My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on April 4th, 2006. We celebrated by spending a few days at the Disney Resort in Anaheim, California... including 2 nights at Disney's Grand Californian hotel. When we were first planning our trip, I looked around on the Internet hoping to find some good photos and first-hand reviews of the Grand Californian... but didn't find anything very interesting. So, to help anyone else out there who is searching for information on this wonderful hotel, I'd like to offer a few photos and opinions.
The lobby of Disney's Grand Californian hotel
It's every bit as beautiful in person as this photo makes it appear!
Note the piano player in the lower left.
The fireplace in the Grand Californian lobby
This is a really cozy place to sit and enjoy the company of other vacationers.
Just on the other side of the wall is another fireplace on an outdoor patio.
The swimming pools at The Grand Californian
There are actually three pools, plus several very warm whirlpools.
Barely in view in the upper right of the photo is a circular slide which drops in to one of the pools.
The Disneyland monorail heading through the Grand Californian
While the monorail does not actually stop in the hotel itself, the monorail station is just a short walk away.
I'm guessing that the whooshing sound of the monorail is probably a little annoying in the rooms near the track.
A view of the Grand Californian from Disney's California Adventure Park
The rooms that face Disney's California Adventure are more expensive, but have a gorgeous view... especially at night
A shot from the balcony of our room at the Grand Californian
We opted for one of the less expensive rooms, not facing Disney's California Adventure park.
We got lucky in that it did overlook Downtown Disney and (in the distance) Disneyland.
I used a long lens to get this photo of the train station and Space Mountain from the balcony of our room.
We really liked overlooking Downtown Disney... and would probably choose that again
Fireworks light up the night sky over Disneyland
Another nice thing about having a room overlooking Downtown Disney is that it faces Disneyland...
so you've got a view of the fireworks at night. We loved sitting on our balcony and watching the show.
I took this shot (with a long lens) from the balcony of our room at the Grand Californian.
The next night, we watched the fireworks from in front of the castle at Disneyland itself...
which was even more enjoyable since we could enjoy the soundtrack, too.
My wife and I pose for a photo on our 25th wedding anniversary
I used a tripod and the camera's self-timer to get this photo on the balcony of our hotel room.
Things we really liked about Disney's Grand Californian hotel:
We were entirely satisfied with our stay at Disney's Grand Californian hotel, and the overall experience at the Disney Resort. Disney totally exceeded our expectations! If you forced me to come up with a few negative comments, this is about all I could come up with:
Our original plan for our Anaheim vacation at the Disney Resort was to spend three days and two nights at the Grand Californian hotel. The day before our scheduled visit, we were getting bored at home and decided to get an early start to our vacation. So, we made a last-minute reservation at Motel 6 for the night prior to our two nights at the Grand Californian. Spending one night at Motel 6 and then two in Disney's Grand Californian was such an amazing contrast that it was actually funny!
At Motel 6, the bed wasn't very comfortable.
At DGC, the bed was more comfortable than the one at our own house.
Motel 6 was conveniently located next to a Jack In The Box restaurant.
DGC was conveniently located next to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure theme parks, with a private entrance in to the park that allowed us to avoid the crowds at the main park gate.
At Motel 6, even with our door and windows closed, we could hear the freeway outside.
At DGC, we enjoyed sitting on our balcony and listening to the musicians playing in the "Downtown Disney" district. If we closed the sliding door, though, there was complete silence.
At Motel 6, the people in the next room had a yappy little dog that literally barked almost continuously from 7 PM to Midnight, and at least several times each hour after that.
At DGC, we never ever heard a sound through the walls, not even a toilet or a shower in the rooms next to us.
At Motel 6, I had trouble figuring out how to turn the lights on when I woke up for a late night potty break.
At DGC, the light switches were lit themselves, so you could find them in the dark.
At Motel 6, a heating and air conditioning unit under a window had a choice of high or low... and made so much noise you could barely hear the TV.
At DGC, a central heating and air conditioning system with (what will they think of next?) a thermostat was so quiet we never heard it running, not even at night.
At Motel 6, we each had a pillow and a towel.
At DGC, we had 8 pillows, about a dozen towels, and bathrobes, too.
At Motel 6, we got about three hours of sleep overnight... thanks to that yappy dog next door and the police stopping by a neighboring room at 2:30 AM.
At DGC, we slept like babies.
At Motel 6. we used our cell phone to check in with our son back at home.
At DGC, we used free high-speed Internet access to check in with our online friends.
At Motel 6, they were completely sold out of the Los Angeles Times when I tried to buy a newspaper in the morning.
At DGC, there was a copy of USA Today waiting outside our door when we woke up in the morning.
At Motel 6, the shower head was high enough to spray water on my stomach... or my head if I got down on my knees.
At DGC, the shower was nicer than what I get at home.
At Motel 6, a large red stain on the carpet near the bed looked suspiciously like blood.
At DGC, there was a red stain near the bathroom sink... but I think it was fruit juice.
At Motel 6, the bill for one night's stay was under $60.
OK, yes, DGC wasn't cheap... but it was worth every penny!!! If you ever get the chance to stay there, you definitely should!
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