|Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
I have spent quite a bit of time on the hotels grounds since it has opened. And probably explored more of it than the average guest (especially during the preview days when just about everything was open to walk through). I have only stayed at the resort once (in 2010).
Overall I am really impressed with the Hotel. It is a spectacular hotel built right in the middle of the Disney property in Anaheim. The lobby is incredible to walk into. It reminds me of the Wilderness Lodge and the Animal Kingdom Lodge in WDW, but with its own spin on things. Its one of those places were you just want to go and relax. Whether it is in the big chairs in the lobby with the piano player or a story going on. Or "out back" sitting around the fire in the rocking chairs. Or the good sized swimming pool and deck area.
There are a couple excellent restaurants in the hotel, as well as a fast food place. The work out room is a little on the small side, but I have never seen it full, so I do not think its an issue.
One of the best advantages to the hotel is the direct entrance into Disney California Adventure and if your room happens to be in that wing its the shortest distance to a Disney park in the states. The hotel entrance is near the Grizzly River Rapids attraction in the Golden State section of the park. I have seen several people taking advantage of this to ride the raft ride, get soaked then back to their hotel room to change and dry off. This especially comes in handy during the cool winter months.
The Hotel also has quite a bit of convention space and there always seems to be something happening.
A 2.5 acre addition opened on September 23, 2009 that included 203 new guest rooms and 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas.
|The Geek's Impression from a night spent at the Grand CA in June 2010
Staying at the Grand Californian was a slightly different experience for me. Over the years I have spent a lot of time at the hotel for various events, just to hang out, to eat, or to visit friends staying there. But this was my first time staying there myself and knowing that I was there to stay was a nice treat. Below are some thoughts and observations from the experience:
|The Geek's Suggestions
If you are used to Disney's resorts in Orlando then you should really stay here, or else you might be disappointed by the other two Disney Hotels in Anaheim. Prices are high, but the hotel is probably worth it if your are making a trek out to CA. I probably would stay there if I did not live 70 minutes away or have friends and relatives that live closer.
If you are a local or staying somewhere else the hotel is open to the public during the day. Take a stroll around it, its a nice place to visit and take a break for a few minutes. Keep in mind though that Disney goes in spurts about enforcing the guest entrance into the park. Depending on the day and time of day your luck may vary if you are not a hotel guest (guest is usually defined as having a room or dining in one of the restaurants).
When requesting a room something to be aware of. One is many of the rooms a good hike from the lobby area. Especially if you are in the far wings, like the ones over Downtown Disney.
People have asked about the DVC units with views of Paradise Bay and watching World of Color. You can see the show but you are on an angle and do not get the full experience.
|Pictures (from a Downtown Disney View/ Bunk Bed Room) - taken in June 2010