Here’s how far in advance you need to book a hotel at Disneyland

Planning a trip to Disneyland can be an overwhelming experience. And unlike Walt Disney, who had his own apartment inside the park, a lot of planning and preparation goes into getting a Disneyland hotel for when and where you want to stay.

So what do you need to know before booking a trip to Disneyland? And how far in advance should you make hotel reservations at Disneyland? Here’s a guide to help make your trip to the happiest place on earth a little less stressful.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Reservations

There are three Disney-owned hotels at the Disneyland Resort. Although each of the hotels offers a different theme, booking a room at the Disneyland Hotel Where Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is a bit easier than booking a room at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa due to its proximity to theme parks and its additional Disney Vacation Club Villas that take up a portion of the hotel’s room inventory.

The Disneyland Hotel at dusk.

Disneyland Hotel via Yelp

Travelers planning a Disneyland getaway with just a month or two’s notice should find it easy to book at the Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, especially during the slower months of late August and September. Both of these hotels offer basic amenities as well as the option to participate in Magical Extra Hours and Magical Morning Admission to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, if they return after being discontinued during Disneyland’s phased reopening in 2021.

Travelers looking to book a room at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa during popular holiday months like Halloween and Christmas will want to do so at least six months in advance to be on the safe side. The resort often books up quickly due to its direct access to both the Downtown Disney District and California Disney Adventure amusement park. The resort is also the only Disney-owned hotel at the Disneyland Resort with Disney Vacation Club rooms — a 48-unit timeshare program that can be divided into smaller units through locked rooms.

Anaheim Good Neighbor Hotel Reservations

Good neighborhood hotels are hotels near Disneyland that have high standards, clean rooms, and nice amenities. When guests see a hotel as a Good Neighbor Partner, they know they have the Disney seal of approval and have gone through a rigorous process to be part of the program. Currently, there are more than 50 good nearby hotels in Anaheimat all price points and at different distances from the theme parks.

The main entrance to the Anaheim Marriott.

The main entrance to the Anaheim Marriott.

Courtesy of Werner Segarra/Visit Anaheim

One good thing about good neighborhood hotels is that travelers can book rooms with less notice and still get great deals. Hotels closest to the Disneyland Resort entrance on Harbor Boulevard generally fill up faster than hotels farther from the parks.

If you want to stay at a hotel across the street or a block or two from Disneyland, consider booking at least three months in advance. Guests who don’t mind wandering around at the start and end of their day can often book a hotel farther from the Disneyland entrance with just a few weeks’ notice.

What to know before booking a trip to Disneyland

Before you book a trip to Disneyland, whether you’re staying at one of the three Disney-owned hotels or a nearby hotel, there are a few things you need to know.

The first is to look at the theme park reservation availability calendar to ensure your travel dates are open for theme park reservations. A hotel reservation does not guarantee admission to any of the Disneyland theme parks.

Disneyland calendar for March 2022.

Disneyland calendar for March 2022.

Disneyland screenshot

Secondly, when you arrive, it is wise to check in online at your hotel. This will help you avoid long lines at reception and allow you access to designated areas of the hotel that require a key, such as your room, gym and swimming pool. Those staying at a Disney-owned hotel can do so through the Disneyland App. If you plan to stay at a nearby hotel, be sure to find out about your hotel’s policy on mobile check-in and mobile-friendly room keys before you arrive.

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