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Getting the Best Hotel Rates at Disneyland

In Less than an Hour


Getting the Best Hotel Rates at Disneyland

Calculating the Cost of a Disneyland Hotel

© 2008 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

If your Disneyland Anaheim budget is small, you may think of a cheap, no-frills hotel that at best will offer a clean place to crash and at worst will have paper-thin walls and a carpet so dirty you'll be afraid to take off your shoes, but you don't have to settle for less. If you have 30 minutes to an hour, you can get excellent rates on Disneyland hotels. At the very best, you can end up in a four-star hotel for 60% of the cost of the local Cheap-o Inn. Even if you don't do quite that well, follow these steps and you'll know you got the best rates possible.

Consumer Reports magazine reports that they more frequently got the best prices for big hotel chains by going directly to the hotel website rather than through a consolidator such as Expedia, Orbitz or Hotels.com. However, they also noted that prices for small hotel chains and independent hotels are often found through the consolidator. Our process lets you compare the two prices. You will also check directly with the hotels by phone, which can get you the best rate of all almost half the time.

Find out about price-raising pitfalls before you get started

Hotels in a Known Area

You can get an excellent hotel price by using Hotwire or Priceline if you are comfortable with their limitations:

  • You'll know the area you will be staying in
  • You won't know know the name of your hotel until after you've paid for it
  • Reservations are not refundable
  • You are guaranteed a double room, but cannot make any special requests
  • You cannot earn frequent stay points for hotels reserved through these services

Using these services, you can often get a four-star hotel for the price of a one-star. Are you game? Go to our instructions. Too much uncertainty? Follow the steps below.

Known Hotel

Using this approach, you'll know the hotel name in advance, and in many cases, you can make a reservation with no prepayment and no cancellation fees (as long as you follow the rules).

  1. Set a budget for your hotel rate per night. Remember to include hotel tax, which is 15% in Anaheim and 13.5% in Garden Grove.
  2. Go to our list of recommended Disneyland hotels. Choose three or four hotels that meet your needs. Note the cost/value of their extra fees and freebies
  3. Go to the hotel websites by clicking on the website links from our profile pages.
    • Check for their lowest rates
    • Check for special rates for any organizations you belong to such as AAA and AARP
    • If you are eligible, check for government, military or corporate rates.
    • If you are a member of the hotel chain's rewards program, enter your membership number to check for special rates and extras
  4. Many hotels guarantee you'll get the best rates through their website. If the one you're looking at doesn't, try Tripadvisor to check the rates at several booking services with one click.
  5. Consumer Reports also reports that they often get an even better hotel price by calling the reservations desk on the telephone. Call your top two or three choices, using our tips for how to get a better hotel rate on the phone.


  6. Choose the hotel with the best overall price. Don't forget to factor in extras such as parking fees and resort fees, and things that might save you money such as free breakfasts or free Internet access.


  7. Make your reservation. Print the confirmation page and confirmation email and set them aside to take along with you in case of any questions. If you reserve by phone, write down your confirmation number and the name of the reservationist. Grab your calendar and make a note of the last day you can cancel your reservation without a penalty, just in case things change and you forget.
Want to save a little more money? Call the hotel again on the day you'll arrive and see if they've lowered their rates. It happens more often than you might think, and they'll often be willing to give you the lower rate if you ask.

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