We booked this quickly when Disney opened up to California residents a month or so ago, and for various reasons, booked two rooms in three different concurrent reservations. The rooms were two different types because that’s all that was available.
Upon check-in, a wonderfully patient woman seamlessly fixed all of this, giving us two adjacent rooms overlooking the park on the fourth floor in a prime location: three doors down from a little-used bank of elevators that open right next to the California Adventure entrance, and the pool.
It can’t be overstated how convenient it was to zip back into the hotel from the Grizzly River Rapids ride and be back in the park in less than five minutes. Quite an upgrade from our days staying in value hotels across the street from Disneyland and hiking for 20-30m with the kids. Worth the money? For us, yes.
The rooms themselves were perhaps the perfect size for our family of ten (eight kids ages 6 to 18). Not spacious, but not cramped. The couch day bed thing was very easy to use and very comfortable; my 17 year old *loved* it—“it was super nice!”
The staff (bellhops, security folks, registration desk staff, lifeguards, etc.) were consistently friendly and helpful throughout the stay, and were able to help us get tickets to Rise of the Resistance when our efforts with the app failed.
My wife and I were commenting on checkout just how much we enjoyed this trip, and how perfectly it went, despite a few COVID bumps along the way. And speaking of checkout, we squeezed a few hours at the pool in the morning, and didn’t call for the bellhop to get our bags until 10:40. They let us know on the phone it would take 30-40m, but just to enjoy the room while we waited past the 11am deadline, and let us know that checkout was automatic.
And wow, we gave the bellhop quite a task with all of our luggage and misc. bags. Nary a complaint: just a positive attitude while he loaded them, moved them, and then packed them into our car, smiling the whole time.
Thank you, Disney, for an amazing time.
Great location, but service has slipped
Jun 17, 2021
This was my second time staying at Grand Californian, and it’s a beautiful and relaxing hotel. The location can’t be beat for proximity to Disneyland parks; we used the private entrance into DCA on reopening day and it saved us long waits at the front gates of the park.
While staff were trying their best, the new systems to control attendance in the pool and restaurants, were frustrating to navigate. For example, we joined the new waitlist for the pool every day, and it took 3-4 hours to be allowed in. I liked being guaranteed a seat, but there must be a better way to manage this, as there was a constant line of crying children and screaming Karens trying to get in the pool.
We usually eat at Storytellers Cafe, even when staying at another hotel, but the waitlist was full every day of our visit, and it’s geolocked, so you can’t join from the parks.
Part of what I expect from this hotel is exceptional service. However, our bedding was stained when we checked in. And after the every other day “light cleaning,” we found a brown substance smeared on a pillow. This would be unexceptional in a 3-star hotel, but for $600+ a night, I was very disappointed.
Overall, my feet are happy to have saved a few steps into the parks, but I was planning on staying here in October, but we changed our mind after this trip. It’s just not a great value with the current management issues.
Back to normal
(Princeton, New Jersey)
Jun 13, 2021
First trip after the pandemic. The choice of the hotel is a no brainer. Disney never disappoints. Friendly and happy staff and Ultra clean rooms made our visit very relaxed. Walking to Disney downtown is a great way to entertain the family. They have allowed valet parking which has been missing at other eateries since the pandemic.
May 24, 2021
The standard room for $700+ is equivalent to any other average airport hotel room. You are essentially paying to save time walking to the parking structure from the park. The food situation was sad - the granola was just a smashed up Nature Valley granola bar, lol. The cocktails at the pool were weak and used cheap liquor (of course the price tag is *not* cheap). When I called guest services about the food-ordering app not working, the employee on the phone was dismissive and rude. I am so mad at myself for spending the money on what amounts to a very average hotel stay. I'm sure if you are incredibly wealthy and have access to the best this hotel has to offer, you will have a MAGICAL TIME. But if you're a regular person who is considering splurging on a special vacation, save your money.
Spectacular view! A magical return to a better future! Thanks, Disney!
May 21, 2021
We stayed on the 6th floor with a view of Disney’s Californian Adventures. It was amazing. I felt like we were part of the magic as we sat on the balcony looking at the fun view from the colorful Ferris wheel to the Cars monumental Southwestern landscape. I’ve never paid so much for a hotel but I’m happy to help keep Disney in business after the year and a half shutdown forced on them. We had such a wonderful stay, it washed away the memories of the pandemic. Happy, healthy and ready for good times ahead. Ringing in the new era with Disney was perfect. Everyone should stay there at least once to experience the beauty, view, majestic lobby, sunny numerous pools and staff that went the extra mile.