This was my first stay at the Disneyland Grand Californian and it won’t be my last. I have to say it’s a pretty special place. The décor is comfortable and relaxing, very low key after a day in the park. Disney California Adventure theme park is right out your back door, no trams to take or long lines to wait in, which makes it really nice for kids (and parents) that need frequent breaks throughout the day. There is a large pool area that includes ADA lifts into all of the pools and jacuzzis. Because the Grand Californian is a newer hotel, built in 2001, ADA and wheelchair accommodations were part of the equation from the beginning, nothing was retrofit. Disney’s California Adventure was built at the same time, with the same standards – all attractions and restaurants are wheelchair accessible.
Here’s a little tour of Disney’s Grand Californian hotel:
Tips for staying at the Disney Grand Californian hotel:
Bring some snacks and water from home.
The hotel has several great restaurants and a self-serve cafe so you will be well-fed, but it’s nice to have some snacks on hand that don’t cost a fortune, especially if you have any dietary restrictions. There is a mini-fridge in all the rooms, bring some snacks and water from home and fill it up. You can’t bring outside food in the park, but being so close to California Adventure means you can come back to the hotel for some down time.
Food tip, again – Whitewater Snacks will save you some money.
You will want to do a character breakfast and some nice meals on your trip, but for quick meals at a lower cost hit Whitewater Snacks. It’s off the beaten path, tucked back behind the pool snack bar. Here’s a link to the menu at Whitewater Snacks.
Room selection tip.
The room I stayed in overlooked the pool area and was very quiet and relaxing. I toured other rooms, including one that was alongside the theme park. That room was louder, fine for most families, but maybe not the best choice for a special needs child, especially one with sensory issues. There are one-bedroom suites, and standard rooms with a variety of configurations. Think about what your family needs – quiet, a table instead of a desk, etc and ask about these when you book your trip.
Because the Grand Californian was built with ADA standards, in general most rooms fit the minimum ADA requirements. The big differences are the thresholds to the patio, hand rails in toilet and shower/tub area. My non-ADA room was great for our needs, I would just need to ask for a shower bench from guest services to help me shower my daughter with special needs.
Disclaimer: I was guest of Disneyland for coverage of the #DisneySide promotion.