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  1. #1

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    Yet Another Hotel Question - Parents of toddler/preschooler

    I apologize for yet another hotel question. However, I have tried to research this independantly and cannot come up with the right answer. I am going to try and give as much information about ourselves to help in your advice (be forewarned it will be lengthy). For our very first trip ever to Disneyland (mom/dad/dd2/dd4), we stayed September 2011 at the Residence Inn Maingate. I loved the seperate room to nap toddlers, but the walk back and forth (morning, nap, evening) was exhausting (for an athletic mom and dad - kids in strollers). The included breakfast was meh, we used the refrigerator a tiny bit but never the kitchen. The living room furniture was so yucky we needed a spare sheet to sit down. Carpet was worse.... I do realize that hotels near Disneyland see a lot of family use. Which means things are going to be more than gently used. Long story short - a full kitchen and breakfast included not required.

    The reviews on trip advisor for this hotel were pretty stellar but my experiences were not. I am reaching out to MiceChat to see if I can get more direction that specifically answers my family's questions and needs. In advance, thank you for all of you that assist in planning the perfect return to Disneyland.

    1. We are currently booked at the Grand Californian. I love the fact that it is very close to the park entrance because my children are still of napping age. But the price is unbelievable - we could afford it, but I don't know that I want to. I would pay for it if it was worth it. I have seen so much conflicting information that I don't know if I want to take my chances on that kind of price. Does it make sense to pay the money for the GCH or stay at Fairfield/Candy Cane/etc across the street from the park entrance?
    2. Would it make sense to stay at a hotel that is within driving distance and just park every day? How big of a nuisance is the driving and parking?
    3. Are there any recommendations for a mom of two regarding the hotel situation that I have missed?

    I do like the idea of a seperate bedroom but if it has a patio or something for mom and dad during naptime, that would be ok too. A small refrigerator at least would be nice.

    If there is a previous post that answers some of these questions that I have missed, I am happy to review those if someone is willing to direct me to them. Thanks again for your help.

  2. #2

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    Re: Yet Another Hotel Question - Parents of toddler/preschooler

    Here's one option: The Marriott Anaheim Suites. I live locally but my family and I (my wife, teenage son & 4-year-old daughter) just spent this past Sunday night there for a little Disneyland getaway. We didn't choose it, but rather won it on Priceline for probably 1/8th of the cost of a typical night at the Grand Californian. Even at their (non-Priceline) regular rate it seems pretty affordable, however.

    The suite was large and had the beds in one room and a separate living room with couch, chair, TV, desk area, etc. There was a mini fridge in that area as well. It does not have a mini kitchen like a Homestead Suites would. No balcony or windows that open, but it did have floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of light. We had no issues with cleanliness, etc., like you described at the Maingate.

    With kids, it's not really within comfortable walking distance of the parks (about 1.8 miles, according to Google maps), but you could drive and park (it's not far from the Toy Story lot) or they have a shuttle that was $4 a day for adults and $1 for kids, with kids under 5 (I think?) being free. I think it said the shuttles arrive twice hourly.

  3. #3

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    Re: Yet Another Hotel Question - Parents of toddler/preschooler

    I would recommend the Kids Suite at the HoJo Anaheim. These suites have a mini fridge and a microwave, two separate bedrooms, and a balcony. They were also renovated somewhat recently, so the furniture is new. It is about a quarter mile to walk to the parks. The best part is that it is nearly $300 a night less than the GCH. Here's a link for more info:

    rooms | Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel

  4. #4

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    Re: Yet Another Hotel Question - Parents of toddler/preschooler

    My family and I stayed at the Grand California hotel just once about 2 years ago. We only live about 60 miles away, so we usually just drive up and back. So, the Grand was a treat for us.

    Saying 'it is worth it' is very subjective of course. But, I can say that we truly enjoyed every minute of our stay a the Grand.

    Pros:
    - Proximity (obviously - especially to CA Adventure)
    - The entire property is magnificent, and really makes you feel like you are still in the parks.
    - We were able to check in early, and get keys. They texted our room number to us later while we were in the park. And we just called to have our bags brought up to our room. Very convenient.

    Cons:
    - it is expensive, and we found the close dining options in downtown disney can be pretty pricey as well.
    - The self parking across the street takes a while to walk back a forth to. So, it can take some time to go grab a quick/affordable meal for the family instead of room service.

    I think the Disney hotel options make the most sense when you plan a non-park day during your visit. We stayed for three days over the spring using 2fer tickets - 1st day in 1 park, 2nd day at hotel, DTD, and pool, and 3rd day at the other park.

    Like most things Disney, we spent a lot of money, but I do feel like there was a lot of value / memories received.

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