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“Disney design at it's best” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802   |  
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Ranked #17 of 111 hotels in Anaheim
London, England, UK
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
“Disney design at it's best”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

I just love this hotel!

I must caveat though....I grade all Disney experiences on a different scale from my other hotel trips. Disney is Disney...you can't try and compare staying here to staying at a Four Seasons. It has it's own criteria measured against other Disney properties.

That said....

The amazing over the top ridiculousness of California crafstman style on steroids always makes me smile when I walk into the lobby. Every little detail is designed to reinforce the overall effect, and I love it. Even the mini craftsman style rockers for toddlers! My 11 month old daugher loved it....

Rooms: normal nice hotel room in keeping with the overall theme...we had adjoining rooms so we could watch TV at night without waking up baby, and so grandma could come down for a few nights to join

Food: good standard hotel quality, and Napa Rose was high quality gourmet food.

Prices: exorbinant, but on par with Disney...what can I say, if you go to Disney then be prepared to spend!

Service: efficient and quick and friendly...Disney is always a well oiled machine

Babysitting service: really really excellent babysitters booked via a local company that Disney works with....some of the best babysitters I have ever had via hotels

Pool: only bad bit here....just far far too small for the capacity of the hotel. We wandered around for AGES before we could even find two normal chairs to sit in

Park Location: Grand Californian is a great location for Disneyland. You can walk through Downtown Disney to get to Disneyland entrance very quickly, or you can take a back private entrance directly into California Adventure.


Tips: if you are staying at a Disneyland hotel you should ask Dining services to book you restaurant reservations before you arrive. Especially if you want to have lunch or dinner at Blue Bayou in New Orleans square (and if you don't....why not!?)

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (600)
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Gilbert, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

It is hard to beat the location, with a private entrance into Disney's California Adventure (although guests of any of the Disney hotels are able to enter through this private entrance, it is built into the Grand Californian Hotel, so it is closer for guests of the Grand Californian). But aside from the location, the style and quality of the Grand Californian are terrific as well. With just enough of a Disney touch, but not too much, the hotel features very nice arts and crafts style architecture.

Room Tip: The suites are great, although pricey.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

We stayed at the Disneyland Californian at the beginning of February. Although we live in LA, we were bringing our 19 month old to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure on a two-day pass and wanted a place to relax, take naps and regroup while there.

The hotel is beautiful. The lobby, as other reviewers have pointed out, is quite magnificent. There were a lot of nice touches, like the fireplace, piano player in the evenings, the kid-size rocking chairs, etc.

The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. The person who checked us in helped us get into a room close to the California Adventure entrance and also celebrated our daughter's first visit to the parks by presenting her with balloons and a signed picture of the princesses. She generally seemed excited for us and that was such a nice start to the weekend.

I'd read some of the reviews about the room and wasn't expecting anything too nice, but I was pleasantly surprised. The room was actually very nice - think on level on a nice Omni. The beds were comfortable. We're ordered room service twice while there and although it was nothing spectacular, it was perfectly fine and delivered by a friendly staff member. There was a framed picture of Snow White on the wall and the shower curtain had a subtle Bambi design. Very pretty.

We did the character dining, and that was just OK. Maybe it would have been better if our daughter was a bit older.

The entrance to California Adventure was just awesome! You can't go wrong being so close and being able to access your hotel from the park. Especially with a toddler.

One thing that seemed a bit odd was that self parking was quite a hike away and one of the parking attendents told us there wasn't an elevator? Perhaps they were wrong, but we had to lug our stroller, bags and child up three flights of stairs. We tried the pool in the late afternoon but despite somewhat cool temps, it was pretty crowded. I can't imagine how packed it gets in the summer. But I deducted one star b/c it was so pricey. We stayed on Super Bowl weekend, so the cost was a bit less but would have been out of budget otherwise.

We would definitely stay here again! We were very happy with the experience.

Room Tip: Ask the person checking you in for a room near the entrance to California Adventure. That will also...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Eaton, Colorado
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

We love the Disney Grand Californian Hotel. It's is great to have quick access to California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Ask for a room that overlooks Downtown Disney or one that allows you to view the fireworks from your balcony. Schedule your vacation time when kids are in school to get the best price.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

I have always wanted to stay at the Grand Californian, but I could never justify the price. I then discovered that I could get a pretty good mid-week rate from February 14-17. Our room had two queens and was large enough for two adults and two teenage children. The beds were very comfortable as were the pillows. I could not hear any noises from the hallway or lobby which was pretty amazing considering the hotel is filled with many children of all ages.

I liked the double sinks being outside of the toilet/tub/shower area. There was a lot of storage room in the vanity and in the room itself.

The hotel location is very convenient to both parks and Downtown Disney. I found the Hearthstone Lounge right off the lobby to be a great place to get good espresso drinks or cocktails/wine. I did not dine at any of the restaurants. I found that the Haagen Dazs ice cream shop right near the hotel in Downtown Disney served Peet's coffee, a great plus. Also, I agree with a previous reviewer that the beignets at The Jazz Kitchen are to die for.

The hotel was clean. The staff was very friendly and helpful from the moment we drove up. We were able to check into our room at 9:30 AM which was a nice plus. The decor is reminiscent of a ski lodge and takes you away from the world of LA.

I would highly recommend to anyone who would like to splurge. I have stayed at other cheaper local places which were fine, but this is a special treat.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

I always wanted to stay at The Grand Californian Hotel in Disneyland. Finally one time my family, along with 10 other families, decided to stay here for our annual Halloween weekend vacation. My expectations were very high. In some areas they exceeded my expectations, but in others they greatly lacked.
There are a lot of pros to staying here. If you are a guest at the hotel, you can enter the park two hours before everyone else. Also, when you enter the park, you don’t have to wait at the entrance with the general public. You have your own entrance straight into the park. The entrance is conveniently located by the Grizzly Bear Rapids ride which you are guaranteed to get soaked on. No one wants to walk around in soggy clothes all day. But if you are a guest at the hotel you can walk right into your hotel, change in your room, and head back out to the park. When it comes to the fireworks at nighttime, one is usually exhausted and doesn’t want to stand in a huge crowd with a bunch of other strangers straining to get a good view. All the rooms at the Grand Californian have balconies so you can watch the fireworks show from the privacy of your own room without having to fight your way through the crowds. If you are willing to pay the steep prices, you can dine at the restaurants or go to the spa. The hotel is a Disney hotel so you get a true Disney experience. Everything, I mean everything is Disney themed. They even leave Mickey chocolate coins on your pillow everyday. The lobby is grand, with huge ceilings and large fireplaces. The feel is very warm and cozy. Staying here relieves a lot of hassle and is very convenient.
However, there are a lot of negatives to staying here as well. First is the price, a normal room at the hotel can range anywhere from $500-$900 a night, depending on the time of year. For that price you would expect a castle, but you get a log cabin. The Grand Californian is a huge hotel but it is decorated with a rustic feel. The walls are all wood logs and the rooms could be straight out of a cabin in the woods. It’s quite short of the luxury we were expecting. As I mentioned before, the hotel is gigantic and it may take some time to walk to your room once you are in the building. There are multiple sections and if you book your rooms with other families, there is no guarantee that you will be even remotely close to them. My family and one other family were in the same “tower” but the other eight families were scattered throughout the hotel and it took us about 15 minutes to reach some of them. All the towers look the same, so when you are coming back late at night, it is very easy to get lost and find yourself in the completely wrong section of the hotel.
If you are willing to pay a lot of money for convenience, then this is the hotel for you. If you are going to be at the park all day anyway then you probably don’t care about the lack of luxury, but if you want to spend a lot of time in your room, then be prepared to sit in just another ordinary hotel room.

Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

A beautiful retreat, even though you will share it with hundreds of people. Upon our arrival we were made to feel welcome, wished a happy birthday, and off we went through the doors and into California Adventure Land! If you choose to invest in a stay at this wonderful hotel, you will not be sorry. Just know before you go that it is expensive, and get over the cost, because it is well worth it. What do you expect for something as gorgeous and fabulously built as Disney's Grand Californian Hotel? A beautiful piece of architectural history re-enacted, you can spend hours here enjoying the glory of the old days when hotels were built with grace, beauty, and character. Go ahead, splurge!

Room Tip: Someplace awawy form the comings and goings of the other guests. A room not too close to the stairs...
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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

Address: 1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#16 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#17 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel 4.5*
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

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