Featuring large rooms, ubiquitous bunk beds, an elevated pool and theme park views the recently unveiled Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance may be the best off-property hotel in the Disneyland Resort area, depending on one’s priorities. I chose this hotel for my own early December stay based on its reputedly spacious, modern accommodations as well as its park-side views.
Having opened its doors just a few months ago, the hotel’s recent construction really is a notable factor considering most accommodations in the Disneyland Resort area were built decades ago with only occasional updates. Also notable is the hotel’s emphasis on families, a distinction that begins with the design. Every room features bunk beds and a split bathroom with two showers to expedite a group’s morning routine. The room’s bedding felt agreeably soft and high quality on our two normal queens, and the bunk setup wasn’t too shabby either. The bunk beds themselves are surprisingly large, enough to comfortably fit a six foot adult should the normal beds be otherwise occupied. Standard rooms themselves are uncommonly spacious, offering guests around 530 square feet of space – a significant jump from the 250 to 400 square feet usually seen in the area. For comparison a standard room at the Grand Californian, Disney’s top of the line hotel, clocks in at 353 square feet.
Though built as a family hotel for Disney vacationers, room decor and furnishings are less whimsy and more on the modern chic side with soft lighting to match. Some pleasant amenities include a Keurig coffee maker, microwave, seating booth and safe. All of this came in handy throughout our stay, whether it was brewing a quick cup in the morning or re-heating Pizza Press breadsticks to eat at the corner table. The defining feature of our room was the “Fireworks View” and balcony, a classification shared by select rooms located above the porte cochere at the hotel’s westernmost front. From here guests can easily see Disneyland landmarks like the Monorail, Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, and even the Tower of Tower to the south. In fact, relative to the park, guests are essentially 400 ft across the street from the Autopia loading station. Other room categories include Waterpark View, Partial Fireworks View and what amounts to a city view.
The “waterpark” classification refers to the hotel’s rather elaborate pool complex, located on the second floor atop the parking garage. Featuring multiple slides and play structures, the Courtyard Anaheim’s pool area looked be a definite hit for families with young children. Be aware, though, that there is not much in the way of shade on the pool deck. Chairs arranged near the hot tub allow older family members to observe the ruckus, as well as passing monorails, from a distance.
Food and drink options are taken up by the hotel’s small Starbucks cafe and convenience store. We frequently hit up the store for beverages while returning from a busy afternoon in the parks, and found the Gatorade to be the best value for its size and price. Just off property is Mimi’s Cafe, a quality sit-down establishment with French leanings. Just down the block you’ll find a Panera restaurant followed by an ever popular McDonald’s, our usual spot for a quick breakfast before heading to the parks. Walking a bit further south guests can also sample the Pizza Press, a Subway-style eatery offering custom made personal pizzas.
If there are two things that could give prospective guests pause it would be the hotel’s location and cost. The Courtyard Anaheim is just south of the Howard Johnson, the northernmost park-side hotel on Harbor Blvd. This entails a bit of a walk to reach the Disneyland gates, which may put some people off. In my own experience it took around seven to ten minutes to reach the security checkpoint from the Courtyard – about the same as a walk from the Disneyland Hotel – depending on one’s luck with traffic lights. There’s actually two ways to reach the front gates; the common path down the east side of Harbor Blvd, or the less traveled sidewalk to west. The alternate side route runs along the monorail and can be reached by going straight out from the hotel and crossing west at Manchester Avenue, avoiding the more congested bottleneck to the south.
And finally the cost. The Courtyard Anaheim is one the most expensive non-Disney hotels in the immediate resort area, with prices equivalent to Disney’s “value level” Paradise Pier Hotel. And like a stay at the Paradise Pier, there is no complimentary breakfast included in the price unlike other nearby favorites such as the Park Vue Inn or Desert Palms Hotel. That said, I believe the Courtyard’s superior room size, quality and modern amenities make it a strong recommendation for visitors wanting a top quality room at less than deluxe Disney prices. Families with young children should enjoy the bunk beds and child-oriented pool area, while everyone can appreciate the impressive views of the Matterhorn aglow with the light from fireworks bursting overhead.