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Grand Californian Hotel Grand Californian Hotel
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1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 67 ( Displaying Reviews: 61 - 67 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/19/02-10/26/02
Reviewer: kisroo Oregon     December 15, 2002
Accomodations: Concierge level with King bed and courtyard view. We were here for our honeymoon and *loved* this hotel and our experience there! From the time we checked in (at the customer service desk, where they had someone from concierge meet us within seconds~complete with a welcome picture of Mickey and the "gang") to the time we checked out, we felt that the staff was attentive and friendly.
Room: Our room was regular hotel-sized room with a king-sized bed, a loveseat, a small table with 2 chairs and a balcony with chairs. The tv was set inside an armoire that had doors and 4 good sized drawers. The room had a dvd player, a fridge (we had them bring us a spare, since there really is no room in the mini-bar fridge and I was scared to move anything...), a coffee maker, and phone/internet hook ups. The bathroom area was just perfect for the 2 of us, with a separate vanity area with 2 sinks. The shower was nice, with good pressure, although the first am it took awhile to get hot water. We loved the robes and slippers that they had in the room for us and the bedding was wonderfully clean and crisp with extra blankets and soft, fluffy pillows. I usually end up with neck aches due to hotel pillows/bed, but slept wonderfully the whole stay here. The bed was perfect! The courtyard view was remarkably peaceful each day and we could see just the edge of WOD store and DD off the end of the courtyard. The trees and shrubs are a great touch to the GC hotel and really made us feel like we were vacationing!

Services: Service here was great, except that I had asked to "surprise" my hubby with special turndown the first night and we didn't get any turn down that night. However, when I mentioned it gently to the concierge staff, the cast member obviously went above and beyond for us as we ended up with a special turn-down each night after...for a full 6 nights!!! I won't spoil the surprise, but believe me, they added Disney magic each and every night~doing something just slightly different and special each time...Perfect Disney style. We did tip our housekeeping staff well because of this, but I don't think that's why they did it... :)
Special note on Concierge level services: We loved concierge level! It was WAY worth it for even just the 2 of us. We had a room really close to the elevators that led to the DCA entrance AND really close to the lounge. Perfect!!! However, I don't think we would have minded walking in this hotel, as it is beautifully decorated down to the littlest detail. We appreciated the subtle Disney decor (woodsy Snow White). We paid a package rate that included our 8 day pass (quickly upgraded to APs for $1 each...), the hotel room, and some other treats...but I estimated we paid about $225/night. Concierge level gave us free breakfast(cereal, bagels, pastries, muffins, fruit, cheeses, drinks)each morning, unlimited access to drinks (the water bottles alone saved us $$$) and snacks(chips/cookies) throughout the day and then in the evening there was a happy hour (little pb&j sandwiches, fruit, gourmet cheeses/bread/crackers, veggies and dips, wine/soft drinks) that was so filling we that bought dinner only 1 night the whole time we were there. Due to this, we also only bought breakfast 1 day(a Goofy's Kitchen splurge)and the rest of our food budget just went to lunches each day(enough saved to eat at BB 2x that week!). We liked the luxury of relaxing each am and pm in the lounge. We also took advantage of the complimentary dvd library, daily newspaper, and the concierge staff services (calling for reservations, fixing minor problems, answering questions about DCA which was new to us).

Food/Resturants: Whitewater Cafe~We shared a chilidog with fries (with AP discount that the cast member suggested) and it was delicious, fast, and cheap. Nice little cafe-like atmosphere there, plenty of food for the 2 of us and the bill was less than $5. Storytellers~I had Turkey burger (just ok), hubby had chicken dish(not particularly memorable, obviously) and poor service which resulted in a bill of over $20 (for lunch) and we had to go to the front desk to get our ticket because the wait person was so neglectful(even on a slow afternoon). We wouldn't eat there again, although we did enjoy a burger made from there for room service one afternoon which was delicious, but cost $15 alone!.

Pools/Other: The pool area was nice and relaxing. We enjoyed the theming and the hot tub was a wonderful way to end the day. I was worried that it closed early (9:00 when we were there), but the cast members did not enforce this and we were in the hot tub until 10 one night without problem.
The Eureka Spa/Workout room was very nice. It had several elipical trainers, 4 treadmills, stationary bikes and weight machines/free weights. We used it every morning and never waited for a machine. The locker room also had Steam room, dry sauna, and nice shower area with complimentary shower necessities.

We are already saving up for our next trip to the GC and plan on staying concierge again! Think about doing this if you spend $ on food~we really feel we got our $ worth(and we're not, by any means, "concierge" stayers usually~this was our first time, but we really did feel that given all the extras, it was worth it).
17 out of 17 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/5/02 - 10/12/02
Reviewer: Cathleen ( Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania     November 05, 2002
I loved the Grand Californian, it made my vacation. I was in awe from the time my super shuttle drove up to the enterance of the hotel. I was traveling with my mom, who grew up in Anaheim and has been visiting Disneyland since it has opened. We were both totally impressed with the hotel, the service was exceptional. We booked a standard room (through Disney Travel with a Disney Club Discount), and was given a room on the fifth floor overlooking Downtown Disney.
We loved that we were so close to Downtown Disney, Disneyland and of course Disney California Adventure.
We ate twice at Storytellers Cafe, and loved each time. We even ordered room service, twice. The food was excellent. In the mornings we usually grabbed something at White Water Rapids place.
We are already planning our next trip. I don't know what I am more excited about the parks or the hotel. We have stayed at Paradise Pier (when it was known as Pacific Hotel) and enjoyed it, but we both are in love with Disney Grand Californian.
5 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/1 - 10/4/02
Reviewer: mousemom11 Bothell, WA     October 23, 2002
The Grand Californian is magnificent! The magic started for me as I walked through the beautiful stained glass front doors into the soaring lobby. Wow! The woodwork was gorgeous, the fireplace was huge, and I loved the tiffany lamps. I had them lock the minibar and bring us an extra fridge. I had read that the minibars have motion sensors and that even moving things around in them could cause you to be billed for items that you didnt use. We had a standard room on the 3rd floor overlooking the Condor Flats/Grizzly River Run area of the park. It is worth it to pay extra for a park view room. The room was beautifully appointed. I loved the carved headboards, with matching carved entertainment center and the tiffany-style lighting fixtures. There was a separate vanity area that had a beautiful marble countertop with two sinks that had lovely fixtures. Overall, service was excellent; check-in, restaurants, room service, nightly turn-down service. However, we were disappointed that the bell staff did not come out to take our luggage when we arrived. Storyteller's Cafe is a delight with a fine breakfast buffet. We loved being steps away from California Adventure through the hotel's special entrance. And it was only a few minutes walk through Downtown Disney to Disneyland's main entrance. My 4 year old just loved the water slide at the main pool and it was nice to relax sore muscles in the hot tub after a long day in the parks.

Beware of the balcony doors! I got locked out on the balcony, my husband was in the park, and my children were asleep in the room. The locks are fairly loose, and the act of shutting the door behind me caused the lock to engage. Fortunately, our room was right above the entrance from the hotel to California Adventure. The staff responded quickly and had me back in the room in less than 10 minutes. Other than that, we loved it and recommend it highly!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   August 31 to September 2
Reviewer: Jasmine Los Angeles, California     September 03, 2002
As a Premium Annual Passholder, we booked a $169 per night room overlooking Downtown Disney (FYI ... during the same time period, I was quoted the Paradise Pier Hotel for $99, but our 2001 visit there was not memorable). If you are not going to spend time enjoying the room or the pool, then paying the additional money may not be worth it to you. However, having seen the hotel only as a day visitor to DL or DCA, we bit the bullet to stay here during the Labor Day weekend to simply enjoy the hotel itself. In short ... we absolutely loved staying here and the experience was everything I expected. It is a 4-star facility and the convenience to both DL and DCA is excellent. Check in on Sat AM was great as our room was ready by 10 AM, although we were initially told at the security gate that rooms would not be ready until 3:00 PM. There is heightened security everywhere, which was fine as far as we were concerned. It is true that the hallways can be very, very long from the main elevators, so expect a lengthy walk. In addition, from previous reviews we knew that the rooms were going to be compact, so we were not really disappointed when that turned out to be true for our room (The DL hotel rooms are indeed larger). However, the compact room had a bunk bed (which thrilled my children) and a comfortable queen bed. Note: the two bunk beds are fine for adults under 6', but the trundle bed underneath is only good for those 5' or shorter. The theming of the hotel carries into each guest room -- woodlands, Sequoias, craftsman architecture. The facilities were extremely clean and all the staff were courteous. From our balcony, we could check out DTD and the DL fireworks sitting on the wrought-iron furniture (with very comfortable seat pads) ... BTW there was absolutely no noise from DTD when the glass door was shut. We also thought the swimming pools (2 of them) were better than at the DH and were not as crowded (all the lounges are nicely padded and ample towels are available poolside). My children enjoyed the water slide here, and there was a quieter fountain pool good for lap swimming (it was a warm weekend and I wished that the pools could remain open past the 10 PM closing time). The health club was ample and nicely equipped with state-of-the-art equipment ... much better here than at the DL Hotel. There was convenient access next to the pools to the Grizzly Bear cafe for relatively inexepensive breakfast and lunch. Servers were also on hand to serve drinks and food poolside. Our room had a coffe maker and each morning we ate at the poolside cafe (pastries, cooked breakfasts, cereal, fruit) -- room service and Storyteller's for breakfast are expensive. Rather than dining at the Storyteller's for dinner, we opted to eat at Goofy's Kitchen at the DL Hotel (a greater variety and a better value in our opinion). Overall ... a memorable visit that was worth the price if you plan to remain on the premises to relax in the room, lounge by the pool, and soak in the overall ambiance. As a weekend "getaway", we will definitely do this again.
12 out of 14 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   Sept '01
Reviewer: sierranevada Bay Area, California     August 14, 2002
We stayed in a 2 bdrm suite, concierge room at Grand Californian with great view of Downtown Disney and Parks at about $750/night. Large rooms, beautifully decorated, but we felt like we were in Yosemite, not Disneyland. Since we had 5 people (3 adults and 2 kids) the concierge level was money well spent. Between breakfast, numerous bottles of water, sodas, and happy hour, we more than got our money's worth. We were disappointed in some things: only two elevator locations and if you are not close, it is a very long walk, especially after a day in the park with kids (if you stay, request a room close to elevators); Staff does not have the "Disney" spirit - yes, we were there two weeks after 9/11 so maybe that was it or maybe they are not as well trained, but it sometimes took several people or phone calls to get reservations or information; Ease of entrance to parks was great going in - we took the stairs near our room and ended up right in front of the parks but getting back was another story. They lock all of the gates into the resort to make you walk halfway through Downtown Disney to come in hotel's main entrance. If you could use your room cardkey to access the gates, that would make staying there a bigger advantage. Pool was fantastic (liked it better than pool at Disneyland hotel) - kids loved it and we really noticed the lifeguards keeping a close eye on all parts of the pool. The adults could sit at the pool and relax with drinks and watch our kids go down the slide, which they did over and over again!! Restaurants - generally disappointing. Napa Rose was overrated and overpriced - nothing under $25 main entree. I had the salmon which was very bland, other adult had steak which was dry. The third adult actually orderd the kids meal chicken dinner which was the best of all the meals. The worst experience was Breakfast with Chip and Dale. We had reservations but still waited 15 minutes to be seated, no problem. The waitress kept insisting we should all order the buffet but we wanted to order a la carte - that must have made her angry because it took us almost 50 minutes to get our food. When it came, it was only the four cooked meals. The fifth order, which was cereal, took another 10 minutes - I had to get the manager involved! It was so bad that the manager finally comped our entire meal. The only characters at this breakfast were Chip and Dale. Don't waste your time here - go to Goofy's Kitchen or Breakfast with Minnie. The restaurants in Downtown Disney have a much bigger selection and better food. Overall, while the Grand Californian is a beautiful hotel, you don't feel like you are actually at Disneyland. While some people may prefer this, we like the feeling of being in the "Magic Kingdom".
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 2-4, 2002
Reviewer: heidiwhr Oregon     June 24, 2002
· Type/Class of room: Standard - 2 Queen beds, parking lot view.

· Accommodations Review: The room was a little smaller than I had expected, and not that different from most other hotels. I did appreciate the thickness of the walls so that the neighbors next door could not be heard. Also, It was very convenient having a Pack and Play (portacrib) in the closet for my 6 month old to sleep need to request a crib and then wait for it to be brought to the room!

· Rate/Night: $169.00...a special rate!

· Ease of Disney Park Access: The acess was great! The GC has an enterence into DCA for park guests only, and the main gate of DL is only a 5 minute walk away! I would definitely stay here again just for the convience!

· General Restaurant/Lounge Impressions: We ate 1 beakfast and 1 dinner at The Stoyteller Cafe. I thought it a little high priced for the menu and atmosphere.

· Pool Description/Comments: N/A - didn't use

3 out of 8 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   January, 2001 and October, 2001
Reviewer: AVP Southern California     June 09, 2002
· Date(s) of Stay: January, 2001; October, 2001

· Type/Class of room: Standard and Park View

· Rate/Night (for your stay): Our first stay was during an event, so the hotel was included. Our second stay was $229.00/night

· Ease of Disney Park Access: Access to DCA is wonderful, via a dedicated gate directly into the park. Disneyland access via Main Gate is approx. 10 minutes, or you can take the Monorail from the Downtown Disney station in about the same time.

· Park Shuttle Comments: N/A

· # of Restaurants/Lounges: 2 restaurants, 1 snack bar, 1 bar

· General Restaurant/Lounge Impressions: Full meals can be pricy, but Whitewater Snacks is a great option for a quick bite to eat. Room service is absolutely wonderful here as well. We ordered room service during both stays and enjoyed the view from our balcony while we ate.

· Pool Description/Comments: We did not use the pool, but the pool area is wonderful.

· Accommodations Review:

The Grand Californian is worth the cost if you want to really splurge on your vacation. The rooms, while smaller than most 4 star hotels, are beautifully decorated. Little touches like the plush robe in the closet and the whimsical notepapers around the room make the stay special.

On our first stay, we were in a "wheelchair accessible" room. Unfortunately, these rooms are as small as the regular rooms, with only a sofa removed to grant a little more space. Someone who is unable to leave their wheelchair and walk about may find the room too small to be comfortably functional - especially if there are kids sharing the room! The balcony is not at all accessible, and the bathrooms are difficult to wheel into and out of because of a high sill. On the plus side, the roll-in shower is great. The worst thing about these rooms is the location - ours was in the furthest wing of the hotel, a good 5-10 minute roll from the front desk, and had a view of the tram stop.

On our second trip, we asked for a park view room, and got a fantastic view of Grizley River Run. This was not a wheelchair accessible room, and it was every bit as useable (for two people) as the HCA room, with the exception of the roll-in shower.
16 out of 18 people found this review helpful
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