HydroGuy's Hotel Rule

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by HydroGuy, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Note from August, 2017

    See discussion later in this thread about how Uber and Lyft change the advice (i.e., "Rule") I give here in the OP. My advice is that a walking distance hotel is still best, but staying further away and using Uber or Lyft do not carry the same penalties as they did in the past. They are a good solid #2 option. Another good option is stay at a hotel near the Toy Story parking lot and using the shuttle from there back and forth to DLR.

    Also see this thread about current maps for Uber and Lyft around DLR: https://www.disboards.com/threads/where-do-uber-and-lyft-drop-off-at-disneyland.3629816


    Get a nearby hotel within easy walking distance

    Who This Rule Affects

    Multi-Day visitors, and Day visitors who must drive a long way and need a hotel


    After spending oodles of money to visit DLR, why waste time getting back and forth to the parks? And why make it harder to take an afternoon hotel break?

    DLR has three resort hotels and numerous good neighbor hotels within easy walking distance to the park gates (5-15 minute walk). If you are getting a hotel, why not stay at one of these?

    If you stay at a nearby hotel, you never have to wait for a bus or take time to get back and forth to your car. You just take a short walk. This will help you spend more time at the parks and keep you fresher. It will also help ensure you will get there for park opening which is essential if you want to experience more rides.

    On my last trip to DLR I sat with a family on a Grizzly River Run raft who were visiting DLR for three days from Arizona. They chose a Marriott hotel about 1.5 miles from DLR. They decided to use the ART system (www.rideart.org ) for transportation. They told me on the previous two mornings they had had to wait over an hour for a bus to DLR. What a shame to waste this much time they could have spent inside the parks with their children – all because of a poor hotel choice.

    Helpful Hotel Links

    "How Far Is It?" (shows actual distances in feet from hotels to DLR entrance plaza) http://www.mouseplanet.com/7280/How_Far_Is_It

    "Walking Distance Hotel List w/ discussion & details of hotels" by OnTheRoadAgain http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2796786

    "Accomodations Near Disney" - www.accommodationsneardisney.com/Disneyland/default.asp

    Anaheim Resort Map - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=30832784&postcount=1

    Interactive Map of DLR - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=33.8092124&lon=-117.9188132&z=19&l=0&m=b

    Lots other maps here: MAPS and AERIAL SHOTS + Airport/Transportation Info

    Why Did I Post This Rule?

    I find myself posting answers to the same question in different threads, and decided to make a list of "rules" to which I or others can quickly link in the future. In addition, the ideas behind the rule are often posted by others so I do not claim originality for the rule.

    Other HydroGuy Rules

    HydroGuy's Fireworks Rule: www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199851

    HydroGuy's High Season/Off Season Tradeoff Rule: www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199852

    HydroGuy's How To Avoid Long Lines Rules: www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199856

    HydroGuy's Make Sure You Get On Your Favorite Ride Rule: www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199860

    HydroGuy's Hotel Rule: www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    bellazachmom likes this.
  2. TheZue

    TheZue DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2005
    couldn't agree more, it took less time to walk to our hotel at Best Western Park Place Inn than we had spent waiting for catch shuttles or the ART in previous trips. Total time saver and nice knowing in the morning that you are right there :D
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2004
    I agree too! The only time I would not stay right on Harbor, near or at the crosswalk or onsite would be if the hotel had its own, dedicated shuttle. The two that pop to mind with that are the Candy Cane and the Sheraton. And both of those are within walking distance, albeit a bit further. The one time we took the ART it was pain, it fills up fast and the cost adds up. My favorite offsite choice thus far has been the Tropicana. Right at the crosswalk, recently rennovated, free breakfast and reasonable. And five minutes from my room to the turnstiles!
  5. disneychrista

    disneychrista DIS Veteran

    Dec 26, 2002
    Close hotels are very important. I love being able to walk accross the street and go for a swim, rest or at the end of the day to climb in to bed and sleep. Or better yet get up in the AM and be at the gate in 30 mins (including time getting dressed and a quick breakfast)
  6. lulubelle

    lulubelle <font color=darkorchid><marquee> I am Miss Klutz W

    Nov 8, 2000
    Hydro Guy, you are the bomb! :thumbsup2

    Thanks for all of your great advice.
  7. CindyH

    CindyH Mouseketeer

    Jan 21, 2005
    HydroGuy rules! :cool1: Any more? :goodvibes
    bellazachmom likes this.
  8. Drivercan

    Drivercan Mouseketeer

    Mar 27, 2006
    What if you don't want to be really close to the park and away from the noise and crowded hotels. We will have a car, are there any decent hotels/vacation condos in decent areas with full kitchens (can't eat restaurant food every day) that are within 15 min drive to DL? Also planning to visit Knott's Berry water park and Legoland. Planning to go June/July 2007.

  9. hlbtimes2

    hlbtimes2 <font color=teal>Stretch that spine out big and ta

    Jan 29, 2006
    I'm sure there are some- but remember that a 15 min drive isnt really going to be 15 min. You are going to have to wait in line to get in to the park garage. Then you have to get out of the garage and to the park. That either means a long walk or a ride on the tram. A 15 min drive means you are looking at 30-45 min to get from the hotel to the gates. A walking distance hotel means you'll be in the park in less then 15. Oh, and leaving the park at closing often means waiting for a tram with room on it, which could take a while.
  10. eduk8r26

    eduk8r26 DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2005
    The Residence Inn on Clementine has a full kitchen and actually is within walking distance, albeit kind of a long walk, but it's a nice place. The Residence Inn farther down on Harbor isn't quite walking distance, but has a nice breakfast with quite a few choices.
  11. Echo queen

    Echo queen <font color=darkcoral>I like the idea of being clo

    Feb 18, 2005
    Thanks for the info :grouphug: I read all of your links :wizard:
  12. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

    Jun 7, 2005
    Good advice.

  13. Rella Bella

    Rella Bella <font color=deeppink>We offer gifts of love becaus

    Sep 21, 2005
    Yah, what she said!
    You're the best! And your rules are too!!
  14. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Linda is right on. You need to think in terms of "how long does it take to get from my hotel room door the the DLR gates", not "how long does it take to drive". With a nearby hotel it is 5-15 minutes hotel door-to-gate. With a car where you are 15 minutes away, it could be close to an hour. Each way. Plus you will make it harder to take an afternoon break, in which case you will probably not take a break.

    If you are going during a busier time, here is what will likely happen if you stay 15 minutes away by car:

    1. Even if you try very hard you will likely not be able to get to the parks when they open. Plus the extra time in the morning means you will need to wake up 45 minutes earlier.

    2. So you will probably show up 1-2 hours late at the parks.

    3. Since it is such a hassle to get back to the hotel, you will probably not do so and will stay at DLR all day. If you do decide to go back to the hotel, you will need to subtract another 60-120 minutes extra travel time from your day.

    4. If you do not take a break, you will be tired in the evening and will want to return to the hotel early.

    5. Bottom line, you will put your park visiting hours squarely in the busiest time of the day at DLR (and wait in longer lines for everything) and/or subtract 1-2 hours of available time to spend in the parks. Most people do exactly the above, and people like me are glad because it makes it easier for me to fit in 2-3 times as many rides as the late arrivers/early departers. The average DLR guest experiences 8-9 rides per day. Without even trying hard we do 15-25 rides per day during high season days just because we arrive at the parks early and stay until closing, and take a 4-5 hour break mid-day when the lines are longest.

    On another note I have never found the hotels around DLR "noisy" - and Anaheim is crowded no matter where you go. I doubt you are going to find a place 15 minutes away that is less crowded than around DLR.

    If you want to go to Knotts and LegoLand, then you can change hotels or just launch from your hotel near DLR.

    Whatever you decide, have a great trip.
    smartlabelprint likes this.
  15. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Linda, obviously I agree with you. To be more specific, here are some estimated time frames:

    Option 1: Stay at DLR hotel or neaby good neighbor within walking distance

    Time it takes once you leave your hotel room door until you are at the DLR gates - can be as short as 5 minutes if you stay right there on Harbor or at the GCH. Lots of options to be within a 10 minute walk. See my links in the OP.

    Summary: 5-15 minutes each way

    Option 2: Stay at a hotel 15 minutes away by car

    5 minutes from hotel room to car
    15 minutes to drive to DLR
    10 minutes waiting in line to pay for parking and get into parking structure
    5 minutes to get parked
    5 minutes to walk to the tram
    5 minutes to wait for a tram, have it fill up, and start moving
    5 minute tram ride
    5 minutes to walk to DLR gate from tram

    Summary: 55 minutes each way

    Option 3: Stay at a hotel further away and travel by bus or shuttle

    5 minutes from hotel room to bus or shuttle stop
    0-60 minutes waiting for bus or shuttle
    15-30 minutes travel to DLR (how many stops will you make if you are on a bus?)
    5 minute walk to DLR gates

    Summary: 25-100 minutes each way

    And you just do not know how long you will have to wait - you are at someone else's mercy here.

    Option 4: Stay at a hotel further away and take a taxi

    5 minutes from hotel room to bus or shuttle stop
    15 minutes travel to DLR
    5 minute walk to DLR gates

    Summary: 25 minutes each way

    Concluding thoughts... When you are at DLR, time is at a premium. 30-60 minutes wasted in the morning can dramatically affect how much you can experience that day and how much time you will spend waiting in lines. An extra 1-2 hours a day spent commuting to DLR is 1-2 hours you will not be spending inside the parks with your family and friends.

    When spending several thousand dollars on a DLR vacation, why waste time and put yourself behind the eight ball when you do not need to?

    If you must stay 15 minutes away from DLR, by all means forget driving your car to the parks or taking a bus or shuttle. Get a taxi. Pay them $25 each way and they can take you to the DLR gate. At least that way you can get the hotel door to DLR gate down to 25 minutes if your hotel is 15 minutes away (see Option 4). Sure it will cost you $50 per day for a taxi round trip - $100 per day if you take a hotel break. But that is out of thousands of dollars already spent. It is peanuts, and will make your days more enjoyable and less stressful.
  16. thmar

    thmar DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2006
  17. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

    Mar 7, 2002
    I liked Candy Cane for its dedicated shuttle service. Normally, I wouldn't
    mind walking, but it was 2003 and 100 degrees every day of my trip.

    Not only did Candy Cane have an air conditioned shuttle, it was
    timed , meaning you know exactly when to catch it at the
    park or at the hotel.

    It would leave the hotel on the hour and half hour, and it would leave
    the park shuttle area on the 15 and 45 minutes of each hour. This saved
    me a lot of waiting time for a shuttle.

    Oh, and I loved the chocolate muffins on their continental breakfast. :cloud9:
  18. fabshelly

    fabshelly DIS Veteran

    Aug 26, 2006
    When are you coming back?
  19. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

    Mar 7, 2002
    Well....considering that I'm not going back to WDW until NEXT October,
    I don't think I'm returning to DLR until.....2008 :eek:

    I have only taken three trips to DLR, but there's always room for more!
    If they build a DVC resort at DLR....that might make me go to DLR sooner!
  20. disneegrl4eva

    disneegrl4eva <font color=darkcoral>now we just need a secret ha

    Jan 18, 2004
    thanks hydroguy! :goodvibes
  21. disneyfan67

    disneyfan67 <br><img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/im

    Aug 8, 2004
    Just want to subscribe to a good information thread.:thumbsup2

Share This Page