Grand Californian Dreamin’

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To me, the experience of staying at an onsite resort hotel is just as important as visiting the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort.  At the Disneyland Resort, my very favorite place to stay is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.  In fact, it’s my favorite domestic Disney resort!  It’s the flagship hotel at the Disneyland Resort.  And the location is among the best with an exclusive entrance into Disney California Adventure and direct access to Downtown Disney.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian who are fans of the Walt Disney World Resort will no doubt make some comparisons to two popular Walt Disney World hotels:  many guests equate the resort to a merger of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  And while there are some similarities, the 20th century Arts and Crafts theme coupled with luxurious amenities actually make it fairly unique!


A distinctive feature of many Disney hotels is a grand lobby.  And Disney’s Grand Californian has one of the grandest.   The 6-story lobby really demonstrates the Arts and Crafts movement and theme in style.   Exposed wood rafters, Mission-style lighting and décor, tapering columns and decorative stone all pull together to take your breath away.  Look down and notice that the tile flooring seamlessly integrates its design into carpeted areas.  Natural colors of brown, green and beige pull the California-inspired theme together.

One of my personal favorite pastimes is to relax in the lobby listening to a pianist playing Disney songs on the lobby’s grand piano.  Or try sitting in front of the roaring stone fireplace.  It’s a great place to unwind, people watch, dream and to be inspired.


Disney’s Grand Californian has some best in class dining choices that you don’t want to miss.

Award-winning and elegant, Napa Rose is a solid choice for a romantic dinner or a celebratory special event.  Exceptional ambiance, fine-dining menu choices and an extensive wine list draw not only Disneyland Resort guests, but locals from Southern California routinely.  And don’t miss the Disney Princess Breakfast Adventure for an exquisite brunch and the opportunity to meet your favorite Disney Princesses face to face

Storyteller’s Café gives a nod to classic California storytelling with buffet style service.  This is the place to visit Mickey Mouse and friends for a wonderful all you care to eat character breakfast or a more relaxing all you care to eat buffet (without characters) for dinner.

Some lighter dining options are available at the Hearthstone Lounge and the GCH Craftsman Grill, where you can grab a quicker bite.  And if you’re looking for apps by the pool don’t miss the GCH Craftsman Lounge where often you’ll have the opportunity to listen to live music.


Disney’s Grand Californian has 3 pools.  The Mariposa, Redwood and Fountain pools are all encompassed in one large gated footprint.  There are also two hot tubs to soak tired muscles in.  Don’t miss the waterslide that wraps around a large Redwood tree!  And for a big pool day splurge, private cabanas are available to rent for the day.

If keeping in shape during your vacation is important, don’t overlook the Eureka Fitness Center.  It is equipped with state-of-the-art machines and free weights to help burn off vacation calories.  You can also sign up for Yoga or aerobics classes here!

Want to really wind down?  Make a spa appointment at the newly opened Tenaya Stone Spa.  Relax, recharge and reinvigorate yourself with a variety of full-service body treatments.  Maybe spend the day?!


Standard guest rooms have a luxurious feel only befitting to a flagship resort.  While much of the common areas may feel somewhat rustic, the rooms have a distinct upscale feel.  Many rooms overlook the pool area while others overlook the buzzing Downtown Disney district.  Splurge on a theme park view room to enjoy overlooking the action at Disney California Adventure!  You may even be able to watch World of Color from your balcony!  All rooms accommodate up to 4 guests with some accommodating 5 with a pull-down bed option.

Bathrooms are well appointed.  The exterior area has two sinks with ample counter space.  The shower itself has a spray or rainfall feature with a seat.  H20 Spa products are available for guest use.  The resort also offers in-room bathrobes as an additional luxury.

Club level rooms add another dimension to your stay.  And one-, two- and three-bedroom suites are available for larger families or those wanting added space and luxury.

Disney’s Grand Californian is considered to be a deluxe resort.  With that comes a deluxe nightly rate.  The convenience, amenities and dining options all add up to provide a great value, though.  I understand that some Disneyland Resort guests may be looking for a different style or have a budget that lends to a different resort.  The agents at The Magic For Less Travel are Disneyland experts, and can help you with resort choice, ticket options  and dining arrangements to make your Disneyland Resort vacation dream a reality.

Request your no-obligation Disneyland Resort vacation quote today!

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