Disneyland Area / Anaheim Hotel Discounts

There are lots of hotels near Disneyland, and it’s not hard to find Anaheim hotel discounts. The Disneyland area is quite compact, with many off-site hotels located within easy walking distance or a very short shuttle ride away from the theme parks.

Some of the off-site hotels offer accommodations nearly as good as the “official” on-site Disneyland hotels. (Bear in mind that Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier are both renovated 60’s high-rises — and Paradise Pier was not even originally a Disney hotel.)

Interesting fact: some off-site Anaheim hotels are just as close to the Disneyland/Disney California Adventure entrance plaza as the Disney resorts! For instance, Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground is almost exactly the same distance from the center of the plaza as one of the buildings at the Disneyland Hotel.

Best Hotels Near Disneyland

First, we recommend several great MouseSavers Preferred Hotels located very close to Disneyland, which offer exclusive discounts or benefits only for readers of MouseSavers:

  • Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground – This fantastic value-priced hotel within easy walking distance of Disneyland gives you a ton of features for your money, including a wonderful water playground (one of the best family-fun pool areas in Anaheim, outside of the Courtyard, below, and the official Disney hotels). Every room has a small fridge and FREE high-speed Internet access. This hotel has been a favorite of MouseSavers readers for more than 10 years!
  • Hilton Anaheim – This is a massive, luxurious, full-service hotel just 15 minutes walking distance from the Disneyland entrance plaza, with multiple restaurants, room service, a kids water play area and large rooms with premium amenities. Some rooms have nice views of the Disneyland parks and the nighttime fireworks. You get FREE internet access and great rates with the exclusive MouseSavers offer.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance – This new hotel with extra large rooms that sleep 6 and an on-site waterpark is a welcome addition to the hotels that are within easy walking distance to Disneyland. Built to be super family friendly, every room has a king or double queen beds, bunk beds, two separate showers, a small fridge and microwave, Keurig coffee maker, FREE Wi-Fi and large screen TVs with Netflix. The waterpark and playground includes two 30-ft waterslides, a drench bucket, kiddie pool and separate pool. This hotel is close in feel to Disneyland’s Paradise Pier — but the rates are pleasingly lower. It’s an excellent value overall. MouseSavers guests get best flexible (refundable) member rates plus 2,000 Marriott loyalty points per night.

If the Preferred Hotels don’t have any rooms available or don’t meet your family’s needs, we also like the three hotels below, which unfortunately do not offer special deals for MouseSavers readers:

  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort Convention Center is a newer all-suite property down Harbor Blvd from Disneyland. We have stayed here or toured the property on several trips to Anaheim and it is upscale, well-kept and clean. It is a little over a mile on foot from the front gate of Disneyland, so you may want to use the ART shuttle service, which charges a fee, or of course if you’ll have your own car, it’s a quick and easy drive to Disneyland.
  • Candy Cane Inn is an older motel located in the same block as Disneyland. Though it has been around a long time, it is exceptionally well kept up. The landscaping is beautiful and the rooms are clean and tastefully decorated. A continental breakfast is included in the room rate. Candy Cane Inn operates its own private shuttle to Disneyland, which runs all day.

Be sure to check on the actual location of the hotel instead of just relying on the hotel’s name. Often the name has “Anaheim” or “Disneyland” in it, but the hotel is really located 25 miles and two towns away. Those that are actually in Anaheim will usually (but not always) be closest to Disneyland. Hotels in the cities of Buena Park, Garden Grove and Orange are also fairly near Disneyland and in a few cases, due to city boundaries, might be closer than certain Anaheim hotels.

Okay — assume you’ve narrowed down your choices. Now how do you get the best Anaheim Hotel discounts? Read on…

Shop Around Online

There are lots of useful websites to try for discounts. When searching these sites, be sure to use Anaheim, CA if you want to be closest to Disneyland. Parts of Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove and Orange are also close to Disneyland — in some cases, closer than parts of Anaheim, so check a map.

Jump to:

aRes Travel

A great resource for promotional Disneyland-area hotel rates is aRes Travel, which specializes in Southern California hotels. aRes Travel is actually located in Southern California and offers reservations for most of the local hotels. You can book online with them, or call and speak with an actual person at (800) 680-0977.

aRes Travel does not charge a service fee for most reservations, though a few select hotels that offer “Special Web Rates” may incur a small per-night fee. In many cases you will find that aRes Travel beats the top online agencies like Expedia and Travelocity.

If you book online, be sure to read the specific terms of the deal you pick (select “View Terms”) before finalizing your booking with aRes Travel. Most reservations have a 72-hour cancellation policy, but some hotel deals require full prepayment. Some of the offers on the site incur a $25 cancellation fee and some require a nonrefundable deposit.

Expedia and Travelocity

Two good sites to check out for hotel deals are Expedia and Travelocity. The two companies are effectively the same, but they will sometimes list different deals between the two, so it’s worth checking both sites if you have the time.

These sites may charge a service fee on your reservation, and they sometimes require full payment or a substantial deposit in advance. Be sure to read ALL the small print as you make your reservation (which may require you to select a link that says “terms and conditions” or something similar) so that you are clear on any cancellation and change fees.

Orbitz and Cheaptickets

CheapTickets and Orbitz are really the same company, but they don’t always offer exactly the same deals. They sometimes offer percent-off codes that stack on top of the normal rates. These special discount codes don’t apply to every hotel, but when they do, the final rate after the discount is often the best available deal. Be sure to check their section of the Disneyland Resort Hotel discounts page for any special discount codes for these two sites, or check the “deals” section of each website for current hotel offers.

Hotel Websites

Sometimes there are good offers directly through the hotels’ own websites. Check for hotels located in Anaheim, but be sure to actually map the address. There are plenty of hotels that have “maingate” or something similar in their name that are miles away from Disneyland. There are even hotels with “Anaheim” in their name that are located in Garden Grove or another neighboring city.

If you are a member of a specific loyalty program, you probably want to search across all of that hotel company’s brands. For example, Hilton owns DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Waldorf Astoria, etc. Here are links to the overall parent company websites where you can search their whole portfolio:

If you like a specific chain, you can go straight to any of the major hotel chains websites, listed below. For convenience, we list the parent company or affiliated loyalty program in parentheses where it’s not already part of the hotel name:

Independently Owned Hotels

There are many independently-owned hotels around Disneyland. Most were built in the 1960s and have exterior motel-style corridors. The quality varies widely, but some are pretty nice.

A good way to compare prices on the independents is to see what kind of deal the hotel is offering on its own site (you can find the hotel’s site through a search engine like Google). Then go to aRes Travel, Expedia and Travelocity and see if they have rooms for the same hotel at a better price — amazingly enough, these third-party sites do beat the hotels’ own websites fairly frequently.

AAA Rates

The majority of major hotel chains (and many independently-owned hotels) offer American Automobile Association (AAA) discounts, which can give you significant savings. (Generally the same rates are offered for the Canadian equivalent, CAA.) If you are a member, always look for the AAA rate when checking online, or ask when calling for reservations.

AARP Rates

Many hotels offer very attractive discounts to members of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). They imply that you have to be 50 to join, but in fact anyone can join, and you don’t even have to be retired. Membership in AARP is very inexpensive and might pay for itself in one night’s stay!

Government Discounts

If you are a government employee (local, county, state or federal), you should always ask if there is a government discount (be sure to carry your ID with you and have it available at check-in). Many contractors to government agencies also qualify. Most of the major hotel chains offer government rates, though you may have to call the hotel directly, since these rates don’t show up on most of the hotel websites. Thanks to ClaymoH for the info.

Military Discounts

If you are active duty or retired military, you should always ask if there is a military discount (be sure to carry your ID with you and have it available at check-in). Often the military discounts are among the best offered by hotels. Most of the major hotel chains offer military rates, though you may have to call the hotel directly, since these rates don’t show up on most of the hotel websites. Thanks to John G for the tip.

Priceline Bidding (Name Your Own Price)

Priceline has a service that allows you to bid on hotel rooms, airfares and rental cars. (Note: Priceline is making it harder and harder to find the bidding area of its site: be sure to select “Name Your Own Price” to get the real deals.) There are some amazing bargains to be had through Priceline, although we recommend always choosing hotels in the 3.5 star or higher category.

If you use Priceline you won’t get to pick the exact hotel, and it’s critical to keep in mind that once you’ve made your bid, there is no going back. If it is accepted, you will be charged for the room immediately and there are no refunds or exchanges allowed. However, you can pick the general location (the best choice is “Disneyland”) and the number of “stars” (ranging from 1-star up to Resort) — meaning the level of service and accommodations the hotel provides.

Another thing to consider if you’re travelling with a family, Priceline only guarantees that you’ll get a room for two adults. However, in the Anaheim area, most hotels have many more 4-person rooms than 2-person rooms, so if you call the hotel you will usually be able to adjust the booking to a 4-person room. The hotel, however, is allowed to charge you for this change. Some will, some won’t. You will generally still be getting a good deal even with the extra charge. There is a tiny chance, though, that the hotel will be unable or unwilling to change your booking to a room with enough beds.

With a family of 5 or more, we would not recommend using Priceline’s Name Your Own Price. It is possible to get a hotel that has rooms for 5 or more, but the odds are not good.

Notes and Helpful Hints for Bidding through Priceline

A reasonable Priceline bid for 3.5-star and 4-star hotels in the Disneyland area seems to be about $60-$80/night. Hotels in the Disneyland area that have been showing up in this category tend to vary pretty widely in terms of quality. However, all of them are perfectly decent and a very good deal for the money. A few of these hotels do charge “resort fees” (typically $15 or less per night) and/or parking fees.

Sometimes Priceline will reject a bid, but offer you an instant free rebid and suggest a rebid amount. We have learned that when they come back with a bid suggestion, you can almost always reduce the suggested rebid and still have the bid accepted. For instance, if you bid $60 and they reject it but offer a free rebid at $77, type in an amount that splits the difference (for instance $72) and they’ll almost always take it.

Nervous about trying Priceline and getting stuck with a hotel you don’t like for your whole vacation? Why not use Priceline just for the first night of your stay? This works especially well for those who are flying in from the West coast and arriving late — you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room anyway. This strategy will allow you to try Priceline out and see if you like it.

We recommend waiting until close to your travel dates to book rooms through Priceline. It reduces the chance that your travel plans will change (remember, Priceline bids are nonrefundable and nonchangeable);  it reduces the length of time Priceline has your money (better to have it in the bank, earning interest!); and it probably increases the likelihood that your bid will be accepted, since hotels with rooms sitting empty should be increasingly desperate for your business.

If your trip is months away, see if you can get a fairly good deal elsewhere, and book a room at the best rate you can find. You can later cancel your reservation (up until the cancellation date) if you get a better deal through Priceline closer to your travel dates.

Priceline Express Deals

Priceline has been downplaying their bidding option over the last few years in favor of their Express Deals option. With Express Deals, Priceline will tell you some things about the property, but not enough to make it easy to figure out what specific hotel it is. You’ll know the area it’s in, some of the major amenities (with some removed to make things trickier) and roughly how many “stars” it is rated. Keep in mind that “stars” is not some kind of industry standard system, and what Priceline considers “4 stars” may not match what you, or AAA or some other rating guide would consider a 4 star property.

Another thing to consider if you’re travelling with a family, Priceline only guarantees that you’ll get a room for two adults. However, in the Anaheim area, most hotels have many more 4-person rooms than 2-person rooms, so if you call the hotel you will usually be able to adjust the booking to a 4-person room. The hotel, however, is allowed to charge you for this change. Some will, some won’t. You will generally still be getting a good deal even with the extra charge. There is a tiny chance, though, that the hotel will be unable or unwilling to change your booking to a room with enough beds.

With a family of 5 or more, we would not recommend using Priceline’s Express Deals offers. It is possible to get a hotel that has rooms for 5 or more, but odds are much worse.

Disney’s own resorts show up on Priceline’s Express Deals from time to time, but very rarely. And you should know that there are a lot of cheap motels in Anaheim, many with lofty descriptions, but tacky, worn-out rooms. We offer the following tips to maximize your chances of getting something reasonable:

Hotwire Hot Rates

Hotwire has a Hot Rates feature which is similar to Priceline Express Deals in that you don’t get to choose the exact hotel (you choose the rough location and the star rating), and the room is sold on a “no refunds, no exchanges” basis. Just do a search on Hotwire, and the Hot Rates hotels will show up mixed in with some number of named hotels.

Hotwire gives you a list of prices for unnamed hotels in various star categories (i.e. a 5-star hotel will be a luxury resort, while a 1-star will be a low-end motel) and with specific amenities. At that point you can choose to accept or reject the offered price for a hotel that has a rating and amenities you want. Once you have accepted the price, you are charged in full. It is only at that point that you’re told the hotel name. There are no refunds or exchanges. Keep in mind that “stars” is not some kind of industry standard system, and what Hotwire considers “4 stars” may not match what you, or AAA or some other rating guide would consider a 4 star property.

Hotwire is a bit better than Priceline for families of 3 or 4, since you can specifically say you’ll have up to 4 people and Hotwire will only show you offers that will fit that number of guests. With a family of 5 or more, we would not recommend using Hotwire Hot Rates offers. It is possible to get a hotel that has rooms for 5 or more, but odds are much worse.

Disney’s own resorts show up on Hotwire’s Hot Rates from time to time, but very rarely. And you should know that there are a lot of cheap motels in Anaheim, many with lofty descriptions, but tacky, worn-out rooms. We offer the following tips to maximize your chances of getting something reasonable:

Flight + Hotel Package Deals

If you need both airfare and hotel accommodations, there are some good resources for booking a cheap vacation package that includes both. Note that most of them offer the best deals fairly last-minute (typically 2 weeks to 4 months in advance). If you are booking really late (3 weeks or less before your departure date) these are especially worthwhile, because sometimes you can buy an entire package (airfare and hotel) for LESS than it would cost to book a last-minute airfare alone!

Learn more about the best places to find deals on these packages.

Beach Add-on

We’re frequently asked about the best beach near Disneyland. For those who are visiting Southern California and want to add a beach visit to their Disneyland trip, we recommend a short stay at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach is one of our favorite Southern California beaches. We might be a little biased because some of us (Don and his sister, MouseSavers.com founder Mary Waring) spent a lot of our childhood there, but it really is a fun beach, and it’s located an easy drive from Disneyland.

The Hyatt Regency is a fabulous luxury hotel with a great kids’ program called Camp Hyatt, and it is right at the beach. In fact, Disney uses the Hyatt for its “Southern California Vacation Package” Beach Hotel option for Disneyland packages. (If you’re interested in booking that package, consult a Disney Specialist travel agent.)