Skip to Content

Luxury at Disneyland: Grand Californian Hotel Review 2024

When you visit Disneyland on a family vacation, you have plenty of options for lodging. Whether you choose to stay at one of the three on-property resorts or stay somewhere off-property (at a good neighbor hotel), you are sure to find something that suits your family and your budget.

The price ranges of these options do vary, and the grandest of all is Disney’s Grand Californian Resort, located right on property sandwiched between Disney’s California Adventure and Downtown Disney. This gorgeous resort is a splurge but can be a great treat and extremely convenient.

If you are considering splurging for a stay at the Grand California, here is everything you need to know. Any questions? Leave us a comment.

This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you. All opinions are my own. We paid for our Disneyland vacation, including our hotel stay, on our own.

Save money on your Disneyland tickets and your Southern California vacation by booking through Get Away Today. You can also save $10 on your Southern California vacation of 2 days or more with the code FTM10. We booked our most recent four trips to Disneyland through Get Away Today including our recent stay at the Grand Californian.

Entrance sign of Grand Californian with flowers

Review of Disney’s Grand Californian

For our most recent Disney vacation, we spent four nights at the Grand Californian and had three-day park hoppers for the two Disneyland parks. We arrived just at check-in time, and since I’d already completed online check-in, I just had to go to the key pick-up window. We were in our room just a few minutes after arrival.

Although the Grand California does have a similar name (and luxury reputation) as the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World in Florida, the decor is quite different. While the Grand Floridian has a turn-of-the-century elegance, the Grand Californian has a more rustic decor, similar to the Wilderness Lodge.

Two queen beds with orange tree mural above beds

Room and Room Types at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

There are many different room types at Disney’s Grand Californian. We booked a two queen bed room with a standard view and had a view of the parking lot. We didn’t spend much time in the room, so it wasn’t worth paying more for a better view.

Our room had a closet (with luxurious robes, a steamer, and a safe), a large TV, drawers, a sofa, a balcony, a mini fridge, and two queen beds. These were some of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in – they felt like complete luxury.

I was impressed that the guest rooms offer lots of space for our clothing, as well as many outlets for charging our multiple devices and MagicBands. WiFi is offered for free through the resort (as well as the Disney parks).

There are lots of other room types offered at the resort. These include:

  • 2 Queen Beds and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair
  • 1 King Bed with 1 Day Bed and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair
  • 2 Queen Beds and 1 Day Bed
  • 1 King Bed and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair

You can also choose the view. In addition to the standard view room we had, options include:

  • Partial view (of Downtown Disney or theme park)
  • Theme park view
  • Downtown Disney view
  • Pool view
  • Woods/Courtyard view

The Grand Californian also offers club-level rooms as well as suites in addition to standard rooms.

Dragon figure in lobby

Benefits of Staying On Property

Disneyland offers three on-property hotels and they all offer great benefits to guests. These include:

  • Private entrance to Disney’s California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney
  • Early entry into one specific theme park per day 30 minutes before the official park opening.
  • The ability to charge purchases to your room

Location of the Grand Californian

The Grand Californian is the most convenient of all of the hotels at and near Disneyland. It’s tucked in between Downtown Disney and the Grizzly Peak land at Disney’s California Adventure.

Hotel guests can take advantage of private entrances to both Downtown Disney and Disney’s California Adventure. When cutting through the hotel, you’ll need to show your room key at the resort entrance to ensure you are a guest of the Disneyland resort hotels – the Grand Californian, Pixar Place Hotel (formerly the Paradise Pier Hotel), or the Disneyland Hotel.

Pool area with cabanas at the Grand Californian

Amenities at the Grand Californian

In addition to the location and the luxurious rooms, there are lots of other amenities at the Grand Californian.

Pool Area

While you are likely to spend much of your time at the Disney theme parks during your vacation, I’d recommend that you also plan to spend some time at the beautiful pool area. The Grand Californian offers a pool area with three pools – the Redwood Pool (with a 90-foot-long waterslide), the Mariposa Pool, and the Fountain Pool. There is also a jacuzzi spa and lots of seating.

When you arrive at the pool area, you’ll have to check in to get a wristband for the day, which shows that you are a hotel guest. You are also able to get towels.

Cabanas in the pool area are also available to rent. While you are at the pool, you can order drinks and food from the pool bar.

Parking at the Grand Californian Hotel

If you are flying into the Los Angeles area and are just visiting Disneyland, you won’t need to have a car. But if you are arriving in a car, both valet and self-parking are available.

There’s a large porte-cochère as you enter, with multiple valets available to assist with your luggage. A separate area is available for those waiting for ride-share vehicles.

If you aren’t staying at the hotel, but are visiting the spa or dining at Napa Rose or the Storytellers Cafe, you can park for a set number of hours at no cost. Check with the hotel for the specifics of this offer.


I never want to do laundry on vacation, but sometimes it’s inevitable. The Grand Californian offers two laundry rooms that are available for guest laundry.

Eureka Fitness Center

I generally don’t work out on my Disneyland vacations, because I walk so much. But, if you do want to work out, you’ll have 24-hour access to the Eureka Fitness Center.

In addition to standard cardio and strength equipment, some classes are offered through the fitness center. Most of these cost extra, and you’ll get a schedule of offerings when you check into the hotel.

Gift Shop

Guests at the Grand Californian have direct access to the shops at Downtown Disney. But, there’s also a convenient gift shop, the Acorns Gifts & Goods, located right in the lobby.

There, you’ll find Grand Californian-themed gifts (including the comfy robes from the hotel rooms), snacks, essentials, MagicBands, and other Disney souvenirs. Purchases can be charged to your room.

Tenaya Stone Spa

Want to enjoy some relaxing time while at the Grand Californian? The Tenaya Stone Spa is located on the property and is the perfect place to recharge and relax during your Disneyland vacation.

This 6,000-square-foot space offers the following:

  • A retail shop
  • A relaxation room
  • Massages
  • Facials
  • Body treatments
  • Steam rooms and showers
  • Salon services, including hair, nails, and makeup

You can view their website directly here to view services and make an appointment.

Poke bowl on a bar top

Food at the Grand Californian

There are lots of dining options throughout the resort, and you can also take a quick walk over to the restaurants of Downtown Disney.

Napa Rose

From famed Chef Andrew Sutton (from Napa’s Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley is the Grand Californian’s most luxurious restaurant, Napa Rose.

This signature restaurant offers both an a la carte menu and a Vintner’s Table Menu for dinner. The cuisine here is wine-country inspired, and the restaurant recommends that you dedicate at least two hours to the experience.

In the mornings, Napa Rose is home to the Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures. This luxurious breakfast is a big splurge – $135 per person.

Reservations are highly recommended at Napa Rose.

Storytellers Cafe

Located adjacent to the Napa Rose restaurant is the Storyteller’s Cafe, which offers buffet breakfast, brunch, and dinner. During breakfast and brunch (Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet and Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Brunch Buffet), popular Disney characters appear.

Like other Disney hotel restaurants, you can dine at these restaurants, even if you aren’t staying at the hotel. Advanced reservations are recommended for Storytellers Cafe, regardless of whether you are staying at the Grand Californian.

Hearthstone Lounge

This cozy lobby lounge tucked into the corner of the Grand Californian lobby offers small plates and light bites until midnight each day. There’s a full drinks menu, as well as some great food including salads, chicken wings, and shrimp and grits.

GCH Craftsman Pool Bar

My favorite place to eat at the Grand Californian is the casual pool bar, called the GCH Craftsman Pool Bar. This area includes both an outdoor bar (you must be 21+ to sit there) and some tables around the pool.

This is a casual eatery, perfect for a relaxing meal outside of the parks. The menu features pizzas, poke bowls, and quesadillas. It offers breakfast (on some days), lunch, and dinner.

GCH Craftsman Grill

Offering the same menu as the pool bar, along with some other treats, is the GCH Craftsman Grill. Most of this quick-service restaurant is indoors, although there are also some outdoor tables.

If you love peanut butter, I’d recommend getting one of the Peanut Butter Blondies from the GCH Craftsman Grill. It’s a delicious treat that you probably will want to share (or save some of it for later).

Room Service

The resort offers in-room dining, which can be especially convenient at breakfast. You can call room service or place a door hanger on your door with your order, and it’ll arrive at your specified time.

We found it to be so much easier to get breakfast delivered, so we could get ready as we ate. Then, we were ready to arrive at the parks with plenty of time for the early theme park entry. As a bonus, our room service order always arrived with a small bowl of oranges which were a great treat to start the day with.

Check in area of the lobby at the Grand Californian

Pros and Cons

When choosing the Grand Californian, there are some pros and cons you’ll need to consider.

Cons: This is an expensive hotel which is a splurge. In addition, you may find that other nearby hotels offer larger rooms (although the rooms at the Grand Californian aren’t small). The theme is beautiful but is less exciting for kids than the Pixar Place Hotel across the street.

Pros: There are a lot of benefits to staying at the Grand Californian. It’s a hotel with great service, luxurious amenities, and comfortable beds. The location is also extremely convenient, and you can take advantage of early park entry as well as private entrances to Downtown Disney and Disney’s California Adventure.

To book a stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, we recommend going through Get Away Today.

Visiting Disneyland CA? Click to see all of our Disneyland posts with reviews, tips, overviews of the best rides, and more. Want to know more about Disney World rides? Click here to read all of our posts about Disney rides and attractions.

the sign for the Grand Californian Hotel, the pool at Disney's Grand Californian in Disneyland, California, a long hallway in the lobby

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.