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“Great Location, Huge Cost” 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 #19 of 112 Hotels in Anaheim
California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Great Location, Huge Cost”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My family loves this hotel for all the right reasons. It's festive, fun, energetic, simply fantastic service, etc. The best aspects are the service and the location. For Disney, it's a huge difference even from the other Disney properties. You can walk into CA Adventure in seconds and breaks are so much easier. I could go on and on re the positives.
The cons are the rooms are just boxes like any other $200 a night hotel. Sure they do them up a bit and the small touches are nice but it's still just a room. The fact they don't have pay for view movies still annoys me so be aware and bring any down time entertainment. The real issue is price. Granted we paid holiday rates but to pay $700 per night for a box is rather remarkable. That's before food, beverage and Disney costs. We pay for it so I guess we value it but it still gets to me. Right in the wallet.
I'd opt for off season...if it was up to me which it isn't...and for $400 per night, this hotel would be worth every penny and then some. Id say a bargain at $500 even given the positives.
If you're comparing the various Disney resorts as I do every year, it is worth the difference. The other two properties tend to be only fractionally less but the drop off in value is significant. This hotel is far far superior to the others in every way.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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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2,709 reviews from our community

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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 (670)
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Aliso Viejo, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Our family of four stayed at the Grand Californian the nights of Dec. 30th and 31st for the New Year's holiday. It is a beautiful hotel and the staff we encountered were polite and helpful. Our room was exceptionally clean and comfortable. We had a normal sized hotel room with two queen beds, 6th/top floor facing a quiet courtyard. Being on the top floor made our room light and bright during the day. I emphasize that it was a quiet location because we wanted to get a good night's rest the first night we arrived so we could take advantage of the 7am early entry into the parks. I grew up in Orange County but this was the first time I have ever stayed at a Disney hotel. I have always wanted to try it. It was a real treat to enter the park early and start the day without the hassle of driving, parking and ticket lines. It was also a treat to get our FastPasses early for World of Color and Radiator Springs Racers. Those turned out to be our favorite activities of the entire trip and the early entry ensured that we got to experience them without rediculous waits. It was also nice to have a room to retreat to for a break in the long day, to pick up water bottles or snacks, or to pick up or drop off coats. The Grand Californian was an extraordinary expense for a family of four but we had to try it once and we are glad we did. I am not sure that we would stay again but we would recommend trying it once if you can afford it. On a lesser scale, try either the Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier to save money and get the same early entry and ease of returning to your room for breaks. Those were the greatest advantages of staying onsite. My other Disney tips are, California Adventure was much less crowded on New Year's Eve than Disneyland. Disneyland was too crowded and had a weird atmosphere of with all of the day-campers who pitched blankets camped out for the New Year's countdown show near the castle and for Fantasmic in Adventureland. Disneyland was much more pleasant on New Year's Day. I also recommend the color changing ears. They are wirelessly controlled so they change color with the World of Color, Fantasmic, and Believe shows. We got them for kids and they were so fun to watch the synchronization with the show. Watch your food receipts in the morning to see if you have a coupon off of merchandise if purchased before 1pm. That helps with the expense of the hats. We booked through Costco Travel. The price was the same as booking through Disney but the gave us a character meal and a few other perks as a part of the deal so you save money that way by booking through them.

Room Tip: We liked our top foor room as it was light and bright. Our's faced a quiet courtyard which was...
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver Island, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I wasn't going to bother writing a review for our second stay at GCH but after just returning from their spa and having a most excellent treatment I felt I should. The spa itself is nice enough...clean pleasant atmosphere. If they ever do a reno they need to put in some changing rooms specifically for changing clothing. The only place to change is either the toilet stalls or the showers. Anyway on to my reason for posting. I had their "Bundle Treatment" The girl for the facial was very good, very knowledgable about products but at the same time did not push them aggressively. Cecilia did my massage and oh my goodness was she fantastic! Such a nice person and her technique was by far the best massage I have ever had. I had strained my back with the luggage and the Disney rides the last 3 days didnt help, but after seeing Cecilia it is much better. I told the Spa manager they are lucky to have such an excellent employee.
GCH staff as well have been very good. In particular the morning houskeeping staff has been very good about quickly completing any extra requests I had and I have to say every room service attendant we have met (and over the last 4 days we have had room service alot!) has been very friendly. Yes the price to stay here is high but in terms of our experience on this trip it is worth every penny.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

Our stay was disappointing for one reason alone. The staff, and not just one or two of them, were indifferent or surly. I have stayed in many different 5 star hotels worldwide for business and pleasure and this one ranks the poorest for service bar none! I will not be staying there again.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Hubbard, Oregon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

The initial impression of the hotel is that of those hotels built in national parks by the railroads back in the 1920's and 30's. The exterior fits the image as does the lobby area. Unfortunately, that's as "GRAND" as it gets. There is nothing special otherwse except the price, which is way too pricey, even for Disneyland, which is now too pricey to visit except on a very special occaison. If you are comming to Disneyland and plan on staying in one of their hotels look for a package deal to save $. I give the hotel and both parks a poor rating because of price and because Disneylands upkeep, appearance, and maintenance standards have visibly dropped. I would also say the hiring standards of the castmembers/staff have also dropped.unless I just happened to be there for 2 days when about a third of the staff just felt surly.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Tucson
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed for four nights in late October, 2012. Check in was quick and impersonal. Communal areas were noisy, uncomfortable and busy. Room was dead average. Beds were fine but we had to get two queens rather than one king. Nice that it is a non-smoking property. We did not go to the pool but it must have been fun because there were so many people there throughout all four days. Restaurants are way too expensive for the quality of food and service. So nice to walk out of the hotel and be in Adventure Land or close to the entry to Disneyland. Really like the restaurants in the area I think is called Disneytown.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

We just completed a 4 night stay at the Grand Californian staying in room 2259. The room was small and we really wanted to get a room with 1 queen and 1 bunk bed but that was not available even though we asked for it a month prior. After deducting the cost of the park hopper passes and character meal at the Storytellers Cafe the room cost $600 per day. The bathtub drain was partially clogged and a puddle of water always appeared. The view was poor and the arch on the facade partially blocked the view which really wans't much unless you like looking at cars driving into the hotel grounds.
Room 2259 was the farthest from the lobby too. Staying here gives you the "privilege" of getting into the park an hour earlier than the general public but the wait to get in resulted in an 30 minute delay so we only had about 30 minutes before the hordes descended on fhe park. I think getting charged $22 a day for valet parking is just pure greed on Disney's part as well. We would have paid half of what we paid if we stayed at a hotel off of the Disney property.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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

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:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#14 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*
Number of rooms: 1019
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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