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Old 08-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
DavidRoss
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Grand Californian - Is It Worth It?

Looking for opinions. I have never been to Disneyland but have been a member since 1999 and frequently travel to Disney World. So, I appreciate staying on property and just being "lost in the World" when in Florida.

What advantages are there to staying on property at Disneyland versus staying offsite in another timeshare? We own a couple non-DVC timeshares that we frequently use to trade out to other resorts.

Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #2
k3chantal
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Originally Posted by DavidRoss View Post
Looking for opinions. I have never been to Disneyland but have been a member since 1999 and frequently travel to Disney World. So, I appreciate staying on property and just being "lost in the World" when in Florida.

What advantages are there to staying on property at Disneyland versus staying offsite in another timeshare? We own a couple non-DVC timeshares that we frequently use to trade out to other resorts.

Thanks.
My first thought when I read your post is that you should stay at the Grand Californian since you are use to the resorts at WDW. The other reason to stay on site is that Disneyland is considered a pedestrian resort. You can walk everywhere easily. If you stay at a different timeshare you will most likely need to drive to get to the parks (unless you stay at a motel on Ball Road) and the beauty of DL resort is the ease in which everything is accessible. The other advantage is the early morning hour but you can get that also if you stay in a Good Neighbor hotel too.

No doubt it is pricey. But it is a gorgeous hotel and DVC property and I think well worth a stay.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:29 AM   #3
hjgaus
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For me as a local to Disneyland it's as you mentioned how you feel when you are in WDW (more lost in the land than the world) but without the bus,boat OR tram for that really long ride back to the parking structure for transportation! Just need your feet! When I am on DLR property I feel like I am not in Anaheim or the real world as I TRY really hard not to leave the property even for all the short weekend stays we do! We either do light cooking in the villa, order & bring our favorite deep dish pizza from a neighboring city OR if we have extra $$$ we eat out @ Downtown Disney!! The grounds of Grand California have the most resort type feel to us & all our guests (all locals too) that stop by to visit feel the same way! I recently stayed at a close off property place so we could just roll out of bed and make it on time for magic morning hour but it doesn't feel the same. Grand California truly feels like my home away from home & my REAL home is ONLY 20 minutes away from DLR. Once I hit the nearby streets it just blah.....Also if it has not been said enough already the PARK VIEWS ARE the BEST!!! I don't even believe that Bay Lake Towers could top it! We love WDW too (own at BCV as well ) but sometimes it's just easier to be THIS close for financial or timing reasons at least to us. Now that we own @ VGC going to the parks are not the same anymore - it's like TORTURE to us when we have to go for the day (also AP holders) without on property resort stay! OMG - we are so spoiled now! LOL!!! Try at least once for your 1st time visit to Disney the LAND! You might like it!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
Meggysmum
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We have just returned from our first ever trip to Anaheim and stayed in a 1-bed at GC.

I absolutely loved the location. Being able to walk in to the parks within minutes of leaving our room was wonderful and made the crowds and heat of August very bearable. We could even watch the fireworks from our balcony and the World of Colour from the viewing platform when we had returned early due to tiredness.

I stayed at DLP onsite several years ago and enjoyed that due to not needing a car but GC outstripped that completely.

Having not really enjoyed the days we spent in LA I couldn't believe that we were so close to the city but felt that we were in a completely different world and although the trip ws a bit point-heavy I really can't see us ever visiting again and staying elsewhere as we have definitely been spoilt!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:10 AM   #5
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we just returned returned from disneyland, first time. Our son went off to college in California so it was his trip before school & we always do wdw every year, own at bcv & akv. I did love the villas there too you step into California adventure & everything is so close. You will absolutely love it. You get great views and extra magic hours staying onsite. But it does book quickly so I hope you get your dates! Have fun!
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
nunzia
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As many have said, yes, it's worth it and in my opinion is a must do. As pointed out, you get Early Entry staying at the DLR hotels. Yes, you also get that perk staying at a good neighbor hotel BUT that is typically only for one day. If you stay onsite you get EE EVERY day. You also get to enter DCA through the entrance at the Grand which is a huge bonus.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:36 AM   #7
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Agree it is a must do - like being on the balcony at BW and watching the people below on the boardwalk, except those people are actually in the park and riding rides. Also, the early entry privilege is different at DL bc there are only three onsite resorts. Some days early entry included annual passholders and 3 day park ticket holders, but other days (as of the time we went), it was ONLY onsite guests. I have a picture of my three kids in front of the castle one morning and I think they are the only people in the picture! Also, with CARS mania right now, there are people waiting three and four hours to ride the Cars ride and a CM told us fast passes run out within 15 minutes of the park opening. They start one fast pass line for early entry people and another fast pass line for regular entry. The start the fast pass machines when the park opens for regular hours, but the early entry people in line get the fast passes first. So, the regular entry people are getting there two hours before the park opens to wait in the fast pass line that starts outside the park - and many of them are still not getting fast passes before they run out. While the "new" is still in place for Carsland, GCV is a must if you want to ride the Cars - but even after that calms down, still highly recommend it. The walk into the parks straight from the lobby is really a surreal experience for any WDW regular...
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #8
DebbieB
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I love the Grand California, I've stayed in both a regular room and DVC. I've also stayed at Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. They are all great. I have also stayed at the Homewood Suites, which is about a mile away, I got a free room with Hilton points. While it's nice to get a free room, having to shuttle is a pain. I would not stay offsite again unless it was within walking distance.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #9
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Stay at DGC

Yes, stay at DGC. It's breathtaking. We own at SSR. We lived in MI when we purchased but have since moved to AZ. We have been to DLR about 5 times. We have used our points and stayed at DGC 3 times. It's right in the middle of DD and makes the walk in the morning very quick (which means you get all that much more sleep). If you like getting "lost in the magic of WDW, you will Hate, I repeat HATE staying off property at Disneyland. The long walk after a long day in the park, or having to drive to an even further resort, is not the ending I like to have to my Disney day. I won't even mention how many signs litter the streets and make you feel like you are walking in a marketing mecca.
We also LOVE the private entrance to DCA.
Bottom line, stay on site. Use the points and you will love it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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GCH? Maybe. GCV? Absolutely. It's been our favorite DVC so far. The villas are beautiful and if you score a theme park view, watching WoC from the balcony is unbelievable. You can't see the projections but the music, color, and water are amazing. The bar is fantastic with good drinks, wine, and yummy bar snacks. Whitewater Snacks has the best nachos. Their burgers are blah. They're portions are big. We also love Storyteller's. But best of all is the proximity to DCA. It's closer than the Epcot resorts to Epcot. It's literally inside DCA. One of my kids favorite memories is running up to the villa to change after getting soaked on GRR. Good times, wonderful memories.



The standard rooms at the GCH are small and I might be tempted to stay at the newly refurbed Disneyland Hotel.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:42 AM   #11
zavandor
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It's literally inside DCA.
I think that GCH is part of the theming of DCA!
It's on the side of the land dedicated to California's National Parks and it's themed like a park lodge.
I felt in love with the Disneyland Resort last June, but couldn't use my points at the VGC because I went last minute. I'm planning to go back again next year and cannot wait to use my points there!
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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Ok you all have me so excited to book a trip to DL and GCV! We are thinking of going early next June so have about 2 months for the 7 month window.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
k3chantal
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Ok you all have me so excited to book a trip to DL and GCV! We are thinking of going early next June so have about 2 months for the 7 month window.

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Old 08-28-2012, 09:13 PM   #14
DavidRoss
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Thanks so much.

Okay, you guys / gals have sold me. My wife and I will definitely have to go. Any thoughts on the best time of the year to go? I won't get points until October 1st, 2013. So it would probably be a fall / winter trip. Also, what is the temperature typically during October - February?
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:15 PM   #15
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Okay, you guys / gals have sold me. My wife and I will definitely have to go. Any thoughts on the best time of the year to go? I won't get points until October 1st, 2013. So it would probably be a fall / winter trip. Also, what is the temperature typically during October - February?
The weather is normally really good. October is one of my favorite times to go because the DL is so beautifully decorated. October can actually get kind of hot too. Two things to be aware of is that they now close DL early some Saturdays for their Halloween party and you would have to buy a special ticket to get back in. Last year DVC members got a slight discounts for one or two Halloween parties. Though we were there, we didn't go, we spent our time at California Adventure that evening. And at some point in the calendar It's a Small World gets shut down for Christmas decorations.

December is really beautifully decorated too. And you certainly can't go wrong if you choose then too. At that point you may need a light jacket in the evenings.
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