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“Beautiful - but not magical” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #31 of 117 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Beautiful - but not magical”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

As a frequent Disney park guest and big Disney fan, I was excited to stay at the Grand Californian.
I really wanted to be thrilled with the experience but instead I was left feeling it was just an average experience. Here's why:
We had just finished a 6 day Disney Cruise and arrived in Anaheim directly from the ship at approximately 11am. I had hoped potentially for an early check in, but was told that the earliest they might have the room ready was 4pm. When 4pm finally came we went to our room. We were staying in a Villa ( Disney Vacation Club ) room. The room was quite large, but sadly was on the ground floor facing a wall - we were just on the opposite side of Goofys Sky school. There was a path right outside our room and if someone was walking along there, they would have been able to walk right up to our double patio door. Not a huge deal, but didn't necessarily feel secure.
The room had an entrance foyer, large bathroom, mini kitchen, King Bed and large pull out sofa in the sitting area ( this was a villa after all). The furnishing were all in keeping with the Craftsman design of the hotel, but the room was dark. Dark and dare I say, slightly dreary. The room cost $440 a night - definitely costly.
Having stayed at Disney moderate resorts in Florida, they always felt fun and the theming more magical. This felt very sedate and glum. Walking down the hallway to our room it felt like i was in the overlook hotel from the movie The Shining.
Staying at this hotel has perks for sure - ability to charge everything in the resort on your room key ( similar to WDW). Package delivery to the room, dedicated entrance to DCA and early morning hours. Great restaurants as well.
My advice to parents - if you are looking for a great hotel for your family and want to stay at a Disney one - the Disneyland Hotel would likely be a better option. This hotel, while grand and beautiful lacks the magical feel of some of the other resorts.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Adamyyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,164 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Wooster, Ohio
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

My husband and I decided to go all out and stay at the top of the line hotel while visiting Disneyland. The Grand Californian Hotel was nothing less than you'd expect for a Disney property. There was absolutely nothing wrong at this hotel, just probably not our style in the "Lodge" type setting. Overall the hotel is a bit dark because of all the dark wood and lodge-like atmosphere. If you're into that type of nature setting, I'm sure you would love it. Service and cleanliness were top notch. The location is great with an entrance from the hotel to Downtown Disney and a direct entrance to California Adventure Park.

Room Tip: Although a room with a pool view is lovely, it's a bit noisy during swimming hours. We were on...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank woopif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chandler
Level Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed here as part of a Disney vacation package. They did their best to make everything easy for us. When we arrived the valet took our van and we didn't think of it again until we left. The room was nice. There were two queen beds so we had one and gave the other to our son. There was a small balcony, but you have to pay extra for a view. It might be worth it to get the view of Disneyland if you think you will be too tired to stay for the fireworks (we were). We did not take advantage of the pools, but they looked nice. The extra magic hour alternates by parks and we only went to Disneyland, so we had one extra hour. It was worth it! Only tomorrowland and one other "land" was open for the extra hour, but you can't beat walking right up to Space Mountain at 8 am and NO LINE. What a FANTASTIC way to start the morning! The alternate day we went to the character breakfast at the Paradise Pier Hotel. It was very pricey but we got to spend 90 minutes with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Stitch. Worth the price if you have kids. The hotel is adjacent to Downtown Disney and a very short walk to the parks. We were able to come back to our room for the heat of the day and go right back to the fun.

Room Tip: Get a view of Disneyland if you think you will be too tired to stay for the fireworks.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

We really love this hotel because,
- early morning access to the park every day (but there is usually a 15 to 20 minute line up each morning)
- easy access to park - one entrance brings you right into California Adventure park, next to Grizzly River Run which is where the Fast Pass distribution is for the World of Colour. Get one first thing as they run out quickly. The best place to view World of Colour is the bridge but its a "Blue" viewing area. We found easy access to park (and exit) very very nice as we went in and out of park to access pool, room, naps etc. exclusive access for hotel guests to this entrance until 11 am daily.
- beautiful, beautiful hotel. From page boy parking attendants, to stained glass doors, Lobby is spectacular, dark wood accents and vaulted ceilings. Each day a piano player plays on baby grand in front of and large open fire place, with a tv set up for kids to watch Disney cartoons. Bar is close by as well for night cap. There is also an open fireplace outside next to pool which is nice with the cool nights
- great day care/drop off but it does cost $13 per hour
- great pool with water slides
- wifi available everywhere and actually works
Down side
- Super pricy. Rooms were not spacious given the price - basic dimensions for hotel, but comfy. We had a package deal so didn't really understand the pricing until we looked closer- Yikes!
- pool service is lacking. We did see one bedraggled staff at one point in the afternoon but she could by no means meet the demands of the guests.
- gym is modest but does have reasonable cardio equipment
- storytellers cafe - we made the mistake to go in between the times they run the buffet. Big Mistake. Crappy service. So so food. Made us wait for a table for 15 minutes only to realize it was 3/4 empty. We did the Chip and Dale morning buffet on last day which was better, but once again, expensive. $30 for adults, $13 for kids under 10.
Great Way to experience Disneyland but expensive!

Room Tip: Both sides of hotel can be noisy if you are an early to bed kind of person. Pool side has world of W...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colleen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose CA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

Disney pulled out all the stops when they designed this hotel. It has the feel of the Awahnee (Yosemite National Park) but with all the modern amenities a traveling family would need. I especially like the easy park access to the California Adventure.

Room Tip: Food is expensive in the park and at the hotel. Bring breakfast items (cereal, keep milk in refriger...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank McCullah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
57 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Love this hotel. I'm middle-aged, and I felt like a little kid at each turn around the hotel grounds. There were Disney characters at the Storyteller's Cafe during the breakfast brunch. Easy in and out of the California Disney, and Downtown Disney is only a few steps away.

I loved all of the sitting areas around the grounds as well. Or grab a drink at the Lounge and sit next to the fireplace. We were on the 4th floor, with a nice view of the pool grounds. Would definitely go back, hopefully with the husband the next time around.

We valet'd for $15 I think. If you don't plan to use your car the entire time, I would recommend, instead of having to cross the street to the self-park, which is only a few bucks less. You do need to give yourself time, since it took a while for us to get our car back.

Room Tip: I'd like to think every room is a good room. If you want quiet, choose the east(?) wing, first...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ligaya72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Great location helps break up long days/evenings at Disneyland! We had a pool view room and it was very comfortable. Kids loved the breakfast, too! We've stayed at other hotels on Harbor Blvd in the past and it is worth paying a little extra to stay right in the park.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dukeybebs
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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