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“Not worth the money.” 2 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 #13 of 111 hotels in Anaheim
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not worth the money.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012 via mobile

Got up earlier than folks I was staying with. Didn't want to disturb everyone sleeping. Went to the lobby for coffee, well you have to buy it. Even motel 6 has free coffee in the lobby. The tv the kids watch in the main lobby is a whopping 32 inches. Restaurants are not good and expensive. Wish we would have stayed down the street at a motel. Could have had better food and free coffee in the morning. Disney in general is a giant rip off. Havnt been here for some 20 plus years and boy did it lose its splendor. Very sad.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 (531)
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Bella Vista, Arkansas
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
165 hotel reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Absolutely spectacular in almost every way? I could not rate this property higher. We stayed at the Grand Californian Villas in a studio room using rented points from a Disney Vacation Club member. This wing of the hotel seemed much quieter than the main hotel areas with a lot fewer people around.

"Welcome Home!" the front desk cast member said, smiling as we checked in. (That's a nice greeting for DVC members... wish I was one!)

At 8am we were checked in at Grand Californian and given our room keys to use for early entry at California Adventure. The front desk staff told us that they would text my cell phone when the room was ready, we left our bags with the bell staff and reminded them that we had ordered groceries from Von's (free delivery!) - Since we don't drink, they could sign for it on our behalf. They told us to just call when we got to our hotel room and they would bring everything up.

California Adventure has a private entrance from the GCR, but there is only one turnstile there, so advise walking to the main entrance if you are lining up for park opening. The private entrance gets extremely crowded.

We got a text around 3pm that our room was ready. We went back, called the bell desk, and within 5 minutes all of our luggage and groceries were delivered. Our room, 5504 had a spectacular view of California Adventure (Paradise Pier area) and we could easily watch World of Color from our balcony (and did, three times!)

The studio villa was like an ordinary hotel room, but slightly larger. Ours had a king bed, a fold out couch, and a balcony. Bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was split with the sink in the hallway, but recessed so the light from the sink didn't quite make it around the corner to the bedroom where it could wake up the little guy. The toilet and shower were obviously separate, a pocket door installed to make everything more spacious. There was a large closet, with two bathrobes, vacuum cleaner and plenty if linens. The kitchenette had a dorm-sized fridge, microwave, toaster, and plenty if paper plates, napkins, paper bowls, and plastic cutlery. The studio was not equipped with washer and dryer, but there was one in the first floor that was free for villa guests.

I guess if I had one complaint, it was that the WiFi didn't quite reach our suite so it was flaky. Also, you needed to move the bedside table to gain access to a power outlet and only one side of the bed had a bedside table.

Overall the ease and convenience of this property, the early-magic hours (which make seeing Radiator Springs a possibility), and the elegance and "Disney Magic" that exists everywhere makes this property worth the money and then some. Hopefully we will be back!

Room Tip: Room 5504 (Studio Villa) overlooks Paradise Pier and you can easily watch World of Color from your b...
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  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Niguel, California
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
265 helpful votes 265 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

After a wonderful day at Disneyland Park with four friends, they went home, and I walked around Downtown Disney and then went to dinner at Napa Rose for dinner.

Prior to being seated, I stopped at the concierge desk, and asked the young lady working there if I could get an escort back to my vehicle after dinner.
I was a woman alone, parked at the end of a 1/4 mile long parking garage, and it was night. I explained that I would feel safer if I was walked to my vehicle by security.

Alphonso (?) from security asked to speak with me, and despite the concierge explaining it to him, wanted to know why I asked for someone to walk me to my car. I explained again - night-time, alone, at the end of a very long parking lot, i would feel safer.

He dodged my request, and told me there were cameras everywhere, and that the parking lot was filled with people.

Cameras are NOT proactive, they are reactive. They cannot stop something bad from happening, they can only record what has taken place after the fact.

I was not happy, but it was clear he wasn't going to help me. he didn't want to bother. Having me watched on the cameras did nothing to make me feel safe.

I took the tram and entered the parking lot. Only ONE car and ONE person passed me on that quarter mile walk to my vehicle in that echoing, empty and enormous garage. It was not 'filled with people" as Alphonso (?) claimed.

Yes, I got to my car safely, no thanks to him. I was very disappointed in the lack of service from security. It would have taken someone maybe ten minutes total to make sure I was walked to my car from the hotel lobby at night.

This is not my idea of customer service from security, nor should it be. Protecting a guest at night should be a given. I am a paying customer of the park, and wanting to feel safe when alone at night on their premises is a reasonable request.

I can imagine the negative publicity that would have occurred had something bad happened, and the fact that I'd called and asked for help and been blown off came to light.

My entire visit to Disneyland, the Hotel and Napa Rose all had great customer service with the notable exception of security. Laziness and apathy isn't impressive, and is unprofessional to boot.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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.
La Quinta, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

We liked the "Yosemite lodge-like atmosphere of the craftsmen style hotel, but it's interior was "tired" and in need of renovation; the rooms, at the prevailing price, were small, dark, and claustrophobic. The staff was very friendly and service oriented and the hotel is efficiently run. We had two rooms on the 4th floor near the elevators with a good view of the pool, but the hotel is huge, so expect to walk a lot if you get a room in the wings. The food venues, a cafeteria and an upscale dinning room were not good values - high prices with very medium food quality. Maybe we expected too much for over $300/nite.

Room Tip: 4th floor is nice, but ask to be near the lobby atrium and the elevators
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We just got back from our family trip to Disneyland and stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel for the first time. The hotel is pricey, but worth the splurge. Probably won't stay here for a while since it is expensive, but would highly recommend this place if you want to go all out. First off there are 5 members in my family that include a 2 year old and 7 month old twins. The rooms were spacious, we had two queen beds and a sofa/day bed Each room has a graco pack n play which came in handy for my two infants, I used ours and borrowed my parents which were staying in the room next to us with connecting rooms. With the two pack n plays set up the room was still spacious. Loved the extra hour in the morning in the them parks, we were able to do a lot in fantasyland before it was open to public. There is a lot to do for kids in the hotel, they have a little movie section with toddler size chairs, my daughter loved it. Downtown Disney was a few steps away which came in handy. My one and only complaint about the hotel was the ramps, there was a small ramp heading to downtown and Disneyland,the ramp was made for one way traffic. There were a lot of strollers and wheelchairs trying to go both ways and there were lines just to use the ramp. They should have thought about how many strollers and wheelchairs would be going in and out daily. Other than the ramps everything was amazing!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherman Oaks, CA
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We've been to Disneyland many times and stayed at more reasonably priced nearby hotels. We've enjoyed Napa Rose previously and were impressed with the hotel’s décor. We decided to treat ourselves for Thanksgiving weekend for Disney’s Grand’s great location. The stay was very enjoyable. We had a view of the fireworks. The staff were all very courteous…. except the valet attendant upon departure.
No offer to help with the one piece of luggage we had while we were dealing with a sleeping child in the stroller even after I handed him the valet ticket with a tip. And maybe he didn’t notice my husband limping with a swollen ankle. This prompted me to write my first review.

  • Stayed November 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We stayed at the Grand for five nights the week of Thanksgiving. This was our second stay at the hotel and once again we had a great time (my husband, and our two daughters, four years old and seven months old)! I am very picky about hotels and I do not see how some people have given this hotel poor reviews, must be some negative people.
Arrived right around 11:30am on Sunday. We were greeted by a very friendly valet attendant. We chose to do self parking. Walked into the lobby and walked right up to the counter to check in, no line. We were hoping a room would be ready and to our surprise one was! We had a standard room, two queen beds, on the fourth floor. We were not facing either park, but at night could look off to the right and had a perfect view of the fireworks.
We only went into the parks for three days which meant we had one and a half days to enjoy the hotel. My husband and four year old daughter swam, went on the waterslide, and sat in the hot tub while my baby and I relaxed on the lounge chairs, very peaceful. There were many people enjoying the pools but it was not over crowded at all. I thought I had read that no life jackets were allowed on the big waterslide but the lifeguards let my four year old go down (she loved it). Life jackets are provided at the pool for children. We even saw a stack of swim diapers for those who may have needed them. Plenty of towels were available. One of the days a waitress came around and my husband and I ordered some drinks but I did not see a waitress any of the other days (we brought our own drinks down anyways because the hotels drinks are pricey). I assume the wait staff comes around more frequently during warmer weather.
Our room was very clean and I did not see any wear and tear as others have mentioned. Linens were clean and beds were comfortable. Small refrigerator was in room. A pack and play was in the closet. I called and requested a high chair for our room and one was quickly brought up to us from The Storytellers Cafe (we kept this in our room the entire stay). There was a nice spot off to the side when you entered the room that was a perfect "parking place" for our stroller. Not sure if this was what it was designed for, but our Joovy Caboose stroller fit perfectly in the spot. My only complaint about the room is that I wish the tv had DisneyJunior. Not sure why it doesn't? In the afternoon there weren't any age appropriate shows for my four year old. There is a bedtime story channel, but the shows were kind of odd and not very entertaining.
I ordered two Mickey Mouse rice krispy treats and milk (off the Disney amenities list) and had it delivered to our room from "Mickey and Minnie." Our four year old was really excited about this surprise delivery.
Staying at the hotel allowed us to enter the park at 7am every morning (Tuesday and Thursday = Disneyland, Wednesday = California Adventure). We entered CA through the hotel's entrance. Got there at 6:30 and the line was not too bad yet, but it did get pretty long and hotel employees started encouraging people to go to the main entrance of the park instead (because there are more checkers and turnstiles there). The morning that CA opened early the White Water Snacks was opened (convenient for getting a quick bite while waiting in line) but my husband found that the mornings Disneyland opens early the snack bar does not.
Piece of advice, if you get into the park right at 7 just head straight for Radiator Springs. Wait was about 40 minutes and you could probably get on quicker if you do the single rider line. A lot of people were waiting in the fast pass line which I do not understand?? Why wait in one line just to then wait in another line?? By 8:00 the wait time for the ride was 170 minutes!! The nice thing about Cars Land being open is that the rest of the park is not that busy and the lines are pretty short. Toy Story was still a long line in comparison to the other rides. We waited about 40 minutes (on Thanksgiving night).
Ate breakfast at The Storytellers Cafe. You can do the buffet or order from a menu. Pricey, but the food was good.
The Grand is definitely not the cheapest hotel (we paid $511 per night through AAA) but you cannot beat the location and warm, inviting atmosphere, especially when traveling with little ones. The lobby is great, especially when it's decorated for Christmas. The pool area is fun for the kids and very peaceful for the adults (not sure what it's like during the summertime though). We cannot stay at any other hotel when traveling to Disneyland after staying at The Grand, we find everything about it just wonderful and recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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

Also Known As:
Grand Californian
Grand Californian Hotel
Grand California Hotel
Disney California Hotel
Grand California
Disneys Grand Californian Hotel
Disneyland Grand Californian
Disney Grand California Hotel
Disney Grand Californian Hotel
Disneyland 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#14 Family Hotel in Anaheim
#16 Business 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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