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View Full Version : Grand Californian...is it all that it's cracked up to be?


luvdsny
01-07-2001, 09:35 PM
Looking for info. on the Grand Californian. Another website had some "not-so-favorable" feedback, and I was wondering how our DIS family is rating it so far.

Please let us know. ((I'm also checking the trip reports. ;) ))

I love to say, "Have A Disney Day"
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jetman3044
01-07-2001, 10:16 PM
I read an article in a tourist magazine on the Californian, and it rated it as having great potential. At the time the resort wasn't open, so we don't know how the cast will handle it. However, it will not be a five-star resort b/c it's missing something. Nevertheless, Disney is treating like a top of the line resort. It should be good!

toodles
01-08-2001, 06:30 AM
they don't do luxury well, has been my experience. I've stayed at the Grand Floridian at WDW and was greatly disappointed. Disney is excellent at serving the masses. When you go to a luxury hotel, you expect to be pampered or at least that is my experience at other 5 star hotels. I don't know how the Grand Floridian got the 5 star rating, but there is nothing special about the rooms or the service there.

This is not to say that the rooms are not nice and the staff is not generally pleasant, it's just that for the extra money you spend there is no added value. The rooms are a bit bigger and that's all I can tell that is different. It appears to me that the staff is trained as all Disney staff is trained and there is a certain "masses" mentality to it that does not translate well for luxury.

Disney is second to none in providing a very equalitarian experience, lessening the stress of a huge crowd at the parks and in transportation. We all know how marvelously clean the parks are and how well the crowds are controlled. Plus, they have very pleasant employees who aim to please.

However, I would save my money and go with the flow at Disney. On our trip last year to WDW, we stayed at the GF and then switched to the Wilderness Lodge (that was the kid's choice). I think we got a much better value there. I felt much better about the prices (it was about half what we were planning for GF) because they fit the level of service and style of the hotel.

Toodles
WDW 79, 83, 99
DL 91, 92, 93, 95

Judy from Boise
01-08-2001, 08:44 AM
Tia, have you looked at the pictures of at LaughingPlace ?
The resort reminds me so far of WL in that huge amounts of creativity and money went into the public areas and landscaping, and much less into the actual rooms.
The rooms look so so and rather small( for the price), but everything else is a knock out ! I think one of my favorite things is the front door ! It looks beautiful.

So, for my family ( and you know how cheap we are) we would stay perhaps at the DL hotel, and spend time ( for free) in the GC lobby and restaurants !

Of course I think the whole point is you wanted feedback from someone who has been there....so just ignore me ! ;)

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Rebekah720
01-08-2001, 10:30 AM
My husband surprised me with a weekend stay at the Grand Californian. I found the staff to be very helpful and quite friendly. We stayed on the concierge level and I really enjoyed their breakfast and "happy hour" (wine and cheese) offerings. Our room had a full bed and a bunk bed with a trundle. It was the last room available with a view into the new theme park. Standing out on the balcony we could see and hear all the fun of the new park which was running for some private parties, I believe Imagineering was in there. We watched the parade from the balcony as well. When we closed the patio door you could just barely make out the park sounds and with the curtains closed it was even more quiet.

The craftmanship of the hotel is quite stunning. We dined at the hotel's three eating locations and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I must admit that it was the opening weekend and there were many vips at the Resort. We will be staying there again later this month and I will be interested to see if the staff is as attentive.

Rebekah.
LaughingPlace.com

ilovemky
01-08-2001, 10:58 AM
I will report on my experience when I return from my visit on the 19th of Jan.

calbayBWV
01-08-2001, 11:19 AM
I wouldnt take a second mortgage on the house to stay there, but I would bet a pair of Mickey Ears and a DVC pin that it will be/is AWESOME!

I am so exited to go there, that it could be a complete nightmare and I still will LOVE it!

Yippee, I cant stand it, wwwwwooooooooeeewwweeee! :eek:

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doobie31
01-08-2001, 05:21 PM
I have to agree with my wife Rebekah above, the GC is incredible. It's just beautiful. I don't stay in a lot of luxury hotels, so I can't compare to non-Disney hotels. But I have stayed at many WDW resorts including some of the premiums (WL, both the Y and B Clubs, Contemporary and Boardwalk). In my opinion, this hotel easily surpasses them all. The one area that may be a problem is room size. They're not huge (though bigger than the WL, I believe). But the hotel is absolutely beautiful. The only WDW hotel that _might_ be as beautiful (in my very subjective opinion) is Grand Floridian - I haven't made up my mind yet. And the views into the new park are really great which really seals it for me. If I had reservations here, I wouldn't worry one little bit about whether or not I made the right decision. One can quibble over where this hotel stands compared to other Disney hotels, but I don't think too many arguments can be made against it being a GREAT hotel!

Doobie.

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SteveH
01-08-2001, 08:10 PM
Well I'll give my feedback in a few weeks. Thanks to my DW CM discount we're going to stay a night or two during our trip. Having enjoyed the resorts at WDW I'm excited to see how the GC compares. I know it won't have the imense resort feeling since it isn't off on its own as many of the WDW resorts are, but being at the doorstep to Disneyland is going to be nice.

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luvdsny
01-09-2001, 07:59 AM
I appreciate the feedback so far...thank you. :)

When we go to WDW we always stay at The Poly because we just love it there. And at Disneyland we usually stay at The Disneyland Hotel because we love the "atmosphere" (Disney everywhere your senses can detect ;) ). But I have to admit that for the extra ca$h that we put out, I doubt we're getting anything MORE than the guests staying at le$$er resorts.

All in all, I am a huge fan of "great customer service" and as long as I feel that I am getting the "Disney treatment" (doesn't have to be "royal"), I will have a nice experience.

I am a believer in this...always try something at least once. :)

I hope to read some more soon from people who have been there. Thanks everyone.

Tia

I love to say, "Have A Disney Day"
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