Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

grand californian disneyland

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is Disneyland’s flagship resort, a Pacific sister to the Wilderness Lodge and the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World.  Peter Dominick, architect of this grand trio of hotels, was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Built in 2001, the Grand Californian evokes the Arts and Crafts era of a hundred years ago.

Here are some highlights:

Location: The Grand Californian is only a few steps away from the bright bustle of Downtown Disney and Disney’s California Adventure park. Some rooms look out over the theme park, and the GC has a private entrance to Disney’s California Adventure near Grizzly Peak. Hotel guests can also take advantage of Extra Magic Hour, which gives them admission to the theme parks an hour before they open to the general public.

Atmosphere: Prepare to be transported into a subdued Craftsman world with stained glass glowing against glossy oak doors and walls.   Woodwork is found both underfoot and arching in vast beams overhead.  Mission furniture completes the theme, grouped cozily before fireplaces and nooked confidingly in unexpected corners.

Accommodation & Amenities: Guests can choose between standard guest rooms, Artisan or Signature Suites, and Club Level rooms. The carpet looks like a forest floor, and some rooms have bunk beds. A Disney Vacation Club wing was opened in 2009, so villas are also available. There are three pools: the Fountain, Redwood, and Mariposa.

disneyland monorail

Monorail: Did you know that the Disneyland Monorail goes right through the hotel? Well, not through the lobby like at the Contemporary resort at Walt Disney World, but many rooms have a great view of the monorail as it winds it way through the courtyards of the Grand Californian Hotel.

Disney Vacation Club Villas: In 2009, Disneyland expanded the original Grand Californian by adding 200 additional hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas. While these villas are often booked in advance by Disney Vacation Club “owners, as it is a Disney timeshare resort, you can sometimes find these villas available to book. If you have a larger group interested in staying together in one room, these are a great option, and most have fantastic views of Disney California Adventure.

Dining: The Napa Rose has an open air terrace with fire pits where pan roasted diver scallops and the tantalizingly named Seven Sparkling Sins, an offering of seven appetizers, are dished up.  Next door, the Storyteller’s Cafe offers character dining and is decorated with wood-carved scenes from California tales by Mark Twain.  The Cafe serves grilled sandwiches and wood-fired pizza and a mouthwatering brunch.  You can visit counter service gem, White Water Snacks, where the wood and natural stone motif continues.  Their California breakfast burrito is a guest favorite.

Discounts: Did you know you can get a discount at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel most of the year? Right now, there is a great Late Summer Savings offer available and the brand new Fall Disney VISA discount, and we should see more discounts soon!

Have you ever stayed at the Grand Californian Resort?

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