On my family’s recent spring break trip to Disneyland, we again decided to stay at an off-property hotel “across the street” from Disneyland.
Although we love staying in Disney hotels for the theming and perks when we can, the price is sometimes prohibitive – and it was definitely prohibitive during spring break week! Off-property Disneyland hotels, particularly the ones across from the pedestrian entrance on South Harbor Boulevard, can offer a great value without sacrificing proximity. These hotels on South Harbor are also some of top picks for where to stay on a Disneyland trip with a baby or toddler.
On this stay, my family had the chance to stay for 2 nights at the newly-renovated Grand Legacy at the Park, which many might know by its old name: the Ramada Maingate. The hotel is still owned by the same family, but decided to part with the Ramada brand when it underwent a massive renovation starting in 2015. That renovation is nearing completion with the addition of new suites in an all-new tower (just opened) as well as the addition of a new rooftop lounge (coming soon).
So, is the Grand Legacy right for your family on your next Disneyland trip? Overall, my family was exceptionally pleased with the value the Grand Legacy offered. Here’s what to know when considering it for yours.
What Works for Families at the Grand Legacy at the Park
- Location: It really doesn’t get any closer to the main gates of Disneyland. Walking distance is exceptionally important to my family when we need to get our toddler back to the hotel for a nap. This hotel has location, location, location.
- Price: With room rates as low as $100 on off-season and rarely exceeding $200, the Grand Legacy at the Park offers an excellent value proposition for families. Larger families or those looking for a higher-end experience can opt for the new suites or premier rooms in the tower.
- Fridge and microwave in every room: Perfect for leftovers, milk for babies and toddlers, or storing groceries for saving on food in the parks.
- Inexpensive parking: Many hotels near Disneyland charge an arm and a leg for parking. The Grand Legacy at the Park charges only $5 a day. On completely full days, there aren’t enough spaces for everyone at the hotel, but we never had issues getting a space. Plus, the hotel valets for no extra charge when all spaces are full.
- Free breakfast: The hotel currently offers a continental breakfast by the pool but will soon be offering a full hot breakfast when the new breakfast room opens in the next month or two. Being able to quickly grab a bite and get to the parks for rope drop to beat the crowds is very important to my family.
Kid-friendly pool: In the center courtyard of the hotel is a gated pool with a small colorful splash pad. This is perfect for families who love taking a mid-afternoon pool break to beat the crowds and the heat.
What Doesn’t Work for Families at the Grand Legacy at the Park
- Noise issues: Fairly thin walls and motel-style setup means you’ll likely hear other guests in the halls or next door.
- Spotty WiFi: With cell and data service notoriously spotty near Disneyland, good hotel WiFi is important to stay connected. It worked well some of the time, but also booted us off and/or ran slowly at others.
Rooms at the Grand Legacy at the Park are spacious and well-laid out for family travelers. My family stayed in a two queen room that had plenty of space for our family of four. The room had a dresser with a fridge, coffeemaker, and microwave as well as multiple drawers for us to unpack. It also had a freestanding wardrobe for hanging clothes with additional storage and a small table with two chairs. We were also able to fit a crib or Pack N Play easily into a corner next to the dresser.
The bathroom sink area was open to the room, which is a bit of a negative when adults are trying to get ready while children are sleeping. There was enough separation – and my children were so tired from Disney and traveling anyway – that my kids weren’t disturbed. The sink area was then separated by a door into the room with a tub and shower combination and toilet. The bathroom had two sinks and a modern design thanks to the recent renovation that made it feel clean and bright.
The amenities of the Grand Legacy at the Park are really what make it a value proposition over the other budget or moderate hotels along South Harbor Boulevard. My family has stayed in quite a few of the hotels on that block that are similarly priced and I can honestly say that the Grand Legacy – with the new renovations – is a definite step up. Bathrooms feel new and clean, sheets are higher thread count, parking is discounted, and breakfast is included. All these little touches add up to a big difference.
Once the new rooftop lounge in the tower (The Fifth) is opened, the on-site amenities will far exceed the other hotels in the area. The Fifth has breathtaking views of both parks and will be an excellent spot to watch fireworks and grab something other than Denny’s or IHOP to eat. The tower in which the lounge is located will also have 4 shops along the front of the hotel facing South Harbor that add to the convenience. A snacks and sundries shop is already open, as is a store selling discount tickets. A pizza and ice cream shop are coming soon. Having all these options on property is a definite plus.
The only negative of any significance we experienced during our stay was noise. This isn’t a problem unique to the Grand Legacy at the Park. All the motel-style hotels we’ve stayed at across the street from Disneyland have this issue. It’s one of those negatives you likely have to accept for a great location and value hotel price. Since we were in a building that was a more recent addition to the hotel (on the far back of the hotel) and not one of the original older buildings, I would have expected a bit more noise suppression.
In all fairness, we also happened to have the bad luck of having extremely inconsiderate neighbors. They talked loudly right outside our door as they came in late at night and left early in the morning. Plus, they had a toddler who didn’t sleep through the night, and we heard every cry through the door connecting our two rooms.
If you want to maximize your chances of a quiet stay, I’d recommend asking for a room without a connecting door (most of the noise we heard was through the door itself rather than the walls). Better yet – stay in the newest building over the lobby where the rooms come off of internal hallways rather than outdoor motel corridors which seem to project more sound.
The Final Word
Even despite our trouble with noise, I think the Grand Legacy is an excellent value choice for family travelers looking for proximity and a few extra family-friendly amenities. I was especially impressed to observe how many loyal repeat guests the hotel had during our stay. Every time I talked to someone or overheard a conversation, fellow guests were saying “my family has stayed at this hotel on every Disneyland trip for 15 years.” There is clearly a very loyal repeat customer base, and that’s a great sign that the Grand Legacy has been doing something very right for a long, long time. I know my family will be joining the loyalist ranks and staying at this hotel again on a future Disneyland visit.
Disclosure: The Grand Legacy at the Park hosted my family for two nights during our stay. As always, all opinions are my own.