The Disneyland Resort has three official hotels on property. These hotels bump right up against Downtown Disney, and are about a 10-15 minute walk from Disneyland and California Adventure.
Paradise Pier Hotel
If you stay at one of the official resort hotels, you get a few extra perks during your stay. These include:
- Extra Magic Hours
- Preferred access to reservations (if you don’t have a reservation and space opens up, you are at the top of the list)
- Charging meals and merchandise to your room
- Access to the spas and pools
- A private entrance to California Adventure (for Grand Californian guests only)
Good Neighbor Hotels
The Disneyland Resort Hotels are expensive, but the good news is they aren’t your only choice for staying near the park. There are tons of smaller hotels, motels, and suites along the neighboring streets, some of which are roughly the same distance to the gates as the official hotels.
Disney recognizes many of these as Good Neighbor hotels. These are not Disney owned, but belong to a partnership that enables them to offer Disney merchandise and perks. Most of the Good Neighbor hotels sell tickets at the front desk, offer pass holder discounts, or provide some sort of tram service or transportation to the gates.
The reason to stay on-property is for the extras. If you care about having access to the spa and pools, want a park view room, or want the extra hour of admission into the parks, stay at one of the resort hotels. But if you’re just going to go back to your room to crash at the end of the night, and don’t really need any extras, staying in a Good Neighbor hotel is a great way to save money. I’ve done both, and neither is inherently better than the other; it just depends what you’re looking for.