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“Disappointing for the price” 3 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 115 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Lake Bluff, Il.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Disappointing for the price”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel really is grand, with wonderful attention to Arts & Crafts details in every corner of this massive resort. Additionally the hotel enjoys a privileged and convenient position in the middle of Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and the California Adventure. There is even a direct entry from the hotel straight into the California Adventure in an area adjacent to the Grizzly River Run ride (although the entrance is not clearly shown on the property map you’re given at check-in, and you must pass through one of those ubiquitous bag check lines to enter). Additionally on the plus side, there are some really nice not-typical-of Disney amenities in each room – tv with substantial offerings beyond Disney channels, a double vanity, a coffee maker (pod type), and a mini-refrigerator (if only there were some location on site that sold milk for your morning coffee). However, when we consider what we got for our annual passholder rate of $375 ($438.75 after taxes & fees, but BEFORE the $22 daily valet charge and tips), we realized we could have bought a lot of cab trips to a drop-off point close to park entries from any of the other nice hotel/motel options in the area, and still come out ahead. Other bad news included the fact that the bedding and tub/shower combination were both of very average quality, and inferior to what we had just enjoyed at a Hampton Inn in another part of L.A. One night I went to sleep with the sound of a baby crying distinctly wafting through our room. On Day 2, neither our coffee nor toiletries were replenished by housekeeping (though they did make sure to take the tip). The check-in process was needlessly lengthy and tedious – they could have assigned the guys herding arriving guests to work behind the desk, instead, to provide a better ratio of check-in personnel to guests. The most egregious aspect of our stay was the motion detection controlled thermostat. Listen up, Disney Execs (and you, too, Bill Marriott) – May you all be doomed to spend the night in a too-warm room with synthetic bedding where the AC turns off each time you fail to move about sufficiently to convince the motion detector that someone really is in the room and wants the Air Conditioning on. We can appreciate the energy and cost savings you’re striving for, but we’re getting tired of flailing our arms and making needless trips to the bathroom during the night just to satisfy the motion detector. Please find another alternative to this anathema to comfortable travel – perhaps provide European style card keys that are inserted in a slot when a guest enters a room and removed when they leave so that electricity is on only when a guest is present.
In sum, it felt like Disney imagineers designed all the wonderful details of the hotel, but then left the running of the hotel to Aramark or some even lesser hospitality outfit. We’re glad we stayed there once, but are unlikely to repeat.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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 (847)
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English first
Level Contributor
46 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013 via mobile

EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE WAS AWSOME. Every time we called for service were greater with our name. Food service was amazingly fast. Everything was oriented for the kids: ). The parks employees where friendly and helpful. BEST way to stay at any Disney Hotel is book thru Disney. Com so you can get all the perks( free stuff...worth over $$ and one hour early in each park.) one hour early for everyday your booked in the resort. WON'T GET THAT IF YOU BOOK THRU ANYONE ELSE. Buy your tickets when you book it's the same price but don't have to stay in line. Just pickup and go. Our kids best comment was when he said, " I have a great life." Disney does it best. YOU CAN CHECK-IN AT 7am and they hold your luggage. YOU CAN RENT A WHEELCHAIR AT THE HOTEL TO USE AT PARKS AND DWNTWN OR HOTEL. Park rentals only stay at parks.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Union City
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Forget the price because everyone knows it is EXPENSIVE but it is the location that you are paying for ... really!!! Stayed here for the first time and the building and the design and all didn't impress me too well and not much activites for kids to participate w/in the hotel compared to Disney hotel in Florida where they had small shows inside the lobby where kids can hang out and do arts and crafts.
Nevertheless, folks gave them rave review for the location and it is true..... walking distance to Disneyland and Cal Adventure.
Customer service was fine, didn't get to chance to check out their pool, no time! Very clean, furnitures are still in good shape though old.
They make every effort to check your room in the afternoon and see if there is anything else they can straighten out or clean for you. Nice to come back after a tiring long day to see couple of chocolates courtesy of the staff/hotel waiting for you on the night stand!!! =)
Storybook restaurant is great. Should try that. Buffet is small, could be alot bigger but the selection of food is good.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Kailua Kona
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We were excited to be taking our granddaughter to Disneyland and decided to splurge on the Disney Grand Californian Hotel for two nights. Our room cost was $450 per night for a basic room. The hotel is beautiful, well maintained, clean was employees offer great service. But, everything is an extra cost. Our parking charge wa $66 for just over 48 hours. To use a computer the fee was $6 for 10 minutes. I was told that the business suite was not part of Disney. Disney didn't offer free computer use. We enjoyed our time in the park but I wouldn't return to the Grand Californian because it just isn't worth the price.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
jamiek81
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My husband and I are Disney Vacation Club Members (our home resort is at WDW) so we spent quite a large amount of our timeshare points to stay here in a 2 bedroom villa as a treat for my mother-in-law's birthday. We were super excited to actually book a room here on our points because they are typically hard to get. First, the check-in procedures are very confusing. There was no queue to organize the line, one tiny sign telling you where to line up, and a single staff member armed with an iPad to try to expedite the process. Keep in mind, we stopped in early (around 1pm and check-in is officially 3pm) to get all of our paperwork done and get a credit card on file so we could get back to the parks We were offered self parking for free (they neglected to tell us at first that it is across the street by the other hotels) or valet for a charge. We took self-parking because it had in-out privileges and we wouldn't have to wait for valet every time. We, of course, didn't expect a room to be ready and the clerk offered to text me when our room was ready. Awesome! Just after 3pm, I kept checking my phone...no text. Our room wasn't ready until 5:30pm and we had a 7pm dinner reservation at Blue Bayou in Disneyland! That left us very little time to get settled, cleaned up, and ready for dinner. The room itself along with the entire resort is beautiful! Our room overlooked the Paradise Pier section of California Adventure and it was lovely at night! I know some have complained about noise, but we didn't hear anything unless our sliding door was open. This location is ideal for park entry because it does have it's own entrance to California Adventure which is neat. If you have park hopper tickets, it was simple to cut through California Adventure to get to Disneyland. Otherwise, there is a very convenient walk to Downtown Disney where you can exit to the plaza in the center of all three Disneyland areas. That was where our pleasant experience ended. On check out day, my husband and I ventured in to the parks (early entry to California Adventure for an early morning Cars Land experience...count us in!) and my in-laws stayed behind to have a more relaxing morning and pack up. They were harassed three times by housekeeping starting at 9am and finally at 10:15am they gave up and started walking stuff to the car (check out is 11am). My husband and I returned from the parks around 10:20am to find our guests wheeling out all the suitcases they could handle because housekeeping made them feel like they had to leave. So not only was my room not ready on time, now you are rushing my guests out of our room starting almost 2 hours before check out? Totally inappropriate in my book! We went upstairs to gather the rest of our things and do a final sweep of the room to make sure no one had left anything. About 10:45am, I stopped by the front desk to talk to the person who directs people (with the iPad). I explained my situation to her and I was instructed that I had to wait in line in order to speak to anyone. About 5 minutes or so go by and she walks down the line to see if anyone is checking out...um excuse me? I'm trying to check out and I want to speak to someone! Oh...I was going to have to wait longer. So, I finally get called to a desk after waiting 15 minutes and the guy behind the desk checked us out. He heard my complaint and all he could ask was "was there a do not disturb sign on the door?" I explained to him that there wasn't and that there should need to be if we were checking out and check out time is 11am. Not only that, but my guests had informed housekeeping upon the first visit that we would not be leaving until closer to 11am. He apologized and said that there must have been a miscommunication with housekeeping, but we really should have had the sign on the door. Seriously? I reminded him kindly that this conversation was not embodying the "Disney" way and that I was very disappoint in this hotel. I asked if there was anyone I could speak to and was informed that I would have to wait longer. I opted not to because we had already eaten up a chunk of our day dealing with this and we all wanted to get back to the parks. Overall, throughout the stay I found the staff her to be abrasive, unhelpful, and rude. I would NOT stay here as a cash reservation for the prices they charge and I certainly will choose to use my points to stay at a different Disneyland hotel. We would lose the benefit of "condo" living on the road with the other hotels who don't offer the villas, but it would be worth it not to have to deal with such lousy service for a TON of points spent for the 2 nights we were there.

Post trip, I'm still trying to get contact information for the General Manager and I'm planning on calling my DVC Tour Guide to express my displeasure with this hotel. I have never been treated like this on any of our stays at WDW (this was our first to Disneyland) and it has soured me.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 2 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.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

As a frequent Disney park guest and big Disney fan, I was excited to stay at the Grand Californian.
I really wanted to be thrilled with the experience but instead I was left feeling it was just an average experience. Here's why:
We had just finished a 6 day Disney Cruise and arrived in Anaheim directly from the ship at approximately 11am. I had hoped potentially for an early check in, but was told that the earliest they might have the room ready was 4pm. When 4pm finally came we went to our room. We were staying in a Villa ( Disney Vacation Club ) room. The room was quite large, but sadly was on the ground floor facing a wall - we were just on the opposite side of Goofys Sky school. There was a path right outside our room and if someone was walking along there, they would have been able to walk right up to our double patio door. Not a huge deal, but didn't necessarily feel secure.
The room had an entrance foyer, large bathroom, mini kitchen, King Bed and large pull out sofa in the sitting area ( this was a villa after all). The furnishing were all in keeping with the Craftsman design of the hotel, but the room was dark. Dark and dare I say, slightly dreary. The room cost $440 a night - definitely costly.
Having stayed at Disney moderate resorts in Florida, they always felt fun and the theming more magical. This felt very sedate and glum. Walking down the hallway to our room it felt like i was in the overlook hotel from the movie The Shining.
Staying at this hotel has perks for sure - ability to charge everything in the resort on your room key ( similar to WDW). Package delivery to the room, dedicated entrance to DCA and early morning hours. Great restaurants as well.
My advice to parents - if you are looking for a great hotel for your family and want to stay at a Disney one - the Disneyland Hotel would likely be a better option. This hotel, while grand and beautiful lacks the magical feel of some of the other resorts.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
Wooster, Ohio
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

My husband and I decided to go all out and stay at the top of the line hotel while visiting Disneyland. The Grand Californian Hotel was nothing less than you'd expect for a Disney property. There was absolutely nothing wrong at this hotel, just probably not our style in the "Lodge" type setting. Overall the hotel is a bit dark because of all the dark wood and lodge-like atmosphere. If you're into that type of nature setting, I'm sure you would love it. Service and cleanliness were top notch. The location is great with an entrance from the hotel to Downtown Disney and a direct entrance to California Adventure Park.

Room Tip: Although a room with a pool view is lovely, it's a bit noisy during swimming hours. We were on...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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
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:
#7 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#7 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#18 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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