Our search for an affordable kid friendly hotel close to Disneyland
During a family vacation to Anaheim we wanted to stay very close to the two Disney Parks so we could easily walk there. Yes, I wanted to save on transportation, and yes, I have been accused by my wife of being cheap. We wanted to stay someplace good but didn’t wan’t to pay the extreme prices that typically come with staying at one of the amazing Disney hotels. We also wanted something nicer than some of the bargain motels that have no amenities. There were a number of good options to choose from but this had the best perks for the kids in our opinion.
After Callie spent days doing quite a bit of research, we ultimately decided to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim. We had a great time and enjoyed the hotel and the onsite water-park was a great way to cool down on the hot days that we experienced during our stay. The proximity to the Disney parks across the street and nearby restaurants were perfect for us.
Unfortunately, our room was not facing the Disney fireworks so our view was not the most ideal. You could however see the nightly 9:30 fireworks show from the pool area which wasn’t bad. The room we booked had 2 queen sized beds plus bunk beds which worked nicely for us so the kids had their own space. It could have easily accommodated a larger family. The beds were comfortable and there were plenty of pillows which Callie really liked. The TV was in view of the 2 queen beds and the table seating area however not the bunks so the kids often sat on the 2nd queen bed to watch TV. There was lots of storage space in the room as well to keep the room clutter free and organized, again great if you have lots of stuff.
The bathroom had a large stand up shower in the room with the toilet and a bath/shower combo in the section with the dual sinks. The bathroom was very clean and well maintained.
The room had a very small fridge, but you could still fit (2) 2 quart (2 litre) milks if you laid them down plus a few small bottles of water. In the room was a provided microwave and a Keurig coffee machine.
Tips to save you a lot of money during your stay
Drinks in the Disney parks and Universal Studios are very expensive. It would not be hard to spend your budget on drinks alone. To save money we made a trip to the Walmart grocery store ($7 cab ride each way) to get some essentials. We bought a large case of 24 bottles of water for around $4. We also bought enough snacks for the hotel and day trips for the duration of our stay. To save having to eat for breakfast most days, we also purchased 2 quart jugs of milk and a couple boxes of cereal plus disposable bowls and spoons. If you plan ahead you could pack disposable bowls and utensils to bring from home if you already have some. Doing this one important shopping trip on the first day really saved us a ton of money over the week.
Eating at any of the theme parks in and around Anaheim, while it might be nice for the convenience and novelty of it, can eat a lot of your budget. If you don’t mind taking a break from the park, which on a hot day was preferred for us to get out of the sun, there are several restaurants very close to the park exit where you can eat nice meals indoors for the same or often less.
The water-park pool area was nice and the slides and spray park were fun for the kids, they had a fairly large hot-tub which was nice for relaxing after a long day. The pool is about 3-1/2 feet deep the entire length so if you like to be up to your neck you have to bend your knees. The slides closed at 9 pm but the pool stayed open until 10 pm. The one problem we experienced at the water-park may have been due to the record high temperatures during our stay. The walk to the slide was horribly hot on the feet if you couldn’t find a wet or shady spot to walk or stand in. The gym seemed fairly well equipped and was open 24 hours if you like to get your workout in while on vacation (we didn’t).
There is no room service or real restaurant in the hotel however they have a small bistro in the lobby open for a few hours in the morning and then again in the evening. They also have a store open during the day and a small 24 hour convenience store in the lobby.
There is a restaurant just outside of the hotel, in the hotel parking lot named Mimi’s. Wow! We ate there twice and both times we really liked it. The food was very good and reasonably priced which was a bonus. We would definitely eat there again.
I would recommend this hotel for anyone, especially families. Yes it is more than most of the other hotels in the area however it is much less than the Disney hotels and the water slides are a hit with the kids. If you don’t want the water park you can find some other nice hotels near the park that are still very nice for less money.
If you want to check out this hotel for yourself, here is a link to their site: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/snadt-courtyard-anaheim-theme-park-entrance/
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