The new Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance by Marriott is hotel ~5 minutes from Disneyland, featuring deluxe family accommodations. Our review features photos of the rooms & common areas, thoughts on amenities (including Surfside water park), and our experience staying at this roughly 6-month old hotel. We also cover whether it’s worth staying at this hotel if your visit to Southern California is primarily for the purpose of visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Since 2010, we have stayed in a lot of Anaheim hotels. At first, the hotels were serviceable at best and scary at worst. Crashpads, basically. Then, Cars Land happened. Disneyland has not released numbers about their demographics before and after the completion of Disney California Adventure’s overhaul, but they don’t have to. Hotel development says it all. There are a lot more tourists making Disneyland and Disney California Adventure a part of their Southern California vacations.
After the initial impact of Cars Land was felt, existing hotels began to renovate and step up their game, and 14 new hotels were announced for the Anaheim Resort District. The Courtyard Theme Park Entrance was one of those hotels, and with over 200 rooms each with 530+ square feet of space, an on-site water park, and more, it’s one of the largest-scale developments. Having replaced a parking lot, the hotel was built from the ground-up, rather than repurposing an existing building.
So, how does the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance stack up to other hotels in the area, old and new? Let’s take a look…
This is what the standard 530-square foot room looks like. This is why we dubbed the rooms “deluxe family accommodations.” While the rooms are not family suite, with the ability to sleep 6 people in them, they are far larger than standard hotel rooms in the area. Beyond that, it feels like a deluxe hotel in the sense that it has interior hallways, thicker walls, and upgraded fixtures and decor, as compared to the Anaheim norm.
We liked the style of the room: it felt somewhat chic with the art on the wall, but wasn’t so over the top that it will look tired in a few years when what’s trendy now is passé. It’s a nice blend of modern and timeless.
During our visit, we “tested” the comfort level by stuffing 5 adults into a room, and it wasn’t cramped at all. While the bunk beds certainly aren’t an ideal sleeping arrangement for adults, they are serviceable. The main queen beds are more than just serviceable–they are heavenly.
When we first started staying at off-site Disneyland hotels, most hotels had mattresses that felt like somebody salvaged them from a Motel 6 dumpster. Now, an increasing number have plush bedding. Even among the hotels with high-quality bedding, the Courtyard ranks near the top in terms of bedding comfort.
Here are the twin bunk beds. Both of us could have slept in these without issue, but we aren’t exactly giants. They will work for adults, and be great for kids. Just be sure to do your parental duty, and stock up on Disney stuffed animals and throw blankets at the Emporium so they can build a fort. (Forts build character.)
This set-up is a nice alternative to the standard desk in the room. You could gather round it to pound shots of Jack Daniel’s as a therapeutic way to unwind after a long day in the parks. Not that I would know–I used it as a more laid back spot for photo editing.
The rooms have a host of other amenities: Kuerig machines, microwaves, mini-fridges, Netflix, and more. Given that the hotel finished construction around 6 months ago, it’s all brand new.
Then there are the bathrooms. THE BATHROOMS! If you know me, you know I love a good restroom. These have just about everything I look for in a hotel bathroom: nice mirror lighting, walk-in shower, and good sinks.
About my only area of disappointment is that the sinks aren’t of the basin variety, and that the faucets take a function over form approach. Basin sinks and fancy faucets are the future of bathrooms, and any hotel that doesn’t hop aboard the futuristic sink train risks obsolescence. 😉
The presence of a walk-in shower is great from my perspective. The decision here to offer both walk-in showers and tubs was a good one, given that these rooms sleep 6 and clearly cater to families (what with the bunkbeds and all). This plus the size of the bathroom makes getting ready in the morning much easier for large parties.
Numerous new and redesigned hotels have blown their budget on main rooms and amenities and phoned it in on the bathrooms, so it’s nice to see that the Courtyard didn’t make that mistake. Kudos on that.
From our room, we could see the Surfside water park. I’d hesitate to call this a water park, even though Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance advertises it as such. It’s more like a glorified pool and water play area. Significantly better than a standard pool, but still far shy of an actual water park.
We didn’t test this ourselves because it was like 60 degrees during our visit, and you’d have to be some insane Midwesterner escaping a blizzard to find that to be appropriate swimming weather. I’m sure kids would love it, and that view of the moon rising over Space Mountain (photo coming soon to Instagram!) from the hot tub is something I could enjoy for hours. (Any science that says you can only spend 20 minutes in a hot tub is a sham.)
There are plenty of other amenities, from a state of the art 1,000 square foot fitness center to business and event space. Everything you’d expect of a higher-end chained brand hotel.
There are also multiple restaurants in the hotel, but the only one that matters is Starbucks. As for all of your other dining needs…well, you walk right past Pizza Press on your way to and from the parks. Eat there.
There’s also a business center where you can use brand new Macs. I know most people travel with their own laptops these days so business centers don’t get much use, but I thought this one was worth mentioning because of the quality of these computers.
The big stumbling block with the Courtyard Theme Park Entrance is price (disclosure: our stay was comped). This hotel is one of the more expensive non-Disney, non-suite hotels in Anaheim. Rates start above $200/night, and much of the time, it’s nearly the price as Paradise Pier Hotel.
Now, I am far from being a fan of Paradise Pier Hotel, and think the Courtyard Theme Park Entrance is significantly nicer with a better location. It’s just a rare thing for an Anaheim hotel, even one as nice and close as this one.
With further higher-end development in the area, maybe this will become more commonplace. If there is any hotel in the area that justifies this nightly rate, the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is definitely it.
The exceptional quality and size of the rooms, amenities, and proximity to Disneyland all put it in its own class.
Parking is another concern, in that you can expect to add $20/night for valet parking, as there is no self-parking. Although I think the hotel development occurring right now in Anaheim is great, it irritates me when developers over-extend themselves and do not allow sufficient space for self-parking. Valet-only in Anaheim is absurd. This isn’t Los Angeles.
Overall, the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance sets a high bar for off-site Disneyland hotels, both in quality and price. It’s easy to see why it currently ranks as the #3 hotel in Anaheim on TripAdvisor, and the overall quality makes the price a little easier to justify. The hotel is still roughly $100/night more expensive than (solid) off-site hotels in the area, but given the size and quality of the rooms, I think that’s fair. It’s not a hotel I would book for a party of 2, but for a family of 5 or 6 that would otherwise need 2 rooms, this hotel is the perfect option. On balance, that puts the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance as the #4 hotel on our Disneyland Hotels Reviews & Rankings post.
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Have you stayed at Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance? Are you a fan of it? What did you think of the rooms? Is this a hotel you’d consider? Any questions? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!