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“Fantastic Location - Otherwise Average to Slightly Above”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #34 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
United States
Level Contributor
580 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 321 helpful votes
“Fantastic Location - Otherwise Average to Slightly Above”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

To be fair - you cannot beat the location of this hotel. Literally out one door to the hotel is the California Adventures Theme Park. Out another door is Downtown Disney, which has a monorail on one end that takes you to Disneyland and walking the other direction is the main entrances to the theme parks. The facility has been updated in the "Greene & Greene" funituremakers theme. I'm not sure of the connection to these folks - I might have picked another style as the facility, while clean, is awfully dark.

Aside from that, I found most things to be average or slightly above. We stayed on the Concierge-Level, just as we do at all the properties in Florida. I'd rank this experience as lower than any of the similar experiences in FL. The hotel has an odd configuration, reminding me of an old motel, rather than a grand hotel. Also, the parks and property are crazy-busy.

Loved the location - the property is overpriced otherwise and is generally average in most other categories.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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State College, PA
Level Contributor
63 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

I stayed here two years ago in August and was totally unimpressed by this hotel. I found it overpriced, corporate, and too crowded. Two weeks ago we revisited the hotel (not my idea!) and I found a new degree of appreciation for the property. We were upgraded to a room with a lovely park view (we could stand on our balcony and see people walking through the park, hear the music, and experience a bit of that Disney magic from the comfort of our room). Our room also had bunk beds, which were great for our two children. The hotel and park are so much quieter on a Monday in March than they are in August that our overall experience was worlds better. My husband and son went into the park the evening we arrived, while my daughter and I walked around Downtown Disney, hung out in the hotel, and did laundry in the guest laundry facilities. The token machine in the laundry room ate my dollar. When I called the front desk about this they not only replaced my dollar but gave me tokens to do my laundry which was a nice touch. Then we hung out in the room and watched people in the park. It was a nice evening. Anyhow, everyone seemed nicer (staff and guests) this time around than the first trip. I still think the hotel is too much money, but it was worth it somehow, this time around.

Room Tip: Get a room with bunk beds if you have kids!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PSU_travel_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2012

We're were pleased with our two-night stay at the Grand Californian.

The positives…

Location. Location. Location. It's the closest to the parks, and we enjoyed the private entrance into the California Adventure Park. The regular entrance into the Magic Kingdom is a short walk away, or you can move from the Adventure Park after using the private entrance.

Every staff member (cast member) was fabulous. Check-in was efficient, and we secured a room prior to the normal check-in time.

Classy lobby with piano music at times.

The large pool was a great relief from the hectic park in the middle of the day. They have water vests in various sizes for the young ones.

It was a resort, but did not charge a "resort fee". Terrific! Internet access was free and worked well.

Downtown Disney afforded a great variety of dining and shopping, but see below.


The not-so-perfect…

Cost. We recognized that the premiere property would be expensive, and were prepared for that. We didn't think the the rooms themselves warranted the expense. Not much different than the average mid-range chain hotel. The in-room safe was outdated -- a tiny compartment in the closet locked by a key rather than a code. You could put a few documents in there, and perhaps a pocket-sized camera, but nothing bigger.

Noise. Our room overlooked Downtown Disney. If you're into the music and crowd noise associated with this venue, fine. But not a great place for sleeping. Also, accessing rooms on this side of the hotel required a long walk around the property hallways, since there seemed to be only a single set of elevators.

We'd certainly go back. But we'd also like to try the recently renovated Disneyland Hotel - the original icon.

Room Tip: Be careful of rooms overlooking Downtown Disney if noise is an issue.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SeaDays22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2012

My two 7 year old daughters and I took a girls trip in January and stayed here.
Upon arrival the front desk wasn't sure how to proceed with my Alaska Airlines Disney Package. After much conversation with another staff member they found our park tickets. We weren't offered any help with our bags to our room, which was quite a long distance away.
The room itself was very comfortable although a loooong way from the elevator!
Since it was late and my kids were hungry and ready for bed, I ordered pizza from a local restaurant. The Bell desk called me when it arrived, I went down to get it and by the time I got there. the driver had left with our pizza. The woman at the Bell desk told me she called me 4 times. I was on my way from our room and my kids dod not answer the phone. She apparently didn't care as I was unable to catch him outside and had to call him to come back
We ate at the kid friendly restaurant twice, both times the food was cold and the staff could have cared less. We did the critter breakfast once, opted out of the buffet and ordered from the menu. The food was cold and off of the buffet!!!
The slide pool was closed,I knew that from checking the website before our trip. I called the front desk to ask them about the other pools and they did not even know the pool was closed! The reply was that they all received the memos but not everybody read them. Did they really tell me that??
Our first night there the fridge in our room sounded like a freight train and kept us awake. I called housekeeping the next morning, they said it would be replaced while we were at the park that day. When we made it back to our room (10 hours later!) the fridge had not been replaced because I had told them we did not need to have our room cleaned. We waited for another hour to have it changed out.
The night before we were due to leave I called the desk to confirm our reservation on the Disney Express to the airport. There was alot of confusion regarding this as the Tinkerbelle Half Marathon was that day. A few hours later they finally called back to say we would be taken over to the Disneyland Hotel via golf cart to catch the bus. When we got there, the golf cart driver was told the wrong entrance for the bus to pick us up, which didn't really matter because the bus couldn't fit thru the cargo entrance anyway. A smaller shuttle showed up, several drivers got on and off the shuttle, made several phone calls and did not communicate with any of the passengers. A driver got on and started driving and never told us where we were going, we all assumed we were on the way to the airport. After about 45 minutes we pulled up to the Grey Hound Tour bus station and then was switched to the Express. As we were beginning to pull away, I noticed our bags were still sitting next to the shuttle. I was able to get the driver to stop and several of us got off and transferred our bags ourselves. Wouldn't you think they would at least tell us we needed to move our own bags?
Many passengers missed their flights home because the bus was so late. Grand Californian should have been organized enough to take care of their guests. The right hand never seemed to know what the left hand was doing. There was no communication between the staff and I truly felt like I was a bother everytime I waited patiently at a desk to be acknowledged. Since when is the person on the phone more important then the guest standing in front of you? You tell the guest "hold on" while you answer the phone?
I've stayed at many 5 star resorts and this is more like a 2 star.
Don't waste your money, this is not worth it!
As always, the staff in the park was wonderful! The staff at the Grand Californian could take some lessons from them!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking Downtown Disney can be loud at night near the bars.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lynnk143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 22, 2012

We've visited Disneyland many times over the years but this is the first time we've stayed at the Grand Californian. When you're tired after a long day at the park it's so nice to have such a short walk back to your hotel. Not only did we like the conveniece of being so close to the park, but the room was spacious and comfortable as well. We've stayed at the other two Disney properties over the years and this one is definitely worth the extra money you pay for convenience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dsinaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

A beautiful hotel with stunning scenery. The room size is average, the amenities great, and the staff attentive. We loved it, "BUT", I have stayed at some of the worlds premier properties. The Royal Hawaiian, Fairmont's all over the world, and have never paid the prices they charge here. Really? $20 for a drink at the bar? Affording it is one thing. Paying prices that exceed the absurd is another.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Oliver B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clovis, New Mexico
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

Look no further! Location is perfect! Walking distance to both parks. Downtown Disney right there with shopping and eatiers. Worth the extra money to stay on property when traveling with kids. You wear yourselves out walking the theme parks during the day - it's a treat to have a short walk back to your room instead of fighting for a shuttle, etc. We were even able to walk back to our room during the day to take a break then return to the park later. Clean room and extremely comfy beds!

If you are considering splurging on the Concierge Level Room - do it! Worth every penny! My husband is military so we aren't rolling in dough but we are SO glad we paid the extra $100 a night for the concierge service. Personal check in, access to Craftman Club Lounge where you can get food and drink all day long (with the exception of 4:00 - 5:00). They have breakfast foods, then "tea" with light snacks and sandwiches, wine & cheese then desserts. Bring ziploc bags and load up on snacks to carry with you in the park. The uncrustables came in VERY handy! This saves you time and money. Kids can snack while waiting in line for rides. They offer bottled water, juice and pop you can take with you as well. Any time of day you'd like a beer, glass or wine or champagne, just ask the friendly staff and they'll bring it out to you. You can take it back to your room. From this lounge you have a view of the fireworks (although seeing them from inside the park one night is a must!) and an observation deck from which to view World of Color. (more on that later). You will be met at the front of the hotel, given a quick tour then walked up to your room. Each morning a message will be left on your room phone with information about the events of the day. Concierge staff will make dining reservations for you as well.

Staying in a Disney Hotel gives you the option of entering the park an hour early on Sun, Tue & Thur. EARLY day but totally worth it to get those big rides in before the crowds show up. Then get as many fast passes as you can and return to the park later in the day when you've had a chance to rest. Fun to see the park at night. From this hotel you have your own entrance to California Adventure. Suggest taking a break and sitting at Ariel's Grotto bar during the day for a snack or beverage. Nice view of the park.

Had the bunk bed room which was perfect for our family of 5. Had a courtyard view which was nice and quiet and perfect to sit on our balcony and enjoy a cocktail. We could even see the fireworks from our room!

Used Pinnochio's Workshop for a night out without the kids. They were safely cared for and had fun! We ate at Napa Rose and it was very nice. Expensive but what isn't in Disney?

We did the dining package for World of Color and it was great. Ate at Ariel's Grotto then got preferred seating (standing really) for the World of Color. It was AMAZING! Don't know how it looks from farther back but we were right up front and even though we got a little wet from the mist, it was fantastic! Worth the money we thought!

Room Tip: Rooms with Downtown Disney view can be noisy. "Theme Park" view gives you a view of Calif...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Renee C
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

Property: 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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#9 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#17 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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