Tropicana Inn & Suites is a hotel across the street from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. This review features room photos, how this compares to other Anaheim accommodations, and thoughts about our experiences staying here. (Updated January 31, 2023.)
The Tropicana is best categorized as a budget hotel/motel, like many of the options on Harbor Boulevard near the front gates. Actually, calling it a budget hotel is a little dismissive. It’s nicer than a budget hotel and has solid rooms and a reasonable slate of amenities. It also compares favorably with other similarly-situated hotels on Harbor Boulevard that are about the same distance from Disneyland. It’s certainly not the Waldorf Astoria, but for what it is, it’s a solid option, as you’ll see.
Truthfully, Tropicana Inn does have a fair amount of history that makes it a great place to stay. Few people know this, but it was here that Cleetus and Clarence “Doc” Tropicana launched the world’s first juice stand back in 1834. At the time, they served only fermented prune juice, which was a huge hit among the Hollywood elite who made the pilgrimage down for their juice. Eventually, that grew into the world famous Tropicana Orange Juice Co and this hotel was founded to commemorate the location. Actually, that isn’t truthful at all. I have no clue what the history behind this hotel is, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it has something to do with orange juice.
Joking aside, someone had to have had foresight when purchasing this land, as Tropicana Inn & Suites is closer to Disneyland than Disneyland Hotel. There’s only one hotel that is closer: Best Western Park Place Inn. While we prefer that by a slight margin for a few reasons, it’s less than one minute closer to Disneyland and DCA than Tropicana Inn. Hardly make or break.
Tropicana Inn & Suites is about a 2 minute walk to Disneyland’s Esplanade, and less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel to the turnstiles at Disneyland, which makes it closer to Disneyland than the Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier Hotel (although the Grand Californian is closer to Disney California Adventure, so perhaps this is a bit of a technicality). The actual distance does depend upon your room location–this is a deep hotel, so some rooms are a couple minutes more than that away from the parks.
Tropicana Inn & Suites is one of a few dozen Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels, which is frankly a bit of a meaningless distinction as some truly crumby hotels are “Good” Neighbors. All that’s required to obtain that status is for the hotel to pay Disney a kickback for the “recognition,” which in turn gives guests the ability to book a Disneyland vacation package with tickets and an inflated room rate. Whoop-dee-freakin-doo.
You can get an idea of how Tropicana Inn & Suites stacks up to the competition in my opinion (which is based on the perspective of someone who has stayed in nearly 50 different hotels near Disneyland), check out our Disneyland Hotels Reviews & Rankings post. Spoiler: Tropicana Inn is a top 10 hotel near Disneyland, in our opinion.
We’ve actually stayed at Tropicana Inn & Suites several times over the course of the last decade-plus. It was one of the first hotels we did back when making our second trip to Disneyland from the Midwest, and we’ve subsequently stayed here while making cross-country visits from Florida and now cross-county visits from California.
Suffice to say, we’re big fans of the Tropicana and have enjoyed watching it change over the years. Although the Anaheim hotel landscape has evolved considerably in the last several years, the Tropicana still enjoys one insurmountable advantage: location. To that point, check out our overall comparison of the benefits of staying in Disney-owned hotels versus third party accommodations in Off-Site v. On-Site Disneyland Hotels: Where to Stay. Suffice to say, the calculus for the California resorts is nothing like at Walt Disney World.
So what are the other pros and cons of staying at Tropicana Inn & Suites? Let’s take a look…
Here, we’re again going to emphasize Tropicana Inn’s proximity to the parks. If you look at the photo above (a throwback of the old sign), you’ll see that the Matterhorn is across the street from and behind Tropicana Inn. The hotel itself is almost directly across from the Esplanade.
Without a doubt, this is Tropicana Inn’s greatest selling point. As with all of the hotels “across the street” from Disneyland, you are paying a pretty big premium for the incredibly convenient location. If location does not matter to you, look elsewhere. With that said…location absolutely should matter to you, as the convenience cannot be overstated.
Tropicana Inn & Suites is close enough that you can take a midday nap without worrying about losing any time for the commute. One thing I really like about the hotels in this strip is that they are effectively lockers. I can be looking at Sleeping Beauty Castle, head back to the hotel in the early evening to grab my jacket and tripod, and be back on Main Street again all in the span of under 30 minutes.
In terms of things that would actually be considered amenities, there are a number of selling points–most of which are pretty standard. Tropicana Inn & Suites offers free Wi-Fi, coin operated self-service laundry facilities, free luggage storage in the lobby, ECV rentals and on-site delivery, and a 24-hour front desk for requests and assistance.
The Cove on Harbor Market & Cafe is a convenience store across from the lobby. While somewhat overpriced, this store has a large selection, including in terms of beer & alcohol. If you’re planning on doing some day-drinking at Disney California Adventure, stopping here for some pre-gaming fluids might be a nice, money-saving option.
It’s also worth noting that there are several food options nearby. Panera Bread and McDonald’s are both only a couple minutes away, with Denny’s and IHOP in the other direction.
There’s also a decent pool. I’d say it’s slightly nicer than the average for pools at the Harbor Boulevard hotels, but that really isn’t saying much.
It also seems larger than the norm for pools at hotels near Disneyland. It’s still very much a basic, utilitarian pool.
Now let’s take a look at the standard guest rooms at the Tropicana Inn & Suites.
These were refurbished recently, and now feature new carpet, televisions, beds, chairs, and a fun accent wall. The regular rooms are still relatively basic, but they are fresh and unique. That’s significant–as most of the other across-the-street from Disneyland motels are tired and very generic looking.
The beds have plenty of pillows that are above-average and while the bedding is very basic in terms of look, it’s more comfortable than the average for other Harbor Boulevard hotels.
On the whole, the rooms have a clean, crisp look to them that, while not exactly pushing the envelope in terms of contemporary design, also does not look dated. If you start reading reviews of the other hotels on this block of Harbor Boulevard, you’ll see that this is the exception rather than the rule.
Although there has been a development explosion in Anaheim over the course of the last decade, that has taken place more towards the outskirts of the Anaheim Resort District. In fact, the number of nearby hotels has actually decreased as a couple of them have been demolished and are now empty lots. (That doesn’t seem like the best use of such valuable real estate, but what do I know.)
For the most part, the across-the-street motels have abstained from making improvements, instead resting on the laurels of their location. Consequently, you usually need to choose between a modernized hotel that’s farther away or a dated motel that’s a super short walk. Tropicana Inn & Suites is one of the few hotels in the two block radius by the Disneyland Esplanade that has been updated within the last decade.
The rooms have a mini-fridge, microwave, safe, coffee maker, and flat screen television in the standard guest rooms. Definitely nice options if you want to prepare light meals in your room.
Also worth noting is that there are larger room options than this. As the name suggests, Tropicana Inn and Suites also offers a Family Kitchen Suite with this double queen room plus a connecting kitchen complete with an oven and stove top, refrigerator, microwave, pots and pans, utensils, and kitchen table. Then there’s the Park View Suite, which is the same as what you see here, but with a better location and a balcony that faces the Matterhorn and offers fireworks views. It’s also directly on Harbor Boulevard, which means lots of traffic–foot and vehicular.
Bathroom is pretty standard stuff, too. Worth noting is that the coffee maker game here is weak, but the toiletry game is strong.
The bath soaps are “I Love…” Mango & Papaya. I had never heard of this brand before, but it was solid stuff and superior to garden variety toiletries.
Pretty average bathroom. This is par for the course in terms of Anaheim hotels.
Water pressure in the shower was fine, toilet worked fine, towels weren’t scratchy…it all checked out.
Booked directly, Tropicana Inn & Suites costs around $220 to $310 per night before tax depending upon season–prices could be less in the off-season, and even more during peak season. Tropicana Inn & Suites also charges for parking. Both of these things are becoming the norm for hotels along Harbor Boulevard.
If you’re feeling a bit of sticker shock, just keep in mind that the prices are inflated for all hotels near the parks now. Many of the hotels in this area have doubled in price over the course of the last 5 years.
Overall, the Tropicana Inn & Suites compares favorably to the other hotels adjacent to it along Harbor Boulevard. Aside from the location, the rooms are fairly nice and spacious as compared to other hotels across the street from Disneyland. You’re unlikely to have a negative experience with a disappointing or dirty room, but you’re also unlikely to have a standout experience with a room or amenities that blow you away.
For better or worse, the Tropicana Inn is simply a solid and straightforward hotel relative to other hotels that are this close to the parks. You’ll absolutely pay a premium for the location, and get less for your money than you would at one of the newer “big box” hotels that’s about a 12-15 minute walk instead of a 5 minute walk to the parks. However, that’s pretty much the best-case scenario for these hotels that are so close to the front gates, and there’s definitely something to be said for such a convenient location. I’d put Tropicana Inn & Suites near the top of your list if being a short walk from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is your top consideration–it’s really tough to beat this location!
Get discounted pricing on a Disneyland vacation package that includes your stay at Tropicana Inn & Suites and Disneyland park tickets via Get Away Today. We always recommend them to save money on Disneyland tickets, and this is a great way to get an even better deal by purchasing a bundle that includes hotel and tickets. Click here to price out your dates at Tropicana Inn & Suites.
In addition to the package discount, some hotels have ‘4th night free’ promos. In addition to their normal discounts and special packages, you can save an extra $10 by using code TOURIST at checkout. We also recommend Get Away Today in our Guide to Buying Discounted Disneyland Tickets—booking a vacation package makes an already great deal even better.
Have you stayed at the Tropicana Inn & Suites? Did you enjoy your stay? What do you think are the pros & cons of Tropicana Inn? Considering this hotel? Do you prefer staying off-site or on-site at Disneyland? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!