by Disney Magic Diva
Ask any Disney fan which park is better – Disneyland or Walt Disney World – and you’re sure to find yourself in a passionate discussion. Many people call Disneyland “home,” and just as many believe Disney World is the ultimate vacation destination. There are so many similarities, yet tremendous differences between the Happiest Place on Earth and the Most Magical Place on Earth. (You can read about our family’s impressions here,) One feature you’ll notice as you begin to plan your trip is the difference in the choices for lodging. Walt Disney World Resort offers guests the option of over two dozen different resorts; while Disneyland, with its more modest landmass, has three. Thankfully, though, Disneyland has partnered with numerous area hotels, known as Good Neighbor Hotels, to offer guests a wide selection of hotel alternatives.
We’ve stayed twice at the Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites and have had pleasant experiences both times. Here’s why you may want to choose it on your next visit to Disneyland:
LOCATION: As the old adage goes, when it comes to real estate, the most important thing is location, location, location. The Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites is on South Harbor Boulevard – an ideal location. It is literally across the street from the main entrance to Disneyland Resort. While all the construction Disney has proposed may change this in the next few years, right now walking from the Camelot Inn to the entrance at Disneyland is about a 5-8 minute walk. Most of the time at Walt Disney World you can’t walk from your hotel room to the bus stop in that time, so being IN the park in just a few minutes is a remarkable convenience. It’s the main reason we’ve chosen to stay at this hotel. The convenience of walking to the parks rather than taking a shuttle or driving ourselves is a major benefit to choosing the Camelot Inn. If you have a car, there is an additional fee for parking at the hotel.
DIVA TIP: The hotel is right next to a McDonald’s, and within a block of a Panera, Mimi’s, IHOP, and The Pizza Press. Numerous other restaurants are within 3-4 blocks. If you don’t want to eat in the parks, you’ll have plenty of choices along Harbor Boulevard.
Although the hotel is located on Harbor, it is situated perpendicular to the street, so that the rooms do not face Harbor. In fact, the property extends quite a ways back, so that if your room happens to be at the back of the hotel, you can have quite a walk from the elevator. The positive aspect of this, though, is that it was quieter since we didn’t really hear any of the traffic noise on Harbor.
And even though we weren’t directly facing Disneyland Resort, we did have a really nice view of the Matterhorn in Disneyland (and the real mountains off in the distance!). Finally, although the view wasn’t ideal, we were able to enjoy at least some of the fireworks from our balcony. When you’re traveling with little kids who don’t always appreciate the noise of fireworks (or who can’t always stay awake quite so late), this is definitely a plus!
ROOMS: There are several types of rooms available. We had a standard room, but there is also an option of king mini suites and family suites (which sleep up to 6). We thought the size was more than adequate. We had 3 adults in one room, and never felt crowded. It is at least the size of a moderate resort at Walt Disney World, although probably not quite as big as a deluxe. Our room had 2 queen beds, a nightstand, a dresser (with mini-fridge), an armoire, a desk and chair, and 2 overstuffed chairs with a table and there was still plenty of floor space to not feel cramped. My daughter and her family were in an adjoining room, exactly the same size as ours. Two adults and three kids (one an infant) were comfortable, even with adding a crib to the space.
DIVA TIP: The hotel is happy to furnish a complimentary roll-away crib. They are, however, provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to request one when you book, and then call to confirm the request a day or two before arrival.
The bathroom was spacious too, although it would have been helpful to have double sinks. There is space under the vanity which was useful for storage, and the typical wire shelving next to the vanity. A hair dryer, iron and ironing board were provided, as well as a wall safe, coffee maker (with coffee and tea), microwave, and digital clock.
The beds were comfortable and linens typical of what you find in most hotels. We certainly had no problems sleeping – probably a combination of busy days at the parks and a relaxing, restful room. Although the décor is a little dated and not very memorable, the room was clean and comfortable. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, this is not the place. If you just need a space to sleep, shower, and maybe rest a little from the parks, this hotel is ideal. Its proximity to the parks makes it easy to slip back to the room for a nap, then head back to the park for a night of fun!
AMENITIES: The Camelot Inn offers complimentary WiFi service. We used this extensively, and for the most part had no difficulties. We did, however, have one day when the wireless service was not working properly. We contacted the front desk, and they sent someone to attempt to remedy the situation within a few minutes. It worked for a while, but then started having difficulties again. We placed another call, and again the staff corrected the situation and apologized.
DIVA TIP: We’ve had trouble with WiFi service at Disney World too, but if reliable, consistent wireless service is really important to you, you may want to ask for a room with proximity to their router so you have fewer issues.
Our room was on the fourth floor, the same floor as the pool. The days we visited weren’t really conducive to swimming, so we didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy the pool. It would be splendid, though, to relax in the pool while enjoying the fireworks over Disneyland. Sigh. Maybe next time the weather will cooperate!
There is a small gift shop in the hotel which offers a very limited supply of snacks and sundries. There is a larger shop, though, within a few steps of the Camelot Inn and which we passed each time we were going to and from the parks. It was easy to stop by here to purchase any drinks, snacks or other items you may need. We got milk, bread, lunchmeat, etc. and were able to save some money on meals.
PRICE: Let’s face it – room rate is one of the driving forces of determining where to stay. Every time we travel, we ALWAYS compare room rates among several hotels, and while we don’t always choose the least expensive option, price certainly does play a central role in choosing lodging. Camelot Inn & Suites offers AAA, AARP and Military rates, as well as periodic specials. As a Good Neighbor Hotel, you can book a vacation package, complete with park tickets, on the Disneyland website. We opted to book directly with the hotel and purchase park tickets from another source. The price we paid was very comparable to any others that were available, both on Harbor and a little further away. We booked about six months in advance, and felt we got a very reasonable deal.
SERVICE: Even if you have a great rate and perfect location, without good customer service your dream come true vacation could turn into a nightmare. Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case with our stays at Camelot Inn. I noted above about our issues with the WiFi service, and while it was a headache at the time, the staff did everything they could to resolve it, and within a reasonable time. When we first booked the vacation, we had reserved just one room. A month or two later we decided to bring more family, and needed to add two more rooms. No problem. We asked for the rooms to all be close together, and that two of them be adjoining. Done. Then we asked for a portable crib to be in one room. Sure thing. The day before we were to fly in, a nasty weather system began threatening our return flight, and the airline told us they may be cancelling. We were advised to consider rebooking for a later date. In light of the possible weather problems, some of us decided to extend our trip before we even left home. Others wanted to wait and see what actually happened with the weather. Camelot Inn staff were very accommodating in letting us reserve all three rooms for an extra night. The weather cooperated enough for the original flights to go as planned, and Camelot Inn agreed to refund the extra night that for those who didn’t need it after all. Overall, we have been very happy with the service we received and would recommend Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites to anyone looking for a clean, comfortable, affordable and convenient place to stay when booking their Disneyland vacation.
If you want to read about other Good Neighbor Hotels, Disney Diva reviewed Tropicana Inn and Suites (a sister hotel to Camelot – click here to read her article), Dland Diva reviewed Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground (how fun does that sound?! – click here to read about it), and Inspire Diva reviewed Candy Cane Inn, another popular choice, here.
Is your family ready to visit Disneyland? It’s easy! Just contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She can book your stay at Camelot Inn or whatever hotel is right for you. She’ll secure your park tickets, help with dining reservations, make your airline and ground transportation arrangements – whatever you need! And the best part is her services are completely FREE!!
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