The lodge with a non-public entrance at Disneyland: Disney’s Grand Californian Lodge & Spa

Think about a high-end lodge with a comfortable hearth in an oversize foyer, a top-notch spa, a elaborate restaurant, non-public cabanas by two of three swimming pools and a concierge-level ground with unique perks. Now think about that lodge at Disneyland Resort — with particular Disney touches like a non-public theme park entrance, an on-site character buffet and an extravagant three-course princess breakfast — and you have Disney’s Grand Californian Lodge & Spa.


Whereas the historic and iconic Disneyland Lodge has been round because the Fifties, Disney’s Grand Californian is a a lot newer addition to the Disneyland panorama that provides its personal charms price experiencing.

First opened in 2001, this property is the fanciest of the three true Disneyland resort inns. For those who’re accustomed to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort, then the vibe of this resort will doubtless remind you of its Disney World counterpart, as Disney’s Grand Californian was additionally designed by architect Peter Dominick to appear like a nationwide park lodge.


However with a number of lodge choices which might be walkable to Disneyland, you might end up questioning if splurging for a keep at Disney’s Grand Californian is price the price. Thankfully, TPG is right here to assist.

This is what it is like bedding down at Disney’s Grand Californian, the grandest (and sometimes priciest) possibility by Disneyland.


All three Disneyland inns — Disney’s Grand Californian, Disney’s Paradise Pier Lodge (presently being reimagined because the Pixar Place Lodge) and the Disneyland Lodge — are on the pricier finish on the subject of staying by the parks, however Disney’s Grand Californian is well probably the most deluxe of the three. As such, it’s best to anticipate to pay a fairly penny when staying right here, whether or not you are utilizing money or factors.

Money charges often begin round $700 or $800 per night time for the standard room however rapidly climb above $1,000 an evening when selecting an lodging with a particular view (suppose: Downtown Disney or the parks) or membership entry. Whereas this will likely appear extreme, know that it isn’t completely remarkable. Even the close by Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance lodge prices at the least $500 per night time.

If you cannot fairly abdomen these charges, you should utilize fixed-value bank card factors and miles from applications like Capital One and Bilt Rewards to pay for a room right here. Or, you may ebook a keep utilizing discounted Disney present playing cards.

Maybe the most suitable choice, although, is to lease Disney Trip Membership factors. Doing so can typically enable you to save as much as 50% on the retail value, relying on the dates you select.

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Commonplace studios begin at 17 DVC factors per night time, with factors from companies comparable to David’s Trip Membership Leases usually costing $21 to $23 per level. At this price, you’d spend about $357 to $391 per night time to remain at Disney’s Grand Californian with DVC factors, an typically less expensive price than paying with money. As an added perk, you will additionally keep away from paying $35 a day for self-parking, although you will not get the good thing about each day housekeeping.


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Located between Downtown Disney (the buying and consuming space that doesn’t require a park ticket to go to) and Disney’s California Journey Park (the place you will discover Automobiles Land and the Avengers Campus) in Anaheim, California, Disney’s Grand Californian is likely one of the most handy lodging choices at Disneyland. You’ll be able to clear safety and instantly enter the center of Disney’s California Journey Park from the grounds of the lodge in a matter of minutes.


To get to Disneyland’s different high vacation spot, the unique Disneyland Park, you may both stroll for 5 to seven minutes or take the monorail from Downtown Disney to the park’s Tomorrowland part.


When visiting Disneyland Park, take into account that the road to clear safety from the lodge to get into Downtown Disney will often look very lengthy within the mornings and might due to this fact take a while to work by means of, although it often strikes faster than you might anticipate. My household and I waited in line for about 10 to fifteen minutes every morning once we just lately visited.


From the second you step foot within the foyer, you will immediately really feel transported away from the hustle and bustle of the parks to a country retreat within the woods. Huge pillars made from boulders, thick picket arches fastened to the ceiling and decor in varied shades of outdoorsy colours like inexperienced, blue and brown set the scene for a comfortable (however elevated) tackle the everyday Disneyland trip.


Towards the again of the spacious foyer is the place you will discover the reception desk. Right here, pleasant forged members are readily available to examine in visitors as they arrive.


Whereas checking in or sitting across the foyer’s hearth, children can watch cartoons in a small space with a built-in TV and pint-size chairs and rockers.


The foyer additionally serves as an leisure venue at night time, so in the event you’re checking in late (or simply need a spot to take in the particular ambiance), you should definitely lounge by the piano, the place a pianist performs various Disney tunes.


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As you might anticipate given the lodge-like setting, the rooms at Disney’s Grand Californian are easy however cozy, with extraordinarily snug beds which might be excessive sufficient for storing baggage beneath.


On the partitions, artwork that pays homage to each California’s orange groves and woodland Disney characters like Chip and Dale is on show. There are ample shops close to the beds, too, which you will not at all times discover at Disney properties.


For those who select a regular room with two queen-size beds however want just a little extra sleeping house, you may relaxation simple figuring out that some lodging additionally come outfitted with couch beds — and so they’re a few of the finest (and best to make use of) within the enterprise. Not each room has this couch mattress association, although, so you should definitely request one among these rooms through the reserving course of. Rooms with couch beds can accommodate as much as 5 adults.


We solely had 4 folks within the room throughout my current keep, however my youngest was very happy to make good use of the couch mattress, as opening it revealed “Bambi”-themed artwork alongside the bottom.


Extra cute and sensible touches, comparable to a toddler step stool with its personal model of a Hidden Mickey, can be found inside the lavatory.


On the lengthy self-importance with two sinks, we discovered a number of crowd-pleasing Disney H2O+ bathtub facilities and a few fluffy, white towels. Simply past the self-importance space was an open pocket door revealing a separate room with a rest room and a tiled walk-in bathe.


Moreover, on a wall was a set of picket hooks with two white bathrobes.


A lot to my shock, there was no tub on this room for 5. Nevertheless, some rooms at this family-oriented property do have mixed showers and tubs, so in case your children are youthful, you will need to request a room with a bathtub since it isn’t a regular amenity.

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Meals and beverage

Disney’s Grand Californian has a fairly extensive number of eating places, starting from dear sit-down institutions to above-average quick-service venues.

On the entry-level finish of the spectrum, there may be GCH Craftsman Grill, which accepts cellular orders, is situated close to the pool and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Each indoor and outside seating is offered.

We ate right here for breakfast sooner or later and liked every little thing we tried. Some standouts have been the $14 breakfast burrito that includes eggs, bacon, potato bites, salsa, queso fresco, cilantro and extra rolled right into a flour tortilla and the $18 huevos rancheros breakfast flatbread. The latter was costly and messy, however it was a scrumptious concoction of fried eggs, chorizo, black bean unfold, roasted salsa, avocado drizzle, cheese and tortilla strips massive sufficient to feed multiple particular person.


A step up from GCH Craftsman Grill is Storytellers Cafe, a buffet restaurant the place characters parade across the venue and cease by your desk for meet-and-greets as you eat breakfast or brunch.

We did not dine right here throughout our most up-to-date keep — although I did peek inside to see the characters wearing lovely mountain climbing outfits as they engaged with visitors. However on a earlier go to, I discovered the meals to be fairly tasty for a buffet and the service to be superb. Meals will set you again $49 to $51 for adults and $29 for youths, relying on whether or not you go to for breakfast or brunch, and reservations are extremely advisable so you may dine at your most popular time.


For an important day or a extra formal meal, there’s Napa Rose.

Providing each a princess breakfast expertise that prices $125 per particular person for everybody 3 and up and a dinner service that is dressier however nonetheless approachable to households, Napa Rose is a crowd pleaser … and for good motive. Whereas the restaurant is not as high-end as, say, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney World, it is not someplace it’s best to roll straight into after a busy day on the parks.


On condition that the advisable apparel for dinner right here is “costume pants, denims in good situation, collared shirts, costume shorts, sweaters, blouses, clothes and life-style sneakers,” I personally would not dine right here with younger children, as it is a restaurant meant to be savored. That is precisely why I skipped it on our most up-to-date journey to Disney’s Grand Californian.

Nevertheless, on a earlier go to, I completely loved the spring harvest salad and wood-fired pizzetta that have been on the starters menu on the time.


The primary course of Scottish salmon was additionally fairly tasty, although it was wholly pointless attributable to how massive the starters have been.


For those who’d somewhat linger in your room as a substitute of venturing to one of many property’s eateries, you are in luck, as Disney’s Grand Californian additionally gives room service. Whereas it’s miles from the usual set at Disney inns earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, it is nonetheless a luxurious to have, particularly on days once you’re on the lookout for a chunk to eat earlier than or after visiting the parks.


We loved some Mickey waffles, pastries, bacon, a yogurt parfait and even sizzling chocolate earlier than one among our mornings within the parks. Total, the meals was fairly improbable (who does not love a heat Mickey waffle?), although we have been stunned by how busy the road was to position our order.

We began calling when room service turned out there at 6 a.m. however could not get by means of till greater than 10 minutes had handed. That basically ate into our park plans, as our meals did not arrive till 7:05 a.m. As soon as we scarfed down our $100 breakfast, bought by means of safety and made it into Disneyland Park to reap the benefits of the early entry perk we acquired as Disney resort visitors, we solely had about 10 minutes to benefit from the park earlier than it opened to the general public.


Regardless of the delays with ordering and receiving our meals, I am nonetheless thrilled that the lodge has actual room service when so many do not. Simply know that the seemingly handy perk might not be that a lot of a time-saver in the long run. Nonetheless, you probably have a morning when you’re not rope-dropping and might savor these Mickey waffles and sizzling chocolate, then room service is a scrumptious and indulgent deal with it’s best to positively work into your schedule.

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So far as facilities go, Disney’s Grand Californian gives some ways to cross the time. One of many standout amenities is undoubtedly the property’s themed pool complicated, which has a waterslide, lifeguards, loaner life jackets and padded chaise lounges (some with umbrellas).


All three swimming pools are heated, but when they aren’t heat sufficient for you, you may take a dip within the resort’s sizzling tub.


Cabanas can be found to lease by the Mariposa and Fountain swimming pools, however know that they go for a number of hundred {dollars} per day. For those who do resolve to deal with your self to one of many cabanas, you will take pleasure in entry to a 32-inch TV, some non-public lounge chairs with umbrellas, bottled water and a fruit platter.


A few wellness-focused facilities can be found, too.

On the Eureka Health Middle, visitors can break a sweat on machines like treadmills and ellipticals or join a health class. Choices vary from yoga in addition camp.

Moreover, there’s the Tenaya Stone Spa, which accepts appointments on-line. Whereas I thought of making a last-minute appointment throughout my newest keep, I could not fairly justify spending greater than $200 on a therapy, so I made a decision to cross. Based mostly on how impressed I used to be with different elements of the property, I think I’d’ve loved a spa service right here, particularly after operating across the parks all day.



Disney is thought for its service, however the service right here was really above and past that already excessive commonplace. The forged members weren’t solely extraordinarily sort, however additionally they went out of their approach to make some further “magic” for us and different visitors.

One instance of that is when one among my children occurred to lose a tooth whereas within the parks. It was late by the point we bought again to the resort, and since we have been outdoors our regular tooth fairy’s jurisdiction, I used to be just a little involved that there can be some under-the-pillow disappointment the following day. Nevertheless, I finished by the desk to see if there have been any native tooth fairies we might contact and certain sufficient, the entrance desk employees working late that night time occurred to know methods to assist. The subsequent morning, just a little magic from the fairy division appeared.


It is moments like these that maintain me and my household returning to Disney.


Disney is mostly above common with wheelchair and different accessibility issues. At Disney’s Grand Californian, the identical is true.

There are accessible paths all through the parking zone and Downtown Disney.


Plus, there are accessible lifts in a number of areas throughout the swimming pools.


You can even reserve designated rooms which might be wheelchair or listening to accessible.

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Total impression

Staying at Disney’s Grand Californian offers you the very best of the very best when visiting Disneyland. It might not be as luxurious as The St. Regis New York or the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, however it’s a high-end possibility that can elevate your typical theme park trip and make it way more gratifying.

Along with having nice on-site facilities and eating choices, you will be as shut as attainable to Disneyland’s two theme parks. The latter level alone is a significant draw of staying right here, as having a non-public entrance to Disney’s California Journey means you may rapidly get in to take a activate park favorites like Radiator Springs Racers and Soarin’ Across the World. Plus, you will take pleasure in an additional half-hour contained in the parks as a Disney resort lodge visitor, which fits a great distance in serving to you get on extra rides with out Genie+.


Whereas the contemporary look the property acquired in 2017 is now beginning to present indicators of wear and tear and tear, the lodge continues to be an attention-grabbing and comfy place to hold your hat, with usually wonderful service in addition.

The primary problem in staying right here is, with out query, the value, as room charges are commonly near (if no more than) $1,000 per night time. It may be powerful to really feel such as you’re getting your cash’s price at Disney’s Grand Californian in the event you’re spending daily of your keep within the parks, so if price range is a priority, take into account limiting your go to right here to simply two nights and allot at the least a half day on the resort per night time. For the remainder of your journey (in the event you’re staying longer), offset a few of the value of this resort by staying off-property at a extra budget-friendly lodge … ideally one which accepts factors. That approach, you get the very best of each worlds: a quintessential Disneyland expertise at a value you may afford.

Are you planning a visit to Disneyland with your loved ones? Listed below are extra sources:

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