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“Not my greatest Disney experience”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #32 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Sunset Hills, Missouri, United States
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Not my greatest Disney experience”
Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

For what you pay for a premiun, top-notch Disney experience this hotel completely missed the mark.

The rooms were well-appointed and clean. The decor was elegant Disney. Compared to some of the other DVC resorts, though, the rooms were smaller.

The pool was area was okay. It was a bit spread out with not as many tables as needed. Lounge chairs were nice and clean, but there were not enough to handle the capacity of guests during a busy spring break week.

My service experience was definitely NOT up to what I expect from a Disney resort. My only positive experience was at check in, where Michael was warm, friendly and very helpful. He answered all my questions, fave me great information and was supremely helpful. After that every cast member interaction went downhill. They were unavailable at concierge services after 8pm or only had one cast member available during peak times so the wait for information was very long. It's not that any of the cast members were unfriendly, it's just that they didn't seem to care.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Anne V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Kinda pricey and the towels were scratchy, however the staff go above and beyond to make every interaction great. The location is perfect for a Disney location. I didn't like the music playing at the pool at midnight but my earplugs took care of that. Everyone was very pleasant and friendly. Staying there was a dream come true for me and I would go back again. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kazar1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013

It took forever to check in...almost 1/2 hour and even then our room wasn't ready. We had to store our luggage and go back later.
Our room was very ordinary and I couldn't have a shower on the last day we were there because the water was cold.
A few of the staff were rude and unnecssarily difficult to deal with. Totally inefficient!
The Mandara Spa was one of the most expensive I have been too AND they added on a 30% gratuity themselves.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to receiption would be more comfortable and less likely to run out of hot water.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jaqi R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013

The Grand Californian is a grand place to stay if you are willing to pay the price for convenience and service. I am. I made reservation 5 nights at the Grand Californian, and currently am staying on property as I write this review. This is just the first night, so let me explain why they already deserve five stars. This review is based on a 5 night stay on the premier theme park view concierge level, and I am staying in room 6226, a double queen room on the sixth floor that overlooks the pools and grizzly river mountain (with Tower of Terror in the background).

1. I was provided a pre-registration number, as all guests of any level are, and used it this morning to check in before I even arrived. This service is something other hotels do not provide, which I am happy to use. This allows the concierge to check you in, so you skip the entire lobby area when you arrive.

2. Arrival is easy and makes you feel important. The gate had my name ready to go and tagged my vehicle with a specific color for immediate valet service. I pulled up, the bell service took my bags and provided me a ticket, stating I could call my luggage up once my room was ready. A very nice lady greeted us and took us immediately to the sixth floor concierge lounge to check in personally.

3. The concierge service is great. The lounge is only available to those who pay for the additional service, which we did. There is food in that lounge from 6am to midnight, including wine, champagne, beer, sodas, coffee, water, tea, etc. The snacks are great, especially dessert served from 8pm-midnight. We watched the fireworks from there and they played the soundtrack with it. It was beautiful and very nice to be away from the huge crowds (also nice to drink some champagne while watching the fireworks!).

4. The rooms are very clean, spacious in my opinion, and have a great woodsy feel. The balcony is just right to sit and drink coffee while scrolling through a newspaper. When we entered our room (I paid for the Mickey Grand Welcome decor upon arrival) it was decorated with plushies, candies, balloons, stickers, and a huge box filled with gifts for our stay. It's worth the extra money to do that.

5. We received our itinerary upon check-in, meaning that all reservations made in the resort for premier seating, restaurants, or other events was listed by day and time. This was awesome. We also received a signed photo of Mickey & Minnie! Great service.

6. When we returned from our dinner and the fireworks, housekeeping took the liberty of decorating our bed with rose petals, a single white rose, and some chocolates because they knew we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.

The extra magic that you feel when you walk in to a place like Grand Californian makes the stay worth every penny. I don't care if we paid top dollar and the room was just, what some like to call, "standard". You are paying for the extra touches, the feel good service, and the special gifts received during the stay. I love this hotel, and now that I have a taste of the resort, I may never stay at another good neighbor hotel again.

Tips: Pay your stay in full so you can skip the payment process altogether upon check-in. Bring a card you can place incidentals on and use the room key to buy EVERYTHING in the entire resort (including restaurants). Use the room key to make purchases at any store in the resort and they will deliver your purchases to the room for you. Pre-register before arriving; it helps you flow through the check-in process. Also, if you don't get the room type you want, you can ask to move in the middle of your stay, if needed, to your room choice.

Room Tip: The Downtown Disney view rooms may give you a better chance of watching fireworks from your balcony...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank karidaluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue Springs, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We are not DVC members, but instead rented points through a broker which made staying at the Grand Californian much more budget friendly. We stayed in a studio on the fifth floor with a view of the swimming pool. The entry straight into California Adventure was a great way to hop to and from the park after wet rides on the river rapids ride which is very close to the hotel. Downtown Disney is right outside the door as well, adding to the dining and snacking choices the hotel already offers. Disneyland park is also a very short walk away. We found ourselves going back to the hotel for breaks at least once a day, something we almost never do when fighting the buses in WDW.
The studio was very large and great for two. Two more guests can sleep on a sleeper-sofa, but in my opinion the one bathroom and sink would have made for some close quarters. Amenities included microwave, refrigerator, cups and dishes, full-sized coffee maker, as well as laundry supplies, a real hair-dryer, dish soap, can opener, and just about everything one needs to create a home away from home.
The shop was nice, but much smaller than what you will find at Disney World resorts, but World of Disney and the rest of Downtown Disney is practically next door. As far as dining goes, Napa Rose was not in the budget this time. We had lunch at Storyteller's which was very good. We passed on White Water Snacks as it did not have much in the way of vegetarian options on the day we stopped by.
I have really only one complaint about the hotel, and it regards the laundry room on the Villas side. This laundry room has only two washing machines. Seriously, only two. In order to pack less we had to do our clothes twice and one of the times we had to lug everything to the full laundry room on the other side of the hotel. I understand this is a smaller laundry room, but I couldn't understand why there were ten dryer machines and only two washers. And unfortunately some guests have no problem leaving their wet clothes in the washer for hours at a time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian_P_in_KC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

There were two good things that I can say about this hotel: 1) It is right on the Disney complex; and 2) The upgraded view room, with king bed, was a nice room. We spent two nights at this hotel, with the first being in a very ordinary 2 queen bed room.

In every other way, this hotel is completely overrated. The first and last impression comes from the reception and bell desk. The inefficiency of those areas is beyond belief. Because checkout is at 11:00, practically everyone must store luggage. Thus, this is a bottleneck area...and is poorly managed.

There are plenty of nice hotels in the immediate vicinity of Disneyland. Save your money for the Disneyland park.

Room Tip: If you stay here, get a king room with either a view of the park or pool.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank NorthBayJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We have stayed at the Grand Californian several times with our kids and grandkids. Each stay has been terrific from start to finish. The hotel is designed in the American Craftsman style on a grand scale. The largest family usually gets a room with bunk beds and a trundle as well as a big bed for the parents. Very popular with the kids. There is a pack and play in every room for the babies. Every room has a refrigerator and you can even have food delivered from Von's!

The hotel is actually in the park with its own entrance to California Adventure. It is such a luxury to go in and out of Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney with an absolute minimum of walking. You can even have your purchases delivered to your room.

Another treat for the adults is the fabulous spa. I recommend it.

We love this place and when you stay here, the cast members do everything they can to make your stay magical.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank K56
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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