There are a ton of hotels in the Disneyland California area, including a few on property Disney options. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel instantly caught our attention just by being the Grand Floridian’s counterpart. However, after investigating, nothing about it appealed to us, except some of the restaurants. The theming was much like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which is not our taste. We made a point to visit in person, since the Grand Californian’s proximity to Disney’s California Adventure is insanely close, and stood by our opinion: The theming isn’t us, and I can’t see spending for their rates (upwards of $600 per night during the peak time we visited) for something I don’t love. While distance, or lack thereof, is certainly a perk, many of the area hotels are also VERY CLOSE to the parks, and yes, I’m talking walking distance.
Once we found a Marriott a few blocks away, it was a no brainer. The cost couldn’t be beat, especially for this trip.
I always say you can never go wrong with a Marriott, and the Anaheim Marriott backs this theory. It’s rare for us to visit a hotel and just use it to sleep, which is essentially what our couple of days in Anaheim consisted of. We spent all our time in the parks, and still didn’t even make it to Downtown Disney! There was no time to relax, but that’s what our visit to Palm Dessert was for.
However, if, unlike us, you DO have the time to sit back and put your feet up, the Anaheim Marriott has a nice indoor/outdoor pool that I’m sad we didn’t get to utilize. We also didn’t have the opportunity to try any of their many restaurants (this Marriott, despite not being a resort property, has PLENTY of eateries to choose from – from a JW Steakhouse to a Pizza Hut, there are options for all).
We arrived in Anaheim, dropped off our rental car, checked in, freshened up, and were in Disneyland by noon. We didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight, and the following morning we were in Disney’s California Adventure by 10. We left by 8, went back to the Marriott to get our luggage and jet off to the airport to catch an 11:30pm flight. Phew.
The Anaheim Marriott is a big convention hotel, so it’s BUSY! We arrived late morning and were hoping to check in and get our room to freshen up before heading to the park (and still make it to the park by noon/12:30). I was not hopeful once I saw the check in line – it was so long it had to be an hour deep. At 11:30, it was also WAY before check-in time, so rooms didn’t seem to be ready. There were SO MANY PEOPLE WAITING. However, thanks to our elite status, we didn’t have to wait in that insanely long line and were in our room within 10 minutes. THANK YOU, MARRIOTT!
The hotel itself is very updated and Josh loved the hi-tech elevators. There’s no waiting, which is a major perk, especially at a busy hotel. Guests simply enter the floor they want, and the system will let you know which elevator will take you there, express.
Despite being an overall updated hotel, the rooms are very standard. While some in room updates would be nice (a non popcorn ceiling, a refreshed bathroom, etc), the room was overall a typical Marriott room, and I mean that in a good way. It’s one of those brands you know what to expect and doesn’t disappoint. There’s no over the top luxury, but there’s comfort. The bed was amazing after an exhausting day, and the basic amenities are there. The bathroom is very “no frills,” but for the price, it just can’t be beat (I saw similar showers at the Grand Californian Hotel, and we paid WAY LESS here at the Marriott). Win.
The walk to the parks each day was short, at about a mile and along Harbor Blvd. It was a super easy stroll, passing hotels and tree-lined streets. We didn’t find the food in Disney to be expensive, but there’s a 7-11 on the way that was very popular with families getting drinks and snacks. Even at midnight, we felt safe walking. I cannot stress how much we LOVED being able to walk to the parks. Not having to rely on any transportation is an amazing thing. It was so EASY, and I LOVE easy! We even passed a Morton’s Steakhouse, which is one of our favorite restaurants. We were SO SAD we didn’t have time to eat here!
We found the staff at the Anaheim Marriott very helpful, even down to holding our luggage after we checked out, so we could spend the day in the park. They took very special care of the artwork we purchased, and everything was once again, easy.
Overall, this Marriott gets a big thumbs up and we would definitely stay here again! A Marriott WALKING DISTANCE to Disneyland? Perfect!