Cast: Me (39) true Disney fanatic. 8th or 9th DL trip in 7 years. Trip planner, lover of Pixie Dust. Brett - DH (45) introduced me to Disney. Low key, easy to please, enjoys it all and has infinite patience. Colin - DS (almost 11) wants to live in either S. CA or FL so that he can go to Disney whenever he wants First Disney trip was at age 3....and he was sucked right in. Sandy - My mother (62) has never been to Disney AND has never vacationed with us. I wasn't sure what to expect but she turned out to be quite the daredevil and a pleasure to vacation with. Last 1/2 Day - Saturday, April 14 We all slept in this morning. I had changed our brunch ressies at the Storyteller's Cafe to 10:30 because my mother wanted to sleep late She was really tuckered out (and actually still is today...LOL). Check out was quick and efficient...and cheap since the room was prepaid. Kinda nice not to have a huge bill! We pulled into the valet at the Grand Galifornian, and were immediately impressed by the entry doors. Beautiful stained glass, arts and crafts style automatic doors. Pretty neat! Without getting into details here, I really liked the lobby. Of course I also adore craftsman style homes and interiors, so this was no surprise. They had some beautiful collectors pieces (some rather art decoish) in display cabinets. Gorgeous stuff! I'll bet the lobby will be out of this world when they decorate it at the holidays! Anyhow, the decision was made then and there that within the next couple of years we will stay at this hotel using DVC points How nice it'll be to walk out of the hotel in the morning, and only have to decide which park to walk to that morning....LOL. Talk about convenience! We headed directly to the Storyteller's Cafe, lo and behold...Chip, Dale and Pluto were waiting to greet us in the reception area. Once again Colin was thrilled Several photos later we headed off to our table. The restaurant was less than 1/3rd full...nice. We liked the idea that one could order either the buffet OR off the menu at this restaurant, and took advantage of it. DS and DH went to check out the buffet, and gave it a thumbs up, so they and I decided to go with that ($17.95 adults, $9.95 kids). Mom ordered the stuffed french toast off the menu. She gave me a bite and it was delicious! Rich but yummy! The buffet had the usual fare, nothing extraordinary, but they did have an omelet station which I liked. Typically we don't care for buffets since none of us eat enough to even come close to getting our money's worth, but we splurged this once The main reason I chose this place was because of Chip and Dale. DS received a button from them, which they signed for him. That pretty much made his morning! BTW, the characters do not make the rounds at the tables, they stay in the reception area. I had warned DS about this beforehand so he was not disappointed. We then wandered around the resort a bit, checked out the pools, looked at the menu for Napa Rose (we'll definitely have to try it) and shopped a bit in the hotel gift shop. Then we headed to DtD for an hour before we had to leave for the airport. DS wanted to get the marshmallow thingies on a stick from the candy shop (he loves them and until now we could only get them at WDW). I wanted to check out the Department 56 store (sadly underwhelming), DH wanted to check out Hoi Poloi and mom was just along for the ride. We also stopped into the WOD store, and frankly we were disappointed. It seemed like the majority of the things they had in there were either Fab 5 or Pooh and Friends. Now don't get me wrong, I love these charcaters, but we all would have liked to have seem a larger selection. All in all this was a wonderful 2 1/2 days, though we wish it had been 1 day longer. There wasn't enough time to get "immersed" in the Disney magic in such a short time during such a busy season. We all liked the hotel we stayed at, and will stay there again sometime. We were all pleasantly surprised by DCA. I know some folks don't like it much, but we did. We knew beforehand that it wouldn't scream DISNEY at us, so we were't disappointed at all. I'd love to have had more time to shop in the parks, as well as at DtD...but at least we saved a lot of money this way! I'd also like to try a couple of the restaurants at DtD as well Thanks everyone for reading all this, it's been fun <center>Lauren All it takes is faith & trust....and a little bit of Pixie Dust!