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“Great for Disneyland” 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 #18 of 112 hotels in Anaheim
Devonport, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great for Disneyland”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Stayed here with my daughter for two nights on the way home from a ski holiday in Aspen. She absolutely loved the easy access to the parks. An unexpected benefit was that on one of the days it poured with rain for a large part of the day and we were able to slip back to the hotel and change shoes etc. Having been to Disneyland several times now I must say that winter is the time to visit - no queues whatsoever!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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 (624)
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English first
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

The Grand Californian is a gorgeous property and with the location being next to (and partly inside) Disney's California Adventure park it's hard to complain.
We arrived a bit early and our room was not ready, but the staff sent me a text message when it was which was about 30 minutes. We left our bags at the bell desk and headed to the park.
The hotel has a great lobby reminiscent of a grand lodge. There is a fireplace that you can warm up next to, and televisions playing Disney movies for the kids.
The staff is so awesome here! Disney service can't be beat and the hotel staff at the Grand Californian represent the best of Disney customer service. They are all so friendly and accommodating.
The rooms are just average. They are very quiet though. I didn't hear kids running up and down the halls or anything while we were there. The beds are pretty comfortable also. The rooms are nice but not any better than the Hilton or Marriott. I do feel that this hotel is overpriced because of this. If you don't plan on being in you're room much just stay across the street at Disney's Paradise Pier hotel. It's much cheaper and you still get to use the Grand Californian park entrance.
We were celebrating a birthday so I ordered a cake from room service to arrive while we were out. It was just as I had requested and delivered on time.
We ate at Napa Rose. The food there is delicious! If you are a wine drinker they have the best selection I've ever seen. It's not a place for kids though. There are other places on property to eat, such as Storyteller's Cafe. They have a character breakfast buffet that looks fun for kids. There are also places in Downtown Disney that you could eat. Downtown Disney is just steps from the hotel.
Didn't use the pool because it was January and pretty cold, but it looked beautiful.
Overall, this is a really nice hotel for a special occasion. It is very expensive, but well worth every penny.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pacific Palisades
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Let me start by saying that I have stayed here over 40 times with my family since the hotel opened. I think I have a pretty good idea of how the resort operates.

Not once, in 40+ stays, did a hotel employee at the front desk acknowledge that we had EVER stayed there. Every single time we checked in, they asked "Is this your first time visiting us?"
This is customer service 101.
Every other resort that I have ever visited acknowledges that you are a returning customer.
Is this crazy? I even wrote it on the survey about 30 times. Never heard back from Disney.

The rooms are clean, but extremely cheap for what they charge. Awful pillows and sheets, Motel 6 bathrooms for four star prices. The single worst shower head ever created.

If this resort charged a decent rate, I would not have one complaint...

EXCEPT THE BREAKFAST.

You know those fake, dry "scrambled eggs" that some really cheap places serve?
Check.
Do you love everything sitting out for hours in warming trays?
Check.
"Orange juice" that is really artificial tasting, like Tang?
Check.
Fruit that is either VERY under-ripe or VERY over-ripe?
Check.

And all for exorbitant prices!

We stayed here out of necessity, not because we loved it. The kids loved Disneyland and California Adventure.

When it first opened, they actually had some very good deals for locals in the off-season.

Not anymore...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Brunswick, New Jersey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Having stayed at the Grand multiple times over the last few years and almost always experiencing fantastic service, it takes a lot to wow me at this point but the staff at the Grand Californian most definitely did it this time. Because of an unfortunate incident in the lobby during my last stay involving someone throwing a beverage off a balcony and nearly hitting me, the staff made sure that my stay this time was completely perfect. From the moment we checked in - which was late in the evening, due to a significant plane delay (thanks again, United!) - everything was taken care of and nothing left to chance. I wasn't feeling well after a nearly 12-hour trip across the country so one of the staff members escorted us to our room (which was an upgrade to a theme-park view) and checked us in while we were in the room, instead of having to take care of things at the front desk. She also made sure there were chocolate chip cookies and a carafe of cold milk waiting for us in the room and a lovely welcome note from the general manager of the hotel.

Any time I needed any help during the week - like a late check out on our day of departure or help getting a dining reservation - everyone stepped right up to assist. Special thanks to Randy and Rudy at the front desk and Angel at bell services for making sure our comings and goings were seamless and worry-free and an extra special thank you to Brian, the front desk manager, for working his magic to make this trip great.

The bedding is very comfortable, the room is a good-sized, the toiletries are plentiful, housekeeping is attentive, the lobby is spectacular with a piano player every day entertaining the crowds and the food choices range from relatively inexpensive (by Disney standards) at White Water Care (and thank you to Lalani for always being so helpful there) to crazy expensive and - in my opinion - not worth the price at Napa Rose. The parks were not terribly crowded and I'm sure that some of that is due to the time of year - early January - when I traveled but I suspect that the unusually cold weather when I was there (30s-40s every day) probably kept the locals at home and thus kept the crowd levels down.

Yes, this is an expensive place to stay but the convenience, the ambiance, the level of staff attention and the proximity to the parks is beyond compare. If you can treat yourself, go for it. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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chicago
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Pack the kids and watch how Disney employees lay on the sparkle. We traveled with our 2 infants and some friends and stayed for 5 nights.

Resort is clean, staff spectacular and location perfect. If you have the money to do Disney, this is the way to do it. You are allowed to enter the parks before anyone else and get all your photos, great added feature.

This is the best of Disney, so be prepared to spend. This is not a place for bargain hunters. We loved every bit. The rooms are as large as any hotel, pending you have a suite somewhere. The pool is phenomenal. Huge and plenty of space to splash and relax.

Get to the pool early to get you a seat, it gets busy.

I would say, the pool needed more servers taking orders or a better menu. I get that it is kid friendly but there should be an upgraded menu for adults.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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Halifax, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

My two sons, age 11 and 7, my mom and myself stayed here for three days and we all thoroughly enjoyed this spectacular hotel. The attention to detail is breathtaking, from the carpets honouring Arts and Crafts guru William Morris (look for the hidden "W" "M" monograms) to the soaring lobby with cabinets filled with original Roycrofter, Stickely and Newcomb pottery examples. Amazing. We received the best check-in ever - after completing everything two lovely cast members walked us around the lobby and pool area pointing out the artistry. Their passion for the architecture and craft of the Grand Californian showed. For art lovers there is a free "Art of the Craft" tour offered most days and it was thrilling to get to peek into all the restaurants and "behind-the-scene" areas. My boys liked the pool area but the Arts and Crafts theming was lost on them.
A huge bonus here is the private entrance into the California Adventure park. Two of our mornings we scooted through there during early magical hours and made it onto Radiator Springs with a 20 minute wait. Bonus!!
I only gave the hotel 4 stars because of the small size of the room. Ours was a bunk-bed room and when the trundle bed was pulled out there was literally NO room for anyone to move around. That can be rather oppressive with two super-excited kids in the room!

Room Tip: Avoid the bunk bed rooms - they are smaller!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bothell, Washington
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We went to Disneyland for a week in August. We stayed for 7 nights at the Grand Californian. After reading many reviews I wanted to try out the hotel and liked the idea of the proximity. I had been to Disneyland several times, have stayed at off site locations, Disneyland hotel too.

We booked through AAA which I always find helpful.

The lobby is very fantastic. It is gorgeous to sit in there and look at the artwork. I had read reviews about the difference between downtown Disney side versus CA Adventure side. However, our room was neither, more of a weird courtyard view. It was fine, but it wasn't much of a view.

Our room was terribly small. The room had a queen bed and a double bed with a pull out trundle for a 5th person. First of all, the bunk bed isn't pushed against the wall, it's about a foot out. The top bunk does have a wooden bar around each side so a child can't fall out. But, the lower bed doesn't have this. For a young child who needs a bed rail, it's kind of a weird set up. After the first night my older son decided he didn't like the top bunk and wanted to sleep in the trundle. Really I was glad, as every time he tossed and turned I could hear squeaking. With the trundle pulled out, it didn't leave much room between that bed and the queen. We travel a couple times a year and when we walked into the room my "Suite Life of Zach and Cody" oldest child who was 8 1/2 said "this is small".

Another thing I noticed, my 4 1/2 year old needed help each time he used the sink. If the hotel is set up for families, you'd think that the sink would be a little lower, or a step stool.

Here is my BIGGEST complaint!!! Several years ago we stayed at the Disneyland hotel. The first night I noticed that the air conditioning came on and off ALL night long! When it turned on or off it would pull me out of a sleep. If it was off and people came home late and were loud down the hall I could hear them. It was maddening! I couldn't get sleep for those 3 nights!! I heard they remodeled their hotel, but I couldn't imagine that the air would have changed much. So, when we got all checked into the Grand CA and was settling into the night my husband was playing with the air to have it on a constant cool/white noise sound. Couldn't work!! I had a panic of "no way!!" So, he thought there much be fans at the hotel in case of an emergency, so he went to the front desk and was able to get one from them. LIFE SAVER!!! We kept the air on from the room to keep it cool, then had the fan pointed against the wall. I can't even tell you if you're a light sleep how disrupting this can be to sleep! I have told the Disneyland hotel trip to friends, and now this one! Sigh.....

Really, the convenience of the hotel is worth the money. We said this every night. I have waited for shuttles, I have driven back to San Diego when I lived there, I have walked blocks to hotels. This is by far the easiest!!!! I'd stay there again for this reason. We'd be so tired every night and would be so happy to easily walk to the hotel. One thing that was convenient was that they have their own entrance into CA Adventure. Your bag check is quick and quick through a turn style. But, if you want to then get into Disneyland, you'd have to walk out of CA Adventure and walk over to Disneyland and still have to get through their turn style. One day we decided to get up too early to get into Grand CA to get fast passes for the Cars ride, so it was great to be so close!

Our normal routine was to get up, breakfast somewhere (we did 2 character breakfasts!), then do a park, come back to the hotel around 4 and go to the pool. It is a nice pool. I never went in the water though! My husband went in with the kids and I relaxed in a chaise chair. They are comfortable! They have poolside beverage service, but didn't seem to come around that easily. I think you could go in to the bar to get a drink. After pool we'd go up to the room and change our clothes and be ready for the night. We'd be up until 11 ish every night! Our 4 1/2 year old was a trooper!!

The house keeping brought chocolate coins for turn down, but one of my sons is a peanut allergy. I happen to have read this ahead of time, so I brought him his own chocolate coins. One thing happened was that my younger sons favorite stuffed animals was missing! We think that they changed the sheets and it got lost in the washing. I asked them and they looked, no luck. Called a couple days after we got home and no phone call back.

One tip too, not just for this hotel. Bring all your toiletries! Don't expect to just buy it. They have very limited supplies and they are all the same supplies at all hotels. There may have been some places way off site, but even nothing in downtown Disney.

I was hoping the rooms would have been a little nicer/bigger, and that AC!!! Ahh!! I did see someone on the shuttle from the airport carrying a big fan. Not sure where she was going, but now I understand!

Room Tip: Bring a fan!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
#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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