Why You Should Consider a Disneyland Vacation Rental vs. Hotel

One of the best ways to enjoy your time in Disneyland Anaheim from an accommodation perspective is to stay in a Disneyland vacation rental.

Especially if you are traveling in a large group of family and friends, or visiting Disneyland for several days – our family stayed for 10 days and saved good money by renting an apartment!

Disneyland vacation rentals
Our living room of our townhouse. Image by VRBO

There are plenty of vacation rental homes and apartments near Disneyland in Anaheim California. It will save you money, be more convenient, and can often be closer to the park.

Unless of course you stay at one of the Disneyland Hotel Resort hotels which are more expensive.

You may want to experience the entire glitz and glamour of the Disneyland brand by staying at the Disneyland hotel (review post coming soon), or the convenience of a hotel – Check out these 15 hotels near Disneyland.

However if you want to feel more of a local homestay feel, then look no further than renting an apartment near Disneyland, Anaheim.

We rented a three bedroom townhouse only a short walk to Downtown Disney and the gates of Disneyland and California Adventure Park.

Renting an apartment is the most cost effective and comfortable accommodation for your Disneyland vacation.

Here is a review of the affordable Disneyland vacation rental our party of nine rented.

Disneyland Themed Vacation Rental

Disneyland vacation rentals
Kids bunk beds. Image credit: VRBO

We actually found our townhouse had more of a Disney theme in its décor than the Disneyland Hotel (they did have the actual characters roaming around though).

The kids loved their Mickey Mouse themed bedroom and bathroom.

There are small touches throughout the apartment like Mickey and Frozen posters. I didn’t even notice that the chandelier in the dining area was Frozen style until I saw my sister in laws pictures she sent to me for this post!! lol.

The apartment complex looks a little run down and ugly from the outside, but don’t let that fool you, they are nice on the inside and that’s really all you care about.

We had three bedrooms, one with an ensuite, and one had a bunk bed room. The bottom bunk bed was a double bed, which makes it the perfect Disney accommodation choice for families with more than two children.

disney themed vacation rental

We had more adults than the bedrooms could accommodate, but there was a sofa bed in the living room, Craig and I slept on.

It did break pulling it out on the third night, but the manager was very good about tending to that issue, and a faucet issue immediately.

He had to buy a new sofa so unfortunately, we ended up on a blow up bed in the living room, However it was more comfortable than the sofa and easier to put up and down so we were okay with that.

An umbrella sitting on top of a table
Our courtyard. Image credit: VRBO

Two small courtyards gave us a nice place to sit with a cup of tea in the sun.

This Disneyland apartment rental can sleep up to 9 people.

Having your own kitchen

Disneyland vacation rentals
Kitchen and dining area. Image credit: VRBO

Okay so Disneyland food is not great, especially if you have dietary concerns. It’s also freaking expensive.

We were so glad to have an apartment with our own kitchen.

It meant we could all have a decent meal for breakfast and go straight into the theme parks without wasting time finding breakfast somewhere.

On some nights we were able to even cook our own dinner rather than eat out. Not only was this cheaper but also easier as most of the restaurants in the Downtown Disney area have long wait times.

It was far easier of us to keep snacks on hand for us to take into the park, including vegemite sandwiches for our fussy children.

It was also nice to crash on the couch of a night with a glass of red wine and some TV. Well it didn’t happen much but it was good to have that homely space when it did.

The cousins were very happy having space to play together in their bedroom.

Excellent Location 10-minute Walk to Disneyland Resort

castle with purple lighting

You couldn’t beat the location of our Disneyland vacation rental.

It was around the corner from the entry into Downtown Disney from the northern end, which has much smaller lines to get into Disneyland Resort than the southern end located near the parks.

We could be at the gate to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in 10-15 minutes. It was closer than many of the hotels near Disneyland, except for the official Disneyland hotels.

Other members of our family group stayed at Homewood suites by Hilton and near Anaheim Convention Center and they had a longer walk in or had to deal with Disney buses and the long lines that go with that.

We were grateful after a long day at Disneyland park to walk home and not have to deal with anymore queues.

It was also great to be right bear Downtown Disney for when we wanted to eat at night.

It also was very handy, when I forgot a few things and had to race back to our apartment to get it!!

It was about a 30-minute walk to a CVS or Walgreens if you wanted groceries, or we jumped in a 10 minute Uber ride to Walmart.

Just a little bit further than that was Anaheim Garden Walk district which has more restaurants, including our favorite, The Cheesecake Factory!

A short walk took you to a corner gas station which had basic supplies, including beer and wine!

Communal Apartment Complex Swimming Pool

Pool at our complex. Image credit: VRBO

The apartment complex had a swimming pool area, which included a baby pool, spa (jacuzzi) and an adult’s only pool area.

We appreciated this during those times we were taking a break from the Disneyland theme parks.

I thought the pool area needed landscaping as it was very ugly and boring. There were not enough umbrellas to offer shade and it was annoying that the pool chairs were bolted down.

The water was also freezing cold.

But, the kids loved it and had a lot of fun at the pool. It was way too cold for me, but I generally don’t go in the water unless it’s like a warm bath so ignore my opinion on that one.

To be honest, you’re visiting Disneyland, not a resort, so this pool was more than adequate, especially if it means you can save hundreds by staying in an apartment rather than a Disney hotel or at the Disneyland Resort hotels.

How Does the Cost Compare Between a Disneyland Apartment Rental and a Hotel Near Disneyland?

Hyatt Regency-Orange County swimming pool

Ensure you do your research because the question of cost can sometimes be like, how long is a piece of string?

There are many variables when considering an Anaheim vacation rental vs. hotel stay.

My estimates below are average costs and can definitely wildly swing depending on supply and demand and property features.

A vacation rental near Disneyland can cost:

  • Our vacation rental cost around $180-$200 a night. I’ve seen higher and lower than that!

On average the Disneyland Resort Hotels cost:

  • Disneyland Hotel is around $500

You can read our review of the Disneyland Hotel

A three star hotel near Disneyland:

On average, costs can be as low as $80. May range in the price of $120 – $180

A four star hotel near Disneyland

On average, costs in the range of $140 – $220

The Kids suite at the Hyatt Regency where I stayed recently starts at around $159 a night on average and the VIP Kids Suite around $219.

You will be further away from Disneyland with some of these hotels, so you will need to factor in parking or transfer costs to get to the theme parks each day.

Some are about a 40-minute walk away, which after a long day at Disneyland may just be too much.

Don’t forget hotels come with all sorts of fees, tipping expectations and expensive food choices. They also come with limited sized rooms.

In a vacation rental, you can share the costs between large groups or multiple families.

If you are staying just a few nights, a hotel may work out cheaper. It depends on how much the vacation rental charges for cleaning. Sometimes this can turn a good accommodation deal into an expensive one.

What are the Disadvantages of a Disneyland Vacation Rental?

rent an apartment near disneyland
Image by VRBO

One disadvantage of renting an apartment near Disneyland is that you are still responsible for cooking and cleaning each day, but really if it saves you a lot of money this is an okay pill to swallow.

Plus, as someone who has a lot of dietary requirements and cannot stand theme park food (and cost) then you’ll be elated to at least cook your own breakfast each morning and dinner, depending on how late you stay in the Disneyland theme parks.

I also didn’t like that there wasn’t a gym I could use to keep on top of my fitness.

Although, I did find a park about a 10-minute run away, which had an outdoor gym with pull up bars and workout routines listed on a board to follow.

There was also a lovely, grassed area in the apartment complex where I could do some Tabata workouts using my Grokker online program.

But to be honest, you’ll be walking a lot in the Disneyland Resort. Those miles do add up to be a good workout. We were doing on average 11 miles/ 17 kms a day.

Our children found the apartment quite Disneyland magical, but if you want more of the authentic Disney magic – that is characters roaming around etc, then the official Disney Resort hotels will be the choice for you. (Psst, you will see plenty of the characters inside the theme parks)

If I was to do Disneyland again, and odds are we will, I would definitely rent a Disneyland vacation home again instead of staying in a hotel.

It really made our Disneyland vacation more comfortable and relaxed.

Where to Find your Disneyland Vacation Rental?

Disneyland apartment rental
Second bedroom. Image credit: VRBO
  • My sister-in-law rented our Disney townhouse from VRBO. See our exact apartment for rent here.
  • There are quite a few similar townhouses in the same apartment complex as ours. Search on VRBO here. The area we stayed in is the apartment complex on the corner of Magic Way and S Walnut St. I really don’t think you can beat the location we had, especially for the price.

Purchase Your Disneyland Tickets here:

Buy your Disneyland tickets through our trusted affiliate partner Undercover Tourist who sell authentic theme park tickets at discounted prices. Buy online and go straight to the park entrance gate – no exchange necessary!

We recommend park hopper tickets so you can hop between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park:

Bonus Disneyland Video:

Check out our videos from our time in Disneyland:

More Travel Tips for Your Southern California Vacation:


Have you stayed in a Disneyland vacation rental before? Any tips?

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