What are the pros and cons of staying on property at the Disneyland Resort versus staying off property, say at the HoJo Anaheim? I am especially looking for opinions of those who have done both, but all feedback is welcome.
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To be honest, I think it makes a lot more difference in Walt Disney World in Florida than it does here in California. You will pay a lot less at a non-Disney hotel. If you get a hotel right across the street, or around the corner on Katella, you really won't have a long walk. In some cases, you'll have a shorter walk than the Disneyland Hotel or the Paradise Pier Hotel. You'll also have cheaper choices for breakfast.
While the amenities may be nicer - and prettier at the Disney hotels, if you don't plan on spending much time at the hotel except for sleeping, I'd stay off property.
Personal favorite of mine has been the Camelot Inn. Although I've stayed at a few on Harbor Blvd, and they've all been different degrees of nice.
In the past few years, we have stayed at both the Anaheim Fairfield and Paradise Pier. The only true perks to staying at the Pier were early entry every day it is offered and being able to send items you purchase back to the hotel. As sbk stated, some of the off-site hotels are a lot closer walk. To the DL entrance, the Fairfield was about a 5 minute walk, whereas the Pier is probably closer to 12-15. However, that early entry was how we got on RSR twice in one day. Price aside, it comes down to perks vs. convenience. If it is just my wife and I traveling, convenience wins. If we have the kids, perks wins so we can do early entry and not have to carry purchases around with us.
Staying off property saves you a lot of money. Even comparing off property hotels to Paradise Pier is pretty substantial. I feel like some of the ones right across from the entrance are a shorter walk than the Disney hotels.
I agree that staying off site at DL is not nearly the burden it is at WDW. Most of the hotels are within a 10 minute walk to the DL / DCA entrances. IMHO the plus on staying off campus is the cost. I took my family plus the grandparents to DL last month and stayed off property at the Residence Inn. Had a huge double room with free breakfast (and a birthday cake for my dad's 72 birthday) for Two nights and it cost me less than Half of what one room at the DL Hotel or Grand Californian for two nights. That money was put to dinners and memorabilia. Also, had a full kitchen so I could cook and keep my daughters food cold in the fridge.
The flip is of course that it's not on campus. So the little disney perks of being in the hotel, character dining, amazing decor, etc, is lacking at most places. They are nice, but not Disney nice. But if it's a once in a lifetime trip, splurge. get the experience. I have and it's amazing. But every time? That would just be very expensive.
But the big question for me is how much time am I going to spend in the room? I'm going into the park, not spending all day in the room. And that's where the money issue comes back into play. Again, choose what's right for you, but either way it's still going to be a great experience.
My family chooses to say off property. We stay on South Harbor Blvd, right across the street from the main entrance. Our current favorite place is the Anaheim Inn and Suites. We would rather spend the money on Annual Passes and other restaurants in the parks. You can literally saves hundreds of dollars by staying off property. I have done the math over the years.
Staying across the street is close enough to walk back and have meals in our hotel room.
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We always stay off property. I would like to stay at Grand Californian one day just for the experience, but aside from early morning entry there are no perks to staying on property like there are at WDW. Even the Disney hotels are outside the parks, and some non-Disney hotels are actually closer. Camelot Inn even has Disney themed suites for less than 1/2 the price of Disneyland Hotel and is a shorter walk to boot. Of the hotels I've stayed at on Harbor, I like Camelot Inn the best.
I stayed at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott earlier this month and I really liked the hotel. It was themed and my room had Disney pictures and paintings on the walls. They also have Disney themed suites.
We have always found the Portofino Inn to be a good place to stay. We always take advantage of the Kid's Suites when we stay there.
And while Anaheim (like most of SoCal) has gangs in the area, my advice us to always stay diligent and be aware of your surroundings. That being said, we have never, ever had any issues with the homeless, prostitutes, etc. in the neighborhood. No matter what time of day or night we have always felt safe.
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If you stay on property you will pay more for a hotel but there is something to be said for being so close to the park and having the hotels themed for Disney. After a long day at the park it is so nice to hop on the Monorail and be right back at your hotel.
Staying off property might be cheaper but if you don't drive your car (which you have to pay for parking) then you either walk (if your close enough) or take the buses which operate ~15min. For me it is a PITB everytime I leave the park or the hotel to walk to the stop, wait for the bus, take the bus ride and then walk to the park from the lot. You take 20-30 min out of your day everytime you do this. But if you can't afford or don't like paying the $ for the DL hotels then you will definitely save staying off site.
im not a big fan of the Grand Californian.....it has a beautiful lobby, easy and early entrance to the park.....but that is about it...
the rooms are overpriced and overrated.....i stayed in a lot better hotels for equal or lesser price
Anaheim isnt safe near the disneyland area....
there are many gangs nearby....the jeffrey street gang, AVLS, Boys from the Hood, Westwside Anaheim, SSK and Calle Vermont are the local gangs that surround disneyland...
one of the worst gang rapes happened at a hotel right across the street from disneyland....the hotel just shut down a 2 months ago and will become a hyatt (zabys motor lodge)
another ongoing problem is the prostitution.....there are a lot of prostitutes trying to make a quick buck off Harbor Blvd....
most important for hotel guests.....learn the signs of bed bugs....anaheim hotels, motels, inns etc etc has a high rate of bed bug reports....
has anyone experience or seen any of these problems on their trips?
Ive had a ap for the last 8 years and have stayed at surrounding hotels at different hotels in the area like the Super 8 and Little Boy Blue to Hilton and Hojo and never had a problem walking home late at night(1am) or early in the morning(630am). I have never felt unsafe getting to and from my hotel/motel. Nor have I seen prostition. But I have seen homeless sleeping at the bus stops, but that is in any city.
The Dland hotels are very nice. I think it depends on how you want to spend your money. Do you wana splurg on the room and experience or save money at an offsite hotel and splurg on food and merch. We just stayed at the hojo and loved it for the pirate pool and its rooms. And we've stayed at the Dland hotel and loved it for its monorail pool and rooms. Its a hard choice...