Giving you my #1 best piece of advice for having a stress free vacation to Disneyland, especially if you’re on a budget and traveling with a baby!
Guys, I think calling me a “Disney Freak” might be the understatement of the year. Like I talked about in my Where To Buy Disney Apparel and Accessories For Cheap post, my family has been going to Disneyland every year since I was about 11 years old. There was even a point when I was 13 that we had annual passes and went probably 6 or 7 times that year… we live in Utah so yeah, we are weirdos :). But there is no other weirdo I would rather be than a Disney weirdo!
Shortly after my hubs and I were married he caught on to the Disneyland obsession and after we had Evie we KNEW that we had to take her ASAP! There really isn’t much better than spending time in The Happiest Place on Earth with the ones you love. Being the budget conscious person that I am and knowing Evie would be with us, we went to Disneyland this time around with budget and baby on the mind! It was absolutely magical and completely stress free. Yes, STRESS FREE! So, this week I am going to share with you how we did Disneyland on a budget and with a baby- sans stress. I’m kicking this series of posts off with WHERE to stay!
Where To Stay:
My #1 very best piece of advice for a stress free Disney trip if you’re on a budget and have kids, especially a baby, would be to stay within walking Distance of Disneyland. My families all time favorite hotel that is less than a 15 minute walk to the park is The Anaheim Marriott Hotel. We have stayed in at least 10 others over the years and NOTHING has compared to this one.
Here are my 10 reasons why:
- You are close to the park for nap time- If you have a stubborn babe that won’t sleep in the stroller, being just a short walk away from the park will be an absolute lifesaver for your sanity. You can easily walk back to the hotel, put your babe down for an hour or two (and take a nap yourself), then walk back to the park. I have to add that The Anaheim Marriott Hotel also has crib sheets available for your use, free of charge. I brought Evie’s portable crib but forgot a crib sheet and they had one that was specifically made for portable cribs! I thought that was really cool :).
- Avoid parking fees and cost of gas– my family use to stay at an apartment that someone was renting out (like Airbnb but this was before Airbnb was around) and we would have to pay parking fees at Disneyland and drive about 30 minutes to get there everyday. Parking at Disneyland everyday is $15 and gas really starts to add up. Even if you stay at a hotel that isn’t 3o minutes away, if its not within walking distance like The Anaheim Marriott Hotel then you will still be paying for parking everyday.
- Avoid the stress of traffic– like I mentioned above if you have to drive you have to deal with heavy California traffic, especially trying to get to the park in the morning.
- More sleep– if you are just a short walk away from Disneyland then that means that you have more time to sleep in the morning because you don’t have to leave as early. My family is the type to stay until the park closes and get to the park right when it opens (the only way to do Disney in my opinion) so we want to get as much sleep outside of that as we can and staying close to the park is the best way to do that!
- Save time– when you have to drive and park you have to be shuttled on the Disney Tram from the parking garage to the park which takes 15-20 minutes from start to finish. So it takes significantly less time to stay at The Anaheim Marriott Hotel and walk than it does to stay further away and drive.
- Cleanliness– call me lazy but I doubt I’m not the only one who feels this way (hopefully?). When I’m on vacation I really don’t want to have to clean. It’s just another thing I look forward to when I go on vacation! I love not having to do things that I normally have to do at home. If you stay in a Airbnb or something similar then you don’t have someone cleaning up your room every day. After a day of partying in Disneyland it’s the last thing I feel like doing. In fact, when you stay at The Anaheim Marriott Hotel they not only clean your room to perfection everyday they also turn down your sheets at night so it’s ready for you to dive into bed the second you get there.
- Room Service– You can get room service (some hotels even have continental breakfast) delivered before you head to the park that day. This will save you money on food! I will be talking more about food in the park in my next post but for now, I got this whole muffin and bread platter from room service in the The Anaheim Marriott Hotel for $6! It was absolutely delicious and filled us (and Evie as you can see) up!
- Shuttle Services- most hotels that are with walking distance to Disneyland like The Anaheim Marriott Hotel offer shuttle services to the park. You do have to pay for these but they are typically as much as it would be to park at Disneyland and from start to finish take about 15-20 minutes. This is a great option if walking isn’t your thing! At The Anaheim Marriott Hotel it is $5.50 for an all-day shuttle pass for adults, $2 for children under 12 years old, and free for children 3 and under!
- Access to a nice pool– if you do have a day on your vacation where you have some downtime, hopping in the pool is a great idea! The Anaheim Marriott Hotel has a gorgeous pool, we had a blast when we went swimming, it was so clean, warm, and not crowded. If you stay in a Airbnb or VRBO some don’t even have pool or if they do, they are more expensive per night.
- Save your money and your sanity- A lot of people think that it is more expensive stay in a hotel within walking distance to Disneyland, but because of all of the reasons above (especially parking fees and gas money) it’s cheaper by far! Not only is it cheaper, but coming from someone who has tried both ways, it’s also SO so so much less stress. I am convinced that if we would have stayed in a hotel other than The Anaheim Marriott Hotel for Evie’s first trip to Disneyland it would have been a whole lot more stress and a whole lot less fun.
The Anaheim Marriott Hotel will occasionally run special ads like flash sales etc., on their Instagram and Facebook pages. If you are looking for a deal on the best hotel within walking distance to Disneyland, I would give them a follow!
It’s my opinion that if you are going to Disneyland with your family it’s important to make it as much fun and as less stress as you possibly can! It you stay at a hotel within walking distance to Disneyland then I promise it will be easier for you right off the bat!
If you aren’t sure which hotels are within walking distance, look at Disneyland’s Good Neighbor Hotels. These are all great hotels and within walking distance to the park! Travelocity is a great place to look for cheaper hotel prices, I would look for one of Disneyland’s Good Neighbor Hotels on there. If you don’t see one, then look up the address in google maps and find the distance to Disneyland to see if it’s within waking distance. Usually anything on Harbor Blvd. or Katella Ave. are great options!
What questions do you have? I would love to hear them and help to answer them as best as I can! Stay tuned for my next Disneyland post which will be all abut how to make the most out of your time in the park (with a baby and on a budget, of course).