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“Viewing the fireworks”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #32 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Reviewed November 1, 2011

We had room 5447 in the Grand Californian - which was what they called Downtown Disney view - but they should have called it Disneyland View. We could not see anything of the park but trees and the top of the Matterhorn but it was amazing to watch the fireworks from the balcony.

The only 'bad' experience we had was one day when 'security' was doing something to the door card readers and then we were locked out of our room. We went to the front desk and got brand news cards but they still did not work and we were still locked out. Someone from the front desk came up and gave us each one fast pass for any ride except Star Tours. They made us feel like they cared whether we were satisfied with what they tried to do to make us happy.

If you are going to try to eat at the Storytellers Cafe in the hotel, make sure you have a reservation otherwise it could be an hour long wait for a table and their beepers only reach the first floor. The variety and choices at the buffet offered at dinner time does not measure up to cruise ship or all-inclusive buffets I have been to but I did not leave hungry either.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Chocholic_37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,395 - 3,401 of 4,576 reviews

Reviewed November 1, 2011

After many trips to Disneyland and staying at various hotels on Harbor Blvd, we decided to "splurge" and stay a few nights at the Grand. After reading other reviews, I tried to keep my expectations of the room itself reasonable and I must say I was still disappointed. This was by far the smallest hotel room my family has ever stayed in. We had a standard view room (parking lot view) with 1 queen and bunk beds. I can't imagine how little space there would be if we had 2 queens! There's very little Disney magic inside the room; a Snow White picture on the wall, hidden Mickeys in the carpet, and a Bambi shower curtain. Other reviews try to justify the lackluster room by making statements like, "You don't come to Disneyland to stay in the hotel room". I agree but at $350 a night, I expect some extra perks in the room.
On the positive side: beautiful lobby, friendly & helpful staff, and it's the closest you can get to the parks. Most of the perks available to guests of the hotel are available to guests of any of the Disney owned hotels. The early entry into California Adventure is overrated as it only gets you in 15 minutes before the public and the only available attraction is Little Mermaid. The 1 hour Magic Morning admission in Disneyland was excellent and we were able to knock out 5 or 6 rides in Fantasy Land in that hour (also available to guests from the other Disney hotels).
As an avid Disneyland fan, I'm glad I was able to stay at the Grand Californian but I do not see any need to stay there again. Perhaps I would have been more impressed with the hotel if I spent the extra hundred dollars a night at got a room with a view of the park. The best experience of our stay was getting off the river ride soaking wet and being able to walk into the hotel and be in the room within a few minutes. Does this convenience alone warrant the expensive rooms? In my opinion no.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of the park.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank 98travels2go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2011

The Good:
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a beautiful old hotel within walking distance of Disneyland and has an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. We received excellent customer service from the valet and room service personnel.

Our 3 year old daughter is at the age where Disney princesses and fairies are all she talks about so we wanted her first visit to Disneyland to be memorable. We called a month in advance of our stay and made reservations for a room with two queen beds and the Concierge Service upgrade because we thought we would need someone who knows the ins and outs of Disneyland to guide us to the most appropriate attractions and sights for a 3 year old. Robert, the sales rep, assured us this would be a memorable experience and adventure for our family. He assured us there would be an autographed photo and balloons in the room for our daughter upon check-in. We were very excited and didn't mind paying $600.00 per night for the promise of a memorable experience.


The Bad:
The night before we departed for the hotel, Darren, our Concierge, called to inform us that unfortunately we wouldn't be able to get a room with 2 queen beds but would have to settle for one king bed and a pullout sofa bed with a "Premium Pool View". My first instinct was to cancel the reservation and reschedule our stay but my wife and daughter were so excited about the visit, I decided to be a team player and "go with the flow". After all, the trip was for our daughter. Robert assured the room was quite spacious and would work wonderfully. I was still apprehensive because the situation was remarkably similar to the old "Bait and Switch" but we decided to give it a try.

We arrived the following morning and were quite impressed with the valet and express check-in services.

The Ugly:
We arrived at room 6322 and things started going downhill. The balloons and autographed photo we were promised was not in the room. We asked our concierge about this and were assured it would be there after we return from Disneyland. It wasn't.

Drab and worn were our first impressions of the room. The furniture was chipped, dented and cracked, there was a thick layer of dust in the bathroom around the bed, the DVD player had to be manually operated from the device because the remote was missing, the ice bucket and trash cans were dented and the ice grabber had missing tines. To top if off there was a constant whooshing sound from the bathroom all night even though all the lights and air conditioner were turned off.

After 3 hours at Disneyland, we arrived back at the room and discovered our luggage still wasn't there. We called our "Concierge", and I use the term loosely, who informed us that it would be there within ten to fifteen minutes. So far I wasn't impressed.

When bedtime arrived we pulled out the sofa bed. It's nothing special. It's a standard lumpy and cheap sofa bed. Our 3 year old ended up sleeping in the bed with us which was a tight fit. Everyone knows Dad is to one to get kicked out of bed. I woke up with a backache the following day. I'm sorry but I was not willing to pay 600.00 per night (with the annual pass holder discount) for three additional nights in this dreadful room so we decided to check out.

We called our concierge and informed them we were checking out. So far so good. The concierge transferred us to the valet service desk person who told us she couldn't locate our vehicle and asked if we could describe it to her. At this point the Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was definitely living down to my expectations.

Robert and Darren promised us a memorable experience and adventure. It certainly was!

How AAA rated Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa four diamonds is beyond me.

Room Tip: Verify that you can cancel or reschedule your reservation if your desired room size or view isn'...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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16  Thank Ray F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Putting aside the spectacular rooms, views, restaurants, staff and ambiance, the best feature of the Grand Californian is definitely the location. The hotel abuts California Adventure and Downtown Disney and boasts a very brief walk into Disneyland.

Within the hotel, guests will find a full service spa, a myriad of pools and a gym. The decor cannot be beat.

While all the rooms are outstanding, it is absolutely worth throwing down a little extra cash to secure a park view or Downtown Disney view (which may provide views of the fireworks in Disneyland park).

Room Tip: Pay more to get more. Pony up for a park or downtown view.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank FPodesta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Great hotel to stay in if you want to go to Disney Land or CA adventure. Very convenient; little old style but kids loved it.

Should try it for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank TripsiloveTotake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Worst service Disney is like Christmas
Just all merchandise and marketing employees could care less about your stay, go to Hawaii where service is still a word people recognize

  • Stayed: October 2011
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4  Thank anontraveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

If you're going to do Disneyland you have to stay here! The location on it's own is worth the money - going to the parks is very tiring and if you can crawl back to the hotel within minutes then that'll do for me! From arrival to departure it was perfect. The staff were extremely helpful and the only downside was that we were only here for 3 nights. One of the best things was the luxurious loungers by the pool.... very difficult to leave them and go to those parks!!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank flowrida
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 & Spa

Address: 1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802-2317
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:
#1 Spa Hotel in Anaheim
#2 Luxury Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#9 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#15 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range: $608 - $1,074 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 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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