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“Pricey but exceptional location”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #34 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Pricey but exceptional location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

We have stayed at all the Disneyland Hotels but chose this one for our recent visit for my sons 10th birthday. We took one of his friends with us so I thought the proximity to the parks and the pools would justify the additional cost.
The other reason was that my son has always wanted to sleep in a bunk bed. I know they won't guarantee the room type, but I asked at booking and also called again the week of our trip, it was his birthday and Disney make dreams come true right? Wrong, we didn't get a room with bunk beds which left us with a room with two queen beds. This is a disapointment to me that the most expensive of the hotels can't guarantee room type and the rooms are very small. At least at Paradise Pier we would have had 2 queens and a sofa bed, so my son and his friend could have each had their own bed instead of having to share.

The weather was really hot during our stay and so we very much appreciated being able to come back during the day for a break in the pools. This was my next disappointment, the first day this worked perfectly, the second day we had about 2 hours until a Fast Pass time. The pool area was so busy and understaffed that it took us 20 minutes to order drinks and another 20 for them to arrive. In addition the tables were not getting cleared and there was food waste and used towels littering the pool area. I heard guests complaining and were told that the hotel had not anticipated the warm weather. That seems a lame excuse to me as they are just as capable of looking at the 10 day forecast as we did when we packed.

The rest of our stay was just fine.
Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice hotel in the best location, but for a 5 star hotel I don't expect to be disappointed and sadly this time I was.
Will I stay here again? Maybe or maybe we will go back to Paradise Pier, we will decide when our next trip comes around.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Beverley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,270 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,124)
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Clovis, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

Our first stay to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa was….well…..GRAND! As Annual Passholders, we often take our time getting to the theme parks when we visit Anaheim. The Grand Californian is located so near to the parks, that we felt no rush at all while we were there. Upon entering the lobby, we were greeted by the super-friendly staff and directed toward the check-in desk (the looks of which I would liken to a dimly lit, yet fanciful-looking bank) where we were promptly taken care of and given access to our room.
The room decor is not as whimsical as the Disneyland Hotel, and the Disney theming is more subdued (which I was told was the intentional design idea). It reminded me of an upscale mountain lodge. The rooms were immaculate. I always do a thorough check (under beds, mattresses, behind doors, windowsills, etc) and I could not have been more pleased with the level of detail that went into the cleaning of our room. During our entire stay we found that our room was well-stocked, cleaned, and exceeded our standards.
The pool areas are clean and there were plenty of life guards on duty while we were there. The grounds are spacious and we had no trouble finding a lovely place to sit in the shade while we sipped our Jamba Juice smoothies and watched the children play on the water slide. I especially liked that the bathrooms in the pool area are equipped with large showering facilities. They were also well-maintenanced.
After a dip in the pool, it was great to go back to the hotel lobby and relax by the fireplace. I don't always liken a Disney vacation to a relaxing retreat, but while staying here and knowing that everything we needed was only a short walk away, it was surprisingly relaxing and un-rushed.
We took advantage of the private entrance into Disney California Adventure during our stay. We were able to visit the parks for a few hours and then head to Downtown Disney for pizza (which we took back up to our room).
This is not a value resort, and you will pay more than your average Disneyland area hotel. With that said, as with anything "Disney" you are paying for the experience. This particular experience was definitely worth it. Time escaped us while we were on this trip. There were no deadlines, no laundry to do, or dinner to cook. Everything we needed was just outside our doorstep. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who craves a family escape where you will be totally and subliminally immersed in true Disney magic.

Room Tip: Take advantage of the hotel lobby and pool areas. You can clean up your little ones in the pool bath...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank happydisneyfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Celebration, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

This is a top notch resort with a lot to do for a four or five day trip. Lots of restaurants within walking distance including downtown disney and the two theme parks.

We flew into LAX and took the Disneyland Express shuttle service. The shuttle service which is run by Greyline and has nothing to do with the resort was disappointing despite good reviews. We waited at the proper place at the airport until the shuttle drove right by us without stopping at terminal 4. We called them and they informed us that the shuttle had filled up at terminal 2 and we would have to wait another hour before the next scheduled bus came through. There was no apology and no sympathy, the lady on the other end of the phone was very abrupt. Well we had pre-paid for the shuttle so we waited. An hour and a half later another shuttle came by and we were able to get on, but about 10 people at the next stop could not get on.

We also rented a Hertz rental car and they bent over backwards to help us. I had rented from the Marriott location near Disney but they had a power outage the morning of our rental so they picked me up at the hotel for free and upgraded us from a full size to a Cadillac and because of traffic I got it back a little later than planned and their driver had already clocked out, so they called me a taxi and gave me a credit on my rental that more than covered the Taxi fare back to the hotel. They really understand good customer service unlike the Disneyland shuttle people.

The only reason that I did not give the resort a perfect rating is that they had a planned disconnect of all water to the hotel from 11:00 pm to 5:30 am on one night of our stay. They told us at check in, but I have never experienced something like this before and it was inconvenient and a bit worrisome all that day as we knew we could not flush the toilets after 11:00 pm.

Room Tip: No bad rooms, everything is very convenient to all rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CelebrationCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014 via mobile

We choose to stay at this hotel over the others simply because of the proximity to the two parks and downtown disney. We choose concierge service because you get a simple breakfast (nothing too fancy) and various snacks and fingers foods that you can take with you to the park. Free bottles of water, soda, and juice boxes as we'll. for the adults they also have complimentary beer and wine. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left everybody was kind and courteous. This hotel is a bit on the pricey side, but the look on my kids face as he saw disneyland for the first time was very well worth it. I would definitely recommend this hotel over the other two and will be coming back to this one in the near future.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank F16wpnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marmora, New Jersey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

We checked in during the evening after our flight to a wonderful deluxe studio. Our room was facing California Adventure park. At floor 3 we were listed as regular view but could see much of the park. Very helpful and friendly staff! The pool could use a better slide but I am comparing it to their Florida resorts.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

We are a family of three and recently stayed at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel over the Easter Weekend. The advantage of staying at this hotel is obvious, Location. That be said here is some feedback.

1. Service: The service was excellent. Valet parking, bell staff, check-in, etc. were all excellent. My 13 year old even commented on the quality of service and how the staff made him feel.

I would like to specifically thank Ryan who was working the front desk/lobby area. Ryan spoke to us daily and greeted us with a genuine hello. We shared an interest in hockey, specifically the San Jose Sharks, and he made a point to discuss the previous days game, etc with us. He was outstanding and really went out of his way.

2. The rooms: We payed extra for the Downtown Disney view and were on the fourth floor. For those that like to relax on a balcony and listen to the sound around them, this is the was to go.

The rooms however are starting to look worn and dated. We have stayed at this property several times over the last 9 years and there have been few changes to the rooms/bedding. It is time for a change.

3. Food: The food at the property is a little pricey but convenient. White Water snacks has a good selection of choices and does a good job.

In summary, I would stay at this location again but do expect a little more in the form of quality furnishings, etc from a hotel of this price. It was the servie/people that really made this trip worth the cost.

Starbucks: They finally opened a Starbucks in Downtown Disney.....awesome spot to grab some coffee and relax prior to heading into the park.....

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PNL19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cypress
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2014

So, first I'll say a few things - I'm a premium annual passholder, I know a cast member and I'm extremely polite and thankful. These things made for a GREAT weekend getaway the Grand Californian, and I felt every penny I spent was worth it. Cast member hotel rates are wonderful, so we decided to book. Now anyone who's had the Disney experience know that the staff are (for the most part) very polite and helpful. The folks at the Grand Californian are a step above. You're greeted by name upon entrance to the property, which I loved. Check-in was smooth and efficient - no matter what hotel I'm staying in, or what kind of room I have, I ALWAYS politely ask if any upgrades are available. I've never not received one (either higher floor, better view, better room, suites on occasion, etc). This weekend stay was no different. We were given a room on the 5th floor, with a view that overlooked the pools - we could also see World of Color in the evening, for no extra charge (I always tip the front desk person $10-20 depending on what kind of upgrade I get - they appreciate it, and sometimes, will even check and see if anything better is available after you've upgraded).

So, the hotel - standard room is a standard room. Two doubles, bathroom, TV, DVD player, good sized mini fridge, bathrobes, safe, tub/shower combo, double sink, iron/ironing board, balcony (small, but so what), and good sized drawers for clothing storage. Let's face it - if you stay here, it's for the convenience, and believe me, it makes a HUGE difference.

The magic hour is worth staying at the resorts; One park is open an hour early each day (rotating schedule). Our first Magic hour was Disneyland; Fantasy Land and Tomorrow land are the only two open, but so what? I was able to ride Peter Pan, which I NEVER have because the lines are always ridiculous. We got 4 rides in in that hour; 12 total by the time we left Dland at 2pm! That's some kind of record. 5 more at DCA. GREAT day. Then access to the hotel through the DCA exit, where we took advantage of the pools and White Water Snacks eatery (great deal). As a premium pass holder, 15% discount on Food - awesome.

Plus: when staying at the resorts, each guest receives their own key card with their name printed on it - awesome for the little guys! And you can charge to the room in both parks and downtown Disney using the card. VERY convenient.

Overall, we had a GREAT stay - yeah, the room was a little dated, but it was clean and comfortable, with a great view. Knowing your room is 10 minutes away is a HUGE mental advantage while in the parks. You don't tire as easily, and if you do, hey, take a quick break!

The Grand Californian is beautiful as far as the lobby, shops, etc go. We did the character breakfast at Storyteller's cafe right at 7am. No reservation, and we were seated immediately. The food was excellent, and I was surprised to see smoked salmon and capers, and eggs benedict (both of which were very good). Kids loved the Mickey waffles and character greetings. Service was great. I felt like I got my money's worth (also, I'm from So Cal, so $28 for a buffet is not a shock to me - it's normal. $13 for kids is a great price too).

I would definitely stay again, because it made me feel like I was getting the Disney experience people talk about, v. driving from a few miles away, staying a few hours, and going back home.

If you're a passholder, a stay at the Disney properties totally upgrades the Disney experience.

I loved the Grand Californian. If the room had been a little more impressive, this would be a 5star review. The stay, however, 5 stars!

Room Tip: Even number rooms look into the property... ask for a high floor for a better view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wander7lust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Property: Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Address: 1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802-2317
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Anaheim
#3 Luxury Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#9 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#17 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1019
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This stunning hotel offers premium accommodations and rich dining experiences in American Craftsman style and elegance. With its world-class spa, an impressive array of amenities and impeccable Disney service, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa defines grandeur in every way. Located in the heart of Downtown Disney District, this hotel is just steps away from exceptional dining and entertainment. And with your park ticket, enjoy an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Californian Hotel
Grand California Hotel
Disney California Hotel
Disneys Grand Californian Hotel
Disney Grand California Hotel
Disney Grand Californian Hotel
Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel
Disneys Anaheim
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Anaheim, California

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