Updated: May 21, 2015
Disneyland Anaheim Motels - Park Vue Inn ReviewA lot of families planning for a Disneyland vacation are worried about finding the best motels and hotels near Disneyland Park. Disney runs a few of their own properties, like the Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, and the older Disneyland Hotels -- these all tend to be pretty expensive if you are on a budget. You can check out a map of motels near Disneyland California here. Basically, you'll see that Harbor Blvd. is the main road that runs alongside Disneyland Park. The most convenient motels are located here, across from the pedestrian entrance to the park. The good news is you can book very good rooms at these motels for around $100 per night offseason (peak and weekends more -- we paid $99 one night and $139 the other nights). In this guide, we will review one specific motel - the Park Vue Inn, located at 1570 South Harbor Blvd -- exactly opposite the Disneyland entrance.
Park Vue Inn (some people call it Parkview Inn or Park View Inn -- wrong!) - Across from Disneyland CaliforniaWe last stayed at this Disneyland Anaheim motel in January of 2009. We've had the pleasure of staying at some of the very finest and some of the very worst motels and hotels near Disneyland in the last 30 years. The Park Vue Inn sits somewhere in the middle. Pretty much all of these motels along Harbor are properties dating from the 60s and 70s, and they show it. You'll find a lot of smaller 2 and 3 story motels with exterior metal stairways, nothing-fancy kind of grounds (mostly parking lot and a small pool), basic cable, older linens and bedding, etc. So we start with that basic warning -- if you are the type that needs a concierge, terry robe, Tempurpedic bed, flat screen TV with 100 channels, spa, evening turn-down service, these motels are not for you. If you are the type who knows they will be spending all day and most of the night at Disneyland and just need a nearby, safe, clean, inexpensive place to sleep at night with their kids, keep reading.
Motels and Hotels Near Disneyland Park - How Close?First off, let's talk about the property layout. The Park Vue Inn (ParkVueInn.com) location is one of our favorites for Disney park motels. Just walk out the pedestrian exit of the park, and boom, you are standing in front of the Park Vue. That's how close it is. In fact, take a look at the map below -- the Disneyland entrance gate is in the middle, the Grand Californian Hotel is marked on the left, and the Park Vue Inn is marked on the right. Walking distance from the Grand Californian is 1280 feet, as measured by Google Maps. How far is the Park Vue Inn from Disneyland? Google Maps shows it at 1390 feet. So for 2 or 3 times the price, you save yourself about 100 steps in terms of distance if you opt for the Grand Californian instead of the Park Vue Inn.
Park Vue Inn - Disneyland California Location At Its Best!So the location is great. One negative, the property itself has a very small Harbor Blvd frontage and is then very DEEEEP (if you look at the Propety Layout picture on their website, the diagram looks almost square vs. the huge elongated rectangle you see in the satellite photo above). The rooms in the back stretch so far away from the road that it adds probably another 400 feet to the walking distance.
So here's a tip: The room numbers start near the front of the motel and go towards the rear -- room 105 is on the ground floor near the office, while 130-148 wrap around the back section (on the second floor, 205 is near the office while 230-248 wrap around the back). When reserving a room, request rooms closest to the front if possible (105-115, or 205-215 upstairs). We stayed in room 141 - almost as far back as you could be, and the extra walking did add up over a few days. The motel itself is just 2 stories tall (in some of the pictures you'll see a larger 3-4 story building behind, that's the taller Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites) - as usual, upstairs rooms will be quieter since no one will be walking across your ceiling. We didn't have any problem with late night noise during our stay.
There is a pool almost literally in the middle of the parking lot - you can see it towards the upper right of this photo, inside those palm trees. This scene is from the back corner of the motel away from Harbor Blvd (you can see the 2 stories along the left side -- the taller building behind is another motel. You can also barely see the blue roof of the IHOP restaurant halfway up along the right edge of the photo). While we were there the pool was closed for renovations - drained and concrete around the deck all broken up. It's got a thin hedge and some palm trees around it, but the pool doesn't offer much in the way of privacy or ambience -- we'd skip it unless your kids are dying to go swimming on a hot summer day.
They offer a variety of rooms - single king, 2 queens, king and bunkbed, 2 room suites. We were in a 2 queen bed unit with a small desk/dresser/TV stand. In our room, the TV was fairly old, basic cable brought in exactly 13 channels (NO kids channels like Disney, Nick, etc). There was a microwave oven, small refrigerator and coffee maker. There is a sink and mirror area separate from the toilet/shower area, with a wall-mount hair dryer by the sink. Bedding and pillows seemed kind of old, not crisp and fresh, but everything was clean. Shower had plenty of hot water, air conditioning worked fine and made as much noise as you would expect from a motel air conditioner. We came back early one afternoon and found the maid still making up our room at around 3PM and had to wait 10 minutes for her to finish (anyone else need an excuse to hit the Coldstone our front?), but other than that room was made up clean by each evening. The Park Vue Inn at Disneyland Anaheim also offers free Wi-Fi for internet access.
The Park Vue Inn offers a free continental breakfast (M-F 7-9:30AM, Sat-Sun 7-10AM) each morning with the basic -- cereal, toast, etc. (on a rooftop terrace to boot), but on our late mornings, we were more tempted by the IHOP restaurant that shares their parking lot. They do offer a coin-operated laundry room with about 5 machines and irons and ironing boards -- it was empty every time we walked past it, but it's nice to know it's there if you are spending an extended vacation in California and need clean clothes along the way. They also have a small on-site gift shop with various souvenirs and cold drinks and snacks (no alcohol), along with a Coldstone Ice Cream shop right out in front. There are also vending machines with drinks and snacks and ice machines. There is a larger convenience store 2 or 3 motels further up Harbor if you are looking for more food items. There is a McDonald's, Quiznos, and Tony Romas all within 100 yards for other dining options.
If you want to stop off at a grocery store on your way to the motel or some evening, the best one we could find nearby was a Von's. It's located at Chapman and Haster, about 5 minutes away. To get there, take the Chapman exit off I-5 heading west, you'll hit Haster after a few block and see Von's on your right. After shopping, continue a little further down Chapman and you will hit Harbor -- make a right and head up Harbor until you get to the Park Vue. Whatever Anaheim motel you are staying at, it's a good idea to pick up some food and drinks at a market -- you can easily save $50-100 per day by bringing some sandwiches and drinks with you into the park (with each soda or water setting you back $3 in Disneyland, $7-$10 for hamburgers, etc. it adds up pretty fast) or having some bagels and fruit for breakfast.
Parking: There seemed to be plenty of parking when we were there offseason - there were always at least 8-15 empty spaces. We arrived early, around 10AM, so we checked in and got a parking pass to display on our dashboard, even though rooms were not ready yet. On the day we left, we checked out at 8AM and then went to the park until 4PM -- the parking pass is good the entire day you depart as well, so you can leave your car parked there through the evening if necessary.