We have a blended family of nine so when we go to Disneyland together, we need a lot of space without spending a lot. Sometimes we take half the group, but even then we need a room that sleeps 6. We have stayed in several hotels over the years and have found these to be our favorite hotels for large families.
1. Stanford Inn and Suites. We stayed here last April with four kids. It’s a great price, especially compared to other hotels that sleep six. Plus, there’s free parking and free wi-fi. It’s clean, nicely furnished, has lots of room, and has a good breakfast. Probably the best part is the Two Bath Kids Suite. There are two queens in the main room and a connecting bedroom with a door that has a bunk bed and its own bathroom.
These were not wimpy little kids bunk beds. Adults probably wouldn’t fit on them, but my slim 16 and 10 year old daughters fit fine and they loved having their own space. There is a small table with two chairs, a tv, and a dresser in here. The bathrooms have the counter/sink area in a separate space from the toilet which makes getting ready for the day a breeze, especially with two bathrooms. The breakfast here was great, especially compared to many other “continental” hotel breakfasts we’ve had. They had batter to make your own blueberry or regular waffles, hot scrambled eggs and sausage or bacon. They also had cereals, milk, juice, coffee, yogurts, bread, fruit and muffins. Although this hotel is not walking distance to Disneyland, the price and amenities were worth it to us to stay a couple miles away. We drove our car a few blocks down the road to the Toy Story parking lot and caught the shuttle there. The bus dropped us off right outside the Disneyland esplanade. During one of our Disneyland days, my toddler needed to head back to the hotel earlier than the rest of us, so my husband took the shuttle with him and the stroller and walked back to the hotel from the Toy Story parking lot. It was about a 10 min walk so potentially you could just walk to the Toy Story shuttle from the hotel and save the parking fee. Another option is to take the ART shuttle. http://rideart.org/
2. Del Sol Inn. When we went with my parents and seven children two years ago, we stayed at the Del Sol Inn. We had connecting rooms. The older two kids stayed with my parents in a Deluxe Two Queen Room and the rest of the kids stayed with my husband and I in a Kids Room. This room has two queen beds and a bunk bed in one large room. We had a 1 year old that could use a pack-n-play so this worked for us. The rooms were clean, beds were decent, and there was plenty of space. It was a short walk (about 5 min) to Disneyland from here, since it’s not far from the crosswalk. It’s directly behind Denny’s on Harbor Blvd. They had a decent size pool and a mediocre continental breakfast. If you like to have a hearty breakfast in the morning, you might want to grab something else but we were on a tight budget and made the fruit/yogurt/bagel/toaster waffles breakfast work. The breakfast room was very small so try to get there early to beat the crowds (at least 45 min before Disneyland opening time) or plan on taking food back to your room. Overall, we liked our stay here. The close walk is the biggest perk.
3. Peacock Inn and Suites. I stayed here with my sister and three kids a few years ago. We stayed in a one bedroom suite that had two queens in the main room and french doors that connected a living room which had a Murphy bed and a pull-out sofa bed. Some of the rooms don’t have a Murphy bed, just the sofa bed. We loved the decor in this room. It was very clean and had plenty of space. The beds were comfortable and there is a table with four chairs, making it easy to eat in your room. They don’t serve breakfast here, but there’s a mini-fridge and microwave, making it easy to bring your own cereal and milk, fruit, bagles and cream cheese, oatmeal, or whatever you like for breakfast. We liked to grab dinner outside the parks during our afternoon break and eat it in the hotel room as well. We loved the hot chocolate chip cookies that were always available in the lobby. This hotel would be a pretty far walk since it is several blocks away. We chose to drive and park at the Mickey and Friend’s parking lot but ART also stops here.
4. Use VRBO.com to reserve a condo or small house. This is an option we have looked at in the past but have not taken advantage of yet. Owners rent out their apartments/condos/houses for rates that are often better than hotels, especially if you have a large group. The most popular places book out a few months in advance and most will not let you cancel less than 30 days before without penalty.
5. Other hotels that friends have recommended:
Best Western Park Place Inn & Mini Suites http://parkplaceinnandminisuites.com/. The prices are a little more steep here for what you get. They can charge a lot because they are right next to the crosswalk to get into Disneyland. The suite does not have separate rooms. There is a half wall separating a two queen bed area and a pull-out queen sofa sleeper. They serve a basic continental breakfast here.
Anaheim Desert Inn http://www.anaheimdesertinn.com/hotel-rooms-and-suites.htm The biggest perk here is space and location. They have various suites that can accommodate up to 10 people. They have a basic continental breakfast. They are right next to the Best Western Park Place Inn & Mini Suites, which puts them close to the crosswalk to Disneyland as well.
Howard Johnson Anaheim (aka HOJO). http://www.hojoanaheim.com/what-you-get/rooms They have three different types of suites that sleep 5. The prices here are often quite a bit more than the other hotels above and since it only sleeps 5 it hasn’t worked for us. The Castaway Cove water play area looks like lots of fun for kids and I have heard rave reviews about the comfort and cleanliness. Most people walk to Disneyland from here. It’s about 1 1/2 blocks from the main crosswalk into Disneyland.
How to get the best price on a hotel?
- Check tripadvisor.com, read reviews and use their search feature to pull up prices from several websites including Expedia and Travelocity.
- Compare it to the price on the hotels website. They often have the same or a better price than what you can find elsewhere and they seem to respond better when I have specific room requests when I book directly through them.
- If you have AAA you can often get a better price.
- Book the hotel at least 3 months in advance for the best price.
- Be sure to check out all the fees for the hotels. The ones on Harbor Blvd across the street from Disneyland have especially high parking and resort fees. Don’t forget to add those into your price.
Photo by Glen Scarborough @flickr.com