Rides from the Disney California Adventure Park, near some of the best choices for where to stay at Disneyland

Where to Stay at Disneyland (Best Areas & Places for 2022)

As the most famous theme park in California, choosing where to stay at Disneyland will greatly impact your trip. It’s near impossible to explore all of Disneyland in one day, so you’ll make your trip as cohesive as possible by staying overnight near the theme park.

I mean, planning a trip to Disneyland is a lot. From arranging transportation to reserving tickets and deciding when to visit Disneyland, the last thing you want to worry about is bad accommodation. 

As a Southern California local who lives only minutes from Disneyland, I’ve been visiting Mickey’s palace ever since I was a baby. Using my insider knowledge, let’s take a look at the best hotels and neighborhoods to stay in during your trip to Disneyland.

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Best Places to Stay near Disneyland

Aerial view of the Anaheim’s residential area in California
The perfect blend of Anaheim’s residential and resort areas

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay near Disneyland? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods near Disneyland: 

5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay Near Disneyland

For easy park access, the most popular place to stay during a Disneyland trip is in one of the three resident Disneyland hotels. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, and the Disneyland Hotel are all great hotel options and are the closest to the rides and attractions of the theme park.

Of course, if you want to save some money or have a more inclusive Anaheim experience,  then you may prefer to stay just outside of the park boundaries. Anaheim is divided into six districts – Anaheim Hills, Southwest, Southeast, The Colony, Northwest, and Northeast. In particular, the Anaheim Resort Area is close to the park and is super popular.

Additionally, the Southwest neighborhood is the most populous area with hundreds, if not thousands, of accommodation and dining options. Meanwhile, Anaheim Hills is Anaheim’s most luxurious neighborhood with top-grade security and high-end shopping.

Disneyland Parks

The Main Street Mercantile building on the outside
Disneyland hotels are inside the park boundaries and close to the main Disney attractions

👉 Best Area For Theme Park Access | ✨ Best Disneyland Park Hotels: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & SpaDisney’s Paradise Pier HotelDisneyland Hotel 

When you picture a quintessential Disneyland hotel, chances are you’re thinking about one of the three hotels within the park’s boundaries: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disneyland Hotel. Located in the heart of the greater Disneyland area, these hotels are the perfect place to stay for guests who want an early start exploring the Disneyland theme parks.

Guests who plan their Disneyland vacation at one of these hotels have earlier entry access into the theme parks. This means that the guests will be some of the first to go on famous rides like Space Mountain and the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance.

The Disneyland park hotels are also filled with special Disney magic, decor, and the occasional Disney character. Parents may choose to stay inside the park because the hotels offer many children’s activities and give them time to enjoy the adults-only swimming pool.

You don’t need to worry about transportation if you stay at a Disneyland hotel. All of the famous theme park rides and attractions are but a short walk away from the hotel buffet.

Pros of Staying in the Disneyland Parks:

  • Close access to the Disneyland Parks
  • Early access to Disneyland rides
  • Earlier entry into the parks than regular guests
  • Evening entertainment
  • Children activities
  • Airport transportation
  • Fitness center
  • Adults only pool
  • Cribs available upon request
  • Bar/lounge
  • On-site cafe
  • Disneyland theme parks information

Cons of Staying in the Disneyland Parks:

  • Tend to be more expensive than non-Disneyland hotels
  • Hotels fill up fast on weekends, during the summer, and during holiday seasons
  • Dining options can be expensive

📚 Disneyland Parks Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Theme Park Access
Google Map

Southwest Anaheim

The Anaheim Convention Center under the clear blue sky
The shimmering, ocean-like Anaheim Convention Center in the Southwest Anaheim Burrough (photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Inexpensive Accommodation | ✨ Best Southwest Anaheim Hotels: DoubleTree SuitesAnaheim Majestic Garden HotelStaybridge Suites Anaheim at the Park

The most densely populated neighborhood in the city, you will find no shortage of accommodation options in Southwest Anaheim. There’s an eclectic mix of population diversity, restaurants, and activities in this part of Anaheim which gives the district a splash of color.

This is a family-oriented neighborhood in Orange County, only an hour from the exciting Downtown Los Angeles. It is also the closest neighborhood to the Disneyland parks, meaning you can save money on transportation by walking to the parks. 

The Anaheim Convention Center is conveniently located in this area as well. This is the largest convention center on the West Coast and hosts fun events like VidCon and music expos. 

After you’ve explored Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure thoroughly, take your little ones to Southwest Anaheim’s Adventure City for more carnival entertainment. Record your children scaling rock walls or snuggling up to adorable petting zoo friends.

Southwest Anaheim is the best neighborhood to stay in for a legion of affordable accommodation options close to Anaheim events and attractions.

Pros of Staying in Southwest Anaheim:

  • Close to the Disneyland parks
  • They don’t fill up as fast as hotels in Disneyland
  • Inexpensive rates
  • Free breakfast available
  • Free parking
  • Within walking distance of restaurants and bars

Cons of Staying in Southwest Anaheim:

  • No Disney decor
  • No children’s activities
  • No direct transportation to the Disneyland parks

📚 Southwest Anaheim Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Inexpensive Accommodation
Google Map

Anaheim Hills

Colorful sky over the Anaheim Hills during sunset
An orange hue Anaheim Hills skyline during sunset

👉 Best Area For Peace and Quiet | ✨ Best Anaheim Hills Hotels: Residence Inn Anaheim Hills Yorba LindaAyres Suites Yorba LindaFairfield Inn Anaheim Hills

If you want to experience peace and quiet during your time away from the park, then stay in Anaheim Hills. This affluent hillside neighborhood offers the best views of the city, including an aerial view of Disneyland Park.

Anaheim Hills is nestled in the hillside with the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop. It is also a very coveted neighborhood with plenty of things to do in Orange County. Guests choose to stay here because the community is one of the safest in Anaheim and has a very low crime rate.

Anaheim Hills is away from the hustle and noisy bustle of downtown Anaheim and provides guests with a peaceful vacation. On your off days from visiting Disneyland Park, you can enjoy the Anaheim Hills hiking trails, specialty shops, and hip eateries.

Yorba Regional Park is another local hotspot and the perfect nature escape from the city. Kayak, have a picnic, or watch the sunset.

Pros of Staying in Anaheim Hills:

  • Secure and gated communities
  • Quieter than other Anaheim neighborhoods
  • Scenic overlooks of the whole city 
  • Many nearby amenities
  • Upscale stores, dining, and hiking options available
  • Yorba Regional Park
  • Anaheim Hills Golf Course

Cons of Staying in Anaheim Hills:

  • Hotels are more expensive
  • Dining options can be more expensive
  • It is farther away from the Disneyland parks
  • Not many festive or cultural activities offered

📚 Anaheim Hills Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Peace and Quiet
Google Map

Anaheim Resort Area

The Sheraton Park Hotel building from the outside at the Anaheim Resort
Anaheim Resort Area’s Sheraton Park Hotel hides behind classic Orange County palm trees (photo: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Accommodation Options | ✨ Best Anaheim Resort Hotels: Desert Palms Hotel & SuitesThe Westin Anaheim ResortSheraton Park Hotel

As the name implies, the Anaheim Resort Area is crawling with resorts and other hotels near Disneyland. The streets of this area are often lined with Mickey Mouse ears-wearing tourists on their way to experience Disneyland park magic.

This area is home to the Disneyland Resort park and hundreds of dining options on Harbor Boulevard and Katella Street. The Anaheim Resort Area was designed specifically with tourism in mind.

You will always find things to do in this neighborhood, adding to your enjoyable Disneyland experience. If you are dining outside the park, try Parkestry Rooftop Bar to watch the Disneyland fireworks from a distance while you sip on a glass of wine and enjoy the perfectly soothing evening.

Most of the accommodation options in the Anaheim Resort Area provide free hot breakfast, swimming pools, room service, fire pits, room refrigerators, queen beds, a hotel shuttle, and air conditioning in the hotel rooms. 

Pros of Staying in the Anaheim Resort Area:

  • There are hundreds of hotel options available
  • Close to the Disneyland theme parks
  • Early check-in and late check-out times
  • Hotels have swimming pools and fire pits
  • Big conference rooms for business meetings
  • Many dining options available in the surrounding area or at hotel restaurants
  • Close to many family-friendly attractions

Cons of Staying in the Anaheim Resort Area:

  • There is a lot of traffic in this area
  • It may be noisy at times
  • Hotels fill up fast on the weekends, during the summer, and during the holiday season
  • No special Disneyland packages are offered

📚 Anaheim Resort Area Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Accommodation Options
Google Map

The Anaheim Colony Historic District

The Anaheim Packing House from the outside
The Anaheim Packing House has gourmet food options and is in The Colony District (photo: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Great Dining Options | ✨ Best Colony Hotels: Kings Inn AnaheimCastle Inn & SuitesWyndham Anaheim

Founded in 1857, this Anaheim neighborhood celebrates the history and diversity of the city’s foundation. It is home to historic museums and multicultural centers as well as family-oriented parks and community activities.

The most popular part of this community is the Anaheim Packing House, an extraordinary restaurant venue with hip cafes and eateries. There is also a park, brewery, playgrounds, and shopping opportunities in the Packing District. 

Only a few minutes from Disneyland, this is the perfect area to stay if you are traveling with children. Take a break from your exhilarating Disney days to enjoy the neighborhood’s historic yet modern charm.

Shop at the local Thursday farmers market on Second Street Promenade for fresh produce. You can also wander around the Pearson’s Park Amphitheater and pick the perfect spot for a picnic in between Disney trips.

Pros of Staying in The Colony:

  • Many activities to do for the whole family
  • Learn about the city’s history at Colony museums
  • Within walking distance of the Disneyland parks
  • Less crowded than Southwest Anaheim and the Anaheim Resort Area
  • Affordable accommodation options are available at The Colony
  • Top eateries in the Anaheim Packing House
  • Less traffic than other major Anaheim cities

Cons of Staying in The Colony:

  • Farther away from the Disneyland theme parks than the Anaheim Resort Area
  • No Disney atmosphere in the hotels
  • Expensive dining options 
  • Less frequent local transportation is available

📚 The Colony Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Great Dining Options
Google Map

Tips for Staying Near Disneyland

For more practical tips, bookmark my list of 75 Disneyland tips and things to know. Here’s a summary of the most important ones when it comes to picking where you stay at Disneyland:

Decide if You Want to Stay On-Property or Off-Property

The Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty’s iconic castle up close

Before you book, consider whether you want to stay in Disney-owned hotels or off-property hotels. On-property hotels like Disney’s Grand California Hotel will give you a complete Disney experience and allow you early entrance into the theme parks.

Off-property hotels, however, are more affordable than Disney hotels. Some are within walking distance of the theme parks but make sure to always check the location ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Plan Transportation to and From Disneyland Ahead of Time

If you don’t stay in a Disney hotel, you will need to plan your transportation to and from the Disneyland theme parks ahead of time. A great option is renting a car from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana or other Los Angeles areas for easy transportation.

You can also use a rideshare app or public transportation to and from your hotel to get to Disneyland. A good plan is to research and save the bus schedule so you don’t miss the last bus back to your hotel.

Stay in a Hotel That Offers Breakfast

The Harbor Blvd sign on the road
Most of Disneyland’s main hotels rest on Harbor Boulevard (photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

A trip to Disneyland isn’t exactly cheap. From entrance tickets to high food prices inside the park, you will want to save where you can. Stay in a hotel that offers a free breakfast to save money on your Disney trip. 

Most hotels offer a continental breakfast of toast, eggs, bacon, cereal, yogurt, coffee, orange juice, and fresh fruit.

Stay in a Hotel With a Jacuzzi

After walking all day at the Disneyland theme parks, relax in a soothing hotel jacuzzi to take away the aches and pains of your feet and back. Rides like the Matterhorn are very rigid and jaggedy, leaving your body in a less-than-pleasant stiff state.

Hotel jacuzzis are the perfect way to unwind from your long, chaotic Disney day. Although most hotel pools close at 10 pm, ask your concierge ahead of time and you may luck out with a 24-hour hot tub at your hotel.

Pick the Appropriate Season to Visit Disneyland

Disneyland hosts an array of exciting events and festivals year-round. If you are set on having a true Disneyland experience, then you will want to visit the park during the holiday season around September-January.

Keep in mind, however, that although this is the most festive time at the park, it is also the most expensive. Hotel prices plummet during this peak season as do flights and car rentals in California.

Book a Hotel Within Walking Distance of Disneyland Resort

An empty carousel ride in Disneyland
The Disneyland Carousel is one of the oldest rides in the park

If you choose to stay off-site during your Disney trip, then you should book a hotel that is within walking distance of the theme park. Unless you rent a car, walking is the most convenient and economic way to transport to and from the park.

Some hotels in the Anaheim Resort Area and parts of the Southwest neighborhood are within walking distance of the park. If you don’t rent a car or want to take local transportation, these are the best neighborhoods to stay in.

Fly Into John Wayne Airport

Most first-time visitors make the mistake of flying into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) when they are visiting Disneyland. John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana is much closer to the park and will save you money when you use a rideshare.

John Wayne Airport is only 20 minutes from Downtown Disney as opposed to the 45-minute drive from LAX to Disneyland. This is the best flying option for visitors coming from out of state to start their Disney experience as soon as possible.

Plan Your Disneyland Trip Around the Day of the Week

A Disney hotels under the clear blue sky on Harbor Boulevard
Luxurious Disney hotels on Harbor Blvd. near the entrance of the park (photo: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock)

Some of the cheapest times to fly are during the week. This is also the cheapest time to visit Disneyland, as tickets tend to be lower during the week than on the weekend.

Try to visit Disneyland during the week not only for cheap prices but also for fewer crowds. Disneyland Park often reaches maximum capacity on the weekends, which can hinder your magical experience. 

Calculate How Many Rooms You Will Need

If you are traveling with a large party, then you will likely need more than one hotel room. Accommodation prices can add up quickly if you are paying for multiple rooms, so you may want to stay in an off-site hotel.

Disneyland Hotels are expensive within the park’s boundaries and if your party requires multiple rooms, then this will certainly dent your wallet. I recommend staying at an off-site hotel if you are visiting the park with a large party to save on accommodation fees.

Stay at a Hotel With Free Parking

The Convention Center from afar in the Anaheim area
The peaceful downtown Anaheim area with the Convention Center in the background (photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

While most hotels offer free parking, some do not. Check with potential hotels beforehand to make sure you don’t have to pay additional parking fees.

A Disneyland trip isn’t cheap, so you will want to save where you can.

The Closer to the Parks You Stay, the Louder and Busier It Will Be

Hotels in Disneyland and very close to the parks typically experience high numbers of visitors each day and can be loud and busy. Keep this in mind when you are planning where to stay in Disneyland.

You will be around crowds all day at Disneyland so if you want some peace and relaxation, you may want to stay in a slightly farther neighborhood like Anaheim Hills. Your commute will be longer to the parks but you will get a better night’s rest. 

FAQs About Where to Stay Near Disneyland:

What hotel can you walk into Disneyland from?

You can walk into Disneyland if you are staying at one of the three hotels in the park. These include the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Can you stay overnight at Disneyland?

You can stay overnight at Disneyland if you are staying in a hotel inside the park. Otherwise, Disneyland usually closes at midnight and Disney California Adventure typically closes around 10 pm.

How much does it cost to stay in a Disneyland Hotel?

Disneyland hotel prices vary depending on the specific hotel. Prices usually vary from $150-$1,000 depending on the hotel, the selected room type, and the hotel amenities package.

***

Thanks for reading my guide on where to stay near Disneyland Resort. Any place you stay in Anaheim is close to the famed theme parks, so you can feel confident about your accommodation choice. For more Disney magic, check out our article on accommodation options at Walt Disney World

Have fun exploring Disneyland!

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