Disneyland, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2015, is a dream vacation for kids. Unlike its sister in Florida, the resort features its original Disneyland and Disney”s California Adventure, with entrances to each across a pedestrian walkway. It also differs from Disney World because it only offers three onsite hotels: Disney”s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disney”s Grand California Hotel & Spa and Disneyland Hotel. The surrounding blocks of Anaheim, California, however, are lined with hotels catering to families. This means the toughest decision you”ll need to make is choosing just which property is best for your group. The following are our 10 favorites, based on family reviews.
Written by Lissa Poirot
When it comes to the three onsite properties, the Disneyland Hotel
is the original. The Disneyland Hotel open in 1955 with the theme park and was meant to be an extension of the park, with a castle-like elegance. The hotel has received numerous renovations and upgrades, and is a favorite for kids because of its 5,000-square-foot swimming pool and signature suites, which include the Mickey Mouse Penthouse
. Says member dwallander, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We always stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Our kids love going to the character meals and hanging out at the pool. For families with small children, this is the best hotel for a Disneyland trip."
DisneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Of the three Disney properties, Disney"s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
is the most luxurious, and the most expensive (nearly double rates of the other Disney hotels!) Ã¢â‚¬Å“It"s pretty expensive but you are paying for the service, quality and location,Ã¢â‚¬Â says member lorikeet8. Created to feel like a grand mountain lodge, the hotel features several pools surrounded by wooded areas, as well as rustic onsite restaurants. It is also connected directly to Disney California Adventure with a private entrance within steps of hotel rooms. Park view rooms provide views of the evening lightshow and fireworks spectacular, and character meals are available in the resort dining rooms.
DisneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Paradise Pier Hotel
The most budget-friendly of the three Disneyland properties, Disney"s Paradise Pier Hotel
was remodeled in 2012 and features conveniences like a 24-hour coin-operated laundry room and free swim diapers at the rooftop pools, which feature a water slide and views of the fireworks at Disneyland. You can beat the crowds and little ones can be tucked into bed once the show ends. In the morning, kids can dine with their favorite characters. Reader luvpresli originally wanted to stay at the sold-out Disneyland Hotel and stayed at Paradise Pier instead, finding it to be a great surprise. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was very clean and everyone was very nice,Ã¢â‚¬Â she says.
Hotel Indigo Anaheim
This contemporary hotel chain
may not be your first choice when visiting Disneyland, but consider the amenities: free Wi-Fi, suites with separate living and sleeping space, sofa beds, self-service laundry and an outdoor swimming pool, all within steps of the Disneyland Resort. As member Laurentmonti notes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Indigo Hotel is a hidden gem in Anaheim. This hotel is new, very well maintained, and the customer service is better than some 5-star hotels with big names. Do not hesitate to book this place for a family stay.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ayres Hotel Anaheim
may be the property furthest away from Disneyland (a mere 2 miles), but it is one of the best for families. Not only does the hotel provide a complimentary shuttle to Disneyland, but it"s also close to Knott"s Berry Farm, in the event the kids would like to see another theme park. The hotel features spacious suites with kitchenettes to keep snacks, and provides free hot breakfast daily. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This was a great place to stay on our Disney vacation,Ã¢â‚¬Â says dawnkaestner, who notes her kids also like playing in the hotel pool and video game arcade.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Anaheim Resort
For a larger property within walking distance of the theme parks, families love the DoubleTree Suites
, which is also connected to the Anaheim Convention Center for additional shows and events. The resort is so close to Disneyland that families can catch the fireworks from its second-story swimming pool. As a convenience to families, the resort is the only non-Disney property to offer a Disney Welcome Center right in its lobby, so guests can make Disney meal and event reservations and get tickets in advance. Another perk? Most of the accommodations are suites so families have room to spread out. Family Vacation Critic member Kboles89 loved her family"s stay, especially because the staff was addressing them by name before the weeklong vacation was over!
Candy Cane Inn
The Candy Cane Inn
opened immediately following Disneyland and is one of the oldest hotels in Anaheim that still provides a family-operated feel and touch. Guests can walk across the street to the theme parks, and even catch a glimpse of fireworks from some of the rooms. Understanding guests are visiting for Disneyland, the inn provides free parking, free shuttles to the parks, free daily breakfast to fill up before a busy day and free Wi-Fi for keeping in touch and posting pictures from the trip. Markatt0333 raved, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This was my first visit. It won"t be my last. This inn gets a 10 straight across the board.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Another large resort property near Disneyland that"s great for families is the WorldMark Anaheim
. The property is a condo-style vacation rental hotel providing extra amenities for kids, such as a play area, arcade and recreation center. The large outdoor pool is landscaped with palm trees to provide a tropical feel as the kids play in a kiddie pool and parents cook up burgers on the grills. The resort"s rooftop is open at night to watch the fireworks taking place at Disneyland -- and features rooftop hot tubs! As waz33 points out, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Where else can you save your spot to watch the fireworks while soaking your cares of the day away in a hot tub?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate
Each of the Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate
"s 200 rooms is a suite with plenty of space for families to spread out when not enjoying the theme parks. One- and two-bedroom suites are available so larger families can stay together, as Y1515IOwilliamf did: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were a family of 5 [with] a two-bedroom family suite with two separate bathrooms, plus a sleeper sofa.Ã¢â‚¬Â Each suite at the hotel features a fully equipped kitchen to allow families to save on food costs by making meals instead of eating out, and the hotel provides free breakfast before you head off to the theme parks, courtesy of a complimentary shuttle service.
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground
Although the iconic HoJo orange roof from its 1960"s days is gone, this fully renovated Howard Johnson
has turned itself into a destination outside of Disney with its water playground and pool area for kids. The 7-acre property is one of the largest outside of Disney and provides free parking, free Wi-Fi and special pirate-themed Kids Suites with bunk beds -- all within steps of the theme parks. Says Jenngg, Ã¢â‚¬Å“HoJo was an amazing deal. Every other non-Disney property within walking distance is a motel, and none have water play areas that compare to this. I still love the Disney hotels, but if you"re on a budget, I can"t imagine a better deal than HoJo.Ã¢â‚¬Â