This post was most recently updated on May 1st, 2019
I don’t usually need a Disneyland hotel when visiting from San Diego. It’s only 90 miles away, after all. But last week, we made a family trip to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday. We wanted to be at the gates as soon as Disneyland opened, which was 8:00 am on the appointed day. It just sounded more appealing to already be in Anaheim the morning of, instead of fighting rush-hour traffic for two hours or more. I think I would have had to leave my home at 5:30 am. And that meant getting up by 5:00 am – ugh!
Beginning the search for a Disneyland* Hotel
I remembered a Disneyland hotel I had stayed at once with my daughter’s dance team high school years ago. It was close to Disneyland, and I remembered they had reasonable prices. I won’t reveal the name because I don’t want to disparage them. But when I called this time, not only were their prices a bit more steep, but you couldn’t leave your car in the parking lot once you checked out of the hotel. So even though I would have been staying within walking distance of the theme parks, I would have had to check out, remove my car from the parking lot, and then go park at Disneyland, which is another $25 for the day.
Except in our case, it was actually going to cost $50 to park at Disneyland. Some of our group had different plans after the Disneyland visit and needed their own car. So we would have two cars with us.
*By the way, when I say “Disneyland Hotel”, I am not talking about one of the resort hotels owned by Disneyland. I am referring to the myriad of hotels surrounding Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks that cater to the theme park visitors.
Back to the drawing board
My favorite hotel booking site is Booking.com, so I started looking there. Lots and lots of hotels, but all pretty expensive (as in $200 or more per night). I seriously just needed a place to sleep for the night. I started calling them directly to ask about the parking situation. As it turns out, 95% of the hotels in this area charge for parking or flat-out refuse to let you park there once you check out. Oh! And none of the hotels would let us park two cars for one room. I realized we had a unique situation, but I wanted to find a good solution.
found a winner!
I found something different, though, when I called Kings Inn Anaheim. There, you can leave your car parked in their lot until midnight on the day you check out. In our case, I was told we could park both vehicles if they had room. And if there wasn’t enough room, there was a parking garage next door with the same rate as Disneyland, where we could park the second vehicle if we needed to. I also learned that Kings Inn has complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, and a swimming pool & jacuzzi open till 10 pm.
Wait a minute…
I discovered something interesting while speaking with Kings Inn on the phone. They were sold out for the night I was coming. Wait! Hold on there! I had just seen availability on Booking.com! The woman I was speaking to said, “Oh, then go ahead and book with Booking.com — they probably still have rooms available.” I was sure surprised, but happy there was another way to get a room at Kings Inn. Want to know what my rate was? For a room with two queen beds, it cost me $132.81 total, including resort fees (all the Disneyland hotels have these now) and taxes. The price I paid was non-refundable, however, so if we’d had any changes, we would have been out of luck. But I was buying two days before, so I was sure what I wanted.
So How did it turn out?
We didn’t arrive in Anaheim until 8:30 pm. I was afraid with a late arrival that our chances of being able to park both vehicles would be lower. But when I checked in and reminded them that we had two vehicles, they gave me parking passes for both of them. Just like that! Wow — that just saved us $50. Now, paying to stay at a hotel in Anaheim was not so frivolous at all. Because it was like getting a hotel for only $82. ($132 less the $50 we would have had to pay to park at Disneyland)
But what about the hotel?
You tell me…does this look like a nice room to you?
Our room had everything we needed…a mini-fridge for snacks we brought, bathroom and shower, comfortable beds, plenty of pillows, and shampoo & lotion. Even a quiet air conditioner that didn’t wake us up as it cycled on and off during the night.
And the hotel itself was attractive enough. We were on the second floor (stairs, no elevator) and we never heard anyone else at all. The pool was nice, too.
When we arrived, it was dark, but we didn’t have any problem finding Kings Inn. And the staff that greeted us upon check-in were super-friendly. Not stuffy and business-like, but smiling and genuinely helpful.
Breakfast was ample. Not fancy, but sufficient. There were hard-boiled eggs and yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, pastries, waffles, and juice.
We had no problems checking out, and we were soon on our way to Disneyland.
Disneyland was amazing
Well, of course it was. That’s what they specialize in, right? But we really had a wonderful time with all the family celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday. One of the best parts is seeing how well Disney characters treat my grandchildren!
Any pro-tips to share?
1) Well, yes! If you stay at Kings Inn and have the time, the IHOP around the corner (1560 S Harbor Blvd.) has the most amazing desserts. This was a special treat for us and just added to our wonderful Disney experience.
2) We discovered the Disneyland app for the first time on this trip. The thing we liked best about it was ordering our lunch at the Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland via the app. Then we walked over to Tomorrowland, and our lunch was waiting for us at the counter. I’ve never been served my lunch anywhere so fast!
3) We have two favorite restaurants for dinner in Disneyland — the Carnation Cafe and the Plaza Inn. This time we opted for the Plaza Inn, because we didn’t need reservations. In my opinion, the prices are much more reasonable than I expected for Disneyland, and the food is very good. I loved my salmon dinner!
There you have it — all of my Disneyland tips! I hope it helps you to have an amazing Disney adventure as well! This was not a sponsored post, but my own desire to share a great Disneyland hotel experience. I really appreciated staying at Kings Inn and enjoying the amenities they offered.