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“Overall great resort, convenient location and wonderful spa”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #32 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Reviewed April 2, 2014

If you are looking into one of the three onsite hotels at Disneyland, I take it you have kids and don't expect a relaxing or romantic trip by any means and it is convenience with a tad bit of bonus quiet time that you are seeking. If that's the case, Grand Californian Hotel is the best out of the three that will offer you that chance of bonus adult/quiet time. We have stayed at all three (Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian) and Grand Californian has by far the most kids programs on hotel property and most amenities to keep the children busy and content! On top of that, there is a spacious, tranquil full service spa that will allow you to get away for an hour or two while your children are participating in the kids programs or if they are lining up at Cars Land with your spouse. I know I absolutely treasured having the spa at the hotel!

The hotel offers a back entrance to the Disney California Adventure and as a hotel guest (for all 3 hotels) you will have a bonus hour, allowing you to enter the park early, collecting all your key fast passes for the day! The walk from Grand Californian to Disney California park was brief, much shorter than the walk from Disneyland Hotel to the theme parks and Paradise Pier.

As with any Disney restaurants, I always appreciate the care and attention the staff and chef pays to food allergies. In fact, at this point, after having been to so many types of Disney vacations, my son has a file and Disney proactively asks if a gluten-free option is needed and discusses the dining options with me. I love that attentiveness and it just gives me one less thing to worry about.

Rooms are moderately spacious, clean and sufficient for a family of 3. It's not overly themed or decorated. Hallways are loud as expected in any Disney hotel but room walls seem to be fine. At least we were not bothered by our neighbors.

I would stay here again, over the other two hotels. This is the option for you if you want a hotel that is more than just sleep time....this hotel will give you better dining options, day time programs, and ahh...the spa for any parents in need of just an hour of rest! It's not for families who want to do and see everything from park opening hour to closing time-- it won't be worth it spending the extra $$ at this resort if that's what you are seeking. If that's the case, Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier are both great options.

Room Tip: Skip any upgrades for 'views' or high floors...you're at Disneyland, everything is man m...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank sklo2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 2, 2014

We stayed at the Grand Californian one time before in 2002 when our first born was only 8 months old. At that time, I remember being absolutely in love, as the location could not be beat. It was so convenient when having an infant, when I frequently needed to go back to let her rest, nurse, etc. I also remember it being worth the money we splurged to stay there back then. 12 years later, we finally returned with our now 11 year old and 4 year old daughters. We had a free night from a contest we won and we paid for another night to extend the trip. We got in to the hotel early in the morning at about 9:30 and did not expect our room to be ready, but it was, so that was fantastic. The guest service was phenomenal for our entire stay. I cannot complain about anything there. From check-in to check-out, the employees there were wonderful, from valet to bell-hop, housekeeping, and concierge. Our room was not nearly as nice as I remembered from our first visit, so that was a slight let-down. The bathroom was very small and dated and the rest of the room just average- definitely did not feel like a 5 star resort. The sliding door and tiny balcony was nice though for fresh air. The beds were quite comfortable though. However, I did not get to enjoy my sleep as much as I would have liked due to the fact that the hallway noise was ridiculous. I was shocked at how loud everything in the hallway was. You could hear every person/family as clear as if they were in the room, which was okay if you were going to bed late which we did, but not if you wanted to sleep in past 7:00 or if you wanted to take a nap (as we did each day since it was pouring rain while we were there). Those are the two things that keep this from being a 5 star review. If we had paid the $360 for each night, instead of just for the one, I would have been far more upset, as I honestly believe that when you pay for a 5 star hotel, it should be a 5 star hotel in every way- not just in service. We also ate breakfast at Storytellers while we were there, and that was a fantastic meal and experience as well. In the end, the location and service cannot be beat- if the rooms, comfort and price can be. With older kids, I do not know that it is worth it for us to spend the money to stay here again though. We would rather have the money to spend in the park and stay at another nice hotel in vicinity, which luckily we have stayed at many so have plenty to pick from.

Room Tip: A location at the opposite end of a hallway. Though it may be a walk, would hopefully be fewer peopl...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Me0611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

The hotel is beautiful the grounds are so well kept, just like the park. We are Vacation Club members so we stayed in the Villas. The amount of room and the accommodations in the villas is very nice. The only issue is the fold out sofa. It is a little hard and my daughter chose just to take the cushions off the sofa and sleep on the unfolded bed, it was more comfortable that way. We were able to make our own breakfast and lunch which is a much cheaper for anyone who has bought food in the park. Did not use the pool this time but have in the past and it is very enjoyable area. The location is second to none and the fact you don't have to "see the real world" while you're staying there is great.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Chip144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

We stayed here in early March with our 3 kids and my sister from LA met us with her family and 3 kids. It is worth staying on property because of the proximity to disney/downtown disney and ability to do magic mornings and return to rest in the middle of the day. I was hoping that we would enjoy the pool area but we were disappointed. None of the kids swam more than an hour and they only used the slide once. My 10 year old had to push himself down and the other kids didn't like it either (ages 4-14). There is a food outlet near the pool area where you pick up snacks and a few grill items but both categories are limited and disappointing. There is also little to no early morning, quick breakfast/coffee options if you do magic morning. We had to wait till other outlets opened in the park (starbucks). No poolside food service unless you book the cabanas (which are not worth it). Rooms are perfectly fine and comfortable but hardly worth the price. The staff was great, always helpful and overall our trip was great because we chose to stay on property - probably the only reason people might come back and stay.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Bumblebeew3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We loved how close the hotel was to the parks. It's a beautiful hotel and has a great staff. It's a very busy hotel and we thought the pools were a bit disappointing...we expected them to be more "kid-friendly".

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank Krystn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

When we first walked into the place, we were AMAZED!! The lobby is phenomenal!! the amenities and the staff are absolutely exceptional. We bought an "upgraded" room, but were a bit disappointed. It was small, dingy, and looked like your typical $100 a night hotel room. The breakfast with characters cost just as much for us patrons as it did for everyone else too, which was a downer. Who wants to pay $100 bucks for a kids breakfast after spending $300 plus for a so so room? However, the location CANNOT be beat!! You are right there for both parks and the "Magic hour" really is Magical in helping get on a bunch of rides with minimal wait and get a short wait to meet those princesses. If we go back, we will defly stay there again.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank cls38950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Location is the best part of this hotel. Stayed here March 2nd through the 6th and was overall pleased with our stay.
Check-in was busy, our taxi driver commented how busy this hotel was for a Sunday at 3pm. Boy, he was right long line to check in but went fairly quick. My husband was not feeling well and our room wasn’t ready, I had requested a room with a bunk and I upgraded to a courtyard view so I assume they were trying to accommodate me. The lady checking us in said it would be about 15-20 minutes so we opted to wait for the text since I needed to get organized before heading to the parks. After about a half hour I told them my husband wasn’t feeling well and we needed to get into our room right away. They promptly gave us a room but no bunks and no view. Oh well, we were in the happiest place on earth no need to complain.
I must agree with most posters, the room itself is not much to write home about and is super small for a family of four. The balcony can barely fit the small bistro table and 2 chairs that are provided. We actually didn’t even use the balcony because it was so tiny. Housekeeping was wonderful, my husband ended up being sick for the first couple of days and they came in and changed our sheets each time within a couple of minutes of calling. The hotel itself is beautiful and after the first day our family had the lay of the land and it was easy to get around. We used the pool every day we were there and my kids loved the waterslide. The lifeguards are great and kept a close eye on the kids.
We ate at Whitewater snacks and used the convenient items for sale which were priced high but not too terrible. I also used the laundry room which again was expensive but a nice amenity the hotel offers. While the clothes were washing my kids used the arcade so I could keep a close eye on them.
We used the main entrance (through DTD) to the parks in the morning since I had read that the DGC hotel entrance lines can get long. By the time we were ready to come back to the hotel after 11am the DGC hotel entrance is wonderful and easy to use.
We ate at Goofy’s kitchen for our Character meal for dinner and enjoyed it very much. It was actually one of the highlights of the trip. The food was wonderful and the characters were great with the kids. We also did the fantasmic Premium dessert package and thought it wasn’t worth the money. It was nice to have our own seats but the process in which you have to get the tickets, wait in line for seat assignments and then wait in another line to be seated made me second guess my purchase. I think next time I would skip the show (although it was great) and take advantage of the short lines for rides. We also saw WOC on our last night, they make you stand and my kids couldn’t see anything. I actually wouldn’t get fast passes next time; I would just get there right before and stand wherever my kids could see the best. We actually ended up leaving because it was such a disappointment.
Overall, we loved this hotel for the location especially since my husband was sick for the first couple of days. Made it easy to pop in and check on him and also to ride Grizzly River and change clothes. Close to the monorail in Downtown Disney and great dining choices and the monorail which puts you right in the heart of Disneyland. Disney California Adventure is so close and convenient, I loved it. I do have to say Disneyland/California Adventure was packed and had very long lines to the rides. We figured Sunday through a Wednesday first week in March would be a slower time but wow, it was busy. Talking to some people in lines they said Disney is never slow anymore and with all the annual passes makes the weekdays busy too. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for the best location to the parks that has some extra money to splurge on vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank fopcookbook
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: $529 - $1,193 (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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