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The Best Disneyland Resorts For a Family Vacation

Choosing the right hotel is important when you go on vacation with your family. You’ll want to work within your budget, but location and amenities may also be important to you. Visiting Disneyland California is no exception.

Unlike Walt Disney World, Disneyland only offers three official on-property hotels. These Disneyland resort hotels are very conveniently located and also come with benefits (including Early Theme Park Entry). Many nearby hotels are great for families and are within easy walking distance.

Read about the best Disneyland Resort for your next family vacation. This includes the three on-property resorts as well as several off-property resorts we’ve stayed in.

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Entrance sign of Grand Californian with flowers

The Best Disneyland Resorts For a Family Vacation

Disney’s Grand Californian

The grandest and deluxe of the Disneyland on-property resorts is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This resort is located adjacent to Downtown Disney and Disney’s California Adventure and has private entrances to both.

We recently stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian and loved it. The resort is a splurge but has many benefits and perks. The beautiful pool area is a great place to spend a hot afternoon, and the Tenaya Stone Spa is luxurious and relaxing.

There are also several great restaurants at the Grand Californian, including Napa Rose, Storytellers Cafe, Hearthstone Lounge, and GCH Craftsman Grill. We also enjoyed getting room service each morning before we headed out to the parks.

My favorite benefit, however, is the proximity to the parks. There are private entrances to both Downtown Disney and Disney Springs. It’s very quick to go back to the resort for a nap, a pool break, or at the end of the day.

The bottom line: Stay here if you have a large budget and want a luxurious hotel near the action.

Room at Pixar Place Hotel including two beds and colorful mural

Disney’s Pixar Place Hotel

Recently, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel completed a transformation to Disney’s Pixar Place Hotel. This Pixar-themed hotel is the perfect spot for a family vacation with younger kids.

The hotel is located across the street from the Grand Californian, and adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel. It has a private entrance to Disney California Adventure Park, which is located directly across the street from the hotel.

Amenities include a Finding Nemo-themed rooftop pool with a waterslide and splash pad, a gym, a rental car counter, character greetings (including BingBong), and a fun theme throughout the resort. Newly renovated guest rooms include lots of colorful Pixar touches.

The hotel also offers several spots for food, including the new Great Maple restaurant and the Sketch Pad Cafe. A pool bar is also coming soon.

The bottom line: Stay here if you’ve got kids who will love the colorful Pixar theme.

Exterior of Trader Sam's surrounded by trees and tiki torch

The Disneyland Hotel

The original hotel is the Disneyland Hotel, which is located near one of the Downtown Disney entrances. This hotel has the original Disney charm that Disneyland is known for but offers modern amenities and recreational activities.

At the Disneyland Hotel (which is currently undergoing renovation), you’ll find two pools, with two monorail-themed waterslides (one of the monorail waterslides is currently undergoing renovation). There’s also a fitness center if you want to stay fit during your vacation. I prefer to just walk around the parks during my vacation – it’s enough of a workout for me!

The Disneyland Hotel offers a few restaurants including Goofy’s Kitchen, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, and Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill. The Disneyland Hotel offers many different room types, including suites and DVC Villas.

The bottom line: This is one of the best hotels for a Disneyland vacation, and is a more affordable option than the Grand Californian.

Pros of Staying on Property

You may be wondering what the benefits of staying on property at Disneyland are. In addition to the proximity to the parks, early entry can be a major benefit. As a resort hotel guest, you can enter one specific park per day thirty minutes before other guests. You’ll also be able to charge purchases to your room and get preferred access to hotel dining reservations

Off-Property Hotels

At Disneyland, in addition to the three on-property resorts, other, off-property resorts are very convenient and have fantastic family amenities and rooms. Here are three of my favorites (based on my personal experience).

Waterpark at night with fireworks over waterslides and bucket
The Waterpark at the Courtyard Anaheim

Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance Hotel

This resort, part of the Marriott Bonvoy family of hotels, is an excellent option for families. During my stay, I enjoyed a room with two queen beds and twin bunk beds. In addition, this room offers a bathroom with a separate shower, a shower/tub combo, and double sinks.

The Courtyard Anaheim is within easy walking distance of Disneyland and also offers a Bistro with a coffee counter serving Starbucks. However, the real draw of this hotel is the Surfside Waterpark, with water slides, a splash area, a swimming pool, and a wading pool.

With the extra room for a larger family, the convenient location, and the fun water park, this is a great option for a Disneyland family vacation. Learn more and book here.

The bottom line: Stay here if you’d like a larger guest room and will enjoy time at the water park.

Exterior of Westin Anaheim hotel with palm trees

Westin Anaheim Resort

During our 2022 visit to Disneyland, my son and I enjoyed a stay at the new Westin Anaheim Resort. It’s located behind Disney’s California Adventure (although you do have to walk through Downtown Disney to get there).

We loved our stay at this deluxe resort. In addition to comfortable rooms filled with luxurious Westin amenities (like the Heavenly Bed), the resort offers several restaurants and an outdoor pool area. We really enjoyed getting breakfast each morning at the on-site Blossom Cafe and Market.

Learn more and book here.

The bottom line: Stay here for a comfortable stay in a beautiful, modern hotel that’s in close proximity to Disneyland.

two queen bed room at the Howard Johnson

Howard Johnson Anaheim and Water Playground

The Howard Johnson Anaheim and Water Playground is located next to the Courtyard Anaheim. It’s a quick walk to Disneyland, so you won’t need a car unless you plan to visit beyond the area. Expect it to be about an 8-minute walk from the hotel to the front entrance of Disneyland.

This fun, retro hotel offers some nice family-friendly rooms, as well as a pool and a water playground. I love the classic touches, and this hotel just feels very nostalgic.

For a special stay, consider booking the one-of-a-kind House of the Retro Future Suite.

You can learn more and book here.

The bottom line: Stay here for a nostalgic, retro stay at a fun family-friendly hotel that is a short walk to the parks.

Visiting Disneyland CA? Click to see all of our Disneyland posts with reviews, tips, overviews of the best rides, and more.

Fireworks in the sky, fireworks over water park, Pixar Place room with two beds and mural.

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