This budget friendly hotel is full of perks without being too pricey.
If you are an LGBT family with kids and are looking for a place to stay in the confusing hotel-stocked realm of the Disney resort in Anaheim, you may want to look into this hidden gem, so close to the park that your Fit Bit will smile.
Unless you live within a reasonable driving distance from Disneyland, there is always one thing you must do (besides saving money); find hotel accommodations.
Fortunately, there are plenty of hotels to choose from around the resort, but the making a choice, especially if you are budgeting, can be overwhelming.
It all depends on your price range, your personal taste and how far you want to be from the park itself.
You probably don't want the atmosphere of a economy hotel, but still want at least a four-star experience.
I have been taking my kids to Disneyland for years, and as a gay man, being picky about where we stay is a priority.
We aren’t a rich family, so It took a few tries before I got it right. We’ve stayed at budget Disney approved accommodations and some higher-end places all within relative proximity to the park.
But there was one hidden gem I discovered in the process that will now always be my first choice.
Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites on Walnut Street is not amid the assortment and bustle of the resorts on Harbor Drive, it’s actually located in a quiet, residential neighborhood within walking distance to the shopping district Downtown Disney, and the entrance to the resort itself.
One of the things that has an effect on me and the nature of the establishment is how the front desk acts toward me upon my arrival.
I notice whether or not they make assumptions about my family.
The front desk at Holiday Inn on Walnut are friendly, accommodating and always eager to help. I have stayed at more expensive hotels where the front desk staff have been rude and appear they have something better to do.
The lobby is immaculate and never cluttered with people, which is a good sign; that means the staff is efficient and can process their guests quickly enough to get people on their way to do what they came there to do: take a vacation.
There is a parking fee of $10, but considering that parking at the resort is $20 it’s a nice savings. The hotel has a variation of room sizes spread out through three buildings on the property.
Cost for these rooms are affordable considering the amenities you get.
For instance, kids eat free (with purchase of adult menu item) at the restaurant during breakfast and dinner, and the food is prepared by a chef on the premises.
You won’t find microwaved pizzas or shriveled up burgers on the kid's menu either. The kid’s meals are large, delicious and made fresh; did I mention free?
The rooms are not extravagant, but they are clean and the beds are comfortable. If you plan on skipping the fireworks at the park, you can ask for a room with a great view of the show.
Also, each room has a refrigerator for keeping the snacks you brought cold and at-hand, and a microwave to cook them.
Also gone are the small coffee makers, Holiday Inn has replaced them with a pod-based system which invariably makes a better cup of morning joe.
My kids collect the soaps, lotions and shampoos in the room which are all from Bath and Body works.
I love that this Holiday Inn has an outdoor mini water park. In the summer, heading back to the hotel to give your feet and mind a break is made better when the kids can put on shorts and spend an hour at the water park.
The pool is also a nice size. My stay was spent at a busy time during the season and the hotel was full, but there never seemed to be too many people in the pool, although it was mostly children so don’t go looking for a relaxing 8 pm swim.
I mentioned before that the hotel is within walking distance to Disneyland. And it is, but in full disclosure some people might see it more as a trek.
Truth be told it is about a ten-minute walk, but it’s through a quiet, tree-lined street and it’s a perfect time to talk to the kids about safety and what you expect from them while they visit Disneyland and California Adventure.
But it’s pretty much a straight shot into the resort, and you can grab the Monorail inside Downtown Disney if you don’t want to take the extra steps to the park’s front gate.
What we do is buy an all-day transit pass at the front desk, walk to the park and take the shuttle back. Holiday Inn on Walnut is the first stop heading back from Disneyland.
But the real draw here are the room rates, they are actually on the lower end, but the establishment is run arguably better or on par with some of the higher priced hotels in the area.
If you want an elaborate marble-floored lobby, or richly decorated hallways this Holiday Inn may not be what you’re looking for.
However, if it’s clean comfortable rooms, free chef prepared meals for the kids, a water park, walking proximity to Disneyland and a hotel staff that is pleasant and accommodating then this hidden gem should be one to try on your next trip to The Happiest Place on Earth.
Depending on the season you can get a room with two queen-sized beds for about $121- $130 night. If you choose to splurge on one of the large Disney-themed suites, that could run you about $240.
Compared to the Standard rate at the nearby Hyatt at $181 dollars for the same non-suite criteria, you can expect to have at least $50 more to spend toward your vacation.
If you are an LGBT family on a budget and are taking the kids to Disneyland, the memories start at the hotel lobby, and this hotel is not only friendly, but the staff are never assuming and are always willing to help.
Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites on Walnut offers free Wifi, is pet friendly and has shuttle service to and from Disneyland.
For more information on Holiday Inn on Walnut, click HERE.
Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites on Walnut is located at 1240 South Walnut,Anaheim, California, 92802