We are a family of 4 with 11 & 14 year old children, and visited the Disney parks in early July 2012. We knew that the days would be long, so wanted somewhere as close as physically possible. I Google streetviewed the Disney plaza entrance, and saw that Park Vue Inn was the closest hotel, directly across the pedestrian crossing from the Disney entrance. Looking on Tripadvisor, the reviews appeared good, so we got a reservation for a two room, 3 bed suite for only $180 per night. It was everything we hoped it would be.
First off, this is not the Disneyland Resort Hotel, or the Hilton, or the Hyatt. It is a motel with limited service, so if you want a 5 star experience, this won't be it. What it does do, it does well however.
We were looking for a motel that was clean, friendly, had a pool, offered free car parking, free breakfast, and free wifi. We also wanted at least 3 beds, and two rooms, preferably with fridge and some sort of kitchen arrangement. Park Vue Inn ticked every box (although the kitchen facilities in the unit really only amounted to only a microwave, refrigerator and kettle.
The motel is low rise (just two stories) in a stripmall format, surrounding its own carpark, with all rooms entered from the carpark or the balcony. Apparently the have plans to extend a number of stories in the near future.
We never had a problem getting parking, and there was always a guard on duty to ensure that only guests parked onsite. The fact that parking was free was a blessing. Most accommodation near Disney charge for parking.
We were lucky to get the two room suite,and it was just what we wanted. 2 Queen beds in the main room, and a smaller seperate bedroom for my wife and I, with another queen bed. The room wasnt modern, but was spotlessly clean, and contrary to other reviews, I found the beds comfortable. (although after exceptionally long days at Disneyland, I would have slept like a rock on anything). Both rooms had flat screen TVs, and a phone. We discovered that we had left some personal belongings in San Diego and I was pleasantly surprised when informed that domestic telephone calls were free of charge - one more thing a 5 star hotel would have charged heavily for!!
The suite had an alcove next to the bathroom, with a bathroom sink bench, closet space, and the kitchen cubby with the fridge, microwave and tea/coffee facilities.
The bathroom was clean, with shampoo/liquid soap dispensers that were refilled each day. I like this sustainable approach that eliminates throwaway bottles.
The wifi password was provided free of charge from reception at checkin, and I didn't have any problems with connection - even considering our room was at the rear of the property.
The guest laundry was directly under our room, but we never heard any noise from it at all. There were plenty of machines, plus dispensers for washing powder etc. Machines worked with quarters which you could get from reception if you needed them.
We never had any problems at all with noise. We saw plenty of signs around the place asking for quiet. Everyone staying was with families and going to Disneyland, so I expected noise, but there wasnt any. No rowdy drunk teenagers or running children- and we were visiting during school holidays. Perhaps during spring break it is different, but certainly we did not experience the problems of some of the other reviewers.
The pool complex is in the middle of the car park - but it is surrounded by a high wall, security fencing and palm trees, so is not completely public. The pool is 10ft deep at one end, and doesn't have an attendant so small children should be watched. There was also a nice small jacuzzi. Plenty of fresh towels were on hand. We regularly ate near the pool area, under the sun umbrellas.
Breakfast was served each morning at a balcony dining area above the reception area. Breakfast was free of charge, and included juices, tea/coffee, cook-your-own waffles, assorted pastries, fruit, cereal, hot sausage, bacon and egg beaters. It was very similar to other complimentary breakfasts I have experienced at Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc. Just like them, it also pays to go early, and to expect that it will be shut down promptly at the end of breakfast.
When we booked, Park Vue was advertising a free supper, however I was informed this had recently been discontinued, as the motel is cost cutting to fundraise for its expansion.
I found the check in to be easy and prompt - although we did arrive in the evening, rather than the morning. While we were waiting to be served in the reception area, we were offered complimentary hot cookies, juice, and coffee. There is also a computer and printer in the reception area for guest use.
Twice we needed to call for assistance - once for a light bulb replacement, and the second to have the laundry unlocked after hours so that we could retrieve some clothes. Both times a staff member turned up within minutes of being requested, and assisted us in a very friendly and efficient manner. Perfect.
As well as being directly across the road from the Disney parks plaza, Park Vue Inn is also surrounded by reasonably priced family dining options. Within one block in either direction on S Harbor are Millies Family Restaurant, McDonalds, Captain Kidds Buffet, Pizza Press, Tony Romas, Dennys. IHOP is at the entrance to the Park Vue. There is a 24 hour Target only 3 blocks further down S Harbor, and a Walmart only 5 minutes drive away on I-5N.
The restaurants of Downtown Disney, and Disney Garden Walk are only a 10 minute walk (in different directions).
Food within Disneyland is ridiculously expensive (a hot dog costs $8). It is possible to take food and drink into Disneyland, but we would walk out in the middle of the day, drive a couple of blocks to the Subway and 7-11 at the corner of Katella and S Harbor. At the 7-11 we could get 2 hot dogs, 2 donuts, 2 pieces of pizza, and 2 bottles of Gatorade for less than $10 combined! We would drive back to the Park Vue and eat them by the pool before swimming and then returning to Disneyland refreshed.
If you are looking for budget accommodation that is super close to the Disneyland parks, cheap and cheerful, and isn't out to nickel and dime you, then I recommend the Park Vue wholeheartedly!