Good Neighbor Hotels are a topic that can confuse Disney travelers, for a few reasons. Sometimes people don’t understand what benefits each hotel has, other times people just don’t understand how far they are from the parks, and on other occasions Disney fans don’t realize that Good Neighbor Hotels aren’t just a Disneyland option. So tonight I wanted to break down the Good Neighbor Hotel for you!
What are Good Neighbor Hotels?
When most people think of Good Neighbor Hotels (GNH) they think of Disneyland’s selection of neighboring hotels. But, what many don’t realize is Walt Disney World has a list of Good Neighbor Hotels to choose from as well.
At Walt Disney World, Disney makes sure to very clearly spell out that Good Neighbor Hotels have to meet the following qualifications:
- Offer standard rooms, suites and villa-style accommodations
- Are AAA-approved
- Meet Disney standards for quality and service
- Have a Guest Services desk to assist you with your Disney vacation planning and ticket purchases
- Provide guests with access to Walt Disney World Resort information prior to arriving in the Disney Theme Parks
- Are comfortable, convenient and close
Disneyland does not print a set list of qualifications like Walt Disney World, but I can say they do offer standard rooms, suites and villa-style accommodations, most seem to be AAA-approved and most are on the ARC line or offer a shuttle to the parks.
How many Good Neighbor Hotels are there?
At Walt Disney World there are twenty-six Good Neighbor Hotels to choose from online. in the Lake Buena Vista, Celebration/Kissimmee and International Drive areas. But in reality there are many, many more than that.
At Disneyland there are currently forty Good Neighbor Hotels, that range in distance from being across the street from the park to a mile or more out.
What is the difference in Good Neighbor Hotel Room types?
At Walt Disney World you have three “types” of Good Neighbor Hotel to choose from, Standard, Premium and Suites. Standard resorts sleep up to four guests, and Suites sleep six to eight guests but have more “standard” in room amenities. Premium resorts are more like DVC Villas and offer more home like amenities in the rooms and sleep six to eight guests, while also offering better resort amenity options.
At Disneyland you have have an extra “level” to choose from Economy, Moderate, Superior or Suites. Economy rooms can sleep up to eight guests depending on the resort, but the in room amenities aren’t much more than you would see at a Value Disney resort. Moderate resorts sleep up to six guests in a room, offer more in room space and sometimes have better resort amenities. Superior resorts usually offer better in hotel amenities and sleep up to five guests per room. Suites hold up to eight guests in a room and have kitchenettes etc. making the room more like a DVC Villa like the Premiums at Walt Disney World.
What perks do I get by staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel?
At Walt Disney World some resorts take part in Extra Magic Hours, and all have transportation to the parks (usually to the TTC), but they do not have things like Dining Plan Free MagicBands etc.
At Disneyland when you book a Good Neighbor Package through Disneyland (or use a TA that books through Disneyland) you get:
- Magic Morning Early Admission
- An ESPN Zone Burger Bundle (a burger and $10 game card) for $15
- A Magical Extras Savings Card
- One 5″x7″ Disney PhotoPass Service or Attraction Photo from a select attraction
- A Walt Disney Travel Company Collectible Pin, Lanyard and Luggage Tag
Due to the limited number of Disneyland owned hotels, Disney seems to offer Good Neighbor Hotel guests better perks than they do at Walt Disney World.
Why stay at a Good Neighbor Hotel?
To be 100% honest I have never stayed at a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel because I prefer the perks of being a Disney resort guest (60 day FP+, EMH, Free Magic Bands, free parking etc.) But at Disneyland I have stayed at the Hilton Anaheim a few times because of the closeness and pricing. I also know many people that are in love with the Annabella and Camelot hotels because of their pricing and closeness to the parks. At the end of the day, I would say say the answer to “Why a GNH?” is really a personal choice based on your budget, hotel requirements and what park extras you are ok with missing out on.
What do I not get by staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel?
Remember, Disney has special perks that they offer their guests to encourage them to stay at their hotels. Many Good Neighbor Hotels, especially at Walt Disney World, are excluded from many of the Disney owned resort perks. At Walt Disney World while some select resorts can take part in Extra Magic Hours and some allow you to book your FP+ options at 60 days out vs 30, almost all are excluded from using the Magical Express and free MagicBands, all are excluded from resort room charge, park to resort package delivery and Disney’s Dining Plan.
At Disneyland where the “perks” to stay on property are much more limited, the majority of Good Neighbor hotels take part in some form of Magical Morning hours so you usually only miss out on room charge and park to resort package delivery.
How can I book a Good Neighbor Hotel?
To received the perks that Disney offers Good Neighbor Hotels, you need to book through Disney. This includes any Good Neighbor specials that may be available. At Disneyland some Good Neighbors even offer an Annual Passholder Discount. Your TA can book approved Good Neighbor resorts or you can contact Disney booking directly.
Aut’s Good Neighbor Hotel Disclaimer
While hotels on the GNH list are suppose to meet certain expectations to be on the list, sometimes they don’t, just like sometimes Disney owned hotels have moments where they aren’t so magical. If you stay at a GNH that isn’t up to par, you should let the resort’s corporate office, AAA and Disney know about your experience so that they can all investigate and make any corrections needed. Remember that photos and video will be good to have to show any cleanliness issues you may have if you have to report those types of problems. If you are having issues choosing between hotels, visit several different review sites and see what previous guests have to say.
Also remember that not everything is included in the pricing you see on the Disney owned Good Neighbor Hotel sites. In Disneyland make sure you look at what the “per day” parking fee is at the hotel, and in Walt Disney World look into what the resort fees that are not included in per night rates are. Also, never feel bad using a TA to help you choose and book at Good Neighbor Hotel Package.
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