Disneyland Hotels worth the price?

SammyStamper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
The Grand is truly amazing. We have been twice and my husband refuses to stay anywhere else. Location Location! Funny...we have been to WDW twice...first time offsite and this Jan we stayed at Boardwalk. I would rather stay offsite since everything is such a distance apart.
 

nkereina

Last chance to lose your keys.
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Obviously worth is subjective, but we did similar research before our trip last year and opted to stay at the Tropicana. We knew we wanted to spend the bulk of our time in the parks rather than at pools or enjoying resort amenities, so the price of the DL hotels was not worth it to us. Instead, we took the time to visit each of the DL resorts - strolled around Paradise Pier, had a drink at Trader Sam's at Disneyland hotel, and had a meal at Storyteller's Café at Grand Californian. Grand Californian is definitely the closest you can get and its a gorgeous resort, but we liked the vibe of Disneyland Hotel better. And we thought the walk from the Tropicana was closer than the walk from Paradise Pier. We actually weren't impressed with Paradise Pier at all - felt like a Holiday Inn to us.

If you're still considering the Tropicana, we thought it was sufficient for what it was - a no frills hotel at a great price. It was fairly recently renovated, very clean, and of course the location was the best part. There was a market at the front of the property that was open early and closed late where we grabbed snacks, cold medicine, muffins on or way to or from the parks. If you'll have a car, it looked like parking could be a challenge and I'd also request a room at the back of the resort on the second floor to help with noise. We were towards the front on the ground floor which was great for quick in and out, but lots of foot traffic going by the room.
 

GenGen22

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
When I go to WDW I always stay at a Disney owned hotel as it includes transportation and we like the dining plan. When at DL we stay offsite. There are too many hotels close by that are nice as well. I think it doesn't make much sense to stay on site at DL for the price you have to pay with less benefits than WDW.
 
  • Disco Lemonade

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    You are going to get a lot of different opinions. You would get different opinions even from my own house (my wife would say yes, I would say no). The last time we went, we stayed only one night at DLR and then the rest at a hotel on Harbor. Maybe that is best of both worlds--mix it up? You get parking advantages staying 1 day as well.
     

    Elle23

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2016
    I made the mistake of splurging for the DLH on our trip last September and it absolutely ruined me for another hotel. I just fell in love with it, so much so that I started crying when I listened to a DLH music loop on YouTube that had a picture of the DLH. I have cried exactly twice in regard to Disney and that was one.

    So the money is totally worth it to me. And I am someone who usually stays value at WDW because I can’t justify the cost of deluxe! 🤷🏼‍♀️
     

    Kelly014

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2014
    This was me staying at the Polynesian at WDW for the first time. I can never go back to value or moderate - the moment where I’m standing at the edge of the volcano pool, drink in hand, watching the Electrical Water Pageant and seeing the castle’s glow in the distance...I get emotional. We are staying at DLH for our first DL trip in October, I hope I love it just as much!

    I made the mistake of splurging for the DLH on our trip last September and it absolutely ruined me for another hotel. I just fell in love with it, so much so that I started crying when I listened to a DLH music loop on YouTube that had a picture of the DLH. I have cried exactly twice in regard to Disney and that was one.

    So the money is totally worth it to me. And I am someone who usually stays value at WDW because I can’t justify the cost of deluxe! 🤷🏼‍♀️
     

    ktlm

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2008
    This was me staying at the Polynesian at WDW for the first time. I can never go back to value or moderate - the moment where I’m standing at the edge of the volcano pool, drink in hand, watching the Electrical Water Pageant and seeing the castle’s glow in the distance...I get emotional. We are staying at DLH for our first DL trip in October, I hope I love it just as much!
    COVID-19 is likely going to change things as far as characters etc., but DLH can definitely be magical too! Goofy tends to show up in the lobby at some point every day- I can't recall a trip not seeing him wandering around at some point. There is a kids TV area in the lobby-- little chairs, ottoman, cartoon loop. DD, (age 5 maybe on that trip) is over there while I am at the front desk. I turn around and I see Goofy and DD both laying on their stomachs across the ottoman watching cartoons together. That is my DLH moment.
     
  • JMommyof3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 4, 2016
    Like many have said here, when we go to WDW, we always stay on site but at DLR, we rarely do (2x in the past 10 years). For us, it's not worth the extra money however we go often enough that we aren't really looking at it like a true vacation. We've stayed at a few Harbor hotels, Desert Inn, Portofino Inn, Marriott, Hilton, and Residence Inn/Convention center. By far, our favorite is the Residence Inn. Yes, it's a bit of a walk to the parks but our kids are older so we don't need the nap time.

    Pros of RI
    -Nice hot breakfast in the morning
    -Across from DCA so if you have a theme park view (Katella side room) you can see the parks and fireworks if you are high enough. Also a balcony where you can watch the fireworks.
    -Underground parking where you can keep your car until the night of check-out. Not sure how much it's enforced but I know some hotel websites say you need to move your car by checkout time.
    -As a Marriott property, you can use points or get special member rates.
    -Right above the CVS which is great for getting snacks, water, etc for the room. Or buying the random toiletry item you forgot to pack.
    -Large rooms for larger parties. We have 5 in our family and we get the bunk bed, sleeper sofa, queen bed room. It's a really great space for us.

    Cons
    -Decent walk from the parks
    -Not in the bubble
    -Can be pricier than other Harbor hotels if there are no special rates available.
     

    DLgal

    Registered
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    I think we need to keep in mind that Extra Magic Hours are likely in the past. WDW has announced that they are suspended until further notice and we should expect the same for Disneyland. I wouldn't count on that "perk" being available.

    That said, the GCH is an absolutely fantastic RESORT. The hotels on Harbor are primarily motels, to be honest. There are some better hotels too, but don't kid yourself. Staying on Harbor is fine if you are park commandos and don't plan much time, if any, at your hotel.

    If you want a vacation, stay onsite. If you want an unforgettable resort experience, stay at GCH.

    I have to LOL at the person who said the GCH is a "scaled down" version of the WL. In terms of rooms, GCH has more and it's a larger property, area wise. It has 3 pools, a spa, a fitness center, 3 restaurants/2 lounges, and a convention center.
     

    CrimsonRave

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 10, 2017
    So we were very surprised by this on our first trip last year. Trip to WDW is just overall crazy expensive... and hotel location plays a huge role.

    We went 4 days last year and only paid $3400 for 4 with flights! With that said we stayed at Camelot right across the street, was a 5 min walk to gate, and room only was like $129 a night.

    That saved a ton of money for food and more!
     

    princessmocha

    Why Yes, we are going to Disney again!
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2012
    Honestly there are very good options that are outside of staying at DLR. I grew up going to Disneyland as a kid and we never stayed close because my aunt lived less than 1/2 hour away, but I dreamed of staying at the Disneyland Hotel my whole life. We finally took our kids in 2014 and stayed there and it was fabulous. We could watch the fireworks from our room, the lightup headboard is amazing and I just felt like I was at Disney. We also fell in love with GC and now are DVC owners there and planning a trip next summer before heading to Hawaii.

    There is nothing wrong with staying at a non-Disney hotel and you will still have a great vacation. It all depends what you want to spend your money on. When we were open to close people, the hotel was just a place to lay our heads at night. Now we do Disney a whole different way and we spend more time at our resorts and enjoy them just as much. Good Luck in your decision.
     
  • wbl2745

    Pointless infinite loops are prohibited.
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    We're members of DVC so we stay at the Grand Californian DVC, but if we're not using DVC we stay at the Tropicana (https://tropicanainn-anaheim.com/). We were there last February (before everything went pear shaped). The room was very clean and nice. The walk from the Tropicana to the entrances to the parks is shorted than the walk from the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel. I agree that the little market at the Tropicana is overpriced, but it is convenient. I would highly recommend the Tropicana if you don't want to splurge for the Disney hotels.
     

    BriarBrandon

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2020
    I much prefer to stay off property and spend the money saved on food, merchandise, and experiences. Personally, it’s hard to justify paying 3-4x times as much given how much time I actually spend at the hotel. There are plenty of great places to stay along Harbor!
     

    bearette

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2006
    In have stayed at all three there and I also agree they are not worth the money unless you have money to burn. If you have to sacrifice, just stay on Harbor.

    If you must stay on site you can rent points to stay at GCH usually for less then the hotel itself or DLH, but it is a harder resort too get into because there is only one here, see the point rental area of this site if that appeals to you.

    You can go into the resorts and utilize everything except the pool so use the money you save to have a nice dinner in one of the hotels and a drink in the GCH bar.
     

    crystal1313

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    So I debated about posting my opinion, but here it goes.....we used to always stay on Harbor because we were young and that's what we could afford. Then, we realized when our kids were little (before 2012) that the PPH wasn't much more than what we would pay for a Harbor hotel. So we would splurge a bit. And we LOVED it. Nothing beats Disney CS.

    But then, we eventually got priced out after 2012 when Cars Land opened and the parks seemed to be getting more crowded. We went back to staying off site and forgot how fun it is to stay on site.

    Fast forward to last year, we again splurged on one night at the DLH to get us access to Galaxy's Edge when you needed a reservation. We immediately fell in love again with staying on site! We forgot how awesome it can be (and our kids did not remember staying on site). Can we afford it every trip, no! But I think we will splurge every so often. We are supposed to go in early August. We had originally booked at the DLH but were moved to the GCH. I have no idea if that will happen now.....but I am very much looking forward to it!

    I think it is really hard to answer if the resort hotels are worth it, because everyone is SO different. It really comes down your preferences and how much you are willing to spend too. It's such a personal decision.
     

    gardenrooms

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2017
    If it's your only trip it really will be more special if you stay on site if you like to escape from reality like I do when I am lucky enough to go to a Disney park. Even more than in Florida, I feel like "the bubble" adds a lot of extra value. It is so much more than convenience and Cast Members (in Florida we love the Beach Club and AKL). In Anaheim, it makes me sad to see the smattering of homeless people who settle in on the benches and the grass along Harbor Blvd. There are not a ton and not tents etc. like in SF, at least as of our last visit, and they do not not approach you, but their plight is hard to overlook, plus I feel guilty doing so. l used to love the DLH, however, during the remodel years ago, I believe they sealed all the windows and eliminated all the balconies except for possibly the concierge and penthouse type rooms and I want to open my windows, hear people having fun, and sit on my balcony if I'm not in a park. (If I am wrong about that and there are still regular rooms with balconies I would love to know that.) I really loved the old 2-story DLH buildings, hence my nickname. When we can't get into the GCH (we bought 2nd hand DVC points I love it so much) we love the Candy Cane Inn. Their staff is very nice, we enjoy their cheerful pool area and all the flowers, and they have a pretty complete grab and go breakfast, and it's an easy walk. We have small grandchildren so we do have to come back to the hotel midday and we spend more time there than I would otherwise, and I want to preserve the illusion for them as well, so my perspective is not what it would have been as a young adult, when I would have opted for the most convenient, acceptable, inexpensive room around (we used to stay at the Anaheim Plaza because it was the closest to the old entrance, but that - renamed I think - probably hasn't been updated since my 38-year-old son was in middle school and it was already iffy).
     

    Bigmace

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2020
    Never have stayed on property but as non locals who are just happy to take a few trips a year we can justify all the other expenses (flights, transportation, food, tickets) with staying off property. Usually stay on Katella ave as those are pretty cheap compared to Harbord blvd hotels and they are not much closer than the PPH hotel. Definitely a bucket list item to stay at the DLH or Grand Cal. someday though.
     

    DisVegas

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 10, 2017
    We started regularly visiting Disneyland twice a year in 2013. At first we stayed at the Hilton and Hotel Indigo. We rarely paid over $150 a night. Eventually we got an IHG credit card, earned points and free nights and our rooms became even more affordable. If you stay off site at Disneyland or anywhere for that matter I recommend getting a hotel credit card for whatever chain you fancy.

    We started our honeymoon at the Grand Californian a few years ago and purchased DVC resale there this year. Rack rates at Grand Californian are expensive, there’s no way around it. You can have a great experience at an offsite hotel also. Yes, security is often longer but it’s manageable. You will save money, no doubt about it.

    However, we love the convenience of the Grand. Now that we have a baby we appreciate it even more. It’s not the nicest hotel we’ve stayed in but it’s one of the best locations. If you don’t plan on visiting Disneyland again or often and it’s in your budget then I’d stay there.
     

    montreid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2013
    We've been off-site convention center folk for 10+ years: RI/Hyatt Place/Sheraton - you name it for a quality hotel after a days' stay at the park. This past year, we've moved to APs and with that, doing less full park days balanced with hotel rests and off-site stuff -- using more Harbor drive hotels: both BW, and Courtyard and Fairfield.

    Just got into VGC this year and stayed once before COVID happened. The location cannot be beat. If you want to replicate WDW bubble, really need VGC is the best bet and optimizes everything -- but at a cost. I believe with COVID, this will probably be the best way to do things -- DD take out for meals in hotel and rest up between spurts into the park.
     





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