Staying at Disney properties, while fun and all encompassing, may not be the way to go for many families looking to maximize their spending power on a Disneyland Vacation. This being the case, there are a number of good quality hotels that are right outside the main gate of Disneyland that are an excellent value and in some cases a better value than Disney Hotels.
The first thing to consider when planning your Disneyland Vacation is how much space you want or may need depending on your family size. There will be some families, just for cost sake, that will cram in 4-5 people into a standard room just to save every extra dollar they can while others will find rooms that are often 2 rooms suites that can sleep 4-5 people in comfort while being far less costly than a suite at any of the Disney properties. On the Disneyland website, not only do they offer deals on their own hotels but they also partner with those hotels offsite and these are known as the Disney Good Neighbor Hotels. Many of these hotels are recommended by Disneyland because of the quality of these facilities and the prices for their rooms.
Looking at the types of rooms that are available and the times they are available are critical to ensuring a successful Disneyland Vacation. Typically, you can find standard rooms with a King sized bed or 2 queen sized beds and a pullout couch-bed for anywhere from $75-$120 a night depending on the time of year you are going. Taking a Disneyland Vacation during an off-peak time of year will save you a substantial amount of money as opposed to going during a time when many people are on vacation or during any kind holiday season.
Suites, as mentioned above, can be typically found for anywhere from $199 a night to about $250 a night when staying at an offsite hotel. These rooms are usually quite handy for large groups looking to pool their resources together or for smaller families with parents looking for some quiet time while their children sleep soundly in an adjoining room. These types of rooms are especially nice because often times there are enough beds for the parents and children to each have their own. This is very handy for parents with children who tend to bicker a lot and are very close in age. That configuration really alleviates issues while back in the room following a long day and night of Disneyland Vacation entertainment and excitement.
Other qualities to look for in these offsite hotels when planning your Disneyland Vacation are the amenities and parking they provide. Many of the hotels have pools and some even have an observation deck from which to view the fireworks show from Disneyland if you choose not to stay in the park to watch them. Even other properties have a more "kid-friendly" atmosphere with arcades, playgrounds and other activities for them to do when not actually in Disneyland itself. Many of these hotels offer various types of breakfasts as well. Most offer a continental breakfast which typically consists of danishes, fruit and cold cereals along with coffee, juice and water. There are a few that offer a complimentary full hot breakfast with your stay however, for those on the way to an early morning Disneyland entrance, this may be a waste of time.
Clearly there are many opportunities to enjoy a Disneyland Vacation without breaking the bank on an expensive hotel. As you are planning this outing, be sure to consult a variety of forums that discuss the hotels you are looking to stay in. There are a number of extremely helpful tips and hints about the hotel you are considering and also (many times in fact) explanations from hotel staff as to what happened or what they are willing to do to fix this issue for the guest in the future. Be mindful of your choices and plan well ahead and you should enjoy a very happy Disneyland Vacation.