Travel Disneyland during winter. I need recommendations!


Jun 13, 2007
I'm thinking about planning a Disneyland trip for SO and I during the holidays, 3-4 days right before or right after Christmas.

I'm primarily looking for hotel recommendations near the amusement park (preferably within walking distance) and would love to hear everyone's input. We don't need anything too fancy, just clean and decently priced.

And since we are going in the winter, do you think it would be necessary to get the Fast Passes? Does anyone know the cost of these passes? I've been told that there are hardly any lines during the winter but I wasn't sure if that applies during the holiday season.

We're both college students so I'm planning on saving for this trip now and would love to figure out how much everything would cost! TIA!


May 21, 2009
I'm not sure if there are any hotels within walking distance since I've always stayed at the resorts. You might want to look into staying at one of the resorts since they usually have shuttle service to and from your hotel. I think this is included in the price of your hotel.

I'm not sure about the passes though. Have you gone to the Disney website? You can find plenty of hotel information on there. Or, you can try Expedia, Travelocity, those types of websites for information. I love Expedia and you can call and speak to someone who can get you more information. Or, option B, call a travel agent in your area. They should be able to help you out as well.

I've planned my Vegas trip through Expedia and have been using them for years. Good luck!


May 14, 2008
The Sunshine State
Check out You will find great advice on the forums there.

At WDW in Florida, fast passes are free and are only available for some of the more popular rides. We go during a slower time of the year and get them for Soarin' but usually just get in the standby line for most of the other rides.


Jul 16, 2007
Santa Monica
There are tons of hotels in walking distance. Look at the Disney site and they have a lot of recommendations. is a good place to book.

If you're going during the holidays you will absolutely need passes (but they're free). Christmas is peak time at Disney--as busy as summer.


Jul 25, 2007
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
I LOVE Disneyland a Christmas time. I have been there many times, including the holidays. I went to Disneyland when I was in college a few years ago right before Christmas. That year all my finals ended early, around Dec 15th, and we took off right away. Because the most schools (elem, jr, and hs) were not out yet, we pretty much had the park to ourselves, very few lines, etc, PLUS it was all decorated for the holidays with the special parades and shows. There are lots of decently priced hotels with in walking distance. Check out or I have heard that Disney is phasing out fast pass, but if it is still around, I highly recommend you use if for rides that have more than a 30min wait, but remember you can only get one FP at a time.


Aug 19, 2009
Fastpasses are free, just familiarize yourself with the rules to figure the best way to use them. If it's hot (and that happens here in December at times), fast passes for the water rides will disappear quickly and you'll be stuck with night times. I recommend it for Soaring over CA and usually for Space Mountain as well. May be useful for Haunted Mansion as it's the Jack Skellington version, but the rush for that is usually bigger at Halloween.

You can look at the "good neighbor" hotels on the Disney site for recommendations. My friend usually stays at the HoJo at the entrance, but there are a few motels right there. I've stayed at the Sheraton just outside the parking structure on Ball Road. It's about 1-1.5 mile walk to the gates (easy and flat) and not much further than the parking structure.


Coach & Makeup Fiend
Mar 13, 2009
Vegas state of mind
Disneyland is WONDERFUL at Christmastime! But it will be busy, so I absolutely would recommend the fastpasses. And yes there are lots of hotels in walking distance. I agree, look at the "good neighbor" hotels on the Disney website.