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Los Angeles, Anaheim

Where to stay for Disneyland & Universal Studios trip to L.A.?

Family vacation to L.A. to do Universal Studios and Disneyland! It's our first time to Los Angeles - do you recommend staying in one area or does it make more sense to move hotels? 

What are the best hotels in each area to stay for a family of five? Thanks!

6 Answers

top answer by
JR from Manhattan Beach

I live in LA and I have 2 children so I understand what you're looking for :)

I'd stay some place central between the Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. I know how hard it is packing and unpacking to move hotels, so unless you're planning on doing 2 days at either Disney or Universal, I'd stay in the middle and plan on driving to each place for the day. 

Here's my suggestion because these places are good value (you get a lot of the money), safe, and clean. Now, they aren't in your typical tourist areas, but they are close to freeways and easy to get around.

Here's where I think you should stay. 

1. Hyatt House Los Angeles/El Segundo - you can get a 2 bedroom 2 bath suite here which makes it great for a family for around $220/night. Great value. Parking/breakfast/wifi, all free. Also, they have a free shuttle that will take you to nearby beaches.

  • Local bonus tip: The places i suggest are all near Manhattan/Hermosa beach so if you want to see some of the nicer beaches in LA, you're close by. Your family will especially love the Roundhouse Aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier. It's a small/free volunteer supported aquarium with touch tanks for the kids.

Hilton Garden Inn - this is kind of a business hotel, but still great for families and you can get great deals on the weekends ($140/night). It's the model property to all Hilton Garden Inns so they keep it really nice. Free parking. Their shuttle will take you to beaches too.

3. TownePlace Suites Los Angeles LAX/Manhattan Beach - they also have a 2 bedroom suite option for less than $200/night. Good value. Free breakfast and wifi, but no airport or beach shuttle. They charge $8 if you have a car.

4. SpringHill Suites Los Angeles LAX/Manhattan Beach - literally next door to TownePlace and similar amenities. For about $150/night you can get a room with beds and/or pullout sofa for kids.

I'd check these 4 places for your dates and see who has availability. They all have pools for the kids to play around a bit too.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Disneyland (attraction)
  2. Universal Studios Hollywood (attraction)
  3. Hyatt House Los Angeles/El Segundo (hotel)
  4. Roundhouse Aquarium (attraction)
  5. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  6. Hilton Garden Inn (hotel)
9 thanks

answered by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Hillary,

Since both parks are far from each other I would definitely recommend moving hotels. I don't know how much time you have in LA, but if you are doing multiple days at Disneyland I would definitely recommend you stay there, getting to the park when it opens gives you the best opportunity to run through a few rides before it gets crowded (you can also get a fast track for a ride that would normally be extremely busy during the day). If you really want to see all of both parks, you could easily be there three days.  However, one day is enough for you to feel like you got the sense of 1 park. If you need to choose one I would obviously say the original is a must (California Adventures is obviously newer, but there's nothing like Disneyland). The areas to stay in would be Anaheim (which is where Disneyland is located) or just outside which is Garden Grove. Hotels just outside of the Disneyland bubble will be lower in price. 

For Universal Studios (which borders Burbank), I would stay in Hollywood. This way you can also see other touristy things like the Hollywood Walk of FameGriffith ParkHollywood Sign etc. Plus, I don't think there is much to see in Burbank. 

Hope this helps!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anaheim (city)
  2. Garden Grove (attraction)
  3. Hollywood (attraction)
  4. Hollywood Walk of Fame (attraction)
  5. Griffith Park (attraction)
  6. Hollywood Sign (attraction)
7 thanks

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Both attractions are about an hour-ish away from each other depending on traffic. Personally, I would stay in the Burbank (California)/Universal City, CA area and then move to Anaheim

In Burbank, I would consider the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport which is very close to both the Bob Hope Airportand Universal City, CA. I know they have family suites as does the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City. The Holiday Inn Express North Hollywood is also pretty kid friendly, too. 

For Disneyland, I would look into the Hilton Anaheim. I know they have some really good deals on line and they're big so it's pretty easy to book at the last minute. The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Anaheim  is also great for families and very, very close to Disneyland. Believe it or not, the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground is actually a great hotel to go with a family as it has it's own little water park in it. Also super close to Disneyland! 

4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Butch from Los Angeles

My favorite lower cost hotel near Disney is called the Anabella Hotel.  It's super clean and very nice.  Kids love the pool and it's literally a 2 minute drive from the park. If you are looking for something near Universal, I would stay at the The Garland. Nice clean and not overly expensive. 

Good luck! Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anabella Hotel (hotel)
  2. The Garland (hotel)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
JP from Sherman Oaks, California

You can move hotels if you like but make sure you don't go cheap. Do not stay in a non chain motel or hotel. Stay as close as you can to the theme park as you can and choose Sheraton, Hilton or something like that. If you do not do this you might end up in an area that is not too nice. Have a great time! 

2 thanks

answered by

Hi, I'm traveling with a friend to see Univ. Studio and Disneyland and want to stay at a midway hotel for both. We have no kids but need two beds. Can you suggest a good, affordable place? We'd like to be within disance to one of the nicer beach cities.

1 thanks

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