Grand Californian Super Thread Updated 11/7/13

eeyore81

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
We have a 2 night stay coming up in October. The extra magic hour happens to be a California Adventure for both days we are there. We intend to take advantage of it one day but go to Disneyland the other day. If we have park hoppers is it better to cut through DCA (during the extra magic hour) to get to Disneyland for park opening?
 

nathos

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
We have a 2 night stay coming up in October. The extra magic hour happens to be a California Adventure for both days we are there. We intend to take advantage of it one day but go to Disneyland the other day. If we have park hoppers is it better to cut through DCA (during the extra magic hour) to get to Disneyland for park opening?
I would head out from GC via the Downtown Disney exit and walk directly to the Disneyland gates
 

chrisaman

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
we stayed at the villas a couple weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with them. I know they are sold out but is there a wait list you can get on with Disney or is the only option resale? If there is a wait list how long is it?
If you aren't on the wait list you aren't getting it through Disney. Looking resale is really your only option. If you even were to get on a waitlist you will be waiting at least 10 years
 
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    If you aren't on the wait list you aren't getting it through Disney. Looking resale is really your only option. If you even were to get on a waitlist you will be waiting at least 10 years
    Seriously? I'm so glad we bought our contracts direct when we did! Of all that we own I value my VGC points most above all others and we only live 25 minutes away!
     

    TheZue

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2005
    If you aren't on the wait list you aren't getting it through Disney. Looking resale is really your only option. If you even were to get on a waitlist you will be waiting at least 10 years
    Thanks for the timeline :) we are about two years from buying, but 10 is right out! Looks like it will be resale for us.
     

    Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    We have a 2 night stay coming up in October. The extra magic hour happens to be a California Adventure for both days we are there. We intend to take advantage of it one day but go to Disneyland the other day. If we have park hoppers is it better to cut through DCA (during the extra magic hour) to get to Disneyland for park opening?
    Depending on how early you get up and if you have maxpass... I would get up and scan into DCA and start booking your fastpasses, then exit the park and get in line for Disneyland. The DL lines will be long but you will be at an advantage as you can already be starting the timer on your first fastpass! 8-)
     
  • chimo2u

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Only 12 days to go until we are at GCH Club level for my first DL stay in 28 years! I'm so excited that my adult sons are joining us (23/27) and staying at the Grand too! So are we best to use DCA entrance as our way to get in every day?? I am trying to understand the lay of the land, but it's hard to picture where we need to go. If we are doing a DL day, is it just as easy to go through the Grand to DCA entrance for our entry?? or do we walk through DTD to the main gates?? Also our first night we are having dinner at SH55 which I hear is in DLH. What's our best bet to get there and back to the Grand without getting lost? Thanks for any tidbits you can offer!
     

    Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    Only 12 days to go until we are at GCH Club level for my first DL stay in 28 years!...
    There have been many changes in 28 years :goodvibes
    ...So are we best to use DCA entrance as our way to get in every day?? I am trying to understand the lay of the land, but it's hard to picture where we need to go. If we are doing a DL day, is it just as easy to go through the Grand to DCA entrance for our entry?? or do we walk through DTD to the main gates??...
    I recommend going through DTD to the main entrances of DL and DCA, for the first hour of park opening. This avoids a possible long line at the GCH entrance to DCA, at other times this entrance is very convenient.
    ...Also our first night we are having dinner at SH55 which I hear is in DLH. What's our best bet to get there and back to the Grand without getting lost?...
    It's an easy walk to SH55. Exit GCH into DTD and turn left. DLH is at the end of DTD. SH55 is in the far short building (the other buildings are hotel towers).
    ...Thanks for any tidbits you can offer!
    A couple random tips:
    • Have Bell Services take your bags directly from the your car (or taxi), since there can be a line to check bags inside.
    • Club Level guests can check-in on the 6th floor (near the elevators off the lobby)
     

    sgrap

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Only 12 days to go until we are at GCH Club level for my first DL stay in 28 years! I'm so excited that my adult sons are joining us (23/27) and staying at the Grand too! So are we best to use DCA entrance as our way to get in every day?? I am trying to understand the lay of the land, but it's hard to picture where we need to go. If we are doing a DL day, is it just as easy to go through the Grand to DCA entrance for our entry?? or do we walk through DTD to the main gates?? Also our first night we are having dinner at SH55 which I hear is in DLH. What's our best bet to get there and back to the Grand without getting lost? Thanks for any tidbits you can offer!
    We love to enter DCA first when going to DL, but sometimes they open at the same time or DL opens earlier. In those cases, go through DTD. Even though you hear not to use the Grand entrance into DCA first thing, we have always been inside DCA before opening time (at a rope) even when the lines have been long at Grand entrance. Either way, you are going to go through security. I suppose security opens earlier into DTD, but it has never made a difference when we have used one way vs. another.

    We also love to return from DL back to the Grand through DCA if it is open and there isn't a line to enter. I don't know if it is actually shorter, but it seems shorter to us--or just more enjoyable.

    One easy way we find the Grand entrance from DTD is to look for the Sephora store (can you tell we have teenage daughters? haha). The Grand entrance from DTD is right next to Sephora. There is a Disney dress store on the other side of the entrance.

    Enjoy!!
     

    ParkHopper1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2011
    If we are doing a DL day, is it just as easy to go through the Grand to DCA entrance for our entry?? or do we walk through DTD to the main gates??
    There are two way to get to the Esplanade to enter the Disnyland gate from the GCH. From the GCH lobby you can either go though DTD or into DCA then exit DCA into the Esplanade. All things being equal with no security backups it is almost identical time and distance either route.

    Now if it is park open for DCA, census is to avoid the DCA age from GCH and head through DTD as that can get backed up at DCA rope drop.
     
  • chimo2u

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    There are two way to get to the Esplanade to enter the Disnyland gate from the GCH. From the GCH lobby you can either go though DTD or into DCA then exit DCA into the Esplanade. All things being equal with no security backups it is almost identical time and distance either route.

    Now if it is park open for DCA, census is to avoid the DCA age from GCH and head through DTD as that can get backed up at DCA rope drop.
    Thanks for your reply! This sounds counter-productive to me since one would think that the perk of staying at GCH would be to enter via the private entrance into DCA from the Grand! :P Is the line up really that bad from the Grand into DCA for magic mornings??
     

    SeaDis

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2012
    A couple random tips:
    • Have Bell Services take your bags directly from the your car (or taxi), since there can be a line to check bags inside.
    • Club Level guests can check-in on the 6th floor (near the elevators off the lobby)
    Love these two tips. Will get you started on the right foot. Do not wait in the lobby check-in line. If anything, go straight to the greeting cast member and just verify the Club Concierge is available for check-in upstairs. Go straight there.

    Thanks for your reply! This sounds counter-productive to me since one would think that the perk of staying at GCH would be to enter via the private entrance into DCA from the Grand! :P Is the line up really that bad from the Grand into DCA for magic mornings??
    It's a great perk the rest of the day. But mixed results in the morning and, at a minimum, you should get to the GCH/DCA entrance EARLY to make it effective and have a good experience. I would rather spend those extra minutes feeling not-so-rushed.

    Another nice bonus of going to DCA through Downtown Disney is mobile order Starbucks from the room and pick it up on the way. You will arrive at DCA main gates with your pick of shorter lines and nice food/drink in hand. Ready to go!
     

    Aladora

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2011
    Thanks for your reply! This sounds counter-productive to me since one would think that the perk of staying at GCH would be to enter via the private entrance into DCA from the Grand! :P Is the line up really that bad from the Grand into DCA for magic mornings??
    We just checked out today and we used the DCA entrance for EMH Monday and Wednesday. Monday we arrived at the entrance just a minute or two after 7 (for a 7am EMH). There was one couple ahead of us. Wednesday we got there around 6:45 and we were back halfway to WWS. We were in the parks and on our way right at 7:01. This was also our experience two years ago so for us, we have no problem using the private entrance early in the morning.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Also our first night we are having dinner at SH55 which I hear is in DLH. What's our best bet to get there and back to the Grand without getting lost?
    When going to the DLH, for S55 or Trader Sam's, I prefer going the route that avoids DTD and security. Not that I have anything to hide, but you can get really delayed having to go through long bag check lines. At the Grand, just follow the path out near where the entrance shack is for the cars. There is a security gate that requires a room key to get back into the hotel, but since you're staying there you're covered. Cross Disneyland Drive and follow the path past the Paradise Pier hotel. There is a small "roundabout" at the end of that street. It's also where the Self Parking lot for the Grand ends, follow the sidewalk to the right towards Downtown Disney. You'll see a path on the left which will take you past one of the towers of the DLH. Trader Sam's is at the top of the walkway when you emerge, just keep following the path either over the ramp that goes over the pool area, or turn right to walk along the side of the hotel. There will be signs to help you find, it, but it is in the same building as the lobby, just tucked into the back far corner of that building.
     

    Mama_Cass

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    Quick question re the newly reopened white water snacks...is that the craftsman grill?? Wondering if it still has a microwave and toaster for hotel guests and water (the soda fountains used to have a water option I believe). Thanks in advance :)
     

    Aladora

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2011
    Quick question re the newly reopened white water snacks...is that the craftsman grill?? Wondering if it still has a microwave and toaster for hotel guests and water (the soda fountains used to have a water option I believe). Thanks in advance :)
    I can answer one of your questions! There are Coke Freestyle machines that do have water.
     

    azdisneylover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2008
    Quick question re the newly reopened white water snacks...is that the craftsman grill?? Wondering if it still has a microwave and toaster for hotel guests and water (the soda fountains used to have a water option I believe). Thanks in advance :)
    There are microwaves where the ice machines on each floor. I know it has been posted before on the boards. I will try to find it. I think there was a snack machine or soda machine in there too. Not a big microwave, so if you have a lot to nuke, be prepared for it to take a little bit.
     

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