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“Fantastic hotel that enhances the Disney experience” 5 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 #18 of 112 hotels in Anaheim
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Fantastic hotel that enhances the Disney experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

Yes, there's no doubt that it's an expensive hotel. And if you are expecting a Four Seasons/St Regis experience, you will be disappointed. But if you are a big fan of the "Happiest Place on Earth," you should definitely consider staying here at least once. The lodge-like feel actually sets a great ambiance. The rooms are nothing to rave about per se, but they are well-kept and nobody does customer service better than the Walt Disney Company.

The one obvious advantage though it the convenience of its location. It's so close that the hotel backdrop actually makes it look like it's part of the California Adventure Park. Plus the private entrance to the California Adventure Park actually feels pretty cool and now with the new Cars Land, it gives you the ideal path to Disney's hottest attraction. Being that it's so close to both parks, it cuts down on the time you spend commuting to and from the park, giving you the option to go back to your room to recharge your batteries for the nightcap.

There's a pool, spa, and great dining options in the hotel in case you are tired of all the chaos at the parks. You are also next to downtown Disney as well as within walking distance to the other Disney hotels as well.

For all Disney fans, this is definitely a hotel you should stay at least once. I recommended it to friends and family members and they were all grateful that I introduced this option to them. Disney did a fantastic job with this hotel and found a way to integrate their lodging options into the overall Disney Magical Experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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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 (617)
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Dallas, TX
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

I am a harsh judge of hotels because they are, to me, a major part of any trip. While this hotel is expensive vs. luxury hotels such as the Fairmonst, Kimptons and the like, it offers a lot of value. We particularly prized staying on the 6th floor and having the concierge food all day long. The fruit and vegetables were especially plentiful, and service was lovely.

The obvious "best" quality - location - is more of a necessity for a great Disney vacation than a mere convenience. It allows a family to go in and out of both the Disneyland and California Adventure parks quickly and easily, all day and evening long. It's especially helpful to be able to take a "break" in the later afternoon (before dinner and the CA water show and Disney fireworks.

The downside (aside from cost) is the one common to any Disney-area property. The rooms get heavily used (trashed?) by families so that even the best housekeeping staff is pressed. The good news, though, is that the housekeeping staff is always on the floor, instantly responsive and very nice. I recommend leaving excellent daily tips because a whole team works on the room all day long.

We'll probably go to Disney next year; and we will stay at this hotel again. Of all options, it's the best.

Tip: There is a laundromat on the 2nd floor, a fact which is not "played up." I saw a little sign on an out-of-the-way elevator. This is a great feature for families who want to pack light!

Room Tip: Rooms on the concierge (6th) floor provide the best value. Ours was overlooking the pool and was fin...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Our third stay at the Grand Californian. Our first at the concierge level 6th floor room. All of the negatives spoken about by other guests are true -- the craftsman look just looks dingy here as opposed to the ahwanee in yosemite for e.g. where it looks warm and is the real deal. But there is nothing as nice as this location if you are doing a few days in the park with young kids. We have a 11 year old and two 3 yr olds. Being in the park makes it simple for one of us to come back to the room for a nap with the twins after a long morning. And nothing could be simpler than walking out the door and straight into the California Adventures Park or a couple minutes through bustling disney downtown to catch the monorail into Disneyland. I like that they have a little dorm fridge in the room -- great to store healthier snack options for the kids to take along vs. the unhealthy and pricey options available at the park. OK -- we do love those Churros :-) You lose an hour parking and shuttling to the entrance even if you stay at one of the nice hotels across the street from Disneyland that have more spacious rooms, kitchenettes etc. Made it pleasant to do Disneyland from 8 am to midnight which is when my 11 yr old consents to exit the park, without having screaming totally lost it toddlers on your hands for much of the day.

About the concierge level rooms -- was totally worth it too! With our large extended family, having food incl a continental breakfast and sandwiches, appetizers and drinks in the club room all day (till 10 pm anyway) was a really nice touch. Was great to get fantastic espresso's and regular coffee and tea on demand anytime. Plus bottled water and sodas to go. They had story time and singing time alternating nights at 8:30 for the little ones which they really liked, and let them destress from the park. The hotel has a list of recommended babysitters which we used, and we got a nice lady who minded the twins while the rest of us watched world of color one night and fantasmic on another. Definitely make it a point to watch world of color -- while a lot of the park feels dated, this show outdoes itself in wowing us adults and making us think we might be in a Vegas dream after all, and not in endless lines. A dining reservation nets you fab viewing spots.

They have a great pool with slides for both big and little kids. This is much more convenient than any of the other Park hotels, hence the premium in price. Up to you to decide whether its worth it, but for us, definitely with young kids and older grandparents, the proximity was totally worth it and mitigates the overpriced concessions and commercialism of the park experience.

Room Tip: A view room on the club level just got us a nice view of the Mickey Ferris wheel which was very colo...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

I don't typically play close attention to hotel properties close to home, but I was lucky enough to attend the recent CarsLand opener.

If you don't valet, parking is across the street from the hotel. If you don't have a room key at the time you park, it's a bit confusing because the nearest lot to the hotel has card key access.

Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by someone with an iPad that verified our stay and directed us to the person that could process our check-in.

I like the fact that the rooms have thick walls and are well insulated. During our entire time, I didn't hear a peep from the people in adjoining rooms. Beds were very comfy. Everything worked as expected.

While we didn't dine at any restaurants on this property, we did dine at Napa Rose about a year ago. The experience and the food was very memorable. In fact, it warrants to be one of those "special occasion" events.

We had a cool Cuisinart dual cup coffee maker. Nice that we could make two cups of coffee at the same time. Our room also had a compact refrigerator.

I also used the direct access to California Adventure, which was a nice perk for staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cupertino, CA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2012

We just returned from a 3 night Disneyland trip to kick of my son's summer vacation. I wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel (less expensive than Grand) but it was not available. Knowing myself and my desire to stay on the property - I chose the Grand. It is a very impressive property with the expected Disney magic and service. Our room was a "woods view" (least expensive category) and it was perfectly adequate - especially considering that we were only in our room to sleep or get ready to go to the parks. After I made the reservation Disney notified me that we would be there during the Carsland grand opening - which I did not plan. Disney communicated park closures and expected crowds/wait times very well to us as hotel guests, which I appreciated. We have some specific pros and cons:
Pros:
Greeted with friendly service and a balloon for my son.
Critter Breakfast as Storyteller's Cafe - my 8 year old son loved the animals.
Room nicely decorated (2 queens) and had ample storage/closet space.
Beds were comfortable & nightly turn down was nice; rooms were cleaned early in day.
Private entrance to Calif. Adv. Park & close entry to Downtown Disney - saved a lot of walking at the end of long days in the parks.
Cons:
Price is the biggest barrier to wanting to stay here again. I will try the Disneyland Hotel next time.
Very low water pressure in shower.
Florescent bulb in the bathroom - takes forever to brighten up, giving the place a dark and dingy feeling.
Considering the price of the rooms, they should be a little freer with the water pressure and use higher quality energy saving bulbs.

Room Tip: No need for an expensive view. Save a few dollars with the woods view.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morecambe, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

After many visits to Disney we finally decided to splash out and stay 4 nights at this hotel. We read the reviews about how expensive it was but decided that it's location would be worth the expense. How wrong we were. Yes-you have your own private entrance to one of the parks but we still had to queue over half an hour in the morning to get in with the other guests. We paid extra for a room with a park view which turned out to be the back entrance to the park. The room was small, dark and dingy with a tiny bathroom. In fact the whole hotel was dark and dingy. Don't mind paying extortionate prices for good food but buffet dinner was the worst I've ever had. Good points - nice pool, beautiful lobby and bar and arcade to amuse the children but we'll NEVER stay there again.

Room Tip: DO NOT pay extra money for a park view. You may strike lucky but in our case we got a view of the ba...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

This is our second time to stay at the GC. We have stayed at all three Disney hotels. We received a discount through the Walt Disney Travel Co. and that's why we elected to stay here again as the price is very high. The benefits of booking through WDW. We received a coupon book with reserved seats for some of the show and a free pin/lanyard. The benefits I wish they would add would be a fastpass to World of Color and/or other fast passes. Inside the hotel, you find other people like you who have traveled from a distance to enjoy the Disney experience. We came from Texas and usually travel to Florida but come to CA every few years. I believe Disney should reward hotel guests more with extras such as fast passes or special passes for characters, as the days we were there it was 1) grad night and 2) annual pass holders did not have black out dates and the parks were full of locals and very crowded. If you stay at a Disney hotel you also get extra magic hours and into DCA earlier than regular park guests which allowed us to get the fast passes for World of Color and ride some popular attractions first. You also have your own private entrance to DCA which comes out by the Grizzly River Ride so you can get the World of Color. We were in the first show and the section they gave us was excellent. By why not give these fast passes to guests as they check in to the hotel as an added bonus?

As for the hotel, I agree that for the price you pay you should not pay to park. That's crazy. We did valet for the convenience and it was only $7 difference than self-park. Our room was clean, comfortable and quiet. The hotel lobby is beautiful but truthfully you mainly walk through it than spend alot of time here.

We arrived at 1 p.m. and they had a room and allowed us to check-in which was great. Check-in took only 5-10 minutes.

We ate several times at the Storyteller Cafe for lunch and dinner as it was very good food, great menu, at a pretty reasonable price. The buffet one night was excellent but the desserts needed work.

We did not have time to swim but the pool looked inviting.

The snack bar was also good for a quick breakfast but the tables and service area needed better cleaning.

I hope Disney continues to take a look at their pricing structure and reward those of us who are frequent customers, book through WDW travel co. and use a Disney VISA.

###

Room Tip: We never pay extra for a "view" as you are not much in your room on a trip to Disney excep...
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
#10 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#16 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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