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“superb location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #25 of 116 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Union City, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“superb location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Forget the price because everyone knows it is EXPENSIVE but it is the location that you are paying for ... really!!! Stayed here for the first time and the building and the design and all didn't impress me too well and not much activites for kids to participate w/in the hotel compared to Disney hotel in Florida where they had small shows inside the lobby where kids can hang out and do arts and crafts.
Nevertheless, folks gave them rave review for the location and it is true..... walking distance to Disneyland and Cal Adventure.
Customer service was fine, didn't get to chance to check out their pool, no time! Very clean, furnitures are still in good shape though old.
They make every effort to check your room in the afternoon and see if there is anything else they can straighten out or clean for you. Nice to come back after a tiring long day to see couple of chocolates courtesy of the staff/hotel waiting for you on the night stand!!! =)
Storybook restaurant is great. Should try that. Buffet is small, could be alot bigger but the selection of food is good.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Helpful?
1 Thank be-zen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Kailua Kona
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We were excited to be taking our granddaughter to Disneyland and decided to splurge on the Disney Grand Californian Hotel for two nights. Our room cost was $450 per night for a basic room. The hotel is beautiful, well maintained, clean was employees offer great service. But, everything is an extra cost. Our parking charge wa $66 for just over 48 hours. To use a computer the fee was $6 for 10 minutes. I was told that the business suite was not part of Disney. Disney didn't offer free computer use. We enjoyed our time in the park but I wouldn't return to the Grand Californian because it just isn't worth the price.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CaliforniaAli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jamiek81
Level Contributor
69 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My husband and I are Disney Vacation Club Members (our home resort is at WDW) so we spent quite a large amount of our timeshare points to stay here in a 2 bedroom villa as a treat for my mother-in-law's birthday. We were super excited to actually book a room here on our points because they are typically hard to get. First, the check-in procedures are very confusing. There was no queue to organize the line, one tiny sign telling you where to line up, and a single staff member armed with an iPad to try to expedite the process. Keep in mind, we stopped in early (around 1pm and check-in is officially 3pm) to get all of our paperwork done and get a credit card on file so we could get back to the parks We were offered self parking for free (they neglected to tell us at first that it is across the street by the other hotels) or valet for a charge. We took self-parking because it had in-out privileges and we wouldn't have to wait for valet every time. We, of course, didn't expect a room to be ready and the clerk offered to text me when our room was ready. Awesome! Just after 3pm, I kept checking my phone...no text. Our room wasn't ready until 5:30pm and we had a 7pm dinner reservation at Blue Bayou in Disneyland! That left us very little time to get settled, cleaned up, and ready for dinner. The room itself along with the entire resort is beautiful! Our room overlooked the Paradise Pier section of California Adventure and it was lovely at night! I know some have complained about noise, but we didn't hear anything unless our sliding door was open. This location is ideal for park entry because it does have it's own entrance to California Adventure which is neat. If you have park hopper tickets, it was simple to cut through California Adventure to get to Disneyland. Otherwise, there is a very convenient walk to Downtown Disney where you can exit to the plaza in the center of all three Disneyland areas. That was where our pleasant experience ended. On check out day, my husband and I ventured in to the parks (early entry to California Adventure for an early morning Cars Land experience...count us in!) and my in-laws stayed behind to have a more relaxing morning and pack up. They were harassed three times by housekeeping starting at 9am and finally at 10:15am they gave up and started walking stuff to the car (check out is 11am). My husband and I returned from the parks around 10:20am to find our guests wheeling out all the suitcases they could handle because housekeeping made them feel like they had to leave. So not only was my room not ready on time, now you are rushing my guests out of our room starting almost 2 hours before check out? Totally inappropriate in my book! We went upstairs to gather the rest of our things and do a final sweep of the room to make sure no one had left anything. About 10:45am, I stopped by the front desk to talk to the person who directs people (with the iPad). I explained my situation to her and I was instructed that I had to wait in line in order to speak to anyone. About 5 minutes or so go by and she walks down the line to see if anyone is checking out...um excuse me? I'm trying to check out and I want to speak to someone! Oh...I was going to have to wait longer. So, I finally get called to a desk after waiting 15 minutes and the guy behind the desk checked us out. He heard my complaint and all he could ask was "was there a do not disturb sign on the door?" I explained to him that there wasn't and that there should need to be if we were checking out and check out time is 11am. Not only that, but my guests had informed housekeeping upon the first visit that we would not be leaving until closer to 11am. He apologized and said that there must have been a miscommunication with housekeeping, but we really should have had the sign on the door. Seriously? I reminded him kindly that this conversation was not embodying the "Disney" way and that I was very disappoint in this hotel. I asked if there was anyone I could speak to and was informed that I would have to wait longer. I opted not to because we had already eaten up a chunk of our day dealing with this and we all wanted to get back to the parks. Overall, throughout the stay I found the staff her to be abrasive, unhelpful, and rude. I would NOT stay here as a cash reservation for the prices they charge and I certainly will choose to use my points to stay at a different Disneyland hotel. We would lose the benefit of "condo" living on the road with the other hotels who don't offer the villas, but it would be worth it not to have to deal with such lousy service for a TON of points spent for the 2 nights we were there.

Post trip, I'm still trying to get contact information for the General Manager and I'm planning on calling my DVC Tour Guide to express my displeasure with this hotel. I have never been treated like this on any of our stays at WDW (this was our first to Disneyland) and it has soured me.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jamiek81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars 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 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Adamyyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wooster, Ohio
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 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
Helpful?
Thank woopif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chandler
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      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 stars 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 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colleen 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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