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“Nice property, great location” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 112 Hotels in Anaheim
Henderson, Nevada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Nice property, great location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My family and I stayed at the Grand Californian over the July 4th weekend. We property is nice: spectacular architecture (although a recreation, it's still impressive), pleasant staff, prompt service, and clean rooms.

The four pools and two hot tubs -- located in the courtyard -- are a pleasant place to place to hang out for a quick break away from the parks. Our 7 year old really enjoyed the water slide in the Redwood Pool. Daytime wait staff bring food and drinks from the pool bar until 6pm.

You cannot beat the location. There is a private entrance to Disney's California Adventure (DCA) park from within the hotel. (Must show a room key to use this gate). In addition, Disney offers hotel guests a "Magic Hour" -- early entry into the theme parks -- one hour before the general public. This is great for collecting Fast Passes for popular rides, ensuring a stress-free (and line-free) visit to the park.

The hotel is conveniently located at Downtown Disney, providing lots of shopping and dining choices that aren't specifically Disney. For instance, we went to Jamba Juice for breakfast one morning and enjoyed our healthy, fresh fruit smoothies as we wandered through DCA.

We took advantage of Pinnochio's Workshop (an evening kid's camp/activity center) so that we could enjoy a nice of fine dining at Napa Rose. The little guy played games, painted, and watched a video with the other kids while the "big kids" had a night just for us. It was perfect.

As for cost, this property isn't for the weak of heart (or light of wallet). But for a special visit (maybe once in a lifetime) it's a neat place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 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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2,802 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 (704)
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Dedham, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This place was breathtaking. The lobby alone is incredible. The rooms are great - very large and clean. I missed having a balcony, but that's not a deal breaker for me. The dining options are amazing. But the best part about staying at this hotel is the location. Private entrance to Disney's California Adventure park allowed us to get in early and ride lots of rides with literally no wait. And the other entrance is to Downtown Disney, about a 2 minute walk to the Disneyland Park gates. I loved staying here, and I can't wait to stay here again!

I have very little to say, because there are no complaints! I recommend this hotel 100%

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the park, if you can.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

I love lobbies and the lobby here is amazing! Gorgeous, quick exit into Downtown Disney and the park is right down the way. Napa rose was quite delicious, and it was overall a great experience unfortunately we only were able to stay one night because they were packed the rest of the weekend. This place is a little costly, but its worth it if you want the whole Disney experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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London
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

On arrival you definitely realise that you have entered the world of Disney - from the huge doors that slide back to reveal the cavernous reception and lobby area this place impresses.

The bar is a wonderful place to relax after a day in the park (if your kids will let you), the pool area is a great place to spend an afternoon away from the park (if your kids will let you - this one being an easier sell due to the slides in the one pool!). The rooms are clean and spacious - the bathroom facilities could probably do an update but are perfectly adequate (much like the hotel in the park in Paris actually).

The entrance procedure for Disneyland is smooth but be advised that it isn't straight into the park. The entrance from the hotel into the California Adventure park is direct but it takes a long time - why would you offer this and only have 2 gates - the queue was 20 minutes long!

All in all a great place to stay if you're going to be visiting Disneyland California.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Marcos, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

We made a three day, two night trip to the Disneyland resort this June and had a wonderful time! We booked a Concierge level room at the Grand Californian Hotel and it was worth the splurge! We arrived around 9:30 a.m. and we were greeted at the entrance by a cast member who escorted us to the concierge lounge where we were able to enjoy the end of the Continental Breakfast being served while we were checking in. Fruit, pastries, cereal, bagels, fruit, etc. were available and replenished constantly by a helpful staff. Check-in was a wonderful experience as we were able to store our luggage, confirm a dinner reservation, obtain a wheelchair, and get our room keys (our roos weren't ready until the afternoon, and we were texted when it was available) all while drinking coffee and eating a light breakfast. As stated in other reviews, the hotel is decorated in Craftsman style and looks like a lodge. The lobby offers many comfortable seating areas and a huge fireplace with Storytimes for the kids. After check-in, we entered Downtown DIsney through the convenient entrance from the hotel and straight to DIsneyland.

We stayed in a room with two queen beds overlooking the pools. The room was comfortable and clean. It had a mini fridge, hdtv, and a nice balcony with a table and chairs. The beds were very comfortable offering lots of pillows. We were able to set the a/c at a comfortable level as it was a warm weekend. We were lucky, the rooms around us were either unoccupied or had quiet guests. We slept well.

We enjoyed the amenities of the concierge lounge, partaking in the aforementioned continental breakfasts, appetizers, wine and drinks during happy hour and the brownies or cookies at night. Sodas, coffee and water were always available. We also used the concierge service to make restaurant reservations, we even called from California Adventure when we needed one for lunch and got a lovely table where we were able to watch the parade.

Staying at the resort is not an economical way to make a Disneyland trip, but it is the most convenient and the experience is definitely enjoyable. Once you go Disney, it would be hard to go back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights for the location. When we arrived the man that checked us in was completely rude as we asked for any upgrade available. He basically refused to check and left us with a bad impression. Not a smile upon him. Is this Disneyland??
Got to the room which overlooked a parking lot (okay it's what we paid for) and it is fine. The rooms need major updating. The room was dirty with food on the walls and under the trundle mattress. Refrigerator didn't work.
Location and pools make this hotel worth it to us since my mom can't walk long distances.
Also used the gym once and it is horrible and needs completely redone. All the equipment is rusting and looked awful.
Overall, you are paying for location and we knew that. Hotel needs redone with major updating. Pool was great though and provided a well needed break midday from the parks.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novato, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

This hotel is indeed grand (if a bit imposing—the property is massive), but from the very first greeting (at the kiosk as we first drove in), it felt warm and welcoming (though not entirely personal). The bell staff was kind, and self parking was a breeze (but don’t forget your room key!) and just across the street (bring a dashboard sunshade—it’s entirely exposed out there! But the lot seems very secure and well monitored). The lobby is quite nice (but lines at reception and concierge can be ridiculously long and slow moving), the feel is upscale woodsy “lodge” (I hadn’t seen pictures and was somehow expecting something more marble-and-chandeliered, in keeping with California Adventure’s gracious Hollywood vibe), and the gift shop is cute.

Rooms are surprisingly average—not very spacious or at all remarkable (though the subtle Bambi/forest-scene shower curtain was charming!)—but comfortable enough. We would have preferred decent hairdryers (they just have the cruddy attached-to-wall ones) and really could have used a microwave (we called, but they couldn’t deliver one—they did offer access to one at Whitewater Snacks downstairs). We had dual vanity sinks, which was good since one barely drained (even after service call). We had a 4th-floor room with two queen beds; it overlooked the pools and had a balcony with diagonal view of World of Color in California Adventure. We stayed for 4 nights (sheets only changed every 4 nights unless requested—I appreciate the environmental savings, but the bed didn’t seem crisp and tidy—it was as if my child had simply pulled up the duvet and fluffed the pillows. But pillow chocolates and evening pillow cards were appreciated at turn-down service!). Room darkening drapes are excellent; a/c is noisy but blocks outside noise. The first morning, housekeeping woke us up at 9 AM by knocking and coming in (and quickly backing out when they realized we were all sleeping—but it was a drag with children who had been up well past midnight the night before!).

It’s clear that what you’re paying for is the great location and the lovely common areas, including the multiple pools (where there’s something for everyone of all ages, including slides, lap-swimming, hot tub, plenty of lounges and shade, and poolside beverage and food service). (Note: you can access all Disneyland-owned hotel pools with your key…but we didn’t see a need to stray!) The best part of the hotel is the private entrance directly into California Adventure (so you can easily come back for pool breaks, naps, etc.) and early access to each park (alternating each day between Disneyland and California Adventure). The catch is that you have to get there at least a half hour earlier than stated time, and even then the line is already long, and staff seems a bit overwhelmed/flustered; there was a gate-opening issue one morning of our stay, and we could see other guests enjoying the park well before we had access, which was frustrating! (I’ve since read that it’s usually much faster to use the main entrance, even as Grand guests, instead of the special Grand one—next time!) You also have very easy access to Downtown Disney.

We wished they had longer hours at Whitewater Snacks for quick, less expensive food. Dinner at Storyteller’s Café (the one with the buffet option, though we ordered off the menu) was mediocre at best and not worth the price. Late-night drinks at the bar, fireside, was quite relaxing and pleasant!

All in all a worthwhile stay if you’ve got the budget for it!

Room Tip: The higher you go, the better they get! We liked balcony overlooking pools and California Adventure...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#12 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#15 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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