The lodge has everything from a surfing simulator, to a lazy river, and a giant funnel waterslide. There's also a zero-entry pool that's exclusive for toddlers.
Aside from water attractions, kids can also enjoy activities like Story Time and the Forest Friends Lobby Show. On the other hand, bigger kids can play MagiQuest, an interactive adventure game that takes them on a journey around the entire lodge.
Rooms are available in Standard, Themed, and Premium. Upgrading to a Themed Suite will give your kids a separate sleeping area, equipped with bunk beds and TV with YouTube access. Bigger families can choose the Premium Suite which can fit as many as eight people.
Rates start at $200 - $350 a night depending on the season. If that's still a bit over your budget, you can take advantage of their early bird promos to get as much as 50% off your suite's original price.
A complimentary shuttle service to the Disneyland park is also provided! Just make sure to reserve through the bell service team as runs per day are limited. This is our top pick for cheap hotels near Disneyland.
2. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Or simply, the HoJo, is a pirate-themed, Disney budget hotel that's about an eight minute walk from Disneyland. In fact, it's even closer to the theme park than two of Disneyland’s own hotels.
Because of its close proximity to the park, it's ideal for families traveling with small children. You can take your time preparing the kids for a day of fun and still make it to the Extra Magic Hour without the need to hustle for transportation.
The hotel has a very open and spacious feel thanks to its beautifully landscaped seven acre property, with over 300 rooms divided amongst six different buildings!
All Standard rooms get the basic amenities such as a coffee maker, microwave, TV, mini fridge, and free Wi-Fi. On the other hand, Suites can include pirate-themed decorations, bunk beds for kids, and a game console.
Depending on the season, you can get rooms at around $140, which is a good deal considering most of the rooms give you a clear view of Snow White's castle and the fireworks show at night from the balcony.
But HoJo’s real value is that kids and parents can both enjoy it for themselves. Your kids can enjoy the water playground, complete with a 30-foot pirate ship, water cannons, slides and more.
On the other hand, the very kind parents who chose to treat their kids to this trip can enjoy its close proximity to Disneyland (less stress), its budget-conscious rates (your bank account won’t cry) and comfortable rooms (thanks you fluffy pillows), as well as free parking.
3. The Anabella
Listed as one of Disneyland's “Good Neighbor Hotels”, The Anabella's resort and spa-like ambiance will make you want to extend your stay for a few more days.
With the combination of contemporary architecture and lush tropical grounds, The Anabella gives off a unique California charm that instantly makes you feel relaxed and on vacation.
It’s no smoking policy along with its many amenities also add to its chilled out ambience. You can enjoy regular drive-in movies or al fresco movie screenings with the kids while taking a dip in one of the hotel's pools and jacuzzis. You can also choose to relax cozily around the firepits of the outdoor lounge.
If you want to spend some alone time after a tiring day at Disneyland with the kids, you can wind down at the hotel's quiet pool, which is only open to guests 18 years old and above.
Order a few cocktail drinks at the bar and have it served poolside to cap your day.
Rooms start at around $90 - $140 a night depending on the season and include free Wi-Fi, a mini fridge, a coffee maker, in-room safe, and patios for rooms on the ground floor.
If you have small kids, you can choose the Kids Suite which comes with Disney-inspired bunk beds, but take note that if you need a crib, you will have to pay extra. For families with many kids, the Hacienda Suite can house up to five guests, a great option for big families.
Although parking is not free, you can save on other things like transportation fees as it's only a 10-15 minute walk to Disneyland and other restaurants. The Anabella is one of the best places to stay near Disneyland if you're on a budget.
4. Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
If what you're after is comfort, the newly-built Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance has got you and your family covered.
First off, the Courtyard’s close proximity to the park is especially convenient if you have small kids, because all it takes a mere five minutes from the hotel's lobby to Disneyland's entrance.
Next, rooms at the Courtyard are far larger than standard. Regular rooms are at 500 sq. feet and come with two sinks and showers, while suites are at 800 sq. feet and can fit up to six guests. All rooms come with twin bunk beds, so you and your kids can have better and more restorative sleep.
Also, there's also a 24-hour Starbucks in the hotel, which is a godsend for parents who need a quick caffeine fix before heading out to the park. Its prime location also gives you a lot of shopping and dining options that fit your budget.
Of course, the hotel's main attraction is the exciting water park, which includes two thrilling 30-foot waterslides, a 400-gallon drench bucket, an outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi, and a wade pool for the tots with a beach-style entry.
While it's a bit on the steeper side as compared to other hotels in the area, its plush amenities, prime location, and proximity to the park is worth the extra buck.
5. Alpine Inn
If your plan involves maximizing your time inside Disneyland, enjoying all the rides from sunup to sundown, nothing beats staying at the Alpine Inn. It's one of the cheapest places to stay near Disneyland.
Not only is it about a 10-minute walk from the park's entrance, rooms rates can satisfy even the most budget-conscious. At around $75 - $130 a night (depending on the season), your room will include a microwave, free Wi-Fi, and access to an outdoor heated pool.
While Alpine Inn is more quaint than its other off-site contemporaries, its free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking more than makes up for its minor shortcomings. Basics are all you really need, especially when on a budget.
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More Tips on How to Save Money
Pack a few breakfast and snack items.
Most hotels provide guests with a mini-fridge, coffee maker or microwave in their rooms, so if breakfast isn't complementary, you can save a few bucks by packing a few breakfast and snack items, such as protein bars, fruit, and water bottles. To make sure that these small items don't roll around all over your luggage, you can pack them in a packing cube like EzPacking's Small Packing Cube or Medium Packing Cube. These specific packing cubes are great because they are clear - you can see exactly what you packed inside!
Off-site accommodation is the better choice.
Accommodation inside the park is astronomically pricey. Off-site accommodations give you a wider price range to choose from based on your budget. You also get a lot more options in terms of shopping and dining.
Always check for promos.
All hotels have seasonal or ongoing promotions which you can take advantage of, which will help cut your accommodation expenses down a little. Every little bit makes a difference!
Now that you have a better idea of the budget places to stay near Disneyland, it's time to bippity boppity boo your way to a stress-free, cost-efficient, and truly magical trip with your family.