Disney Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne – Which is the best for Disneyland Paris trips in 2023? (compare decor, restaurants and costs!) 

Are you more of a cowboy, or more of a Cars person? If you can’t choose between staying at the Disney Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne Hotel it might come down to nuisances in their themes. Santa Fe’s Cars theme and Cheyenne’s tribute to Woody and Jesse in the Wild West could be your deciding factor. But there are many more exciting features to consider! I am going to break down all you need to know about these two very popular Disneyland Paris hotels so that you can make the best decision for your family or solo trip. 

Two hotels compared side-by-side, which is better, Disney Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne

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Disney Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne – Which has the best resort theming? 

The most obvious difference between Disney Santa Fe and Disney Hotel Cheyenne is their theming. If you can pick a favourite pair between Woody/Jesse and Lightning/Sally, then this might be an easy decision!

Disney Santa Fe celebrates the Cars movies and takes inspiration from American deserts and canyons. And of course, the adventure of the open road! The cacti and desert landscaping separate the buildings named after Lightning McQueen, Mater, Luigi and Sally. 

On the other hand, Disney Cheyenne celebrates Toy Story’s Woody, Jesse and Bullseye and their Wild West adventures. (Important note: you won’t see Buzz or the other Toy Story characters here). Wooden buildings and a saloon make up an Old West town where you might imagine a sheriff keeping the peace. 

A wall of automobile paraphernalia decorates La Cantina in the Cars-themed Disney Hotel Santa Fe
La Cantina has lots of hidden gems in the Cars-themed Disney Hotel Santa

Which has the better location, Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne?  

Let’s talk now about location – an advantage that Disney Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne have in common. Booking these Disney on-site hotels, you are close enough to walk to the parks! (If only Walt Disney World was as convenient!)

Disney Cheyenne Hotel and Santa Fe Hotel are roughly the same distance from the park entrance no matter which one you choose. They sit on opposite sides of the Rio Grande River. 

Disney provides a frequent free shuttle bus for Santa Fe and Cheyenne, which is fantastic if you have mobility issues. Or, when your feet are just too tired to make the 1.5 km journey after the fireworks. 

🏰 My take: Surprisingly, the non-walking-enthusiasts in my family prefer taking the pedestrian route from the hotels to the parks. Especially when the weather is amenable. The path is very pretty along the tree-lined canal which leads to a picturesque pond and Disneyland Paris’ iconic hot air balloon. The time passes quickly when you’re counting ducks and feeling the excitement for a day in Disney.

The Rio Grande canal is lined on both sides by paths for Disney Hotel Santa and Cheyenne, Art of Marvel hotel is seen in the distance
Walking along the Rio Grande is pretty even in winter

Some of the hotel rooms are closer to the pedestrian path than others (for both Santa Fe and Cheyenne), but on average the walking route will take about 12-15 minutes to the security checkpoint at Disney Village. All the hotel guests convene here before they are allowed through the Disney Village and into the Disney parks.

✔️ Pro tip: Security won’t allow you to take glass into the parks or through the Village to your hotel. If you buy a bottle of wine from Chessy station to drink in your room, you will need to take the shuttle bus back to your hotel.  

Once on the Disney shuttle, it is about a 6-minute ride between your hotel and the drop-off point by Chessy station (or vice versa). If you are entering the parks, you will do your security checks on the other side of Disney Village. 

Western-themed reception area at Disney Hotel Cheyenne, with a drop box for your at departure time
Reception at Hotel Cheyenne, where you can drop your key for an easy check-out

Does Hotel Cheyenne or Santa Fe have better hotel amenities?

A free shuttle to the parks is not the only perk you will enjoy at these two Disney value hotels. 

At both the Disney Cheyenne Hotel and Disney Santa Fe Hotel you can take advantage of these amenities: 

  • Free Wi-Fi. Important for checking the Disneyland Paris app for wait times and show schedules. 
  • Air-conditioning. France gets hot in the summer!
  • Flat-screen TV with an English-speaking Disney channel
  • Free hot drinks. The drinks machine on the ground floor of your hotel building will offer a selection of teas, coffees, hot water and hot chocolate. Use your Magic Card to access it and check with your hotel on how many drinks you are allocated (At the time of writing, I was given 4 drinks per guest, per night, but they may be limiting this in future). 
  • A small selection of hotel-themed toiletries including shampoo/body gel, hair conditioner and a bar of soap. Makes your Disneyland Paris packing list lighter!
  • Towels, a small bathmat for the floor and facecloths
  • A safe in every room. You can also ask to use the safe at reception. 
  • A post box is also available at reception.
  • Need somewhere to stash your suitcases? Take advantage of the luggage room. Store your luggage for free before your room is ready or after you have checked out. 
  • Magic Card. A plastic credit card-type room key will be given to you at check-in. 
  • Extra Magic Hour. You are allowed into one or both parks (depending on the season) 1 hour before non-hotel guests. Check with your hotel, but it is usually 8:30-9:30am. 

✔️ Pro tip: You can check in to Disney Santa Fe or Disney Cheyenne Hotel the night before your stay. Collect your Magic Card and use it to enter the parks – a great time saver for Extra Magic Hour! 

FAQ: Does Disney Hotel Santa Fe or Cheyenne have a pool? 

One thing that keeps the prices at Cheyenne and Santa Fe affordable is that neither hotel has a swimming pool. Obviously Disneyland Paris has all the entertainment you could ever want, so you might not have time to swim anyway.

But if this is a deal-breaker for you, I would suggest the Sequoia Lodge or Davy Crockett Ranch for their pools.

And if you really love pools, then take a look at Villages Nature (pictured below) with its beautiful outdoor pools and amazing indoor mini water park. 

Some of the crystal blue pools at Villages Nature Disneyland Paris, sunbathers enjoying the weather
No pools at Disney Santa Fe or Disney Cheyenne! If you want to swim, book a hotel like the nearby Villages Nature which boasts indoor and outdoor pools as well as flumes and a splash zone
The Crepes and Castles Disneyland Paris planner bundle includes packing lists, bucket list and 3 park itineraries. These planners will save you time and keep you organised so you can enjoy the magic!

Room decor

And how do they look? Let me compare the rooms at Disney Santa Fe Hotel with those at the Disney Cheyenne Hotel. 

Similarities of both hotels

Where the hotels are similar is in the level of their theming. Both are not over-the-top children’s themes but, instead, are fun nods to our favourite characters. Santa Fe is perhaps slightly more for younger children as it’s easier for an adult to see themselves in a country western setting than as part of a world where Cars have faces!

✔️ Good to know: The Cheyenne has been more recently refurbished than the Santa Fe. I didn’t notice a huge discrepancy between the two hotels when I visited in 2023, but Cheyenne does have a slightly newer feel due to the flooring. 

Bureau of drawers in Cars-themed Disney Santa Fe Hotel room holds a traffic cone light, traffic cone-shaped mirror and flat screen TV with Disney channel welcoming guests
Cars fans will definitely enjoy the amazing details in the rooms at Disney Santa Fe Hotel

Disney Santa Fe Hotel room decor

The Disney Santa Fe room décor is Cars themed, with terracotta walls and Santa Fe patterned carpets and wall accents. 

A quick Google search will show the room as having an orange Lightning McQueen print bed cover. But when I stayed in 2023, (for better or worse depending on your sense of interior design!) this was missing. The beds have a simple white duvet set.

10 fun and nostalgic touches for Cars fans at the Disney Santa Fe Hotel:

  1. On the door to your room is a Route 66 style badge showing either Sally, Lightning, Luigi or Mater (depending on your building) and your room number
  2. The wallpaper border has Lightning McQueen, Mater and a selection of American-style license plates
  3. Above the wooden bed frame are two light fixtures shaped as traffic cones
  4. Between the cones is a metal American-style license plate
  5. On the wall you might find a painting of our friend Mater sleeping under the stars
  6. On the dresser unit is a lamp in the shape of a traffic cone
  7. The bathroom mirror is encircled with a really fun light up arrow
  8. Some of the bathroom tiles are in the chequered flag-style pattern
  9. The shower curtain has a pattern of little chequered flags you’d find at Lightning’s races
  10. Complimentary toiletry bottles show Lightning McQueen at the Piston Cup

🏰 My take on the room at Santa Fe: I found the bed and pillows to be very comfortable, the room was clean and inviting, and I enjoyed the ample storage space in the closet. The bathroom is super fun with the light-up mirror. And it was nice to soak in the deep bath with my Cars-themed toiletries after a long day in the parks!

Disney Cheyenne Hotel room decor 

The Disney Cheyenne Hotel room décor is Woody and Jesse in the American Wild West themed. It has wood-like panelled walls and modern laminate floors. 

Cow print accessories in the rooms at Disney Hotel Cheyenne in Disneyland Paris
Cow print accessories and Woody light fixtures decorate the rooms at Disney Hotel Cheyenne

The beds at Cheyenne have a white duvet set and a cow-print throw, which lends character to its theme. We had a room with a trundle bed and that had a soft brown, suedette cover. Once removed, there was a white duvet set underneath.

10 theming details Toy Story fans at the Disney Cheyenne Hotel will love

  1. By the door to your room is Woody’s sheriff badge showing your room number
  2. There’s a horseshoe around the peep hole on the door
  3. The wallpaper border depicts Woody, Jesse and Bullseye posing with books, cowboy hats and the Pixar ball
  4. Cow-print throw reminiscent of the material used for Woody’s vest and Jesse’s chaps
  5. The lamp on the dresser is a cowboy boot (luckily no snake in it!). The lampshade has Woody printed on it and a cute, hand-stitched border
  6. The mirror is framed in a giant horseshow, and the medallion on it has Woody’s star
  7. The toiletries have Toy Story ‘Let’s Ride!’ and a picture of Jesse and Woody riding their galloping horse, Bullseye.
  8. The shower curtain has a cute horseshow print 
  9. A painting on the wall might depict the canyon where Toy Story 3 opens with Mr Potato robbing the train before Woody, Jesse and Bullseye come to the rescue
  10. The curtains are the same plaid as Woody’s cowboy shirt
Customers queuing to pay and the seating are in the Starbucks at Disney Santa Fe hotel
The Starbucks in Disney Santa Fe hotel

Coffee and Food choices at Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne

If you have not made up your mind about which is better, Disney Santa Fe or Disney Cheyenne Hotel, let me tempt you with the food and drink options. 

Starbucks

Both Santa Fe and Cheyenne have a Starbucks on-site. Perfect for that caffeine hit to get you to rope drop!

The Starbucks in each hotel offers leather stools and good customer service. I recommend ordering the meatless or regular croque-monsieur (melty cheese sandwich) when you need comfort food.

They often have Disney collector cups and mugs for purchase (which my credit card knows all too well!).

Restaurant and bar at Disney Santa Fe Hotel

The Disney Santa Fe Hotel has the La Cantina restaurant and the Rio Grande bar. 

La Cantina does a very nice hot and cold buffet breakfast from 7-11 am. At dinner, they serve a buffet of Tex-Mex American-style cuisine from 6-10:30pm. 

I enjoyed the wide variety of yoghurt, fruit, and pastries at breakfast. Dinner was wonderful, and I had to keep going back for more of the vegan chilli and plastic cheese! (If you know, you know. Tip: It comes in a pump in the kid’s section). They also had plenty of Instagram-worthy desserts. 

The Rio Grande bar offers drinks, cocktails, snacks like Mickey beignets and more. There is only indoor seating at the Rio Grande, whereas the Red Garter Saloon in Cheyenne has an outdoor area. 

Hotel guests at Santa Fe filling their plates with a buffet dinner
La Cantina has a dinner buffet at Disney Hotel Santa Fe

Restaurant and bar at Disney Cheyenne Hotel

The Disney Cheyenne Hotel has Chuck Wagon Café for meals and Red Garter Saloon for drinks and snacks. 

Chuck Wagon Café has a tasty hot and cold breakfast buffet 7-11am. At dinner, they offer a buffet with a mix of French and Texan cuisine. There is a large variety of meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options, as well as a wonderful array of desserts similar to Santa Fe. 

I loved the fresh pastries at breakfast, and my favourite bit at dinner was the freshly made savoury cheese omelette. 

The Red Garter Saloon has the same menu as the Cheyenne Hotel, and Mouse Steps did a full review of their experience here.

💰 Pro tip: The cocktails are a bit less expensive at Cheyenne and Santa Fe than at the other Disneyland Paris hotels!

Breakfast food selection on an old-fashioned hooded wagon at Chuck Wagon Cafe
Fun theming in the Chuck Wagon Cafe at Disney Cheyenne Hotel
Disney Cheyenne Hotel buffet breakfast. Includes selection of pastries and fresh bread.
Breakfast buffet available at Disney’s Cheyenne Hotel

Which is the BEST restaurant – Santa Fe’s La Cantina or Cheyenne’s Chuck Wagon? 

I honestly liked La Cantina and Santa Fe the same! The food was slightly different but overall, it is of similar quality. Both had a fajita/burrito station and a great selection of salads.

Santa Fe has the edge if you have small children – a dedicated section has a little TV and a place to colour and decompress separate from the adults enjoying the rest of their meal. 

The author, a blonde woman in pink mouse ears, is blowing a kiss to Pluto
Pluto accepts a kiss from me at the Disney Santa Fe Hotel character meet

Character encounters at Santa Fe vs Cheyenne

Something that I don’t think a lot of other bloggers talk about is meeting characters in Disney hotels. The exact characters sometimes change, so double-check with your hotel closer to the time if you have your heart set on one. But I can give you a rough idea for 2023. 

At Disney Santa Fe, you can meet Pluto or Minnie (they rotate nights) in front of a cute Route 66 Cars-themed postcard. This is currently 7:30pm to 10:30pm on the side of the hotel lobby. The wait was about a half hour, a lot quicker than in the park. 

At Disney Cheyenne, you can meet Woody or Jesse (they rotate mornings) from Toy Story. The background is a light-up scene of a cartoon western town. This is currently 8am to 11:30am at the main entrance opposite the General Store.

A selection of soft toys in a hotel gift shop including Stitch and Buzz Lightyear
Souvenirs and toys are hard to resist in the hotel gift shops

Are there Disney gift shops in Hotel Santa Fe or Hotel Cheyenne?

Who doesn’t love a hotel gift shop? Disney Santa Fe has The Trading Post and Disney Cheyenne Hotel has The General Store.

Both are well-stocked gift shops with a wonderful selection of Disneyland Paris merchandise. I always aim to get a new lanyard or collector pin while I’m there. 

✔️ Pro tip: If you go a bit mad in the souvenir shops in the parks, you don’t need to carry that giant bag around with you all day! Disneyland Paris offers a hands-free shopping service. You can leave your merchandise with the store, and they will aim to get it back to the gift shop at your Disney hotel after 8pm. 

Price of Disney Hotel Cheyenne vs Hotel Santa Fe – which is cheaper?  

Now that you know all the pros and cons of Disney Santa Fe vs Disney Cheyenne Hotel in 2023, you will want to know the difference in cost. 

As with any hotel, the rates can extremely vary depending on when you are visiting.

As a guide, the price of Disney Hotel Cheyenne and Santa Fe can range from around £116/night mid-week in February to £538/night on a weekend in May.

Santa Fe Hotel entrance lit up in neon at night, a poster of Lightning McQueen and Sally hangs above
Lit in neon, Santa Fe’s entrance from the parking lot

5 great tips for getting the best deal on a hotel at Disneyland Paris

  1. In general, the Disney Santa Fe tends to be slightly cheaper than the Disney Cheyenne Hotel. The Cheyenne was more recently refurbished. 
  2. The Santa Fe and the Cheyenne Hotel will usually be less expensive than the Disney Sequoia, but not always. Do your homework and compare prices before booking (use my handy Disneyland Paris budget planner for tracking quotes). 
  3. If you can be flexible on your dates, you could make considerable savings. Weekends and holidays will almost always cost you more. Other pricier dates are during Halloween half term, Easter half-term and Christmas holidays.
  4. Check Attraction Tickets for package hotel and ticket deals as they often give you free spending money or other perks 
  5. Try booking as far in advance as possible. Disney raises their prices periodically, so booking early means you can secure the lowest price available now. You can usually cancel or move your dates up to 7 days before.
  6. If you have an annual pass, you might find booking a Disney hotel on Booking.com to be the cheapest option. Use TopCashback for even better savings.
The outside of the B&B Hotel near Disneyland Paris
The B&B hotel is a short drive or shuttle to Disneyland Paris

How do Disney Santa Fe and Disney Cheyenne compare to other hotels near Disneyland Paris? 

If you’re comparing Disney Santa Fe and Disney Cheyenne to other popular hotels around Disneyland Paris, then I have a few thoughts on that, too. 

If you are looking at getting the absolute best deal on your hotel, then you would be wise to book offsite. 

Three of my favourite offsite hotels 

  1. Hotel B&B (pictured above). Has a free shuttle to the parks and breakfast is included. 
  2. The Grand Magic. Beautifully refurbished, and has bunk beds in the family room. Also offers a free shuttle and breakfast. 
  3. Residhome Val d’Europe. One stop on the train to Val d’Europe (2.20 Euros each way), and just outside the train station. It almost always offers the cheapest price. Plus they have a mini kitchen with a stove, microwave, kettle and mini dishwasher. Breakfast is available for around £9. 
Art deco style Disney Art of Marvel Hotel on a sunny day
The Disney Art of Marvel Hotel is fun to see even if you are not a guest. Book a table or visit the bar

3 tips if you are looking for a more luxurious Disney hotel 

Happy to stretch your Disneyland Paris budget a bit further?

  1. Consider the rustic Disney Sequoia Lodge. It is closer to Disney Village, saving you about 5 minutes of walking. Sequoia also has a pool. What it doesn’t have is all the charm of the Pixar theming that Santa Fe and Cheyenne have. 
  2. Disney Newport Bay Club is nautically themed and also has a pool. 
  3. If you really want to splash out, the newly refurbished Art of Marvel Hotel is truly stunning. The pool is not the best for kids, but there is a unique Marvel photo area only for hotel guests and is terrific for superhero fans! 

➡️ Quick jump to: Get ALL the Disney dining reservations you want – even when they’re sold out

So. Which one should you really choose? 

Both hotels completely charmed me when I stayed in 2023. At Santa Fe, I had a delightful character meet with Pluto and a delicious hot buffet dinner on a night it was lashing rain at Disneyland Paris. When I stayed at Cheyenne, I enjoyed a gorgeous (and much-needed) breakfast on the way to begin my park adventures with my sister. Also at Cheyenne, they do pony rides for children if you have an equestrian fan in your family! 

My point is: Your opinion of a Disney hotel will ultimately be decided by the memories that you make there. The Disney Santa Fe and Cheyenne Hotel are, in my opinion, wonderfully equal. When I book them in future, I will choose whichever has the better deal. Unless it is Christmas. And then, I can’t ever turn down the great big open fire at Sequoia Lodge!

Whichever hotel you choose, you will undoubtedly make memories for a lifetime!

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Top photo is the Disney Hotel Cheyenne exterior, a Western style pale blue building with silver star. Bottom photo is Hotel Santa Fe lit in neon at night, cars parked in front. Title reads, Which is the better Disney Hotel? Santa Fe vs Cheyenne

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