View Full Version : New to DL Resort - new booking

08-10-2007, 08:55 PM
Because I live in the greater L.A. area, I have never thought to stay at one of the DL resorts. A few days ago I got a postcard teasing a "special" rate at a Disneyland hotel. So I called just now and booked two nights at the Grand Californian (almost wrote Floridian) for $229+taxes a night in early October. Is this a good rate or is there a better rate out there for CA residents and/or AAA members? I'm very new to DL resorts.

How does this resort compare to the resorts of WDW? I'm much more familiar with them having stayed at the Poly many times, Contemporary, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I wonder if it has the immersive feeling or not?

What's your opinion of the pool and poolslide? My children are 5 and love the WDW poolslides they've experienced so its a major reason for selecting this hotel over offsite possibilities.

I forgot to ask about dining also; does the same dining plan reservation mayhem take place at DL? Do I need to make reservations 180 in advance or risk 2 nights of chicken tenders?

Thanks for your insights.

08-10-2007, 09:19 PM
I'm no expert, but I think that's a pretty good rate. If I were to add another night to my mid-September reservation at Paradise Pier, the lesser of their three hotels, it would be about $230 directly through Disneyland.com, so I'd say your rate is nice. :)

There might be better ways to get a better rate, but I don't know how.

As for dining, with DL you make Priority Seatings (PS) 60 days out. Our trip is about 40 days away, and I just phoned up to get exactly what I wanted, a character b'fast at PP on Wednesday, and the earliest seating on Thursday at Blue Bayou so I can have a shot at getting a waterside table.

But the dining plan isn't at all the same as at WDW, and while I don't KNOW how many people partake in it, I don't think it has the same effect on reservations as the WDW plan has.

It's so fun to do local hotel trips! We used to do little stay-over trips in Seattle all the time, even though we're only half an hour away. :)

edited to take out more references to things you probably know about. :)

08-10-2007, 09:41 PM
Thank you Bumbershoot. What a relief that I haven't missed out totally on sitting to eat. If it can help you, the postcard code was RMP (Am I allowed to post this? - seems like codes are the norm at WDW) valid 9/2/07 to 12/15/07. The teaser rate on the postcard was $149+ a night presumably for their least expensive room. Have a great trip!

08-10-2007, 09:55 PM
149, omg.

How do you even get such codes? I have an account with Disney that I log into whenever I check out DL or WDW, so they HAVE my address...how can I get them to send me something? :)

08-10-2007, 10:06 PM
Thank you Bumbershoot. What a relief that I haven't missed out totally on sitting to eat. If it can help you, the postcard code was RMP (Am I allowed to post this? - seems like codes are the norm at WDW) valid 9/2/07 to 12/15/07. The teaser rate on the postcard was $149+ a night presumably for their least expensive room. Have a great trip!

Is there any requirement you take the post card when you check in?

08-10-2007, 10:11 PM
If it like the ones that I have recieved before, you have to bring the postcard and show proof of residency, but I could be wrong. How about that for a run on sentence :rotfl2:

08-10-2007, 10:15 PM
$229 is a great rate for GCH. They are currently running a special AP nights discount and that's $199 but rooms have booked up rather quickly at that rate. We've never been to WDW so I can't comment on the hotels you've stayed at but GCH definitely feels like you are in the middle of the resort. We've enjoyed our stay there and your 5yo will love the pools. There's 3 pools, a pool with a big water slide and a little water slide, a regular pool and a toddler wading pool. Regarding the big water slide, kids must be able to pass a swim test in order to go down it as no flotation devices or parents catching kids at the bottom of the slide is allowed. There's activities for kids at the hotel as well. There's a scavenger hunt and nightly storytelling by the great hearth.

08-10-2007, 10:48 PM
The postcard came shortly after I returned from an 11 day WDW vacation. Its from Disney Destinations in Lake Buena Vista, FL. It says "Here's a deal to dive for!" From $149 - limited time rates available at the Hotels of Disneyland Resort. Per Night, in a standard room, most nights between 9/2/07-12/15/07. It does not say that I have to bring the card with me; only to call 714-956-mickey and ask for package code RMP. I have no problem to show CA residency but the postcard doesn't mention "California resident" anywhere.

I assume it is a general public code. Maybe you guys could call and see if it could apply to your already booked holidays if you think this rate is better. I know that I went this afternoon to book the dates online and it gave me no availability, but when I called the number she found the GCH for my short stay and apparently applied the code. I even did not book a package - just resort only.

BTW, where does one call to book a character meal for DL, preferably at GCH? Does anybody know which characters are there? My daughter just loves Cinderella. We went to CRT and the Grand Floridian Cindy and friends meal. Cannot get enough of the chick in the blue dress...

08-10-2007, 11:01 PM
714-781-DINE is where you call for the reservations.

Hmm, princesses...I *think* Ariel's Grotto (is that it?) over in DCA has a princess meal, though I'm not sure what meal(s) they serve there. I'd take my boy there b/c he looooooves pretty princesses, but figured the other girls might look at him funny. And we thought he'd like Lilo and Stitch better. And the Lilo character b'fast supposedly has pineapple scones. Which won me over. :)

Maybe after we finish THIS trip, we'll start getting codes too. Wouldn't that be great!?

08-10-2007, 11:05 PM
I just wanted to add that 'IF' the lifeguard makes your child take a swim test before being allowed to go down the big slide, it's a very easy test. All the child has to do is be able to dog paddle.:thumbsup2

When we stayed at the DLH, on one day the lifeguard DID make our son (who was 5 years old at the time) take a little swim test, just to show that he could dog paddle. The next day, a different lifeguard was on duty, and never asked Ryan to take a swim test. So I guess, depending on the lifeguard, it might happen or might not.:goodvibes

We haven't been fortunate enough to stay at the GCH (so expensive), but we sure would like too!:cloud9: I would jump on that rate if I could (we're already booked at the PPH). What a great getaway for a couple of nights!

08-10-2007, 11:10 PM
Bumbershoot; don't sweat taking a boy. Lots of girls come with brothers. And I've often seen people without kids too doing the character meals. Also my daughter's twin brother loves to go to these meals too. At WDW Akershus, he told Jasmine that she was the prettiest princess of the day (outclassing Cindy, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel) and she gasped and planted a big kiss on his cheek for that! He loved it! Take the boy, its a great photo op and I plan on showing the pic of him and Jasmine to future girlfriends...

Thanks for the phone number!!! Will be calling immediately to dine at Ariel's grotto.

Thanks Disney super mom! Both kids can swim pretty well as we have a backyard pool and they've been in it since toddlers. He's going to love it! Hope its heated in early Oct!

Whooo - new ticker makes it real!

08-11-2007, 12:19 AM
Just in case you didn't see the official page, this is the page for the "princess celebration (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/parks/dining/detail?name=ArielsGrottoDiningPage)".

I think maybe next year we'll take him to it. But it's good to know that there are often boys at the princess meals!

08-11-2007, 09:53 AM
My ds goes to the princess meals and loves it because the princess make a fuss over him. I think its his charming good looks and curly hair :rotfl: Probably because the poor kid only has sisters. I agree I have always seen boys there.

08-11-2007, 05:06 PM
I would say that GCH is sort of a combination of Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian. The decor is rustic and beautiful like WL, and it's less of an in-your-face Disney decor, and the lobby and the feel are very sophisticated like GF. I should also say that it still feels relatively "California casual" though.

One of the best parts is the proximity to everything; you can choose to exit the hotel and go right into DCA, or take a different door and walk right into Downtown Disney a few steps away from DLR. This also saves time in lines, because there is rarely a security wait at the hotel exit, and if you have a park hopper you can go into DCA then straight to the exit and across to the "returning guests" line at DLR which also rarely has a wait until later in the day.

Have a great time!:yay:

08-11-2007, 05:20 PM
Oh, to answer your question about a character meal at the GCH - YES, they do have character meals at the GCH, in the Storytellers Cafe. The characters can vary, but I believe Chip & Dale are almost always there and can be very mischievous at times.:rotfl:

08-11-2007, 05:52 PM
That's an awesome rate for the GC. We got the same with our AP for our October trip and for the concierge level. We're looking forward to it, hope you do as well!