Updated 10/9/18 During our recent stay at the Disneyland Clarion Hotel in Anaheim, we were greatly impressed. So much so, that I was immediately inclined to share my thoughts in this Clarion Hotel review!
Below, enjoy our complete Disneyland Clarion Hotel review with more about the hotel, how to save money during your stay, and the easy way to get both free parking and free breakfast at the Clarion Hotel.
The Clarion was a great choice for our visit to the happiest place on earth!
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Overview of the Disneyland Clarion Hotel
The Clarion is one of the most budget friendly options within walking distance to the Disneyland Resort which makes it a popular choice for many families! The hotel was extremely family friendly and welcoming.
The Clarion’s website lists their amenities as including:
- Free wireless high speed internet
- Refrigerator in all rooms, suites feature microfridge combination
- In room coffee and tea service
- Expanded channel offerings including Encore and Cartoon Network
- Data ports and voicemail
- Iron/Ironing boards
- Pet friendly
In addition to these above amenities, studio suites offer:
- Sleeper sofas
Other hotel amenities include:
- Year round outdoor heated pool
- Poolside service
- Palm Tree Cafe – A Casual Eatery
- Kids Eat Free for Breakfast and Dinner (ages 9 and under).
- Gift shop
- Game room
- Fitness Center
- Full service Concierge desk and bell service
- Dry cleaning (fee)
- Coin operated laundry service
- ATM machine
- Internet kiosk
- On premise parking (self $16 per day, valet $20 per day)
The benefit of booking with Get Away Today, like we did for this stay, was that Get Away Today guests receive free parking, free breakfast, and with longer stays guests typically receive one night free.
So seriously, if you plan on visiting Disneyland, I can’t stress enough how much money Get Away Today can save you. We are typically a family that travels on a budget and anywhere we can save money is always appreciated.
Clarion Hotel Review
Here us the full run down of my personal and honest experience with our stay in this Clarion Hotel review.
Check-In and Check-Out Process at the Clarion Hotel
We arrived to Anaheim much, much earlier than the check-in time of 4PM. I had called ahead and asked the desk at the Clarion if they could store our luggage for us while we walked around Downtown Disney. They assured me this would be no problem. When we got to the hotel, they were happy to store our luggage for us in a locked and secure room.
When we returned from Downtown Disney around 4PM we were told our room still was not ready. This was about the only inconvenience we encountered from them on our visit. The lady at the desk recommended we go swimming while we waited which we did. My son was happy with that since he was dying to see the pool anyways.
We finally got in our hotel room at 5PM (so an hour later than check in) but the wait was worth it. They had bumped us to a studio suite on the 9th floor with a perfect view of the fireworks from the parks. I had put the fireworks view request in when we booked through Get Away Today and they were happy to accommodate us. The lady at the desk mentioned this to me while we were waiting for a room and I was totally fine with the wait because of this! So overall, the process was a bit of an inconvenience but it was worth it in the end.
*Like with most hotels, be prepared to give them a credit card at check-in. They put a $35 hold on my card, the ‘just in case’ that all hotels do.
The check-out process was smooth and fast, literally took seconds and that was that. We reminded them we didn’t use the safe in the room (to avoid unexpected charges) and they told me I’d see the security hold of $35 back on my credit card within a few days. It was back on there within 24 hours which was nice!
All of the desk staff we dealt with during check-in and check-out were extremely friendly and sweet. No complaints at all in terms of friendliness whether it was the desk staff, the room service folks, the gift shop staff, or the restaurant workers. Everyone was friendly to us.
Anaheim Clarion Hotel Review: Restaurant
My family was starving when we arrived at check-in so I asked if we could use our first free breakfast today and the lady at the desk was extremely nice and gave us our free breakfast coupons.
When you book through Get Away Today, you will be given a booklet of ‘free breakfast coupons’ for your family- one for each day of your stay. So make sure you don’t lose these! We only ever ate at their restaurant, the Palm Tree Cafe, for breakfast while we stayed.
Their buffet breakfast was always well stocked when we came to eat but we were always there early (6AM) before we headed to the parks. Everyday we found a buffet stocked with eggs, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, pastries, a variety of cereal, bananas, hash browns, yogurt, and a waffle maker with different choices of waffles available. The coffee was good and the waffles were even better.
Overall, we loved their breakfast. But we’re also simple breakfast eaters- we mainly had the eggs, cereal, and waffles each day. I can’t see anyone not liking their breakfast- there’s plenty of choices available. The staff in the restaurant was so nice and remembered us each day which was a homey touch.
Disneyland Clarion Hotel Review Room and Photos
This was hands down the best part of this hotel- we had such a fantastic view with our room. We had a studio suite so it came with all the usual amenities, plus a microwave, and a sleeper sofa. My son loved having the couch and table area by the window to play with his souvenirs after we returned from the parks each day. In addition to the sofa sleeper, we had two queen sized beds that we both found extremely comfortable.
The room was a bit dated and you could notice the wear and tear the hotel has seen as an older location. Most noticeably, you could see this in the bathroom and the water pressure was not fantastic. But I’m not one of those people that’s bothered by things like that- yet I understand that some folks have higher expectations! I was so eager to get to the parks each morning that I barely noticed the old bathroom decor.
To be honest, we rarely spent time at the hotel as we spent most days at the parks. But we were happy with our room because the beds were comfy and it was extremely clean. And that view was great, what a beautiful site to wake up to everyday.
Anaheim Clarion Hotel Review: Amenities
We didn’t make use of all the amenities offered such as dry cleaning or the fitness room but we did make use of the main ones guests use during a typical Disneyland stay.
The pool at the Clarion is very basic- no hot tub included. That was one thing I felt was missing, a hot tub is a great way to rest your muscles after a day of walking at Disney. It was a rather deep pool with a shallow area on the other side. My son is eight years old and a strong swimmer so that worked just fine for us. But I can see parents with smaller children having to be much more vigilant. There were always plenty of towels out by the pool, pool chairs, and tables with umbrellas. Some areas surrounding the pool were shady from the palm trees overhead which was nice. I thought it was a lovely pool area for such an old hotel. We always swam in the afternoons after visiting Disney in the morning and it was rarely crowded.
Overall, the pool area was basic but clean and served its purpose. And when it comes to my kid, he’s happy with any pool and doesn’t require anything fancy.
We used the gift shop often to buy snacks and drinks on the way to and from the parks. Like most gift shops you find in the Disneyland area, everything was marked up in price. Typically, we paid around $3 for a soda on the way out the door. I’m a Coca-Cola junkie so I’ll pay the highest price for my caffeine fix but I wish we would have taken the time to stop at a regular priced store to buy drinks to keep in the hotel room.
The gift shop was really small in width but long so it was a bit like an adventure walking through it. It was stocked with everything you would need and more like food, medicine, sunscreen, swim suits, electronic accessories, t-shirts, toys, and more. Again, everything is marked up in price but if you’re in a bind- they will likely have what you need.
That’s my biggest takeaway advice regarding the gift shop: take the time to buy snacks and drinks for your hotel room at a grocery store or convenience store.
The arcade was a bit of a letdown and I would have avoided it if my son wasn’t so persistent to go there. You’ll find just a few older arcade style games in a small room back by the second bar/karaoke area. Everything takes quarters and most of the coin machines weren’t working when we went. It was easy enough to just walk to the gift shop for change, though.
My son thought it was fantastic while I was a bit underwhelmed by it. So take that for what you will. If the kids are happy then mission accomplished, right?
Final Thoughts and Review of Disneyland Clarion Hotel
Here are my overall pros/cons from our stay at the Clarion Hotel:
Pros for Disneyland Clarion Hotel
- Clean. Everything from our room to the pool to the restaurant was always found clean and spotless.
- Friendly staff. Everyone we encountered was friendly and nice. They went out of their way, especially in the restaurant, to get to know you.
- Comfortable beds. I always feel like this is high on my priority list when visiting Disney!
- Fridge in the room allows for easy storing of leftovers or food.
- Safety- we felt really safe here. The locks on the doors were secure and there were always people in the lobby. As a single mom traveling as the only adult, this is always something important to me.
- Great view options on the 9th floor.
- Budget friendly. This is one of the cheapest hotel options through Get Away Today!
- Breakfast. We always love having breakfast before our visit to the parks to help save money on expensive park food. And since we booked through Get Away Today, our breakfast was free!
- Fast Wi-Fi- I never had any problems doing basic things on my iPhone.
- Option of room service available.
- Within walking distance to Disneyland. Easily a 10-15 minute walk to the park depending on how fast you walk. We rode the ART most days and there’s a bus stop right in front of the hotel. You can also use the Toy Story Parking Lot shuttles across the street for free! Just walk out of the lobby and turn right and keep walking until you see the shuttles.
Cons for Anaheim Clarion Hotel
- Check-in process was slow and we had to wait awhile for our room.
- The pool area is very basic- no hot tub or toddler play area.
- The gift shop is expensive but that is always the case with local hotels near Disneyland.
- Water pressure in the bathroom wasn’t great.
- Old and outdated bathroom in general.
- Still a bit of a walk to the gates- at least 10-15 minutes. This might be a bit too far to walk for some families.
- The hotel has seen some wear/tear as an older location.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the Clarion Hotel. I had read some scathing reviews on Trip Adviser before our stay and was a bit apprehensive. To speak candidly, I think if you’re not expecting perfect room decor and brand new rooms it’s a fine place to stay. I knew it was an older hotel and I’m not a picky person to begin with so seeing out-dated decor and wear in the rooms didn’t bother me. The most important thing to me that it was clean and safe.
We would stay here again in a heartbeat! It’s such a budget friendly option which allows more money to be spent at the parks. We will likely stay here again on our next trip to Disneyland. I hope you enjoyed our Clarion Hotel review!
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