Any true advantage to staying in a Disney hotel at DL?

I’ve decided that my birthday this summer will be going to LA to see the tour of On Your Feet! (it was my jam while it was on Broadway and I miss it terribly) and since I’m going that far I should go to Disneyland for the second time ever! :slight_smile:

I’m looking at options and since packages even at Good Neighbor hotels come with the Extra Morning thing on a morning, I’m trying to see if there is any other advantage to staying in the Disney hotel besides just staying in a Disney hotel. Good Neighbor-wise I’m looking at the “Across the Street” or the “Within 1/2 a Mile” ones, and I live in NYC, so walking really doesn’t bother me - and I’m looking at savings of up to $500 or so and that’s with an extra night than “on property”.

It seems obvious, but from the experts…is there something I’m missing that justifies that big of a price jump for fewer days?

I’ve never stayed. Although I have walked through the lobby and the gift shop and I have gone to trader sam’s and it does look amazing and magical. You can walk through downtown disney to the park, but I do know there are other hotels that would be just as close. You would also get the early entry into the park on certain days if i’m not mistaken. It is on my wish list but I have not been able to afford staying there yet. We have APs and go quite often and usually stay on harbor. The hilton convention center is really nice and you can walk across the street to the toy story tram. The closest I have stayed is at the Anaheim Hotel, use to be the Anaheim Plaza.

1 Like

I dont know if good neighbor hotels offer the early entry…never heard that before…but 3 day hoppers get a early entry…


I know when I’ve been investigating, you get the early entry even from Good Neighbor hotels if you do the package with at least a 3-day ticket - not every day, but I think like one for the stay.

1 Like

Save your money. Ive been doing alot of research for WDW and from what I understand staying onsite there is a huge difference compared to staying onsite here in Cali

1 Like

That’s what I was thinking. I will only stay on property in WDW because I don’t drive (I mean, I have a license, but haven’t driven in over 11 years since moving to NYC) - but it doesn’t seem as necessary at DL. We stayed off-site the other time I was there (for the DL half about 6 years ago) and I didn’t remember it being a hassle even with the Disney early race hours. just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

I am a huge proponent for stay at DLR hotels. In fact, DH will only go if we are on property. The advantages for us are: obvious EM each morning of your stay, exclusive entrance through CG, being able to charge purchases and meals to your room, being able to send purchases to your hotel (this has been a life saver when my boys had to make their lightsabers first thing in the morning and expected mom to lug them around), they sometimes have reservations set aside for the guests of the resort, and we just booked a trip where we are getting a “free” FP to use as we please (it was an annual pass deal), and most importantly, the Disney bubble. I went with my sister a few months ago and we stayed off site. I guess I got spoiled. It was a much different feel coming in from Harbor, than strolling through DTD.

All that said, I shop the deals and we only go when rooms are reasonable (as reasonable as DLR rooms get). Given your situation and the lack of room discounts at that time of year, I would stay off site, but definitely splurge for MaxPass. If I ever stay off site again, I will be staying at CandyCane Inn. Check it out through Trip Advisor. It is close enough to walk (roughly 15 minutes) and also has its own private Disney Shuttle.

1 Like

ISo glad you are coming back to see DLR a second time! That’s a great reason to come :slight_smile:

Couple of things about the early entry deal:

  1. It can’t be used at DCA, only at DL on a day when DL has early entry hours (usually Tue, Thur, Sat but can vary around holidays/special events so double check the operating calendar).
  2. It’s not exclusive to good neighbor hotel packages but is for anyone who purchases 3 day or longer tickets in advance (from nearly everywhere, but double check it you go through a travel agent or one of the reputed agencies like Getaway Today or Ares Tickets). So just know you can do a room only reservation & tickets separately & get this perk. Disney’s prices for the Good Neighbor hotel packages are almost never the cheapest. We always book directly through the Good Neighbor Hotels & have always gotten the best rates this way.

That being said, would I do onsite? If it were only my 2nd time ever at DL and I would be unlikely to be back again to try onsite, probably yes, but it would really depend on the price. Summertime is not a cheap time to go, especially mid-June thru mid-August so that would be a big deciding factor. But my recommendation is that you need to try onsite at least once because it is a very worthwhile experience. The service, the bubble, the little touches around the hotel & the early morning access every day are all a part of it. Although, for Paradise Pier the reason we had such a magical time was because we could watch World of Color from the room in our pjs & had a view of the pier. From the ‘light’ Disney theming of the room & hotel overall, I don’t know that we would have felt the same way in the hote in a standardroom. So that’s another price factor you have to consider as well since a park view room would be an upgrade.

For the record we stay offsite for the vast majority of our trips (right now it’s at less than 5% of trips), but the reason we have gone as many times as we do is I can pay for 3-4 offsite nights for every 1 onsite night which means more days at Disneyland. And even the 2 times we have stayed onsite I have waited until some type of discount was available to us so we could feel better about paying (even still with a discount) double or more of what we pay to stay elsewhere. We also don’t say in our room or enjoy any hotel ammeneties very often, even staying onsite, since we like to maximize park time so that adds to our staying offsite factor. If you would take the time or have non-park days to enjoy onsite & Downtown Disney then you would have another reason to stay onsite. And finally the best reason I can think of to stay onsite at the Disneyland Hotel in particular is the firework headboards. I didnt think they would be that big of a deal but on our stay there I absolutely adored it & it was my favorite thing about the room. But I definitely appreciate the cost so know that if you aren’t going to be in the room much you won’t miss too much by booking offsite.

I’ve done both, and to me the decision point is this: The outrageous cost of an on-site hotel buys you EE every day of your stay; if the EE is “worth” it to you, then stay on-site; if not, stay off site at a hotel with the same amenities for half the price (or less).

I stayed at PP last trip; I found an outrageously good discount that let me stay there for $225/night and it was a month after Carsland opened, so EE was important to me. I will probably never stay there again unless I can find a similar discount. It has no grounds, tiny lobby, not enough check-in/check-out positions so the lines are long, completely insufficient elevators (I was on the 5th floor, and finally had to take an elevator up to the top floor so I could actually get on one), and only one restaurant (a family CM buffet). The pool is a square hole in the ground on the roof. And yes, it’s “on-site” - across the street and about a 10-15 minute walk to the parks entry plaza. Based on rack rates, for $100/night more you can stay at the Disneyland Hotel - which is a deluxe resort on all counts. The Grand Californian is also beautiful (the lobby is a must-see), but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend that much for a room, DLR or not


Thank you!

Two years ago I was able to get a smoking deal at CG ($300 per night). It was right after Thanksgiving. My family all met up to celebrate, as most of us ended up working T day. What an amazing experience! Up until this point we had only stayed in PP. they up graded us to a DTD view which meant we got watch the fireworks in our room each night and the CA entrance was maybe 30 steps from our elevator. I was star struck by the lobby and it’s holiday decor. The entire experience was truly magical! Looking forward to trying out the DLH in a few weeks. I also work the deals to be able to do this. I buy discounted Walmart gift cards and them use them to buy discounted Disney Gift cards at Sams Club, and use my Disney credit card to get the rewards. Sometimes the chase of the deal is almost as fun as the trip (almost is the key word)!


Sounds good. But I boycott WalMart and don’t do big box stores, so I don’t get into the whole thing with gift cards.

This is the #1 reason we haven’t stayed there. Plus even with it’s beauty & proximity I just can’t imagine I would enjoy it more than the time we spent at DLH. Maybe one day, if we come into money some way or another that we aren’t expecting we’ll allocate it to splurge on this. But I can think of a quite a few WDW resorts I’d put ahead of it first (namely all the monorail resorts, AKL & probably even some Epcot resorts).

All very accurate! Although, in PP’s defense, I quite enjoy the PCH grill that is the CM buffet that you mention. The food is quite good & the characters very fun. It’s just a little out of our way unless we stay there & even when we did, bfast never happened before EMH and we chose EMH over a dining we could theoretically do any other park day at DLR. Also, we did not happen into any issues with the elevators (but I have heard it from so many others since we went so it’s definitely a real thing, I just didn’t know about or how lukcy we were until after we’d gone).

I do feel like overall, if you’re wanting the EMH & will be maximizing that park time, PP isn’t a total write-off. But like I said above, a lot of the magic of our stay was a theme park view and both nights we made it a point to be back in the hotel to watch WOC from that view, the second night with a fresh bucket of popcorn brought straight back from the park. The water screens were completely distorted but the fountains were beautiful & just the VIP factor of being able to sit right next to bed while watching the show felt magnificent. Also that trip was during a runDisney event and so 2 out of our 3 mornings there were races being run in the parks as we woke up & we saw the lights & rides being run for the runners & it was extra cool for my kids to watch that go on right upon waking up.

That view would have made a difference. I was on that side of the building, but my view was completely blocked by a palm tree. (Maybe why the room was so cheap).

Can I ask how you went about getting the $300/night price at GC? Was it direct through Disney general public rate, annual pass holder rate, other?

It was a Annual Pass holder discount, but I have found they are the same price as offered discounts. The only difference is that pass holders get a few extra perks. This last trip, I paid $313 for a pool view. I got the deal through the regular offer and then changed it to pass holders deal because we would also get one anytime pass per person and a $20 dining voucher per reservation. We could have stayed at GC at a rate of $380 per night, but we really wanted to try DLH. I have to work the deals b/c DH will only stay on property. My secret is to jump on the deal as soon as I see it. I can cancel later if necessary.