Beginner’s Guide | Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa


Beginner's Guide | Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa - The Blogorail

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a beautiful and unique hotel inspired by the 19th century Arts and Crafts movement.

From the beautiful six story lobby to the outdoor areas, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a national park. But thanks to a special entrance to Disney California Adventure, you are never far from the magic.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa-2

The Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland is the premier place to stay at the Resort. Luxury abounds at this picturesque resort, but even more so, the location next to Disney’s California Adventure Park — with it’s own entrance in — seals the deal for us as a great place to stay. At the end of our week-long stay at the Grand Californian Resort, we were left with one distinct impression — we didn’t want to leave!


Most categories sleep up to four adults and will have either bunk beds, a trundle bed, or sleeper sofa in addition to the queen or king sized beds.

There are also Club Level rooms and suites. The Grand Californian is a Disney Vacation Club resort as well.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Room Categories

  • Standard View rooms have views of Disneyland Drive, the rooftop, or parking area.
  • The woods-courtyard view rooms look over the courtyard.
  • Deluxe partial view have a partial view of the theme parks or Downtown Disney.
  • A premium view will have views of the pool or theme park, and Downtown Disney views overlook the Downtown Disney District.
We LOVE Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Our wheelchair accessible room was perfect and staying so close to Disney California Adventure and Disneyland was an amazing experience. We can’t wait to go back!
Melissa Knight, Rolling with the Magic


Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Exclusive Access

The Grand Californian is one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels. As a hotel guest you can use the special entrance to enter Disney California Adventure and take advantage of extra magic hours in the park.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa-3

You are also steps away from the Downtown Disney District.

The Grand Californian is close to everything the Disneyland Resort has to offer making it easy to get back to your resort to relax. Guests staying at Disneyland Resort hotels also may take advantage of Extra Magic Hour, which gives guests early entry to select Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions.

As with the other hotels at the Disneyland Resort, we felt that our stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa really added to the magic of our vacation.

We loved the easy access and guest-only private entrance to Disney California Adventure park. This made swinging back to the hotel for lunch and a swim a simple mid-day break. The Cast Members were efficient and helpful anytime we requested assistance. Our room and all of the hotel was well-kept and clean.

Yes, this is the most expensive of the three Disneyland Resort hotels but it easily became a fast favorite of the area hotels simply because of the location. Will we stay here again? Yes, for a one-night splurge we will stay again!

Julie Bigboy, Saving Up for Disney


Three Pools

There are three pools at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Redwood pool features a 90 foot long water slide around the stump of a Redwood tree and has a Mickey Mouse shaped children’s pool nearby.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa-4

The Fountain Pool is located next to Storyteller’s Cafe and is the perfect spot to relax and unwind. The circular Mariposa pool is named after the Spanish word for butterfly and pays homage to the hotel’s arts and crafts theme.

There are also poolside cabanas available to rent.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Mandara Spa

Want to spend some time out of the theme parks relaxing? The Mandara Spa at the Grand Californian has everything you need to unwind including:

  • 8 exotic treatment rooms
  • Couple’s Pavilion
  • Co-ed lounge
  • Men’s sauna and steam room
  • Women’s sauna and steam room
  • Fitness Center
  • Full-service nail pavilion
  • Tea pavilion
  • Dining
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Photo Credit: My Dreams of Disney

Fitness Options

For fitness enthusiasts you can participate in an early morning power walk through Disney California Adventure. This 15 minute, one mile walk begins at 7:00 am and is complementary to Disneyland Resort hotel guests. Stop by guest services to sign up.

You can also make a reservation for Fitness Fusion, a complementary, non-impact fitness class at the Outdoor Fireplace. You can also visit the Eureka Fitness Center.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Hotel Tours

You can learn more about the beautiful Grand Californian Hotel on the Art of the Craft Tour. These behind the scenes experience discusses the Arts & Crafts movement and how it influenced the architecture and design of the hotel. To reserve a spot just stop by guest services.

If want to explore the hotel at your own pace you can stop by guest services to pick up instructions on completing the Grand Quest, a scavenger hunt through the hotel. Once you complete the quest stop back by and pick up a special treat!

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Kid Activities

Kids ages 5 to 12 can visit Pinocchio’s Workshop. Created just for them, they can play computer or board games, dress up, watch Disney movies, and more under the supervision of licensed counselors.

The workshop is open seven days a week from 5:00 pm until Midnight. The current rate is $13.00 per hour. To enroll your child visit the guest services desk or call 714-635-2300. Also, your chid must:

  • Be toilet-trained; children in diapers or pull-ups are not admitted
  • Play well with others
  • Be able to feed himself or herself
  • Not require individual supervision or one-on-one attention

On select nights you can also spend a Magical Night at the Movies.  Enjoy an outdoor screening of Disney movies in the Wedding Garden at the Outdoor Fireplace. Bring your favorite food and drinks and settle in next to the fireplace. Movie information and times are available at check in.

Special Experiences


There are also several fun and unique experiences exclusively available to Guests of the Disneyland hotels. Although subject to change, interactive experiences may include:

  • Tales from the Hearth – Nestle in for an intimate storytelling experience starring California wildlife at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
  • Engineuity presented by RIDEMAKERZ – Spend your morning at RIDEMAKERS in the Downtown Disney District “building your ride” before the store opens to the general public. An additional fee is required.
  • Learn to Draw Mickey Class – It’s your chance to be an Animator! Learn to draw one of Disney’s most famous characters—Mickey!
  • Washcloth Creations – Our in-house experts will show you how to make your very own magical creations out of a simple washcloth.
  • Private Build-A-Bear Workshop – Customize a fluffy new pal during a special one-hour visit to Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Downtown Disney District. Available exclusively to Disneyland Resort hotel Guests, this private session includes a fluffy teddy bear that you create, a photo with you and your new plush buddy, special shopping time and a complimentary accessory of your choice (up to $5.00 in value)—all under the friendly direction of your class’ personal “Bear Builder.”(Additional cost.)
  • Mysteries of Magic – Be mystified during this unique private experience that takes place at the Main Street Magic Shop inside Disneyland Park. Offering a basic introduction to magic, this fascinating workshop available to Disneyland Resort hotel Guests will teach you a variety of classic magic tricks, from the “pledge” to the “prestige.” Learn the tricks of the trade and amaze your family and friends!(Additional cost.)

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa


There are many option for dinging at Disney’s Grand California.  Everything from quick service to fine dining to character meals.  There is something for everyone.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Whitewater Snacks is the hotel’s counter service restaurant and also offers a small selection of groceries for guests staying in DVC rooms.

For breakfast options include the California Breakfast Burrito, Mickey Waffles, pastries, muffins, and fruit. Lunch and dinner feature burgers, pizzas, and nachos.

Storyteller's Cafe - Dad for Disney

Photo Credit: Dad for Disney

Visit Storyteller’s Cafe for the Chip ‘n’ Dale Critter Breakfast. The buffet features cook to order omelets, Storyteller’s Cafe famous Caramel French Toast, Mickey-shaped Waffles, seasonal fruit, pastries, and more.

At lunch, the a la carte menu features Salmon and Spinach Salad, Four Cheese Ravioli, Grilled Albacore Tuna Sandwich, and Seasonal Cobbler. For dinner, you can choose to visit the buffet or order from the menu with options like Lobster Cobb Salad and Citrus Shrimp.

Storyteller Cafe offers a unique dining option for dinner, allowing guests to either order from the menu or purchase the buffet. The corn chowder is absolutely amazing!

Additionally, their breakfast character buffet features Disney characters that are more difficult to find in the parks, making it a great location to capture some harder to get autographs and photos.

Lin Leffel, Disney Mamas

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Napa Rose features award wining cuisine from chef Andrew Sutton in an upscale environment with California flare. The menu changes frequently and offers as well a a large selection of regional wines.

You can also reserve a spot at the Chef’s counter or enjoy a walk up spot at the Napa Rose Lounge.

Napa Rose - Grand Californian - Disneyland News

Photo Credit: Disneyland News

Hearthstone Lounge is a great place to relax in the evening or grab coffee and a quick breakfast in the morning. The lounge features several appetizers including an artisanal cheese selection and flatbreads in addition to the full bar.

My family loves all the dining options at the Grand Californian. Storytellers Cafe is great for the whole family and a great character dining experience. We also love to grab and go from White Water Snacks. My son especially loves their huge cinnamon rolls.

For a date? A drink at Hearthstone Lounge and dinner at Napa Rose are simply perfect. I am a huge fan of the roasted cauliflower and love being able to look in the kitchen while waiting for our food.

Hearthstone Lounge - Grand Californian - Disneyland News

Photo Credit: Disneyland News

For More Information

Beginner's Guide | Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa - The Blogorail

By | 2017-10-26T08:10:45+00:00 June 30th, 2016|Beginner Guide, Disneyland Resorts, Resort Guide|

Leave A Comment