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“HORRID BAR SERVICE, OTHERWISE PRETTY GOOD” 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 #13 of 111 hotels in Anaheim
Bend, Oregon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“HORRID BAR SERVICE, OTHERWISE PRETTY GOOD”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed at the Grand Californian six nights in February as part of a Disney package. It's a decent hotel in a fantastic location. But it has abysmal service in the bar. One of the bar tenders had to come out herself to save us from being ignored by the wait staff. Otherwise, our high expectations were met. Ease of Park access made the room price a decent value for us to celebrate my wife's birthday treat.

Room Tip: Ours overlooked the pool and we were very happy. We would have been much less so in a room facing ou...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 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
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cbigkato
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

To start off, let me say that I am a BIG fan of Disney, and though not every experience is perfect Disney almost always meets or exceeds my expectations.

To start, the hotel is absolutely beautiful- well built and maintained. The lobby is spacious and very well appointed with plenty of helpful staff to assist you with your needs. Our room had more than enough space with a nice view and balcony. Also, each floor has multiple ice stations, so it's always convenient when you need it. Though, I didn't have the opportunity to take advantage of it, the main pool always seemed to have more than enough room for everyone who wished to take advantage of it. Also, the fitness center was small, but had more than enough for you to get by with during your stay- there are also plenty of areas for fitness walking while you're there.

The location of the hotel can't be beat. It is adjacent to the Disney parks with private access to Disney's California Adventure. It is also next to the Downtown Disney area with plenty of restaurants and shops for your convenience. And if you're planning to travel other areas of LA- the freeway is minutes away.

The staff was always courteous and helpful, ready to answer any questions or assist you in any ways you needed. What I've come to expect from the company at this point.

If there was anything that I feel could have been improved on, it would be one aspect of the dining. First the good though, there is plenty of variety for everyone from fine dining at the Napa Rose, to more conventional dining like storytellers café and a small quick service café. If you travel with children, they also have several opportunities for character dining. Also, because of its location there are plenty of other dining options within walking distance. The only time I felt limited was with breakfast. None of the hotel restaurants open before 7, and nothing in the Downtown Disney area opens before 8. So if you're an early riser, you may want to store some snacks in the room.

Overall, I was exceedingly happy with my choice to stay at the Grand Californian. Though not perfect, no one does it like Disney!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We come to Disney's Grand Californian almost every April, and we typically stay in a Craftsman's Club Conciege room. I doubt we'll do so again.

First, the good. The location is unbeatable. The pools are pleasant, well staffed and clean. Storytellers Restaurant is a gem. Napa Rose is at the tops of all hotel restaurants and should not be missed. Valet and bell staff are very helpful. The lobby still looks beautiful after all these years. And the views from the rooms are quite pretty.

Next, the not so good. The Craftsman's Club service is indifferent and the quality of food/wine pretty poor. For the price, the conciege service should be gold standard, and this falls well short. Also, the quality of the GC's rooms is becoming worse by the year. I think a major upgrade is needed. They are small, the furniture is too big for the rooms and is old and outdated. We found an old sock behind the bed. The bathrooms are small and no better than a budget motel, save for the nice showerhead. Also, the separate line into California Adventure is swamped in the morning and there aren't enough park staff to handle the guests entering. When we were there, a fire alarm sounded when we were at breakfast at Storytellers and staff members seems a little confused about what to do. We were told to leave and herded around the corner and provided no information about what was going on. My wife visited the Mandara Spa, but it was pretty messy there - not what we would consider a luxory spa.

We would consider the Disneyland hotel next time for the newer rooms, but hope that a remodel gives this hotel some better rooms! And please make the Craftsman's Club a true gold standard experience!

Room Tip: Some rooms are VERY far from the lobby so note the location if you don't want to walk a lot. Hi...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Due to the rates offered with the Disney salute to the military, we decided to stay at a Disney property for our visit to the parks and the surrounding area. Of the three property hotels, the GC is obviously the closest to the parks – basically bordering California Adventures – and also commands the highest rack rates for their rooms.

Make no bones about it; if you stay here, you’re paying a premium price for the walking convenience. It’s a beautiful hotel with a nice wilderness lodge theme, but if you look at a hotel as a place to sleep and shower between an early rise and a late return, there are certainly more wallet-friendly choices. As with the other Disney resorts, your room keycard allows for Disney purchases, early entry into the parks and access to the special guest entrance into California Adventures.

We elected for the “finest, cheapest” garden view room and scored a winner. In 5309, we were close to the lobby, on a high floor, with a view that peaked between the buildings into Disneyland. We were able to see the fireworks from the room and even caught a brief glimpse of Tinker Bell on her magical Disney zip line. The room also overlooks the monorail track, but we never had a problem with noise.

The room itself wasn’t anything special – just your average double queen beds, flat screen, small refrigerator, etc. – it’s everything outside of the room that commands the high price. Had Disney not been offering a military rate, there is no way we could have afforded the room. Overall, we were more than happy, but next time we would probably pick the DL Hotel – a little further walk, but still a Disney resort (and closer to Earl of Sandwich!)

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking Downtown Disney are going to be noisy - lots of street musicians at night!
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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
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Orange, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

My best friend and I had a discount voucher for this spa. We live in OC and visit Spas frequently.the spa validates your Disney Hotel parking which was great. My friend thought her facial was great and I liked my Swedish massage. The treatments were wonderful, some of the best. The spa environment it's self could be improved. The locker room was tiny. We didn't use the showers but they looked uninviting. We are both familiar with a "relax" room/ waiting area before treatments and the waiting area was small and had 2 benches, felt like a hallway. I would have preferred some soft chairs and maybe an ottoman. Again, the treatments were great, so if you want a good treatment and don't mind missing the relaxing, comfy ambiance you will be more than satisfied.

Room Tip: Spa validates parking. No relax room
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Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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FL
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Stayed at the Disney Grand Californian for a 5 day stay. It is more than we usually pay for hotels, but what a great experience. We had room that overlooked the park and Disney Village view. Lots of fun! The 1 hour early entry to the park is a huge benefit. I took the family with me when I had a business trip I took several days vacation while there.

Room Tip: All of the meals are overpriced at the hotel, park and village. You can find some markets and more...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

My family of 5 stayed at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel for five days during the 2nd week of April (Spring Break). It was our 3rd time staying at this hotel in 4 years, so we are definitely repeat visitors. I've read the other reviews here where people complain about the price, stating that the hotel is old with worn furniture, dark hallways, etc., and comparing it to a Motel 6. Let me first start by saying that I've stayed at many, many different hotels during my 20 years of business travel throughout the US. Although I've never stayed at a "5-Star" hotel like the Four Seasons or have been pampered like a King, I do believe I've stayed at some very nice hotels in my travels. I would also put the Grand Californian at the top of my list of hotels which I definitely like to stay for my vacation.

Sure, the price is high but you're paying for the convenience of being right next to the Disneyland property. During our 5 day stay, the hotel staff was great. Super friendly and helpful. Everything I needed was at the hotel. Our room was very modern, clean, quiet, and comfortable. The comparison to a Motel 6 by one reviewer is absolutely absurd. Very nice restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Great pools and hot tubs for adults and kids. Excellent workout room and day spa. And an entrance into Downtown Disney and Disney California Adventure directly from the hotel. Cabs are available all times of the day to take you to the airport (30 minute ride to John Wayne Airport), and the bellhop staff was great.

One thing that was a big plus for us, is the "Magic Hour" where guests of the hotel could enter the Disney park 1-hour early before the public. This is a BIG, BIG deal as it gives you a 1-hour head start to ride all the popular rides. We got into California Adventures early on one of our days and we basically had the park to ourselves (literally, we were the only people in the Hollywood Backlot street). We were able to ride so may of the popular rides in DCA all within 1 hour. If you want to ride the new Cars Land Radiator Springs Racer ride, this is the only way to do it and avoid waiting 2+ hours in line.

During our stay we decided to take a break one day and rent a car for a drive to Newport Beach. Alamo Car has an on-site office at the West end of Downtown Disney and we were able to rent a full-sized car for $37 for the day. If you want to try some other restaurants in the area, there's quite a few just 1 mile down Katella Ave (e.g., PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, Morton's, etc).


I would definitely stay at the DGC hotel for my next family visit to Disneyland. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Storyteller Cafe at the hotel was very convenient for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don't use t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 5
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:
#13 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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