View Full Version : Grand California Hotel - Amusement park view - help!

08-18-2003, 01:30 PM
My mother, and 5yr old daughter and I are taking our annual trip to D-land on Dec 2 for 6 days and staying at GCR and have heard more bad then good....I was wondering if anyone had ever stayed in the amusement park view room? (This is my first time, sorry if this rambles!) Is the hotel really nice and good for a family that loves to be totally imersed in Disney,we usually stay at DLR?
Is the first week of Dec at the parks busy or slow, we've always gone the 2nd week? Does Storytellers cafe have a good char. brkfst like goofy's? Thanks for all your help ya'll or any suggestions would be much appreciated!!!!

08-18-2003, 01:51 PM
We recently spent 5 days at the Grand Californian with 3 kids ages 12, 10, and 6. They absolutely LOVED every minute of it. From the location right inside the park, to the pool, and the storytelling every evening by the fireplace in the lobby...they never want to stay any where else.

As for the restaurants, we did not enjoy the character breakfast at Storytellers as much as we did the one at Goofy's kitchen, but that is just personal preference, the food was fine, just didn't get as much character interaction as at Goofy's. Whitewater snack was our favorite dining for a quick meal our snack and very reasonably priced.

Hope some of this helps...we certainly enjoed ourselves!! Have a great trip!

08-18-2003, 03:06 PM
The Grand Californian is a beautiful hotel and the theme park view will get you about as immersed as you can get with out sleeping on Paradise Pier. That being said, the rooms are beautifully decorated but have only one or two small Disney touches inside as compared to the Disneyland Hotel. You will not find Mickey lamps or tinkerbell border apaper or a castle printed on anything except the literature on the table. There is a small nod to Bambi in the bathroom. The location of the hotel is awesome as is the lobby and decore.

08-18-2003, 03:22 PM
The theme park view is great, but you won't be "totally immersed in Disney" in the rooms. It's all based on the California Arts & Crafts architecture with very small hints of Disney that you really have to look for.

The Storytellers Cafe character breakfast only has Chip & Dale. I've heard that Goofy's Kitchen has lots more characters.

I think you will enjoy the fact that you have a hotel-guest only entrance to DCA. It will be really convenient if want to get back to the hotel for a swim or a nap in the middle of the day.

08-18-2003, 04:02 PM
We stayed there end of July and had a room overlooking the monorail atrium. Quiet, but not an incredible view. In all honesty, how much time do you spend in the room that you NEED a view? We were in the room to nap and sleep (well, and shower, etc.) I know we will never stay anywhere else. The rooms were nice, but not spectacular. The issue is location, location, location. Service was outstanding, though.

The best thing was sitting and watch the DEP, and not having to walk well over a mile to a hotel with two tired kids (and a tired wif). It was literally 150 yards to the hotel from where we watched the parade. We planned our days so that we'd be close to that entrance as nap times were nearing or bedtime was approaching.

Well worth the extra expense.

08-18-2003, 09:58 PM
According to the Guidebook I have the first 3 weeks of December are quiet.

We were also there in the second week last time.

This time we are going from 3 - 10 Dec. Hope it is quiet

08-19-2003, 08:33 AM
We go every year the first week in December and each year it is more and more crowded. There are several corporate night buyouts that week and most of the event attendees come for the whole day and then stay when the park closes to the public. Last year on a Wednesday we couldn't get near Dumbo or Peter Pan (average line about 90 minutes) until after just before the Fireworks. I've found that before Thanksgiving seems to be less crowded.

As for the GCH, we stay there whenever we can. It's lovely and the service is great. However I have found using the AP or other discounts you often end up in a room that is almost at front gate. So you must traverse the length of DTD to get back to the lobby to leave the hotel and then walk back in the direction you came to get to the park. I realize there are staircases throughout the floors, but with a stroller you are very limited in your options. Make sure if you are staying at least two nights at the GCH to get the full effect, storytime, etc.......

08-19-2003, 11:32 AM
We were at DLR last December from the 6th through the 10th and it was great. Not really crowded at all. I think we waited the longest for Splash Mountain. I will only go during off peak times and that time was just perfect. :)

08-19-2003, 12:34 PM
We have stayed at the GCH four times, and had the park-view rooms twice.

The first time we had an incredible view of Grr. It was so lovely, we ordered room service and ate dinner on the (tiny) balcony.

The second time, we had almost the same room, but one floor down. Unfortunately, our view was mostly blocked by large ventilation units right outside our balcony. Needless to say, we skipped room service that night. :rolleyes:

Friends have stayed in park-view rooms overlooking Paradise Pier, and really like them. You can see the Electrical Parade from your room.

The monorail-view room, which is what we landed the second time we ever stayed at the hotel, is not at all spectacular. If I had a choice of non-park view rooms, I'd pick the ones with the Downtown Disney view, because you can see *some* of the fireworks from those balconies.