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“Beautiful but tiny”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #33 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Stayed at this hotel. Lobby and guest relations were wonderful. The extra we paid to stay on the concierge was well worth it but the guest room was clan but minimal and very small. Not worth the hype. This year will try Disney Hotel instead. It's great if you want to be close to park but such a ordinary room.

Room Tip: Definately get the concierge package!!
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Cathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 28, 2012

Sorry to have to write this about a Disneyland hotel, because my wife and I love Disneyland and California Adventure. For our 16 year anniversary I asked my wife what she would like to do. To my amazement, she said let's go to Disneyland. We are Season pass holders and go there often. I decided to surprise my wife by booking a three night stay at the California Grand Hotel. Which I was informed is Disneyland nicest hotel in Anaheim. I paid for a deluxe view room. After parking and taxes the room was about $600.00 a night. We were supposed to have a view of the park; instead they gave me a room with a pool view. When I ask to talk with a manager, he told me there was nothing they could do. WOW, this does not sound like Disneyland.
The room was so small that they couldn't even put nightstands on both sides of the bed. In the morning everyone in the hotel is up early, because they can get into the park one hour earlier than the parks open to the public. The walls are so paper thin, that starting around 5:00 am you can hear blow dryers and showers going. The lobby was under construction so 80 percent was unusable. We were very much looking forward to the big lobby with the fireplace. Never even saw the fireplace. The buttons on our phone did not work and FYI if you want to use your Ipad, their system is very hard to connect with. I could go on and on, but I will stop here. Overall we were very disappointed with almost everything the Grand had to offer, and will never stay in a Disneyland resort again. I will however eat at the Napa Rose, which was fantastic!
99% of all my reviews are positive. The fact that when I told the Manager at check out about our experience and reminded him it was our 16 year anniversary, all he said was that " He would look into it". Sorry Disneyland that's just not good enough. Back to the Anaheim Embassy suites.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Tim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We stayed at the Grand Californian on a weekend trip to Disneyland and California Adventure.

The front gate staff, valet, and front desk staff were amazing. It can be confusing where to go when you enter the grand (and I do mean GRAND) lobby, but there was a ton of staff around that lead us where to go and the concierge was prompt with bringing our bags to our room.
The rooms DID lack a lot of that common "Disney magic". They are nice rooms, they have comfortable beds, they are pretty darn sound proof, but its a prettty standard room.

We had 2 adjoining rooms, my 11, 10 and 8 year old stayed in one, and me, my husband and 5 month old stayed in the other. We had bunk beds (that sleep 3) and queen beds in each room, and conveniently there was a Pack N' Play in the closet.

Magic Hour - getting to go into both parks an hour before they open - was AWESOME. Being there so early gave us the ability to get through both parks by like 6pm. We also got to ride all of the new Cars rides at CA Adventure, which have ridiculous waiting times since they just opened.

The pool area was AMAZING, the lounge chairs and cabanas were great, and the pools were heate. They had waiters taking drink orders which was just fine by me! (make sure you take your ID).

Every time we had to call the front desk we were greeting with "good morning Last Name Family" or when we returned late from the park and called we got "Welcome home Last Name family". Its the little things.

After all these accolades, I wouldve stayed at the Grand Californian again despite the price (and it is expensive). But what happened after we got home made this my Forever Disney home.
As it turns out, ALL of our souvenirs got left behind, several hundred dollars worth of stuff, including a large Lego set from the Lego store complete with receipt. Upon getting back to San Diego around 9pm, the Bell Captain calls me and tell me they found everything and they would overnight the lot the next day. THAT IS 5 STAR SERVICE. It brought tears to my eyes that there are still good people in this world.

Its expensive, but if you want a magical vacation, DO IT.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank marissabee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

This our second stay at the Grand Californian within 2 years. Our first stay was a very positive memorable experience. This stay not so much. We purchased a package from Southwest flying from Oakland, CA to LAX. The dates were 10-9-2012 through 10-12-2012.

Needless to say the big attraction was the new Cars Land in California Adventure. In addition we chose to attend the Halloween party one night that we were there.. More on that later. Cars Land has great eye appeal, as long as you understand the landscape portrayed is not to be found anywhere in California. However it is a wonderful representation of the Arizona and New Mexico deserts.

The majority of the area is covered with shops and eateries as would be found on Route 66. These are fairly representative. I remember seeing places like these on my first cross country trip in 1971.

There are three attractions. The two we were able to get on are renditions of old carnival rides, and are if not nothing new, fun. What does detract from the fun is how short the time allotted for each ride is. No more than 5 minutes, if even that long. This after waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more in line. The main attraction in Cars Land I cannot report on. The reason for that is that the Cars attraction appears to be in repair mode more than operation mode.

One of the advantages of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel is the ability to enter the parks one hour early every day of your visit. The Grand Californian is especially attractive because it has it's own back entrance to the California Adventure park.

Needless to say everyone wants to ride the Cars attraction and the entire herd heads for the fast pass for it. What no one tells you is that the fast passes are not available until the park opens, an hour later. So in short you get to wait in line one hour so you can wait in another line later in the day, that is if the attraction is actually working that day. Now how this works if the ride is down during your fast pass time, you can come back later in the day and still use your pass. Now you won't get to go the front of the line, even though your time (in our case 7 hours earlier) might have been much earlier. So in short you get to wait in a very long line again. (we gave our passes away to a much younger crowd)

I did watch the ride in action. I am not sure how long it lasts or what the experience is like. What I did note is that it seemed to be a bit short but again without riding it I am not sure. The motor roars of the cars came from loud speakers, so I am not sure what it sounds like in the actual cars. What I was able to see did not justify a wait for at least two hours.

What Disney has got right and I highly recommend is the World of Color Show. It is the best attraction they have done in years. The creativity and awe factor are truly reminiscent of Walt Disney's days.

The hotel itself is now where near a 5 star property not even a 4 star. First glance all appears well, however on close inspection wear and tear and more disconcerting plain dirt is everywhere. The desk clerks although pleasant are clueless and untrained. The room we were given was not what I had reserved, but since we were early I decided not to make an issue of it. My mistake. We were put in the south 40. The room itself although clean, was worn and had issues, very far from everything including the elevator. Just to make an uncomfortable situation worse they put a family with young children next door, even though we are both clearly in our 60s' To give the operation credit the one complaint I did make about the room was taken care of quickly.

We chose to attend the Halloween party, another mistake. The highlight of this for us were the children, but watching them having to wait in line anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to get a handful (?) of Halloween candy was not entertaining. The parade was short and to be honest rather confusing, there really didn't seem to be a point to it. Disney did redeem itself in the fireworks show however. It appears they took a page from World of Color and adapted it to the Halloween show and it was brilliant.

I am sad to say after being a Disney stalwart for almost 40 years I think I have come to the end of my rope. The cost which has become exorbitant is not justified by the experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

you knew it was coming...the but.

This was our second trip to the Grand and it was comical from beginning to near end. We were to be put in adjoining rooms with our party who was checking in the following day. Didn't happen. We were supposed to have a view of the park...got downtown instead. Thought the hallway would be dry, but was wet and squishy our entire stay (burst pipe I assume). The poor people who had rooms right there had to endure fans throughout their stay right outside the door.

The room we had seemed smaller than the last time we stayed there, but we were in another wing of the hotel. Appointments were fine, though it seems like it was time to change the linens and wallpaper---just looked a little worn for Disney and at that price point. To be fair, though we were on teh downtown side, the door did provide amazing sound protection, so there was very little street noise coming up. The balcony was tiny, but had a small table and two chairs which was perfect for early mornings and as not to disturb the kids.

This is the place to stay if you've got small children or older people in your party. everything is right outside the door and easy to get to and easy to find your way through. We had both, so we HAD to stay here. Mom loved it and it afforded us time to go back and let her relax midday. It's also great for the water ride...you can ride Grizzly Rapids and then go home to a nice hot shower!:)

I would totally recommend this hotel to anyone. It's expensive, but the proximity is second to none.

Room Tip: get a room on the mezzanine overlooking the fireplace or one with a view of California Adventure.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank liroi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed at this hotel in February of 2011. It has all you need from a Disney perspective, great rooms with little Disney flourishes. Beds were large and comfy, room temperature was easily maintained, size of room was perfect for our family of four. The access to the California Adventure Park makes returning from theWorld of Color show easy and quick. Plus the early entry makes hitting certain rides that are popular so much easier. My son and I rode the California Screamin' coaster three times in a row because of the lack of lines.

Breakfast (all meals) quite pricey and maybe 2.5 star out of 4 for quality but the cool thing is that there are characters there all the time, no need for a special breakfast. We were there during the week so reservations weren't a problem. We only had one breakfast onsite because of cost, so that the kids could see the characters.

Pool was fun for a quick end of the stay dip. But water slide wasn't open yet when we went to the pool

Parking was easy for me - I self parked and just walked back across the street. Might be tough if you hauled the whole family back and forth. I usually just ran over and grabbed the car.

When we arrived, we mentioned that it was the first trip to Disney for our 5 year old daughter and she got a first timers button and they gave both our kids balloons to welcome them. Desk clerk was super nice and gave good advice for hints and tips and tricks.

Remember, it's Disney, it's the most expensive property but it's worth every penny when you see the faces of your kids thorughout the trip!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank S-Flo408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We decided to book the Grand Californian Hotel for our first visit to Disneyland due to its proximity to the parks. We paid in full for the accommodation before leaving Australia - over $1800.00 for three nights accommodation in a standard room.

The lobby is lovely and check in was reasonably fast. The location of our room from Reception was an enormously long walk through a maze of corridors and lifts. We never thought we were getting there and we had to take our own luggage. The rooms were quite disappointing and very old and tired looking. The beds were lovely and comfortable but quite sad older bathrooms and fixtures. I really did expect more for over $600 per night for the two of us for the room only.

We ordered room service each night, and the food was fine, but it took an average of an hour and a quarter each night for it to arrive. Housekeeping did a good job each day.

When we were due to leave on our final day, I noticed that the hotel had charged my Visa Card again for the accommodation, but I had already given them the pre paid voucher on arrival. After the manager agreeing that I had paid twice for the accommodation, i.e. $1800 twice, he told me that he would have it put back on my card by the time we reached our next destination. Well, our next destination was getting on a cruise to Alaska. By the time we had been on the cruise for a couple of days, the charge hadn't been removed and I emailed the manager at the Grand Californian and he advised me that it would be my responsibility to get my bank in Australia to reverse the charges by advising them that I had been wrongly charged by a merchant.

This cost me a $65.00 phone call to Australia and it took ten days to reverse. So thanks to the Grand Californian, I was down $1800.00 spending money for the Alaskan holiday. I was really unimpressed with the way they handled THEIR mistake.

My advice is, don't prepay for any accommodation at this hotel, even if you are travelling from overseas. And definitely check all your charges at the end of your stay.

If I were going to Anaheim Disneyland again I would stay at another hotel at probably a third of the cost and just get a shuttle to and from the park.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank adelmum
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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#9 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#17 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range: $519 - $1,202 (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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