Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grand Californian is a Great Way to do Disneyland

Last week, we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday. Instead of a big party, he decided that a weekend with his wife, kids, kids' spouses, and grand kids at Disneyland would be a fun way to celebrate. And it certainly was!

As I have mentioned before, we have annual passes to Disneyland/California Adventure, so we visit both parks frequently. But we never stay in the area of the parks because we live just 30 minutes away. Staying at the Grand Californian on this trip was quite a treat for our kids and for us!

It is a beautiful hotel with a woodsy, craftsman-style design that is perfect for a family trip of fun. It has an amazing pool area with two water slides - one for big kids, one for smaller kids. And of course, it has Disney everywhere.
And here's the Mom Stamp of Approval: Our guest room came equipped with a pack n' play. I think they all do because my parents' room had one, too. I know that might not be a big deal to most, but at a hotel where kids and babies are going to be, it is a very smart investment. (Too bad we didn't know that before we brought our own pack n' play from home.)

If you want a few hours to yourself, they have Pinocchio's Workshop, which is an activity center for kids five and up. If your kids are younger than five, they also offer in-room babysitting.

We also ate at one of the best rated restaurants in California, Napa Rose. It was certainly an elegant and upscale restaurant, but because it is attached to a theme park, you car wear pretty much anything you want. With the name Napa Rose, they naturally had A LOT of wine. Of course, I was most impressed with the Finding Nemo and Ratatouille bottles signed by John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios) since my son can identify him by face from all of his Pixar movies. And we were all in walking distance of our room, so no one (i.e. me) had to worry about driving home.

Now I know it isn't the most inexpensive option in the Disneyland area (in fact, I think it is one of the most expensive!) but it is a great value. Having your own entrance into California Adventure is great. And then another entrance into Downtown Disney where there are a ton of restaurants and shops...also great. We parked our car when we arrived on Sunday and didn't see it again until we left on Tuesday.

If you have young ones that need to nap, you can head right back to the hotel for a snooze and be back for more rides in the evening. Or if you have had enough, but everyone else you are with wants to keep going, you can easily and safely separate since you are never leaving the park or the Downtown Disney area.

It was a great way to make a birthday celebration last and last, too! (BTW, if you feel like you have never met anyone with your same birthday, go to Disneyland on your birthday. Since they offer free admission on your birthday, you would be amazed at everyone wearing Happy Birthday buttons!)

Images courtesy of


nanny said...

How fun!!!! Sounds great! I haven't been to Disneyworld in so many years....I would love to go back!

funfavorites said...

Been there, it really is the perfect place to stay at Disneyland. The access to California Adventure makes it so easy.

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