by Diana Lambdin Meyer
If your children dream of sleeping in Cinderella’s castle while visiting Disneyland, they will be more than satisfied with a few nights in the castle-like the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. Built just a few years after Disneyland, but rebranded from the Sheraton Anaheim to its current title in 2015, this castle is complete with turrets and guard towers. There’s no moat, but technically, the little bridge and pathway over the koi pond could suffice in a pinch.
Many families choose this property simply for its neighbor — Disneyland — and the free shuttles that run from the hotel to the park entrance every 30 minutes throughout the day. And in the evening, some claim the 13 acres of the hotel grounds provide a better view of the fireworks than inside the park. Plus, by watching the fireworks from the hotel, you don’t have to fight the crowd getting out of the park afterward.
The 489 rooms here are situated in connecting buildings of four levels that surround three beautifully landscaped courtyards, including one very impressive rose garden that blooms all year. It’s not uncommon to find a wedding or vow renewal ceremony taking place here. Pictures of real castles from around the world lend an air of authenticity to the hallways, and the Tudor-style exterior contributes to the feeling that your family is vacationing somewhere very special.
The excitement of being so close to Disneyland is often lost on children as they enter the lobby, past a life-size bronze Mickey, and find themselves face-to-face with the four brilliant 50-gallon fish tanks that are the focal point of the lobby. The top two tanks are home to fresh water fish and the bottom two tanks are home to salt water fish — and yes, relatives of Nemo can be found swimming about. Nemo and friends can keep the kids entertained while adults check in a few steps away at the Disney Desk to find the best deals on multi-day tickets for the family.
For those who arrive via private automobile to the hotel, parents will appreciate that self-parking charges are only $14 a day, a very good rate for Los Angeles hotels. This location is also just a few minutes from the Honda Center and Angels Stadium, and a good location for exploring the amenities greater Los Angeles has to offer.
Our Editor Loves
- Free shuttles to Disneyland
- Great view of the evening fireworks
- Awesome game room
- Theme Park
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
There's a lot to like and a lot to choose from in the 489 guestrooms at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. If it were me and my family, we would go for one of the six two-story suites every time. With loft bedrooms that include separate TVs and bathrooms for the kids, mom and dad can enjoy a bit of privacy.
This property offers 26 one-bedroom suites. The remaining standard guestrooms, many of which can adjoin with others, are approximately 500-square-feet, but if you ask for a room with in the castle turret, you'll get an interesting curved window and extra space. Of course, each room is furnished and cribs and doggie beds are available. Pets are welcomed for a deposit and they will appreciate being taken for a walk in the lovely courtyards, but do remember to bring a doggy bag and clean up afterwards.
Other amenities in each room include mini-fridges, "Shine" bath products, a shower/tub combo and either king or queen size beds. Cribs are available at no charge; rollaways incur a slight charge; and bed rails are not available here. Wi-Fi is also free in all guestrooms. Although there are no DVD players, movies and video are available through the in-house entertainment system for an additional charge.
For rooms that open onto the courtyard, parents can be confident in knowing that no matter how far the kids may wander, they can't get out of the building or off the property. Technically, they are locked inside the castle.
by KRISTIN C
When booking a theme park hotel we always look for cleanliness and location and this had both. I saw another guest complaining about the shuttle service. But with this hotel you have your own shuttle and don't stop at a million other hotels when you are exhausted before heading to your own. We did have to wait for the shuttle on Saturday night but then they arrived with 3 shuttles to transport guests back to the hotel. Note: we were staying at the hotel when the park was at peak over the Veteran's Day weekend. The staff was very friendly (especially housekeeping staff).
Rooms were large and clean. Price was right for the location. We were also starving when we came back from the park and ordered room service. The menu was much priced better than the theme park and was of good quality and came quickly. If you want luxury and a better location you are going to have to pay hundreds of dollars more per night to stay on Disney property. I looked at all the Disney hotels when I booked reservation and couldn't beat the value of the the Anaheim Majestic Garden. If you want luxury you are going to pay a high price for it at Disneyland. But if you want value and spend most of your time in the theme park then Anaheim Majestic Garden is the way to go. Personally we like spending money in the theme park and making memories there, the hotel is just a place we sleep for a few hours and do it all agin.
If you are staying at this hotel after booking through Priceline, demand they accommodate you somewhere else immediately! They shove you in the worst room possible out side of the main building right on top of the free way. Room is dated with Forrest wall paper, HVAC unit that is decrepit and does not work, sinking beds, showers with no pressure...awful! I am sitting here at Disneyland typing this after waiting for more than 45 minutes and still at least another shuttle pick up away from getting back. This is unacceptable to have such a crazy line of YOUR guests waiting for a shuttle while every other hotels lines are empty. You should be embarrassed.
When you've overdosed with neighboring Disneyland, come back for a swim in the 3-to 5-foot deep saltwater pool. That's right, saltwater -- no lingering chlorine smell in your hair and on your skin. A men's and women's changing room, with showers, is adjacent to the pool, along with a spacious coin-operated laundry. Towels are available outside and, during certain hours, snacks are available as well.
The whole family will appreciate the massive game room. For parents, there are a couple of the earliest video games, along with some old-fashioned pinball machines. More modern coin-operated video games line the walls, including a really good-sized DDR Max2. An air hockey table and two pool tables fill up the game room.
Little ones like visiting the koi pond where a dozen or more fish are excited to receive visitors. However, the hotel staff now discourages feeding the fish simply because they get so big and fat with all of the attention.
A spacious health club overlooks the pools area, which is located in one of the three courtyards on the property. With two treadmills, two elliptical machines and two recumbent bikes, along with a number of free weights, a good work-out is possible for those over age 16.
The only onsite shopping is the California Deli & Gift Shop, but if your little girls are determined to dress like a princess while visiting Disneyland, you can be find the appropriate attire here, along with a few other souvenirs at reasonable prices.
Dining opportunities are more plentiful than they first appear. The California Deli has a nice selection of muffins, bagels and fresh fruit for breakfast, along with milk, juices and coffee. For lunch, the choices include pasta salads and a few sandwiches. But throughout the day, stop in for a killer big piece of chocolate cake or carrot cake, or monster-size cookies, chips and other pick-me-ups.
Garden Court Bistro
The Garden Court Bistro is the primary dining facility, which really excels at breakfast. You have three pricing options for the massive buffet, ranging from just cold cereal or fruit, all the way up to French toast and made-to-order omelets. Or, if you don't want to peruse the buffet, peruse the menu to have a waiter bring breakfast directly to the table. Hotel packages include breakfast.
Lunch and dinner are also served from the Garden Court Bistro and, like breakfast, you have the choice of eating indoors or outdoors in the lovely courtyard. Each meal offers lots of choices for children and substantial steaks, pastas and seafood for adults. This is a place that is used to working with families with young children, so the staff is right on top of the high chairs and booster seats, crayons and other options to help out parents.
Meals can be rolled into the room rate or purchased separately, if you're not sure how much you'll eat at Disneyland and how much you'll be back at the hotel.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
If you realize too late that you forgot to pack a swimsuit for the kids, the little California Deli & Gift Shop on the property sells children's swimsuits for just a few dollars. Need extra diapers? They've got those too and just about everything families with kids need in an emergency.
Ask for a room by the rose garden for the best view of the nightly Disney fireworks from your room. For a little patio space to enjoy morning coffee or the paper, ask for a ground level room near the koi pond.
Instead of a business center, this property provides a library-like setting adjacent to the lounge with eight computers for guests, along with additional workstations for those with their own laptops. Wi-Fi is complimentary here. Overstuffed couches and chairs, a gas fireplace, a couple of big screen televisions, and complimentary newspapers create a space that is more like your home's living room than a hotel public space.
Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
The best view of fireworks at neighboring Disneyland can be had at two places on the grounds of the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. One is from the rose garden, the other is in the parking lot right in front of the hotel.
If you're flying, you have two major airports to choose from in reaching the hotel. John Wayne Airport (SNA) is about 14 miles and 15 minutes by car. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is about 30 miles and 45 minutes by car.
Otherwise, if you're arriving in LA by private automobile from the east, the hotel is located on the Ball Road Exit off of Highway 57 South. If arriving from the west, take the Disneyland Drive exit off of Interstate 5.
If staying at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel because of your family's vacation to Disneyland, getting around will be a breeze. The hotel offers a free shuttle to and from the resort every 30 minutes daily. However, if you are planning to explore the Anaheim area, a rental car will be needed.
For Mom and Dad
The grounds are filled with so many lovely gardens, fountains and gazebos all surrounded by benches and cocktail tables for two that make for a quiet moment for coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening. Or while the kids are in the game room, enjoy a nice cocktail in the nearby lounge, cuddled around the fireplace.