I stayed for 5 nights at the Grand Californian at the end of May, and had a wonderful time. It was my first time staying onsite at Disneyland, as it was the first time I had been there in 17 years, I have been going to Disney World practically every year for years, and had been wanting to go back to Disneyland, so the right time came up, and I decided to go all out and stay at the Grand Californian.
We (there were two of us) were greeted with "Welcome Home" by the friendly cast member upon arrival, and were checked in and in our room on the 5th floor within 10 mins. It was a two bed room, with a sitting area, TV, separate sinks outside the bathroom (two sinks) and a balcony. The view wasn't a theme park one, but rather one of the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel, but that was fine with us.
The room was clean, and good sized. The only complaints I have were the door to the cabinet containing the refrigerator didn't shut all the way, I tried to move the refrigerator back, and it just wouldn't work, it wouldn't shut by about an inch anyway you tried. It's just a refrigerator, BTW, and not a mini bar, as we used it to keep stuff in. Also, the water pressure in the shower was horrible. No matter where you had it, it would go from very hot, to cold, back to hot again. The bathroom is also very small, and at first when you turn the light on in it, it's not very bright at all and becomes brighter the longer the light is on. The first time I went in it, I thought, this lighting is horrible, then I saw how it worked. The internet, both wired or wireless, they say when you connect is "free" but really, it isn't, technically, as part of the room price is a daily resort fee that includes the internet use. The connection was always good and was never lost. A couple nights we came back to find chocolates left for us by the maid.
The hotel's location can't be beat. There's the private entrance to California Adventure, and there's an entrance right into Downtown Disney also, which if you walk through, you can get to the Disneyland main gate in 5 minutes. We had a wonderful time at both parks, we had their deal of 5 for 3 days, so we had more than enough time to see everything we wanted in both parks and at Downtown Disney. We didn't have a car, but spent part of one day taking a guided tour of Hollywood, through Grey Line. A bus picks you up right at the hotel, takes you to a central location where everyone gets their bus tickets to whatever tour their taking (Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Hollywood etc...) and then after the tour, the bus dropped us right back at the hotel. It was a 10 hr tour, but worth the price to see a lot of interesting sights. We took the tour on a Saturday, and still had time to go to Disneyland that night as they were open to Midnight. I highly recommend the tour, Luis was a very friendly and informative guide!
We ate in the hotel at their quick service place, Whitewater Snacks, which was good, but expensive (as most of the on property restaurants at Disneyland are) and one night we had dinner at Storyteller's Cafe, the buffet was very good, but also expensive. They recommend you have Priority Seating reservations ahead of time, but we went in, asked if anything was available for two, they offered us a table right then, but we passed and took one a couple hours later, they had plenty of openings. We also ate off-site a few times, at some places on Harbor Blvd, which was a short walk from the hotel. You just walk as if you're going to Disneyland, but continue walking straight, past all the various shuttle stops, and you reach Harbor Blvd. We ate at Captain Kidd's buffet (not too great), IHOP (standard IHOP), and Mimi's, which I've seen often recommended. It was a very good place.
The hotel itself is beautiful, it reminded me of the Wilderness Lodge at Disney World, where I stayed 3 years ago. The high ceilings in the lobby and the overall style was just like that, very beautiful and detailed. The lobby was nice to just sit in, there's a piano player, and comfortable chairs, and a little area for kids where they can sit and watch Disney cartoons.
I can't comment on some of the other hotel amenities, like the pools, business center, or fitness center/spa, as we didn't use any of them. I did notice the business center closed early, though. The gift shop's posted closing time is 8:00, but every night they were open later than that. I noticed the shop in the Disneyland Hotel was the same way.
Overall, it's a beautiful, spacious hotel, and I will gladly stay there again when I return to Disneyland, whenever that may be. I did take a walk over to the Disneyland Hotel one night, and that was also very nice.
I would definitely recommend the Grand Californian to anyone!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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