As kids, our family would drive to Disney early in the morning, spend for parking, navigate through the parking building/lot (don't forget where you parked!) then walk what felt like miles to our short legs, just to get to the shuttles for a quick ride, then line up with hordes of other kids at the gate till we were FINALLY inside the happiest place on earth.
What a difference from our last Disney experience in the Grand Californian Hotel!
Here, we woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, lounged around till the park opened, strolled through the hotel grounds and entered the park through our own private little entrance. After lunch, we even went back to the hotel for a short nap, before heading back out, well-rested for a second round of fun. Needless to say, going home after an exhausting day was easy-breezy: no tram ride, far walks or car-searching hassles.
Downtown Disney is right outside and there are plenty of restaurants with a 5-minute drive for other dining options. If you've forgotten to bring anything (sunscreen, towels, etc.), there are several Walmart-type stores in the area as well.
The hotel itself was understated, nothing too flashy or overly park-themed. It was comfortable and clean, but it also wasn't exceptionally out of the ordinary considering how much they charge per night. However, service was great and all the staff members we encountered were friendly and helpful. Wi-fi speed varied, but was choppy most of the time.
The pool with the slide has a very strong current, so make sure your kids are confident swimmers if they want to try it. The lifeguard on duty said that he'd had to dive in on several occasions due to kids panicking once they reach the bottom of the slide. My 6 and 8 year old were fine though and got a kick out of swimming with and against the current. The other 2 pools were nice and relaxing. Afternoons and evenings get very crowded.
I would definitely come back if I was going to the Disney parks simply because the convenience can't be beat. However, if you are in the area mostly for other theme parks and sightseeing, you can find better options for the price.
- 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