Disneyland tips: Top hotels within walking distance of Disneyland

One of the challenges of booking a Disneyland vacation is figuring out where to stay.

There are many hotel options both near the theme parks, as well as within a short drive — it’s all about how accessible you want Disneyland to be during your trip.

This article is intended to help those who wish to be as close to the theme park as possible and prioritize staying within walking distance.

Why are these hotels being recommended?

I’m drawing on my own personal experiences for this list.

I have stayed at a number of hotels and resorts close to Disneyland in the past four to five years, and these five, in particular, are ones I would recommend, for their own unique reasons. For this story, I’ve tried to include a variety of price points and benefits to help a broad range of park goers find their right fit.

The data used to determine the distance between each hotel and Disneyland’s front gate comes from Google Maps.

The Anaheim Hotel

Distance to Disneyland’s front gate: 11-minute walk, 0.5 miles.

Why it’s a good place to stay: The Anaheim Hotel has a relaxing vibe about it, and yet it’s a short walk to the hustle and bustle of the parks at an affordable rate for longer stays for both families and small groups. The hotel features the “largest outdoor swimming pool in the Anaheim Resort District” — it plays Disney movies in the pool area during the summer — and the rooms sit far back from busy Harbor Boulevard, keeping the noise to a minimum. The hotel also has its own pizza restaurant, The Pizza Press, and it stays open late, or will deliver to your room if you’re worn out from a long day at the parks.

Disneyland Hotels

Distance to Disneyland’s front gate: 11-minute walk, 0.5 miles.

Why it’s a good place to stay: While there are three on-site Disney hotels at the theme park, the Disneyland Hotel is the original — and it has that vintage feel you’d expect from it being the first. The pool area is centrally located and features dueling monorail water slides and multiple hot tubs. Dining options like Goofy’s Kitchen, where there are numerous opportunities to meet classic Disney characters, or Trader Sam’s are not far away. Plus, you get the perks of never having to step off Disney property, and that includes early entrance into the parks for Disneyland Resort hotel guests. While staying at an on-site resort like Disneyland Hotel is on the expensive side, Disney adds its own magical touches to make it worth the money if you can afford it.

Howard Johnson by Wyndham Anaheim Hotel

Distance to Disneyland’s front gate: 13-minute walk, 0.6 miles.

Why it’s a good place to stay: Pool, park view, fireworks — the Howard Johnson hotel has all of those things. This is arguably one of the best water parks in the area, particularly if you have kids — Castaway Cove is a pirate-themed playground geared to keep your children entertained and cooled down in the warm California sun. You can also see the park from the Howard Johnson — the monorail runs just across Harbor Boulevard several times a day — and at night, the pool area is an outstanding place to watch the Disneyland fireworks after relaxing after a busy day. The hotel has upgraded its rooms in recent years, it’s relatively affordable compared to other hotels along Harbor Boulevard, and there are dining options like Mimi’s Cafe nearby.

Castle Inn & Suites

Distance to Disneyland’s front gate: 12-minute walk, 0.6 miles.

Why it’s a good place to stay: I’ve gone to the parks as a single traveler, with a small group of friends and as part of a large family vacation, and the Castle Inn & Suites is excellent for all kinds of travel groups. It’s especially great for those who are looking to stay long hours in the park — the hotel has comfy beds, stays quiet and is within a 15-minute walk of getting inside the park (barring any long lines at Disneyland, of course). It’s also one of the most affordable hotels within walking distance of Disneyland — last year, I booked a three-night stay there for a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the closest competitor.

Fairfield Anaheim Resort

Distance to Disneyland’s front gate: 10-minute walk, 0.5 miles

Why it’s a good place to stay: Like most of these other options I have mentioned, Fairfield Anaheim Resort is also located on Harbor Boulevard, though it’s the closest among these hotels to Disneyland’s front gates — and yes, that includes Disneyland Hotel, where you walk through Downtown Disney to get to the parks. Need a quick bite? Panera Bread and McDonald’s are right next door. The hotel also has some nice views of the park on its upper levels, and it has competitive pricing compared to many of the other options that sit close to Disneyland’s entrance, with the comfort of knowing you are staying at a well-known chain in the Marriott hotel family.

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