Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Be Our Guest: Disney's Grand California (and a Dash of the Disneyland Hotel)

Hello, Readers!

We're going to roll out a new segment today - BE OUR GUEST, reviews of Disney Hotels.
Actually, with the D23 Expo coming up, I'll probably review the hotel we stay at then, as well.
This will be a limited segment since...I don't get to stay at a hotel as often as I'd like (because, y'know.....given the option, I think I'd just move into one...), but we'll also use it whenever we hop into the hotels for a specific event, point of interest, or general perusal...

Over that nice two week period where most Disneyland Annual Passes are blocked out (like we'd want to go be salmon swimming upstream), we stayed to celebrate my mother's birthday, so we were happy to stay out of the crowded parks anyway and actually enjoy the resort.

Now, just a small disclaimer. Don't consider this a demand that you utilize this hotel. This is a report on our trip. I just don't want someone to have a bad time and blame me!

That being said, we have had a consistently fantastic stay at the Grand Californian.  The first time my family stayed here was in 2005 for Disneyland's 50th anniversary weekend (Yes, we're crazy people, we were there). And the last time before this was last July for Disneyland's 60th. Which...is kind of why we wanted to go and just stay to enjoy the resort; we tend to go to because of an event, and you don't get to enjoy all the amenities.

Regarding price, in a more general sense, if you're planning to go and just hit the parks morning 'til night, take the Disneyland Hotel or the Paradise Pier.

So, here's our lovely room and beds.

These headboards are gorgeous and sturdy as heck (ask Fred!).

The rooms have this piece of Snow White art. I have not stolen it, but mostly because it's WELL bolted to the wall. Why must they tempt me?!

We were very kindly upgrade to a pool view room. With the trees, we couldn't really see the pool, but that was fine with us.

See? We could hear the pool!

Not to get personal, but here's my goddaughter, Naomi. Isn't she adorable?! We just loved to sit and listen to the people in the pool. We could also hear a little bit of the ambience from the DCA.

The bathroom.

The toiletries.  Not an ad, but we LOVE the H20 products Disney provides. They also sell some in the hotel shops, FYI.

We personally recommend the mint

The coffee maker is little but adequate, and thankfully also provide tea. Yay!

Disney should be grateful I didn't rip the shower curtain off the rings and run off.
Seriously, Disney, why must you tempt me so much?!

Towels provided.

Nice closet. Sorry I didn't take a picture of the inside.  Personally, I don't use the closet much....

Another good FYI, they've got a blu-ray player in the room.  We made use of it, catching Naomi and my grandmother up on Big Bang Theory.

A night view. Again, you get some noise, but it's still pretty serene.  It's not disruptive at all!

Now, the televisions in the room do have channels for the fireworks and World of Color, if you have those views.  Suddenly, one night, we heard the BOOM BOOMs of the fireworks.  We didn't have a view of them, but we could see some reflections and man, does the light go far! It was enough for us.

It was a nice gloomy, rainy morning when we left.
It always rains on our check-out day. We think Disneyland just doesn't want us to leave.

Seriously, it was blistering hot on the 60th anniversary, and the next day, when we check out, it freaking DRIZZLED!

In the middle of July!

Even if you don't stay, go check out the lobbies of the hotels.  They're always SO well decorated! It's so nice that Disney's magic in the parks extends this far.

In the lobby, during Christmas, you can get hot chocolate and hot cider (both alcoholic and non. The alcoholic versions of each are pictured here) as well as a variety of Christmas treats.  

The Cast members also wore adorable aprons that were available for sale, but sold out fairly quickly. So I would recommend checking early in the Christmas season if that kind of thing is up your alley. 

In the lobby, they had a BEAUTIFUL gingerbread replica of the hotel itself...if you make it to the bottom of the post, we'll have our first contest related to the gingy hotel!

The Christmas Tree was decorated with these GORGEOUS lanterns.

DISNEY MERCHANDISING??? You listening?! THESE!! Get on it for next Christmas! You're welcome! Just gimme a set, no charge and you can have the credit!

 Room Service

Another benefit of staying in the hotel...room service!

We only did breakfast, but hey, why not share with my wonderful readers?

Pancakes and sausage.

You can't get away from a Disney park breakfast or hotel without a Mickey waffle, which I think was literally created by magic.

A little more healthy breakfast....look at that broccoli!
Naomi likes broccoli.

 Disneyland Hotel

We did stop into the Disneyland Hotel for a birthday dinner at Steakhouse 55.  Let me know in the comments (here on the page, not on the Facebook post FOR the blog, please!) if you'd like to see what we ate.  I did review the restaurant last spring during OC Restaurants week, and will again this year, but if you'd like another look, let me know!

The Disneyland Hotel (DH) had it's own cute little .....well, big, gingerbread castle. All with gingerbread scent piped in to enhance it. 

Anything Disney does, you need to look at it from as many angles as you can.

The lobby itself is smaller, but the last remodel, making it more of a mid-century modern hotel. Now,  the theme IS Disneyland. This streamlining of the theme really brings it together.

I did NOT shove this tree in my purse, but don't think I didn't think about it.  Where is a Mary Poppins carpetbag when you need it?

A nice Mary Blair to greet you in the lobby.

I can't remember how much of this is Christmas decor, and how much is the mid-century look....I'll take a peek next time I spend in the parks.

Anyone want me to review Trader Sam's?


Oh, did I mention a contest?

I did!

Here is an aerial shot of the Grand California's gingerbread Hotel. There are hidden Mickeys on it!
Tell me how many, and the first person to give me the answer will win a Doctor Strange key chain from the Halloween Party, an exclusive gift for Annual Passholders!

Have a great week everyone!

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