Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on April 14, 2011 at 4:03 PM
Its an excellent resort. One of Disney's best!
From Ted Heumann on April 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM
I stayed there once for my birthday and I live less than 15 minutes away.
It is a VERY nice hotel and I truly enjoyed my stay, but you are correct in pointing out it is VERY expensive. What view room did you get? When I stayed there it was around $200 or so for a no view room, $250-300 for a Downtown Disney view and $300+ for a park view.
I'm surprised you didn't mention the Napa Rose restaurant. It is one of the finest restaurants in all of Orange County. One of the few restaurants I have ever been to that lived up to it's hype, but of course also VERY expensive.
From Nick Markham on April 14, 2011 at 6:04 PM
You said it is Southern Californian? I find it more "Northern" Californian.

Still I love this hotel, my favorite Disney hotel for sure (who can't love a hotel that has great rooms, food, architecture, location, and its own, private entrance into DCA?

From Robert Niles on April 14, 2011 at 6:12 PM
We had a theme park view room, and rates vary throughout the year. If the parks are open later (meaning larger crowds), the hotel costs more. I've been tracking the hotel for a while as we thought about this trip, and I haven't seen rates this year for under $250 (once you add in room tax). Rates tend to be around $350-$500 a night (again, with tax included).
From Robert Niles on April 14, 2011 at 6:13 PM
Ted,

I'm going to review Napa Rose in a separate post. I couldn't afford to stay at the hotel *and* eat at Napa Rose on the same trip!

From rick stevens on April 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM
I think the Grand Californian is a gorgeous structure and a great tribute to the craftsman style architecture of California. It reminds me of Northern hotels and the Grand Canyon classic hotels. With that said, it is too expensive for what it is. I prefer the old tried and true Disneyland Hotel. Great rooms, expensive, but not as bad as the GC, and you can still have access to the parks. As far as the Napa Rose is concerned: good food, interesting ambiance, but too pretentious for me. I prefer the UVA bar in Downtown Disney for drinks and “bar fair” that is pretty good. Great Bartenders make the experience a memorable one.
From Tyler Stover on April 15, 2011 at 7:11 AM
Even though we live in Southern California, my family decided once to treat ourselves to a full weekend at Disneyland with a stay at the Grand Californian (my idea, of course). I love Craftsman architecture anyway, and you're right, that and the location are the big draws for this hotel. It is really nice to be able to walk out of the park at any moment and back into a very comfortable, welcoming hotel. We had a Downtown Disney view which was nice enough, but a theme park view would really be the cherry on top here. My wife and I now like to spend some time at the hearthstone lounge waiting for the crowds leaving the park to die down a bit before we head home.
From 68.118.98.124 on April 15, 2011 at 7:19 AM
We stayed here last year while my husband was on a business trip. All I can say is WOW. It was beautiful. One of the most stunning theme hotels I have ever stayed. Disney did a wonderful job with this one and the convenience to the parks is just an added bonus. We had a room that overlooked the parks /pool and it was nice to sit on the balcony and watch both.
From Brandon Mendoza on April 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM
I may have to save up just to stay over for a night, but I like that perpsective of not having to step out into the traffic laden Orange County Streets.
From M. Ryan Traylor on April 17, 2011 at 10:18 AM
The other awesome thing about the design in this hotel is the giant fireplace in the main lobby. In the picture above the two stone columns form the side of the fireplace. In reality, there is a much smaller fireplace inside that area.
From Mark Hollamon on April 20, 2011 at 6:41 AM
What a wonderful article Robert! Very well written. I have never been to Disneyland. I hope to very soon. When I do I feel I will give the Grand Californian a very close look to fit it into the budget for at least one night.

I want to make a comment about on property hotels in general. There is no better choice than to stay on site when you go on vacation. The mere fact that you cut hours off travel time for even a weekend retreat is worth the money, not to mention the perks one receives for staying on property.

My wife and I live in Orlando and we still try to stay at one of the property hotels at least once a year to keep the "vacation" feel to where we live. We get the benefit of taking advantage of the lower pricing when it becomes available as we don't have to travel to get here!

That being said we can really give good feedback when friends are planning to come down for vacation. You get what you pay for and we know it by experience! The first time we came to Orlando we stayed at one of the $29.95 per nite hotels on the Irlo Bronson strip. MISTAKE!

I could write a book on this....maybe I will! ;)

Thanks again Robert!