If you’re visiting Disneyland on a tight budget or are attempting to save money, the easiest way is to book a cheap Anaheim hotel. In this post, we list the 10 best ‘value hotels’ near Disneyland, with a brief discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each, along with the sacrifices you’ll be making by choosing these inexpensive hotels over pricier counterparts.
Without question, hotels are the biggest variable when it comes to your Disneyland vacation budget. On one end of the spectrum, there are dated motels that can cost well under $100/night. On the other end, suites at the Grand Californian Hotel that easily exceed $1,000/night. Even ignoring these extremes–which most people should and will do–the prices of standard, “good” hotel rooms in Anaheim can vary by $300/night.
Over the cost of a 5-day trip, that’s a pretty big swing in how much you’re spending. Of course, the quality of hotels across price-points also varies considerably. We think sheer quantity and range of hotels near Disneyland is a huge asset when planning a trip, but all hotels on the cheap end of the spectrum are not equal…hence this post.
To the contrary, many of the cheap hotels in Anaheim should be avoided. Some of these look like they were built in the 1950s to leech off of the success of Disneyland…and they haven’t been updated since. Abnormally high reports of bedbugs, sketchy activity, or the hotels straight up falling apart. (Here’s a “fun” fact: we actually stayed at that hotel after this incident, and it was every bit as awful as it sounds.)
While we don’t put a ton of stock into TripAdvisor ratings, we also would not roll the dice on any of the hotels that readers review as the bottom 20-30 in Anaheim. Almost all have names that are a bit “off,” such as the Super 7 Motel or Robinhood Motel. Oh, and something tells us that the Polynesian Motel is not the sister property of the Polynesian at Walt Disney World…but that’s just a guess.
A couple of notes before we get started. First, unlike Disney hotels that have published rate charts, Anaheim hotel prices are like airfare, with rates fluctuating pretty significantly depending upon demand. It’s not uncommon to see hotels at double their ‘normal’ price for no discernible reason while comparable options remain around the norm. This makes comparison shopping a strict necessity. It also means some hotels on this list could be inexplicably overpriced at times.
Second, speaking of double their normal price, expect those normal prices to about double once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens next year. Pre-Cars Land, it was common to find hotels within a 10 minute walk of Disneyland for under $100/night. Now, the average nightly rate at Anaheim hotels is $180.75. (And that includes hotels much farther from the parks.) With a hotel shortage and construction that is just now starting to catch up to demand, we fully expect prices to spike next year.
Finally, we give extra consideration to hotels that are mainstays of last minute booking sites or apps like Hotel Tonight, and we also to hotels that participate in Get Away Today’s 3rd or 4th night free promos. Booking via one of these methods is one of the last remaining ways to get a decent hotel for around (or under) $100/night in the off-season.
To see more comprehensive rankings, check out our post. You can also read our overall comparison of the benefits of staying off-site versus on-site in our Where to Stay at Disneyland post. With all of that said, here are the budget hotels in Anaheim that we do like for Disneyland vacations, and a bit of info as to why they’re among our favorites…
10. EXTENDED STAY AMERICA ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER
Extended Stay America is not typically going to be on your radar if you’re pricing out hotels near Disneyland, because standard rates tend to be around $100/night. Given the nature of this barebones, extended stay hotel, that’s nothing special. However, it’s often the cheapest 2-star hotel in the Disney South zone on Hotwire’s “Hot Rate” section, with rates that rival some of the shady motels in town. Extended Stay America is definitely not shady (the drab photo above really doesn’t do it justice), it’s just basic. If you can find a way to book it at a low cost, it can suit you well.
Desert Palms Hotel & Suites is a solid hotel, with some nice advantages like indoor hallways and an inviting lobby that make it seem superior to the hotels directly on Harbor Boulevard. The location is really advantageous and the rooms are fairly nice, but the high prices relative to other hotels in its class give us some pause with this one.
8. HOLIDAY INN ANAHEIM RESORT AREA
With a location on South Manchester, this Holiday Inn is a bit of a hike from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. However, for the cost difference, you can take an Uber or use ART and still come out ahead. (I walked the ~30 minutes when I stayed here–I didn’t think it was too bad.) The main reason I’m inclined to include this Holiday Inn on the list is because it’s one of the few chained-brand hotels on the list, and has an impressive slate of amenities. Although rates can fluctuate widely, it’s not uncommon to find this for under $100/night during the off-season. Read and see more in our Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort Area Review.
Here’s another one that makes the list despite being a real hike from the parks. As with the Holiday Inn, the cost difference here will pay for the transportation. At first blush, you might think the Stanford Inn is a shady motel. Its name sounds a bit off, its in a location around other shady hotels, and photos of the exterior don’t exactly inspire much confidence. Yet, the rooms are surprisingly nice and staff at Stanford Inn really make an effort to over-deliver. It’s one of the few motels in Anaheim that actually exceeds expectations. Oh, it’s also one of the 4th night free hotels on Get Away Today, and regularly appears on last minute deal sites.
6. HOTEL INDIGO ANAHEIM
Unquestionably the nicest hotel on this list, Hotel Indigo makes the cut because you can frequently find last-minute deals on it for under $140/night. Granted, that’s more expensive than every other hotel on this list, but I wanted to include a couple of moderately-nice hotels for value-conscious planners who aren’t looking for a crash pad at a cheap motel. For the price, we think Hotel Indigo typically offers strong value, as these are chic rooms and nice touches that make them more than worth it with only a moderate walk to the parks. Read and see more in our full Hotel Indigo Anaheim Review
We’ve described Cortona Inn & Suites as the epitome of an average hotel in Anaheim. The rooms, amenities, breakfast, and pool are all “fine.” There’s nothing exemplary about it in any way…except the price. It is regularly the cheapest hotel near Disneyland on Hotel Tonight (even taking into account the preposterous resort fee). It also has “free” parking, which is becoming increasingly rare in Anaheim, so at least that resort fee is good for something. .
4. ALPINE INN
Alpine Inn is very comparable to Desert Inn–relatively unchanged since we started visiting Disneyland, both in terms of price and decor. Alpine Inn has more curb appeal with the cute chalet style check-in building and usually costs less, but that comes with a couple of big tradeoffs. It’s farther from the parks, and has slightly worse & smaller rooms. (Unlike Desert Inn, you can find this via last minute apps.) Read and see more in our full Alpine Inn Hotel Review
3. CLARION HOTEL
Although we stayed in this hotel last fall, I still haven’t gotten around to actually reviewing it, in large part because it’s just so boring. As I’ve noted elsewhere on the blog, time has passed this Anaheim Convention Center hotel by, but even though the dated interior feels like a time capsule of a different era (perhaps I should review it from the perspective of a time traveler to mix things up?!). In any case, the rooms are also surprisingly nice and spacious, and are better than you’d expect for the price. While I’ve never seen Clarion Hotel on Hotel Tonight, Get Away Today offers packages with the 3rd night of stays being free, plus free parking and free breakfast.
As odd as this might sound since it’s a cheap hotel across the street from Disneyland, there will always be a special place in my heart for Desert Inn & Suites. It was our go-to choice for a while, and I still “remember” stumbling back here after nights of ElecTRONica. The look of the rooms hasn’t changed much since then, and neither have the prices. Someday, I fully expect that we’ll take our grandkids to Disneyland and we’ll walk into our ~$100 room at Desert Inn to find it still has that same gilded, floral bedspread. .
1. FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON ANAHEIM
If booked with Get Away Today’s 4th night free special, there are some nights when the Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim is under $100/night and you get free parking thrown in. (It’s also on Hotel Tonight for ~$99 regularly.) Given the quality of this newly-refurbished hotel, that is an absolute steal. It’s an excellent hotel for adults, with really nice beds, significantly improved rooms, a nice pool area, and good dining options. You would be hard-pressed to find a hotel of this quality for $100/night in rural Kansas, so it’s really impressive that you can score it for around that price within walking distance of Disneyland. Read and see more in our full Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim Review
That covers it on our favorite cheap hotels near Disneyland…for now. I’ve only included hotels at which we’ve stayed, meaning I’ve had to skip over hotels like Portofino Inn & Suites, Anaheim Hotel, Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort, Country Inn & Suites Anaheim, and others.
Since we’re anticipating that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will put prices at the Polynesian Motel on par with the Polynesian Village Resort (okay…mild hyperbole), we realize we need to review more value options. We’ll be testing as many of those out as possible in the near future, as we’d like to bump #8-10 off of this list.
If you’re preparing for a Disneyland trip, check out our other planning posts, including how to save money on Disneyland tickets, our Disney packing tips, tips for booking a hotel (off-site or on-site), where to dine, and a number of other things, check out our comprehensive Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide!
Have you scored any great hotel deals in Anaheim? Where, when, and what nightly rate? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Other recommendations to add? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!