After months and months of researching on where to stay for our inaugural Disneyland vacation, we took the plunge and stayed at the Grand Californian. The question most people ask is "is it worth the additional cost to stay here?" I can definitely say with confidence, a definite.... maybe.
Here's the thing, for us it was worth the extra cost. I had my three children aged 9, 7 and 4 and the convenience of just popping into our hotel for lunch or a rest was extremely beneficial. We swam in the pool basically everyday near lunch time and it was a good break from the busyness of Disneyland. Yes, hotels outside of Disneyland are very close, but not Grand Californian close. For our first visit and with the age of our kids, it was worth the extra cost.
But really, the only extra you get is the location. Otherwise as most other reviews have stated, the room itself and even the hotel is not any fancier then any other and you don't get too many extras. The added magic mornings were good but again, we didn't use all of them because it would have just been too tiring waking up early every day.
As far as the exclusive entrance into California Adventure, the lines in the morning were long as there are only 2 line ups, but they do funnel you into the park just outside of the hotel to gather until the official magic morning starts. This entrance was great during the day to get back to the hotel for sure.
Staff were helpful and polite, didn't have any issues there. The concierge service was good also to help with the bags and for extra cost of the tip, it was well worth it.
Apart from the 5.1 earthquake we felt while we stayed there, the experience was a good one. Next time, if we ever go back, we will stay off the resort as our kids will be older and can do the walk back to the hotel if needed.
I posted a picture of the size of fridge in the room as we stocked up on groceries to have during our stay for breakfast and lunch. Gives you sense of how much you can actually store in the fridge.
One other tip is we rented a car and was going to return the rental to the Alamo in Downtown Disney. We checked in and was allowed to leave the car until we settled into the room which was convenient. The Alamo parking lot is shared with the Grand Californian self parking lot.
Lastly, as a comparison, we also stayed at the LEGOLAND hotel in Carlsbad and the room there was much better for the kids compared to the Disneyland room, but you can see my review of that hotel to see the details.
- 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