A Guide to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

in Disneyland Resort

Grand Californian DVC Villas

Credit: Disney

There are three main hotels on the Disneyland Resort property — the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and, the largest of the three, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa — that Guests can book when planning a Disneyland vacation. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is also the newest, having opened in 2001.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel gives Guests a California wilderness feel with a touch of Disney elegance and is described by the Disneyland website:

Escape reality at a hotel that defines grandeur at every turn—from premium accommodations and Craftsman-style elegance to Disney’s impeccable service and renowned attention to detail. Hotel Guests can enjoy impressive amenities and rich dining experiences as well as utilize the convenient entrance* to Disney California Adventure Park. It’s the ultimate way to enjoy thrill-filled days at the parks!

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Credit: Disney

Here is your ultimate guide to everything you need to know when booking your Grand Californian vacation.

Please note some features and amenities may not be available due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Features and Amenities of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Room Types

Standard

There are five standard types of Guest rooms available at the Grand Californian.  Each standard Guest room comes with the ability to sleep up to five Guests.  Prices for the rooms vary depending on the view that you request with your room.  The are several types of room views, beginning with the standard view, which could include views of Disneyland Drive, the rooftop of the hotel parking area.

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Other views available for standard rooms are a woods-courtyard view, a Downtown Disney District view, a deluxe partial view, which would include a partial view of a theme park or the Downtown Disney District, and finally, a premium view that includes a view of either one of the beautiful hotel pools or a theme park.

Credit: Screenshot Disneyland Website

Every standard Guest room comes with a variety of amenities including large smart televisions, an in-room safe, high-speed internet, evening turn-down service, and a balcony.

Suites

For Guests who are traveling with larger parties, the Grand Californian offers suites ranging from one to three bedrooms.  All the suites include the amenities available to Guests in the standard Guest room.

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While the suites mainly come with all the standard amenities, there are several additions.  Each suite comes with a DVD player, free Wifi, as well as wired internet access, and a wet bar.

Club-Level Rooms

Club-level rooms are rooms that include all the amenities available with a standard room but have some nice upgrades.  Club-level rooms also sleep up to five Guests and can be booked with either a standard view, for a lower price, or a premium view, for a higher rate.

Also included with club-level rooms is exclusive access to the gorgeous spot, the veranda.  At this resort location, Guests can sit and watch the Disneyland fireworks as they light up the night sky.

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There are also a variety of other amenities available for Guests who choose to book a club-level room at the Grand Californian.  Every day from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. there is a continental breakfast.  Following the continental breakfast, there is an afternoon tea, which is available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The afternoon tea is followed up by a wine and cheese reception from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Guests can end their night at the hotel with cookies and other desserts, which are offered nightly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Villas

For Disney Vacation Club members who wish to stay at this Disney Resort, the Grand Californian offers them several types of rooms, ranging from a deluxe studio to a three-bedroom grand villa.

Credit: Disney Vacation Club

Each Disney Vacation Club villa comes with a fully equipped kitchen, including a dishwasher, a whirlpool tub, and a washer and dryer.  The one-bedroom villa can sleep up to five guests, while the three-bedroom grand villas can sleep up to 12 Guests.

The Disney Vacation Club website, where Disney Vacation Club members can go to book their vacation, describes the villas:

Unwind in your relaxing Disney Vacation Club Villa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa—located just steps from the fun and excitement of Disney California Adventure Park. Enjoy the amenities, recreation and dining this stunning Resort offers!

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Amenities

Theme Park & Downtown Disney Entry

Another big perk to staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is the special entrances to both Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District.  Guests of the Resort can use one of the entrances to enter Downtown Disney by the Disney Dress Shop, which is in the middle of the Downtown area.

Guests with valid park tickets are able to use a special entrance into California Adventure that allows them to enter the park by the Grizzly River Run attraction.

Grand Californian Guests who would like to visit Disneyland Park will enter through the main park entrance.

Fitness Center

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The Fitness Centers at the Disneyland Resort go above and beyond, and the Eureka Fitness Center at the Grand Californian is no exception.  According to the Fitness Center section of the Disneyland website: 

Shape up with strength machines from Life Fitness and Cybex. Advanced ellipticals, regular and recumbent bicycles, treadmills and stair climbers are available to hotel Guests looking for a cardio workout. Weight machines and free weights are also on site for those desiring to pump some iron while staying amid the magic.

There are also several special classes available to hotel Guests, including Stretch in the Park, which takes place at 6 a.m. inside of Disney’s California Adventure Park.  There is also the Grand Morning Stretch and Mat Pilates available at the hotel.  For Guests to participate in these events, they must contact Hotel Guest Services, as space is limited.

It should be noted that Guests who wish to use the Fitness Center must be at least 14 years old.  Guests under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Guest Services

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There are a variety of services available to Guests of the Grand Californian at the Guest Services desk, located in the main lobby of the hotel.  Here, Cast Members can help Guests with things like dining reservations, registering for park tours, such as A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps, and helping you plan your itinerary for the day.

Cast members can also help Guests with things outside the Disneyland Resort, such as arranging transportation, printing boarding passes, and helping with other Southern California tours.

Key to the Magic

Your room key is more than just a key when you stay at the Grand Californian.  You can attach a credit card to your room key and use it to make purchases in the Disneyland Resort on things like merchandise and dining.

Banking

Guests from all over the world come to vacation at the Disneyland Resort.  To aid these travelers, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel has a 24-hour ATM available in the main lobby.  For Guests coming from out of the country, they can go to the Front Desk in the main lobby where the hotel offers a currency exchange.

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Dry Cleaning & Laundry

With all the food and fun available at the Disneyland Resort, stains are bound to happen.  For Guests wishing to clean their clothes while on vacation, there are two options available to them.

For Guests who want to do their own laundry, there are two 24-hour laundry rooms available.  The first one can be found by the Disney Vacation Club Villa and the second laundry room is located on the second floor above the Napa Rose elevators.  It should be noted that, currently, only credit and debit cards can be used to pay for laundry services at this time.

For an extra fee, the Grand Californian offers a dry cleaning service to Guests who do not want to do laundry while on vacation but are in need of clean clothes.  To use this service, laundry bags, as well as a price list can be found in every hotel room.  Simply put your clothes in the bag and leave it for housekeeping (or Mousekeeping as Disney likes to call it) and they will return it to you the next day.

For those Guests who would like their dry cleaning to be done the same day, they need to take their laundry down to Bell Services in the Main Lobby by 8 a.m. and it will be returned to their room by 6 p.m.

Parking

Guests who are staying at Disney’s Grand Californian, parking is available to them for a daily fee.  Self-parking is $25 per day, but valet is also available for $35 per day.  Valet services can also be used for electric vehicles that need to be charged.  For visitors who want to use the electric charging stations, pull up to the valet and let them know and they will take it from there.

For hotel Guests who are Disney Vacation Club members, parking at the hotel is available for no extra fee.

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Lost & Found

Things can get pretty chaotic while you’re on vacation, and that can turn into items becoming lost.  While no one wants to lose anything, the Disneyland Resort is doing its best to help Guests recover their lost belongings.

If you lose your belongings while staying at the Grand Californian, the process to try to recover them is simple.  You go on to Disneyland’s Lost & Found website and put in all of your information.  You will then receive an email confirmation of your report and follow-up emails about the status of the search for your items.

Disability Services

Disney is all about inclusion and the Disneyland Resort will do whatever it takes to aid its Guests with disabilities.  The Grand Californian has accessible travel paths in the parking lot, lobby, restaurants, convention spaces, and shopping locations, as well as wheelchair-accessible and hearing-accessible rooms.

Guests needing to rent wheelchairs, can either visit the Front Desk or Guest Services in the Main Lobby,  Wheelchairs are available to rent for $10 a day and reservations can not be made in advance.

Recreation

Pools

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There are three pools available to Guests at the Grand Californian — the Fountain Pool, the Redwood Pool, and the Mariposa Pool.  With such a wide variety of swimming pools, there is something for every Guest who wishes to take a break from the parks and cool off.

The Fountain Pool is located near Storyteller’s Café and features stone walls and boulders to give Guests that true nature feel.

The Redwood Pool is a “wet and wild” slide that features a 90-foot waterslide that goes around the base of a great Redwood Tree.  There is also a children’s swimming pool, as well as a hot tub located near the Redwood Pool.

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The third and final pool is the Mariposa Pool.  Mariposa means “butterfly” in Spanish, which is why you can find butterfly designs all around this gorgeous pool.

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Pool Cabanas

All three swimming pools have cabanas available to rent for an extra fee.  A poolside cabana can be rented out for either a half-day or a full day.  There are a number of amenities that come with a cabana rental, including:

  • Two Chaise lounge chairs
  • Love seat
  • Coffee table
  • Sofa
  • 32-inch LCD television with cable access
  • Ceiling fan
  • Safe
  • Clock radio
  • Telephone for internal Resort calls
  • Mini refrigerator with 6 complimentary water bottles
  • Complimentary fruit platter
  • Towel service
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Guests who rent a poolside cabana will also have a cabana server available to them, should they want to order food and drinks.  Outside alcohol can not be brought to the cabana, but Guests can order alcohol at their cabana.

Each poolside cabana has a maximum capacity of 6 people.  Parties of 7 or more must order an additional cabana that they will have to pay full price for.

Shopping

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Each Disney hotel has its own Gift Shop.  The one at the Grand Californian is called Acorns Gifts & Goods.  Here, you can find some park favorites, as well as Grand Californian-themed merchandise, and luggage to fit all of that merchandise that you just bought.

A Night at the Movies

If you’re staying at the Grand Californian, chances are, you love Disney.  If you feel like spending a relaxing night in, take advantage of A Night at the Movies, offered on select nights at the hotel.  According to the Grand Californian website:

On select evenings, curl up under the stars or gather ‘round inside to watch special screenings of popular Disney films. Simply ask a Cast Member about specific movie details during check-in. Viewing areas open 30 minutes before showtime and attendees are encouraged to bring refreshments (glass containers are prohibited) for the show.

Art of the Craft Tour

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is a stunning hotel to look at and to stay in.  Guests who would like to learn more about the Arts and Crafts movement how it influenced the building and design of the hotel can take a one-hour tour.  Guests will receive a behind-the-scenes look at the art and artifacts that can be found throughout the hotel and its restaurants.

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Grand Quest & Trivia Challenge

A fun, and often overlooked, perk of staying at the Grand Californian is The Grand Quest and other trivia challenges that are available to Guests.

The Grand Quest takes Guests on a scavenger hunt through the entire hotel.  it is recommended for Guests ages 3 to 12, who will get a special prize when they complete the quest.  No reservation is required for this fun event.  Just stop by Guest Services to receive the needed instructions and take off on a fun hunt!

For those Guests going into the Parks, they can go to Guests services beforehand and receive attraction-themed trivia sheets for the Trivia Challenge.  When the sheet is filled out and completed, Guests can return to Guest Services and receive a special prize for all of their hard work.

Spas

Tenaya Stone Spa

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The Tenaya Stone Spa opened is a brand new spa that is coming soon to the Grand Californian.  It will be a full-service spa offering everything from facials and massages to full-body treatments and salon services.

According to the Disney Parks Blog:

Inspired by the spirit of nature and Californian heritage, this full-service spa will be a rejuvenating retreat. Here, you can choose from an array of body treatments, facials, massage and salon services, all performed in a serene setting, sure to relax, revitalize and invigorate the senses.

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The Tenaya Stone Spa has not opened as of yet and Disney has not released an opening date.

Restaurants at Disney’s Grand Californian

There is a variety of rich dining experiences and lounges that can whet any appetite at the Grand Californian.

Storytellers Café

Storytellers Café is a buffet-style restaurant that is located along the path to the California Adventure Park entrance.  The restaurant is available for breakfast, brunch (on weekends and some holidays), and dinner.

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Both the breakfast and brunch buffets are character dining experiences and called Mickey’s Tales of Adventure.  The Disneyland website describes the Character Breakfast as:

Join Mickey as he welcomes Guests to an immersive culinary adventure with some of his closest friends! Discover the fun and wonder of his latest escapades while enjoying a bountiful breakfast prepared especially for you. Some of our delectable selections include made-to-order omelets, Mickey-shaped waffles, baked goods and fresh fruit. Start your day in the most scrumptious way—and bring a camera to capture the memories forever!

A dinner buffet is also offered nightly at Storytellers, but it is important to note that it is not a character dining meal.  There is a wide variety of food options available, sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

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There are a variety of salads, a carving station with turkey, pork, and beef, as well as pizzas and pasta, and a crave-worthy dessert station.

Downright voracious? Begin your tale with a trip to the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet—select from the Chef’s Daily Special, roasted corn chowder and a variety of flatbreads as well as turkey, beef and pork from the carving station. Options for the kiddos include chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.

Reservations are not required but highly recommended for this popular eatery.  Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance online or at the Grand Californian’s Guest Services Desk.  Guests can also go to the restaurant in person to try to make a reservation, but availability is not guaranteed.

Traditional Disney characters that can be found during the character dining meals include Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale, but they are subject to change.

Guests not staying at the Grand Californian will be given three-hour complimentary parking with a valid Storytellers Café reservation.

Napa Rose

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The Napa Rose restaurant is a high-end restaurant that can be found in the Grand Californian.  It is described by Disney as:

A warm-hued craftsman décor inspired by the natural beauty of the Golden State provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxed yet refined evening at this premier dining destination. Enjoy your meal with a view of Disney California Adventure Park, at the Chef’s Counter of our bustling exhibition kitchen or in the casual comfort of the Napa Rose Lounge, where walk-up seating is available and Guests can order from the same tantalizing menu.

Browse an incomparable selection of regional wines paired with seasonal fare inspired by California’s bounty of produce, meat, game, poultry, seafood and farm-fresh specialty ingredients. Napa Rose’s expert sommeliers are happy to recommend the perfect wine pairing to complement your meal.

Napa Rose is only open for dinner and offers diners a wide variety of delicious options, ranging from diver scallops and braised wagyu beef cheeks to roasted duck breast, monkfish paella, and grilled rack of lamb.

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Reservations are not required at the Napa Rose restaurant, but they are highly recommended for Guests who wish to eat here.  Guests not staying at the Grand Californian will be given five-hour complimentary parking at the hotel.

Napa Rose Lounge

The Napa Rose lounge is available to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Here, Guests can indulge in an extensive drink menu and a food menu including frog legs, roasted lamb, and filet mignon.

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The Napa Rose Lounge also has indoor and outdoor seating available.

Hearthstone Lounge

Located right next to the lobby and near the Grand Californian gift shop, Acorns Gifts & Goods, Hearthstone Lounge offers Guests a wide-ranging drink menu and delicious bites in a relaxing atmosphere.

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Guests can choose from a variety of beer, wine, and specialty cocktails with fun names like Walk the Plank (made with whisky and fruit juice) and the Pina CoLava (made with rum and raspberry puree).

There is also a food menu that includes flatbread pizzas, and other small bites like mini corn dog nachos and chicken quesadillas.

No reservations are needed to eat at Hearthstone Lounge and bar seats and tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

GCH Craftsman Grill

Formerly known as White Water Snacks, GCH Craftsman Grill opened in 2019 inside the Grand Californian by the pool area with a revamped menu.  You do not need to be a Guest of the hotel to enjoy the mouth-watering dishes served.  There is no reservation required and breakfast, lunch and dinner are available daily.

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There are a number of breakfast entrées available, including a smoked salmon bagel sandwich and Belgian waffle.  There are also grab-and-go menu items like croissants, muffins, and pre-made salads.

Guests who wish to have lunch or dinner at the Craftsman Grill can find a menu that has several artisanal pizzas, nachos, and an Angus cheeseburger, among other tasty treats.

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GCH Craftsman Bar

Guests who would like to dine outdoors can head to the GCH Craftsman Bar.  It is located near the Craftsman Grill, but is right next to the Grand Californian swimming pools and has a separate menu.  No reservations are required for the Craftsman Bar.

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The menu at the GCH Craftsman Bar includes a wide variety of artisanal pizzas and shareable bites, including chicken skewers, sliders, and beef nachos.

In-Room Dining

As with all Disneyland Resort Hotels, room service is available to Guests of the Grand Californian Hotel.  Room service menus can be found in the hotel information folder when you enter your room.

With the variety of rooms, activities, and dining available at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, there is sure to be something for everyone in your party!

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa Reviews

Disney is known for its top-of-the-line experiences and beautiful accommodations and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is no exception.

One of the most coveted awards for a hotel is the Forbes Travel Star, only awarded to top locations.  Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa received this sought-after honor.  Forbes awards this rare award to hotels after a thorough, independent inspection performed by inspectors posing as regular Guests.

Credit: Forbes/Disneyland Resort Photo

According to Forbes:

At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, impeccable Disney service complements the Craftsman-style elegance of this stunning hotel that has its own entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. Defining grandeur in every way, the hotel offers an impressive array of amenities, memorable dining experiences, relaxing pools, a world-class spa and club level concierge service in The Veranda.

On TripAdvisor, the Grand Californian has an impressive 4.0 rating, meaning Guests rate the hotel as “Very Good”.  There are currently over 5,000 reviews for the hotel on the site.

TripAdvisor user Thomas (Thomas J B) gives the hotel a 5-star rating and says:

The service is always above average from check-in to check-out. Staff is helpful, bellmen are attentive & prompt, hotel desk staff goes out of their way to serve, guest services help with special arrangements and dining requests. Rooms are comfortable and well appointed, housekeeping keep rooms immacualtely clean. Location is prime for Disneyland, Downtown Disney, & California Adventure, but also short distances to Knotts Berry farm, Angel Stadium, Ducks’ Hockey, and many other attractions in Orange County-Buena park

Perks For Staying at a Disneyland Resort

There are several perks that Guests staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel can take advantage of.  Let’s take a look at some of that extra magic!

Extra Magic Hour

For Guests at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels, they have an amazing perk of what Disney calls “Extra Magic Hour”.  This means that hotel Guests will be given an extra hour in either Disneyland Park or California Adventure.  During the Extra Magic Hour, select attractions, dining, entertainment, and shopping will be available.

Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland Park happen on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and occurs one hour before park opening.

Sleeping Beauty Castle
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The Extra Magic Hour for California Adventure is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  DCA’s Extra Magic Hour also starts one hour before the park opens.

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Disney recommends that hotel Guests who wish to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hour get to the park at least 15 minutes before the Extra Magic Hour begins.

Get Up & Go Power Walk

If you are an early-bird who loves to exercise, you may want to consider Disney’s Get Up & Go Power Walk, which is available only to Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels.  Guests who sign up for this program will go on a two-mile power walk around California Adventure park, beginning at 6 a.m.

It should be noted that sign-up is required to participate and Guests must be at least 14 years old and anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.  Athletic shoes are required and strollers and cameras are not permitted.

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Merchandise Delivery

Guests visiting both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure don’t have to worry about lugging around all of their purchases all day.  Guests staying at the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel, and Grand Californian can have their purchases sent straight to their hotel!  While checking out, simply tell the Cast Member that you would like to have your purchases delivered to your hotel.  You will have to fill out a form with all of your information, including your hotel information, name, and phone number.

Merchandise bought and delivered to the Grand Californian will be available after 7 a.m. the day after purchase.  To pick up their packages, Guests need to simply go to Bell Services, located in the main lobby, and show the Cast Member their copy of the purchase receipt.

In-Room Celebration

Some Guests may be visiting Disneyland for celebratory reasons.  Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or anything else you wish to celebrate, the Grand Californian can make your stay even more magical with an in-room celebration surprise.  For an extra fee, Guests can create their own specialty baskets and gifts through DisneyFloralandGifts.com and the surprise will be delivered to the Guest’s room on the date specified.

Credit: Disney Floral and Gifts

Please note that all magical baskets delivered to a Disneyland Resort hotel have a $10 delivery fee.

How to Book Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

There are a variety of ways to book your stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.  The easiest way to book your trip is to go directly through the Disneyland website.  Here, you can look at all of the rooms available and book the one that will best suit your needs.

Guests can also call the Walt Disney Travel Company at  (714) 520-5060.  A Cast Member will help them with all of the steps in booking their Disneyland Resort vacation.

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Guests can also use the travel website of their choice, such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Booking.com to book their stay at the Grand Californian.

If you are unsure of what Disneyland hotel is right for you, you can check out our summary of all three of the amazing hotels on the Disneyland property.  There, you can read about the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, as well as the Grand Californian.

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For any hotel reservation questions Guests may have, they can visit the Help With Hotel Reservations section of the Disneyland website.

Deals on Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Disney wants all of their Guests to get the most out of their Disneyland vacation.  Disney also wants as many people as possible to be able to experience the magic of a Disney resort vacation.  To help families unlock the magic, Disney posts offers and deals available on their website. Guests can look at any special offerings currently available that they can take advantage of.

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What is your favorite thing about Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel?  Let us know in the comments below!

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