Anyone have comments on Grand Californian?

castleri

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2000
Have reservations ( used my vacation club points) for 5 nights at the Grand californian and would love to hear about it from anyone who has stayed there. It seems most people who do trip reports have stayed off property.
 
Spent 2 nights there in march. (couldn't afford any longer!)
$385 a night including tax for a room overlooking the pool and ferris wheel area of the new park. They only had a couple of rooms left. The checkin clerk told us the room had been used earlier in the day to shoot a commercial. It was fabulous!!
We felt special the second we pulled into the entrance from the street. Very good service. I gave my name to the gate attendant and it seemed everyone knew it from then on.
Check-in was the easiest I've ever experienced at a Disney hotel. The luggage porter was extremely polite and helpful. He even ran down the hall and filled up my ice bucket and greeted me whenever we passed by each other during my stay.
The lobby is even more spectacular than at Wilderness Lodge (I didn't think it was possible)and the woodwork everywhere must have cost a fortune.
The room was very nice. Fairly large. Lots of woodwork, cute dimming lights over each bed, amoire, minibar, nice chairs and desk, nice balcony (I think all the rooms have balconies). Turndown service. Huge closet with ironing board, extra blankets, pillows, bathrobes. The mattresses were great, almost felt like a pillowtop. Bathroom consisted of tub and toilet separated from sink. Double sink in dark green marblelike counter. Expensive toiletries, lotions. Coffee maker. Everything had the Grand California logo on it, even the coasters and coffee pouches. Lots of things to take (legally) to remember the place. Phone checkout (recording, just give room, name and time and you're done). You're encouraged to keep the room keys for souvenirs. Didn't try room service. We were too busy exploring the place.
The hotel has a private concierge level.
The monorail zips through the hotel (not the lobby), but doesn't stop there. Nice pool with slide for kids. Tricky gate to get into pool area. It's supposed to open with a room key, but I noticed lots of people getting frustrated.
Main restaurant was quite nice for such a big place and the prices seemed reasonable. The really nice restaurant (Napa Rose) looked great, but was always booked solid. Maybe you can make reservations now. You'll want to eat there. It has a wall of glass looking onto bear mountain and the place looked pretty swanky casual.
Characters in the main restaurant.
Very convenient private entrance to the new park. No visitors allowed through gates to hotel after 6 or 7 pm so it's even more enjoyable after that time. Other entrance leads directly to downtown disney. We enjoyed the new park. It has a totally different feel than the other. Great ferris wheel, roller coaster.
But, I've never felt as excited to get back to a hotel before.
You'll love the place and even more knowing you didn't have to pay 400 a night. I would return in a second.
 
Grand Californian

<font size=4 face="Comic Sans MS" color = blue>D°o°die</font>
<font size=1 color = blue>March 2001 - Our first trip to Disneyland!! (Grand Californian)
March 2001 - WDW Surprise!! (Disney Institute & Dixie Landings)
March 2000 - WDW (All Star Music)
May 1998 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1997 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
May 1996 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1995 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1994 - WDW (Honeymoon! Dixie Landings)</
 
I am planning to post a complete report after my visit. We are staying in a park-view, concierge room, and we have reservations for Napa Rose.

I will tell you that I was incredibly impressed when I received a phone call last week from the concierge desk, asking if they could pre-arrange anything. They were able to make Blue Bayou reservations already, and double-checked my Napa Rose reservations. She also emailed me some additional information. I am super excited!! :D
 


No Way! They made Blue Bayou ressies for you??? :eek: That is superly duperly :cool:

:D :) :D :)

<font color=red size=4>HAVE A DISNEY DAY</font>

<font color=navy size=3>M-I-C...see you at The DIS Convention, K-E-Y...why? Because we LOVE Disney, M-O-U-S-Eeee...</font>
 
Its great to hear that they do a prearrival phone call. I want our dinner resv's booked prior to us going over there. I cannot wait until we get there. :D

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!</marquee></font>
 
We stayed on points last week. It was great. In addition to all the wonderful things said previously, Matthew abolutely loved the Kids Club. It is only available to the GC guest. It is stricter that those at WDW, but not unreasonable. Matthew was begging to go back the next night.

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Disney Vacation Club Board Co-Moderator
DVC and Cruise Chat Hostess
Cruise Board List Mistress

<font size=4 color=blue font face="Comic Sans MS">Robin

 


If I am not staying on concierge, but am staying on DVC pts. at GC, can I make meal ressies/PS prior to my trip? How far in advance? Since we are going in Aug., I am concerned about popular restaurants like Blue Bayou and Napa Rose filling up. Also, because I am used to WDW PS system, I don't like the idea of lining up in the morning to get the day's ressies.
 
I don't know about Blue Bayou if you are not staying concierge, but I called dining directly several weeks ago to make my Napa Rose priority seatings myself.
 
We spent our anniversary at the GC and loved it.
Easy enterance to DCA, wonderful service.
I posted a week or so ago sharing our experince and we are soo glad we went.
We had a park view room with a king size bed. We got a AAA rate that I was happy with.
We havent downloaded our pictures from our camera yet, but I hope to this weekend and I will post a link to them.

You can make your dining ressies ahead of time just call and they will connect you or give you the number for that. I am not sure how far in advance, we made ours about 1 1/2 months out.

Danica
T.T.F.N.
 
It never hurts to ask....so we called the Disneyland Hotel Concierge desk and told them that the GC Concierge made Blue Bayou ressies for some friends...and they did the same for us. :D Isn't that great! :) Thanks for the info. :)

We also asked about Fantasmic...but on that one, we're on our own. :rolleyes: Oh well. :)

<font color=red size=4>HAVE A DISNEY DAY</font>

<font color=navy size=3>M-I-C...see you at The DIS Convention, K-E-Y...why? Because we LOVE Disney, M-O-U-S-Eeee...</font>
 
We ate at the Napa Rose for dinner last night. Wonderful Disney service, beautiful room, fantastic food--can't wait to go back! We thought it was quite busy for a Thursday night in April--a good plan might be to make your reservation for a relatively early time, say 5:30ish. :D

Susan from CA

Disneyland-Too many times to count!
Off-site 1988
All Star Sports 1997
Beach Club/Wonder 2000
Beach Club/Magic 2002
 
We were there for a 3 night stay in January for a CM preview and used our DVC points. We loved it. I don't really have anything to add to the previous posts but we are going back next month and can't wait. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
 
Thank you all for your comments. The detailed description really makes me glad I decided to do this this year. My first trip to Disneyland was on a preview the week before it opened to the public in 1955. I think that was in July also and my last trip was in 1958 before my family moved back to NY. This time it will be my daughter,(34) son (15), granddaughter(14) and me. The one thing I wish is that the bunk beds were suitable for adults. We have requested a sleeping bag which should work out fine. Now I'm waiting to see what they do with the passes and if they add a flex feature to them before July. It seems like there is some confusion about them. I had the reservation clerk (when I called about the bunk beds) tell me he thought there was some breakfast "perk" included because I had used points to book the vacation and that I had to call member services to get the vouchers. They didn't know anything about it so guess he was confused with some other package or they haven't annonced it yet. If anyone knows of additional benefits for booking with points please post them. Thanks again for the comments and descriptions- will be watching the trip board for further info when some of you return. Have happy, happy trips!
 

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