Marriott Anaheim Convention Center

For D23 Expo there are a lot of choices for accommodations. You could go with the Disney hotels: wonderfully fun with exceptional service, but exorbitantly priced and far from the convention center. Then there are the typical Harbor Blvd. hotels: affordable, accessible to Disneyland, but still a far walk from the convention center when you’re tired at the end of a long day. Finally there are the hotels immediately adjacent to the convention center. The Hilton and Marriott are within spitting distance of the convention center and priced accordingly. Yet when you’re tired from a day of standing in line after line and want a comfortable bed to collapse into nothing beats walking less than five minutes and finding your hotel room.

We’ve stayed twice at the Anaheim Hilton and while we’d considered staying there for D23 Expo we found that reservations were blocked when reserving through Disney’s D23 Hotel Reservation service. The next best was the Marriott. We’d seen the lobby before but never stayed there. This was an excellent choice for our convention weekend.

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Welcome D23 Expo Visitors!

Of note the hotel is not the best for people headed to Disneyland. It is a fair walk to the main entrance and while there is the Anaheim Resort Transit service with a stop right in front of the hotel it will cost you $5 per person to ride. For D23 Expo guests Disney negotiated a special convention rate with reduced self-parking fees and a reasonable rate for the rooms. While there were definitely cheaper rooms out there I felt confident that we were not paying the highest price for the weekend.

For non-local travelers the hotel is a drop-off/pick-up point for the Disneyland shuttle bus that stops at John Wayne Airport (SNA) and LAX. For those driving hybrid or electric vehicles there are charging stations inside the self-parking garage and there are also Supercharger stations for Teslas.

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Lobby seating area. In the back in the hotel restaurant which serves an excellent breakfast buffet.
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The front desk is tucked away to the left. A warning for those with trypophobia: don’t look at the wall decor behind the desk too much. I have a mild trypophobic reaction and this made me feel a little yucky looking at it.

When we checked in we were offered a room in the main building or a room in the Oasis Tower. The Oasis Tower is slightly closer to the convention center, with a side entrance that makes the walk faster since you bypass the lobby and port cochere. The main building has easy access to the lobby, restaurant, and shop. Both options are equal when it comes to distance from the self-parking garage: you’ll need to traverse the hotel’s own conference center to get there. We opted for the Oasis Tower just to see what it was like.

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The Oasis Tower from outside the hotel. While it appears to be a standalone building it is connected to the main hotel and conference center.

The Oasis Tower has a few added benefits within an easy distance. Just outside the elevators is a FedEx Office shop for everything from mailing packages to making copies. There’s a Hertz car rental kiosk across the hall. Around the corner is the hotel fitness room. Most importantly there is a full Starbucks down the hall, perfect for those of us headed to the convention early in the morning.

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The Hertz desk was closed when we left to scope out the convention center, but this is a handy service for people who may need a car at the last minute.
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D23 Expo has a shipping booth, but you might want to check out the prices here to see if you can get a better deal if things need to be mailed home.

This was the first time we’d seen elevator call buttons like the ones they have here: they send you directly to your floor. You punch in the floor you’re headed to and the screen directs you to an elevator that will send you on your merry way with no in-between stops and no interruptions. It’s a very efficient system and I wish other hotels (or even just other buildings) would consider installing systems like this. It only works because there are many elevators to choose from, but it made floor-to-floor trips easy and quick.

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The fun elevator call button. The screen directs you to the labeled elevators. Busy Bumble only complained that the elevators were a tad on the fast side. We decided to call them Mission: Breakout Lite. Still not as bad as the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, though (seriously, that made us clutch our stomachs as we descended).

Our room was situated close to the elevators, which was a nice surprise. Our room looked out over the conference building towards the Anaheim Convention Center. We could hear people cheering as they waited in line overnight and in the mornings. It was a surprisingly helpful “alarm clock”: more cheering probably means we need to get in gear and rush down there.

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First look inside our weekend base of operations. Those curtains kept our room cool without cranking up the A/C too much.
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There’s the convention center! Those solar panels are situated on top of the Marriott’s conference center. The queue to get into Hall D23 (where the big presentations are held) snaked along the front on the convention center the day before Day 1. The queue for general admission is in the plaza between the Marriott and Hilton.
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Reading nook with a stylish accent chair. Aside from this chair there is a rolling desk chair but nowhere else to sit except the beds.

The room was pretty standard for a hotel chain in terms of space. I did like that the decor had been updated, which isn’t always the case in Anaheim. The television does have an internet connection so you can watch YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, or other services on a big screen. Wi-Fi at the Marriott has a $1 per day charge, which is ridiculous when most chains have it for free.

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Marriott’s comfy beds. We liked the simple art in the room, all themed for water. 

The beds at Marriott hotels are famously comfortable and these were no different. The mattress leans on the softer side with a lot of pillows, albeit all soft (if you need a firm pillow don’t look here).

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The bathroom isn’t as cramped as other hotels but it isn’t as spacious as others. It suited just the two of us, though. It might get cramped for a family for four or more.
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It was fun that there was a soap nook above and one below. The bathroom does not have a vent, unlike many other establishments, so be prepared for a foggy room after a shower.
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Standard toiletries at all Marriotts, the Thann brand is pretty nice with a neutral scent for anyone. 

The bathroom was clean with standard amenities. The shower had wonderful water pressure, which was so refreshing after a long day in the convention. The toiletries were generously stocked and replenished in full every day. Marriott, like most chains these days, has a few items they keep at the front desk (razors, toothbrushes, etc.) or you can use the Marriott app to summon concierge help if you forgot something.

There is an extensive room service menu. Marriott has a system for room service where you can either pick it up from the restaurant or have it delivered to your room in a to-go bag. They do not do room service with the rolling table and place settings. For our convention needs breakfast was most likely the time we might need room service, but with early morning lines ahead it didn’t look like we’d be able to take advantage of it. We did do dinner one night: the Chef’s special sandwich, some Pinot Noir, creme brulee cheesecake, and strawberry shortcake. It was excellent but very pricey, which is the norm for room service.

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Overall we experienced a restful stay in a comfortable room with professional, courteous service. This will probably be our home base for future D23 Expos since we enjoyed our stay this year. While the price is higher than other options you are paying for luxury rooms and easy access to the convention center. Nothing made the room worth its price more than being able to roll out of bed and head downstairs with little thought to travel and parking. I would not stay here for a standard Disneyland weekend, but anything at the convention center would be a different story. We’ll keep an eye on rooms for D23 Expo 2019.

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