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Old 03-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
roxy72
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March 21 trip & Grand Californian disappointment..

Hi all! I just returned from a 1-day, 1-night trip to Disneyland with my parents. We've been wanting to stay at the Grand Californian for a long time, and decided to take a trip before my Annual Pass expires. Normally I stay at budget hotels or get good deals on priceline.com, so this hotel was a big treat for us.

My Mom and I left Camarillo at 8AM, and arrived at the hotel by 9:45. When we first turned into the hotel, there was a booth where someone asked our name and how we wanted to park. We wanted to do self-parking, so we got a ticket with our name on it, and displayed it on our dash. Next, we pulled up to the hotel entrance, where a valet asked us how we'd like to park. (Apparently the ticket on our dash meant nothing to him). We indicated self-parking, so he said that one of us should hop out and take care of registration, while the other drives the car to the self-parking lot. My Mom needed to check us in since we used her credit card for the reservation, and so that left me with moving the car.

I wish the valet had told us to wait to park until we had were checked in, since having a room key would have made this a lot easier. I exited the hotel, went through a traffic light, and entered the self-parking lot. There, a man at the entrance kiosk told me to turn right (into the Grand CA lot). Once past him and outside the GC lot, there was a machine asking me to insert the room key to get in, or press the button for help. I got out of my car, and pressed the button 3 times, asking for help. Nobody answered or came to my aid. I left my car, walked back to the entrance kiosk, explained what happened, and finally the guy let me into the GC lot. This pissed me off and was FAIL #1.

I went back to the hotel lobby to join my Mom, and found out that our room was already ready- WIN #1! It was only 10AM, and the normal check-in time was 3PM. When we got into our room, everything was beautiful and nicely themed..except for some dirty washcloths left behind in the sink (FAIL #2), and we also didn't have 2 bathrobes which should have been in our room (FAIL #3). We had a cool view of California Adventure- specially, we could see Grizzly River Run and the Soarin' building. Our location was close to White Water Snacks and the pool. After spending some time at the park, my Mom, Dad, and I decided to visit the pool. We knew there was pool-side service, and we were ready to get our drinkin' on! Unfortunately, we sat in a neglected area of the pool. After hanging out for 1 hour, and getting no attention (FAIL #4), we left and got our drink on at the Hearthstone Lounge. I loved their Pina Colava by the way.

Later that night, we were surprised to see that someone had visited our room for turn-down service! Our pillows were fluffed, sheets drawn, and they even left 3 chocolates...perfect. WIN #2

My Dad arrived at the hotel from San Diego (the opposite direction as my Mom and me), so he decided to park his car with valet. Now, before leaving it with them, he verified that they would be open 24/7. My Dad had to leave very early in the morning because he had to get back down to SD to teach (he's a university professor). They reassured him that someone would always be there from valet. Well, when he got there at 3AM in the morning, nobody was there. Somebody at the front desk had to "wake up" a person, and it took about 15 minutes til they showed up. FAIL #5. They should have been honest and said there might be a short wait if you want valet services in the wee hours.

In the morning, we had some trouble with the shower. And by that, I mean that the temperature fluctuated between comfortably warm and chillingly cold. I have never had such an uncomfortable shower!! This is how my shower went...run under the water when it was warm, then jump away and shout "cold!!" when it switched on me. My Mom had the same experience. I've never had this problem at other hotels in the area, which includes the BW Anaheim Inn, the Doubletree, the Hilton, the Candy Cane Inn, and the Crowne Royal Plaza. Big FAIL #6.

Later, my Mom and I were getting ready to check-out. All we had to do was call a number and leave our info, except our room phone was broken. We couldn't even get a dial-tone. So we had to use a different phone near the elevators to check out. FAIL #7

Aah...so many fails, so little wins. Overall, I enjoyed the hotel. The best part of it was the location..so close to the parks and Downtown Disney. There were good food options on the premises, and I liked the theme. If I stay here in the future, I would definitely do the valet parking and use a bell-hop for luggage. Trucking all my luggage across the street from the parking lot was a PITA. So there you go- that was my first experience at the Grand Californian! I took photos of our room (and a few pics from the parks) and will post them later.

Last edited by roxy72; 03-22-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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Now, time for some pictures! Here are some from our hotel room:

Walking into the room..


The bathroom to your left.


Light fixture above the sinks- it was pretty and had roses on it.


Toiletries made by H20 spa


The toilet and shower/tub area. It had a pocket door, not your typical bathroom door.


Closet-- which was pretty spacious inside! It had a full sized ironing board, an iron, extra blankets, a thingie to put your suitcase on, and a playpen for babies.


The TV and DVD player were nice. The fridge is behind the cabinet on the bottom right.


Momma's bed! We got 2 queen-sized beds. There was also a desk and 2 chairs in the room.


Our balcony- cute! 2 seats and a small table.


And our view.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
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What a GREAT view! Too bad there were so many "fails" -- considering what you pay.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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Now some food pictures!

Cheeseburger, fries, and soda from White Water Snacks.


Pina Colava from the Hearthstone Lounge


My Mom's drink- I forget the name!


The menu from Bengal Barbecue- this might be helpful for some of you since I know the price has risen over the years.


The chicken skewer- it was alright. :/


And I had to try the asparagus wrapped in bacon one!


I split the Tigger Tail with my parents since it comes with two.


Goodies! They were out of my favorite white-chocolate, raspberry cookie so I got 2 of the white-milk chocolate ones (1 for my Mom, 1 for me), and a cute Minnie cookie.


A Cheshire Tail, S'mores (for my Dad but I forgot to give it to him since he left at 3am lol), and a pecan cluster thingie.


That's it for food pics! I didn't take pictures of my churro and Sprite, or the ice-cream sundae I got at Haagen Daz.

Last edited by roxy72; 03-23-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:49 PM   #5
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Seems like quite the hassle with the parking, too bad! But a nice view, and some good looking food and drinks.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:51 AM   #6
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I am so sorry that there were any letdowns at a hotel like that. However, it sounds like you still had some Disney fun!!!

Was the Cheshire Tail tasty? I have been dying to hear from someone who has tasted one!
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizFan13 View Post
I am so sorry that there were any letdowns at a hotel like that. However, it sounds like you still had some Disney fun!!!

Was the Cheshire Tail tasty? I have been dying to hear from someone who has tasted one!
Sorry it took me so long to reply to you- I just finally tried the Cheshire Tail last night. It was really good! It didn't have that orangey-chocolate flavor that the Tigger Tail does (I don't like that one). It was so cute too..all pink and with purple sparkley stripes.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #8
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What is the food photo of the two breads that you referred to as the "tigger tail"? It looks delicious. I was looking at the Bengal menu, trying to match it up, but couldn't figure it out.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxy72 View Post
Sorry it took me so long to reply to you- I just finally tried the Cheshire Tail last night. It was really good! It didn't have that orangey-chocolate flavor that the Tigger Tail does (I don't like that one). It was so cute too..all pink and with purple sparkley stripes.
Thank you for your answer!! I am excited to try the new tail. It's almost time!
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherleigh View Post
What is the food photo of the two breads that you referred to as the "tigger tail"? It looks delicious. I was looking at the Bengal menu, trying to match it up, but couldn't figure it out.
Never had them, but I would assume they are the TIGER TAIL breadsticks mentioned on the menu -- bottom right. They do look good.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:56 PM   #11
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OMG Makes me want some bengal BBQ!
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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I already knew about the parking, but the hot/cold shower would have been a deal breaker for me.

I tend not to listen to the 'helpful' people who tell me to park before I've checked in...I always leave my luggage off at the door, whether I use a bell hop or lug it up myself. there's no way I'm carrying it from the parking lot!!!!!!!

DVCers no longer get valet parking (I really liked it) but we do get to self park for free. BTW, did you tell someone about your dad's problem with the valet and the cold showers/broken phone?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsister View Post
I already knew about the parking, but the hot/cold shower would have been a deal breaker for me.

I tend not to listen to the 'helpful' people who tell me to park before I've checked in...I always leave my luggage off at the door, whether I use a bell hop or lug it up myself. there's no way I'm carrying it from the parking lot!!!!!!!

DVCers no longer get valet parking (I really liked it) but we do get to self park for free. BTW, did you tell someone about your dad's problem with the valet and the cold showers/broken phone?
Yeah, the shower sucked. It would have been nice to have a consistent and warm flow of water for at least a full minute.

I wanted to complain about my dad's valet issue and the shower/phone stuff, but I don't know who to contact! I looked on the Disneyland website and couldn't find an email for customer service at the GCH.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #14
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Never had them, but I would assume they are the TIGER TAIL breadsticks mentioned on the menu -- bottom right. They do look good.
Yes, that's right...the picture of the breads is the Tiger Tails. We found them kind of bland, but who knows? There are probably some fans of 'em out there.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #15
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Really kinda weird experience opposed to ours, it was opposite. Pulled up, valet opened door, unloaded the bags on to a cart, DGF checked in(long lines that day), I parked the car and on with life. Room was great with DTD view and no problems with the stay.

If you try again, I hope the experience is better. Just be glad you do not live a long distance away.

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