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View Full Version : Just returned - 4 days DLR and Grand Calif.


mclopezzz
11-16-2006, 01:16 AM
We just got back today from DLR and spent 4 wonderful days at the Grand Calif, our first time at the hotel. The hotel is everything people have said about it. We had paid for a standard view room which they told us we had but let me tell you, Room 5313 is ONE GREAT standard room. It had a perfect view of the fireworkd each night...dead center right from our balcony. Also a perfect view of Downtown Disney..not right on top of it but seen from the courtyard. Pretty lights and a musician practically right outside our room who was wonderful. Went to Whitewater Snacks daily with our mugs for unlimited coffee and soft drinks and the entrance into Calif Adventure was so fantastic. Park was busy on Saturday which we knew it would be. But we had unlimited fastpass from AAA and collected 8 fast passes right off the bat and leisurely went on every ride. The parks are all decorated for Christmas and if you've never seen Haunted Mansion and Its a Small World Christmas style its a 'Do not Miss'. We have been to DLR many times but never at Christmas. How fun and how different the rides were. If anyone has any questions regarding anything please do not hesitate to ask. :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc

mystic_path
11-16-2006, 01:33 AM
Thats fantastic. Im happy you had a great time at the GC. Id love to stay there one day. Thanks for the recommendation. :thumbsup2

tinkermell
11-16-2006, 01:36 AM
We are going to the GC next month for 3 nights and can hardly wait. We've never stayed for more than 1 night at any time, so this is a real treat! :goodvibes We also have the AAA unlimited fastpass special. Sounds like it worked out pretty good for you. Feel free to offer any suggestions. Glad you had a great time. Looking forward to ours. Yeah!!!! :rotfl:

GailT
11-16-2006, 06:58 AM
I wish you could haer my excitment, I am going soon, sounds like you had a great time, Oh, I wanna jump out of my skin I am so excited. IASW :love: and POTC pirate: are a must for me, anything else you suggest we should do, I'll be there 3 nights? :santa:

TwingleMum
11-16-2006, 08:31 AM
Glad to hear you had a great time. We are staying at GC in April (our 1st trip to DL YEAH!!!!) Could you tell me a little more about GC? Restaurants, pool, rooms,proximity to park etc. Where did you eat??? Thanks its reports like yours that help the rest of us get excited for our trips :Pinkbounc

my3kids
11-16-2006, 09:00 AM
I am so glad we have the AAA fat pass deal. We're leaving tomorrow! :)

Dsnylndlvrs
11-16-2006, 10:25 AM
Sounds like you had a truly magical time! :wizard: Welcome home!

We leave Saturday for the exact same thing - 4 days, GCH, unlimited fastpass - can't wait!!! :banana:

disney-super-mom
11-16-2006, 11:12 AM
Sounds like a truly magical vacation for you! :wizard:

We haven't had the pleasure of staying at the GCH yet (although we really enjoyed the DLH and PPH), but that's next on our list!

Thanks for your report! :thumbsup2

stampinshauna
11-16-2006, 11:14 AM
We are staying at GC in April (our 1st trip to DL YEAH!!!!) Could you tell me a little more about GC? Restaurants, pool, rooms,proximity to park etc. Where did you eat???

Storytellers is yummy! We ate the dinner buffet there and it was so good. We will be trying the breakfast in a month. :cool1: The pools are great. I am typically not a morning person, but I enjoyed getting up early to swim on our trip in September. GC is the closest hotel to the parks. There is an entrance direct to CA. To return to the hotel after CA is closed, you walk through part of Downtown Disney. You will love the GC!

ter-moo
11-16-2006, 03:59 PM
We usually stay offsite, but one year we splurged for our anniversary and stayed at the GC. It was so beautiful and so relaxing!!! We also had a standard view that looked out over a courtyard with the monorail running through it. Although that sounds ugly, it wasn't--I actually thought it was lovely.

We had dinner at Napa Rose to celebrate our anniversary, and it was WONDERFUL! The service was Disney-friendly, but professional, and the food was fabulous.

I really appreciated the entrances into Downtown Disney (gotta have quick access to those beignets at the Jazz Kitchen Bistro!) and the one into CA.

Someday, I hope to stay there again... :love:

mclopezzz
11-17-2006, 01:14 AM
Twinglemum we ate at Storyteller's Cafe one night for dinner. We weren't interested so much in the buffet (prime rib, salmon, chicken strips, great desserts so much) as it was $26.95 and we were just not that hungry. But it looked great. We ordered off of the menu and it was delicious. We ate at Whitewater a few mornings as it is a quick and fairly inexpensive breakfast before going about 100 steps and you are right in California Adventure..it is that close. We also ate at Rainforest Cafe which has a fun atmosphere but ensure you get priority seating. We called a month out and were seated in 10 minutes. The wait line was 90 minutes. This happened everywhere throughout our stay as wait times always exceeded an hour if you did not have priority seating. Blue Bayou is a do not miss for atmosphere but is expensive and a somewhat limited menu. We didn't go this time but have gone many times in the past. If you drink lots of coffee or soft drinks I HIGHLY recommend getting the green mugs. They cost $7.95 and pay for themselves in two days. Coffee at Whitewater is about $2.80 a cup. It pays for itself in 3 cups as it does with soft drinks.


Whitewater cafe is right next to the Fountain Pool which is the smaller of the two adjacent pools but still pretty large. The redwood pool is behind the fountain pool and has a waterslide which was a lot of fun. Both pools have a view of the pier rides from Calif Adventure. The rooms are a good size for two (which we were) or four as there were many families staying there. The cast members said this was their last slow week as next Monday begins the Christmas crowds and he said they expect a HUGE crowd over the holidays. As for proximity to the parks. the GC is literally inside Calif Adventure. We came off of the elevator, made a left into the courtyard and a left into Calf Adventure, easily 1 minute from the elevator. You come out very close to the Grizzly River Rapids and to the right of Soarin' Over Calif (arguably the best ride in Calif Adventure). It is the only ride that all 4 times we rode it got a huge applause when it was done. The Unlimited FP was amazing. We had been to the park many times with regular FP but with this one we went to each ride right off and got a FP. Then since the park had just opened we rode standby on all of the same rides, came back an hour or so later and used our FP and then got fastpasses again for all of the rides. Monday night we rode Calif Screamin literally 3 times in a 30 minute period. When Calif Adventure opens you are so close to Soarin' that you would get there way before the people coming in through the front gate and be first in line for standby and to collect fastpasses. The Downtown Disney exit is out a long hallway and you come out right in front of Haagan Daz ice icream. Took us 4 minutes from the elevator to DD. When eating at DD we LOVED the Beignets from the Jazz kitchen. Had them one morning with a cup of nice warm coffee..yummmmmmmy
And the shopping at DD was a lot of fun also. They have very good musicians playing all along the street.
I think that answers your questions but please let me know if I can help further.

thmar
11-17-2006, 03:50 PM
Glad you had a great time...thanks for sharing!

TwingleMum
11-17-2006, 06:21 PM
Twinglemum we ate at Storyteller's Cafe one night for dinner. We weren't interested so much in the buffet (prime rib, salmon, chicken strips, great desserts so much) as it was $26.95 and we were just not that hungry. But it looked great. We ordered off of the menu and it was delicious. We ate at Whitewater a few mornings as it is a quick and fairly inexpensive breakfast before going about 100 steps and you are right in California Adventure..it is that close. We also ate at Rainforest Cafe which has a fun atmosphere but ensure you get priority seating. We called a month out and were seated in 10 minutes. The wait line was 90 minutes. This happened everywhere throughout our stay as wait times always exceeded an hour if you did not have priority seating. Blue Bayou is a do not miss for atmosphere but is expensive and a somewhat limited menu. We didn't go this time but have gone many times in the past. If you drink lots of coffee or soft drinks I HIGHLY recommend getting the green mugs. They cost $7.95 and pay for themselves in two days. Coffee at Whitewater is about $2.80 a cup. It pays for itself in 3 cups as it does with soft drinks.


Whitewater cafe is right next to the Fountain Pool which is the smaller of the two adjacent pools but still pretty large. The redwood pool is behind the fountain pool and has a waterslide which was a lot of fun. Both pools have a view of the pier rides from Calif Adventure. The rooms are a good size for two (which we were) or four as there were many families staying there. The cast members said this was their last slow week as next Monday begins the Christmas crowds and he said they expect a HUGE crowd over the holidays. As for proximity to the parks. the GC is literally inside Calif Adventure. We came off of the elevator, made a left into the courtyard and a left into Calf Adventure, easily 1 minute from the elevator. You come out very close to the Grizzly River Rapids and to the right of Soarin' Over Calif (arguably the best ride in Calif Adventure). It is the only ride that all 4 times we rode it got a huge applause when it was done. The Unlimited FP was amazing. We had been to the park many times with regular FP but with this one we went to each ride right off and got a FP. Then since the park had just opened we rode standby on all of the same rides, came back an hour or so later and used our FP and then got fastpasses again for all of the rides. Monday night we rode Calif Screamin literally 3 times in a 30 minute period. When Calif Adventure opens you are so close to Soarin' that you would get there way before the people coming in through the front gate and be first in line for standby and to collect fastpasses. The Downtown Disney exit is out a long hallway and you come out right in front of Haagan Daz ice icream. Took us 4 minutes from the elevator to DD. When eating at DD we LOVED the Beignets from the Jazz kitchen. Had them one morning with a cup of nice warm coffee..yummmmmmmy
And the shopping at DD was a lot of fun also. They have very good musicians playing all along the street.
I think that answers your questions but please let me know if I can help further.
Thanks so much for all the great info, I appreciate it. I'm really excited.

MamaMouseFor2
11-17-2006, 11:20 PM
You mentioned that you stayed in room 5313. Does that room have bunk beds? We are getting ready to go in a couple weeks. We have always gotten an upgrade parkview room but this year we decided to just try a basic room. I'm thinking of possibly requesting this area but we do need bunk beds. Thanks for the info.
Debra

Disneyland1084
11-17-2006, 11:26 PM
Oh man, I've booked a trip to DL for next summer at the DL hotel. My sister and I are taking my parents and DD. Couldn't get my DH to come. At the time we agreed Grand Cal seemed so much more expensive, but it seems like it's worth it. We agreed if a few months down the line we're doing better financially we're going to upgrade. But hearing about how NICE it is is making me sad at the fact I might NOT be staying there. :sad2:

mclopezzz
11-18-2006, 12:11 AM
Mamamouse, 5313 has a king bed. Don't know if there are any rooms with bunk beds in that area. Disneyland1084, if you get the chance to go to GC Ihighly recommend it. Like I stated we have been to many hotels in the DLR but we are spoiled now. We decided we would only stay there from now on. It is worth the extra money.

disneymom8589
11-18-2006, 01:37 AM
We stayed at the GC in July 2005 and LOVED it!! I was worried it wouldn't have the "charm" of the DL Hotel, but it was wonderful!! Even though we're not staying there next month, we'll definitely walk through the lobby!!

Disneyland1084
11-18-2006, 01:26 PM
Disneyland1084, if you get the chance to go to GC Ihighly recommend it.

Thanks! I'll be sure to remember that in a few months! :teeth: