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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Review

I had the opportunity to stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa while at the Disneyland Resort recently, and I truly loved every second of my stay beginning at check-in with the gracious Cast Member who made the process quick and easy (and who also gave me the most-coveted of items: the “1st Visit” button).

The lobby at the Grand Californian is absolutely stunning. The Craftsman style architecture is reminiscent of, but not exactly like, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort. The lobby is somehow elegant, cozy and comfortable all at the same time thanks to the large fireplace and lots of soft seating.

You can check in using the Disneyland app, drop your bags with bell services and head into the parks or to the pool if your room isn’t ready yet. The resort will send you a text with your room number and you can use your phone to unlock your door. So easy!

The rooms at the Grand Californian are spacious and well appointed. Our room had 2 queen beds and a small sofa, but the sofa was not for sleeping as it wasn’t a pull out or daybed. The beds were SO comfy after a long day in the parks! They were set up higher to allow for storage underneath them, which I took full advantage of.  There were plenty of outlets/USB ports, both between the beds and under the TV. The room had plenty of storage, a small refrigerator, Keurig and plenty of coffee. 

I had dreams of a cup of coffee on the balcony while enjoying the view, but alas, I was in too much of a hurry to get into the parks to take advantage. But speaking of the view…

We had booked a standard view room but were upgraded to a theme park view and WOW. The morning view was amazing but looking over Disney California Adventure at night was absolute magic.

I was also impressed with the bathroom, which had a shower with multiple shower heads, and a separate area with the vanity with two sinks and plenty of amenities. This room had some thoughtful touches—a Mickey Mouse step stool and a laundry basket! Do you see anything familiar in the wallpaper? Look close! 

Do you see the Hidden Mickey?

I didn’t take any pictures of this, but since I was there to attend training, I also got to see the Convention space and experience the banquets food and staff, all of which were fantastic. I can’t say enough kind things about the Cast Members who took care of us in the meeting room. They were kind, funny and efficient.

There are several restaurants to enjoy while at the Grand Californian. Napa Rose is lead by famed Disney Chef Andrew Sutton. You can get your character fix at Storytellers CafĂ©. Hearthstone Lounge, GCH Craftsman Grill and GCH Craftsman Bar are more casual options. 

There is also an incredible pool complex for resort guests to enjoy. You can relax or be an adventurer going down the waterslide that spirals around a California redwood tree! 

All of the Disneyland Resort is easily walkable but one of the BEST features of the Grand Californian is that it is literally INSIDE of Disney California Adventure Park, which means it has its own special entrance into the park. You’re RIGHT THERE. It’s awesome! Guests of the Grand Californian can take advantage of early entry into both parks, which at the time of this writing was 7:30am.

I absolutely loved my stay at the Grand Californian. If you’re a park warrior who will only sleep in your room and not use the amenities at the resort, it might not be the best fit, but if you plan some resort time, this is the place!

Me, enjoying the resort. I'm at Disneyland!! 

Jill Voliva
Jill loves traveling anywhere, especially anywhere Disney! You can email Jill at



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