On my recent trip to Disneyland we stayed at the Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites, which is outside the resort area, but by only a little bit. We chose this particular hotel because we were told it was clean and that it was definitely close to the parks. We found both of those things to be true and were, for the most part, impressed with the property. Of course, there is a little more to it than that, which is good because this would be a very short post otherwise.
For many travelers, the cost of the hotel is the largest single expense. The Camelot cost us an average of $150.93 per night, which meant our 6 night stay cost $905.58 (including tax). Here is how that number compares to some of the Disney hotels in both California and Florida for the same dates (Prices found on MouseSavers.com):
- Camelot Inn – $151 per night
- Disneyland Hotel – $455 per night
- Paradise Pier Hotel (Disneyland) – $342 per night
- Grand Californian Hotel (Disneyland) – $526 per night
- All-Star Sports (Walt Disney World Value Resort) – $124 per night
- Caribbean Beach (Walt Disney World Moderate Resort) – $217 per night
- Beach Club (Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort) – $494 per night
Now all of those are the full price rate, most of which can be discounted with various promotions, but it is still illuminating. The cost for the Camelot was less than half the price of the closest Disneyland on-property hotel (Paradise Pier) and right in between the cost for a Walt Disney World Value and Moderate.
The Room and Resort
The price may be positioned between a Walt Disney World Value and Moderate, but the room was somewhere in between a Moderate and Deluxe. It was quite a large space, with room for 2 queen-sized beds, a small sitting area, a work desk, an armoire, a large cabinet with drawers, spots for the mini-fridge, microwave, and safe, and a reasonably large amount of floor space.
The furnishings were nice, although it was not up to the level of a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort and there was no theme to be found (despite the castle look of the hotel exterior). The linens and carpeting seemed recently purchased and very clean, as did the towels. My only furnishing complaint was the pillows, which were flat and had to be built into a tenuous tower in order for proper head support. At one point I considered buying one of those Disney pillow-pet animals just to sleep on.
While the interior of the room was nicer and much more spacious than I expected, the rest of the resort was exactly what I expected. It was not necessarily bad, but it was very much function over beauty. The hotel, like many on Harbor Boulevard (which borders the eastern edge of the Disneyland Resort) is very narrow, but deep. The front-facing exterior looks pleasantly like a drive-through castle, but as soon as you pass through the gateway, you are met by a first floor that is simply a parking structure. In fact, the above floors look kind of like a parking structure as well, despite their housing the guest rooms.
The rooms are motel-style, meaning they open directly to an exterior hall. In this case, that hall overlooks the parking structure below. The small, but often uncrowded pool is found on the fourth floor, which sounded weird, but gave it some privacy from the families walking below. The higher vantage point also gave the pool a clear view of Disneyland, where you could see the tops of the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, and Sleeping Beauty Castle. It also has a great view of the fireworks, which we saw from the hotel a few times since it proved impossible to sleep through them (not necessarily a bad thing, by the way).
Speaking of impossible to sleep, I feel I should mention that the exterior walkways proved very loud. We were generally up early in order to make park opening, so it didn’t affect us, but every over-excited child that ran by our room sounded as if the Incredible Hulk was loose on the building. If you are the type to sleep in, you may want to bring earplugs or NyQuil.
The quality of the room was a pleasant surprise, and it turned out the location was, too, even though we knew where it was prior to going. Without having physically been there, it was hard to imagine a non-Disney resort being as close as the Camelot is. Below is a series of photos that show the walk, which I timed as 5-10 minutes to the gate of either park, depending on our speed and whether we caught the light on Harbor. The walk was generally safe, with a pedestrian-friendly traffic light on the only street to cross. The nearby bus station contained some interesting characters, which brought equally interesting questions from the children, but we never felt in any danger.
An additional location advantage that I didn’t foresee was the McDonald’s that is directly adjacent to the Camelot. Since breakfast was not offered at the hotel, the fast food joint proved invaluable for quick bites and morning coffee. There are also an IHOP and a Denny’s, as well as a few other restaurants, within a very short walk that can be budget-savers if paying in-park prices is getting you (and your wallet) down.
We had very few complaints about the Camelot Inn, and the ones we did have would not stop us from staying there again. The location and price make for a wonderful combination, and the clean, spacious room made our stay as enjoyable as possible. After seeing the Camelot and seeing how far away some of the Disney resorts are, I don’t know that I would ever pay the premium for those hotels.
The Walk to Disneyland (In Pictures)