We LOVE Disney... but we don't love Disney hotel prices. That's why we stay here - at the Staybridge Suites in Anaheim! You get a reasonable room rate and a good, hot breakfast, while being close enough to the parks, without breaking the bank. It's awesome!
We visited the weekend before Thanksgiving 2012 and stayed two nights in a one-bedroom suite. We like having access to a refrigerator and toaster, as we can toast frozen gluten-free waffles, chill water, and use a stove if we decide to cook in the room (which, on this trip, we did not). It's nice to be able to put the kids down for bed, close the bedroom door, and unwind in the separate living room using the free wi-fi. Then, in the morning, it's nice to be able to wake up, head downstairs, and get a few different items to start our morning off right at the breakfast buffet.
A couple of tips we learned:
1. Realize that the breakfast room is going to be crowded. So, if you really want waffles, you'll have to wait. I think they have about 4 waffle makers, so at least it won't be too long.
2. If you can get a room that looks out at the pool, it will be more quiet. On our first trip, our room faced the freeway. And even though we used our white noise machine, you could still hear the road noise in the morning.
3. When driving to Disneyland, park in the Toy Story lot, which is on Harbor Blvd, just a few blocks south of Disney. You would head south on Manchester, right onto Orangewood, and then right onto Harbor. The Toy Story lot will be on your right side. The shuttles are frequent, and it's a quick 5 minute drive (feels like less) to the drop-off area at Disneyland. As a family with young kids, we much preferred parking here, as the drop-off is right at the entrance, and the stroller rental and park entrance gates were there, as soon as you passed through security. On our last trip, we parked in the newer parking structure off of Ball, where you had to take a tram that dropped you off near Downtown Disney. The walk is longer from the tram d/o to the main gates, and you have to corral your kids past the colors and lights of Downtown. The lines, too, were horrendous at peak times, and we often had to wait a tram or two before we could board; whereas the lines for the Toy Story shuttles were short and moved pretty quickly. The drive back to the hotel from the TS lot was also quick - about 5 minutes. So again, if you stay at the Staybridge Suites, park in the Toy Story lot. We'll never park in the other structure again.
4. The freeway entrances are all right there, so it was easy to get back on, when we needed to.
5. The location of the hotel is also close to Target (about 10 minutes south) and some good places to eat, if you want to save money and not eat with the Mouse.
We recommend this hotel to our friends and family and are looking forward to a return trip soon!