For those who enjoyed my prior article about visiting the ‘happiest place on earth-in California, let’s now discuss where to stay when the lush, fun and exciting Disneyland Resort Hotel (www.disneyland.go.com/Hotels) is out of your budget range. Disney has a list of what is called ‘Good Neighbor Hotels’ that all participate in their vacation packages and offer a wide range of prices from the affordable to the not so affordable but let’s splurge anyway. I have personally stayed at several of them and can vouch for their cleanliness, friendly staff and convenient location to the park and to the Denny’s which always helps to stretch one’s budget. There are over a dozen hotels that are within a half mile radius of the hotel, walking distance and also many that are directly across the street from the park’s entrance and downtown Disney. Parking for cars and motorcycles is $15.00, oversized vehicles and RVs is $20.00, and buses are $25.00. If you wish only to visit downtown Disney, their parking lot is FREE for the first3 hours with an additional 2 hours FREE with AMC theatre validation or at select restaurants. The maximum daily parking fee is $30.00.
Here is an example of what it costs a single parent family with one child to stay at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels for 3 days and 2 nights for the hotel only (park tickets are separate in this scenario) arriving Sunday, May 20th leaving Tuesday, May 22nd. To compare the rates for each hotel for a standard room it would cost this vacationing family $632.00 (+ tax) to stay at the Disneyland Grand California Hotel and Spa. To stay at the traditional Disneyland Hotel would cost $520.00 (+ tax) and to stay at the beachfront boardwalk themed Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel would cost $488.00 (+ tax). Now, if that’s within one’s budget, then go for it and enjoy! However, for those who are looking to save money and don’t plan to be inside their hotel room other than to sleep, shower and dress, there are many hotels within walking distance that are affordable, clean and conveniently located with several across the street from both theme parks. There is the Quality Inn and Suites Anaheim Resort located directly across the street to the park’s entrance with a rate of $65.99 (+ tax) per night (using the Sunday through Tuesday scenario for comparative dates). The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Anaheim, which is adjacent to the downtown Disney and both parks is $82.00 (+ tax) per night using the same scenario. Please make a note that some hotels will charge a separate ‘resort fee’ of $10.00 to $15.00 per night which is to be paid at the time of check in directly to the hotel. When making your reservations, be sure to ask about this fee so you won’t be surprised and have this cut into your funds as they can add up quickly. For a full list of participating ‘Good Neighbor Hotels’ around Disneyland, rates and availability go to the Disney website (www.disneyland.disney.go.com), scroll to the bottom of the page, on the left side under the heading ‘Parks and Hotels’ you can click on the Good Neighbor Hotels link to.
There are also good deals going on regularly at various discount sites such as www.kayak.com, www.orbitz.com, www.expedia.com, and www.hotels.comjust to name a few. If you Google Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels, you will see a long list of sites to choose from and compare prices. Again, be sure to check for any separate fees such as a resort fee or booking fees when reserving through a third party. Also, if you do not mind walking a mile or even 2 miles, there are nice, clean, affordable hotels that are not just right across the street that will also help to save you some money. Often times, the extra we pay is for convenience and luxury rather than necessity. Of course, if you can afford luxury, then by all means do so. Whatever your financial situation is, remember the whole point is to have fun and enjoy yourself with your family; never let money ruin a good family trip. Money will always come again, but family is forever and you can never get the lost moments back again. Even if you were to go back to the same place, on the same date, it will never be exactly the same. The year will be different as will the surrounding people, weather and just life in general. And once a loved one is gone, you can’t redo anything so enjoy your family now, no matter what the costs later.