The Grand Californian Hotel

by - May 29, 2018

Red Polka Dot Dress (On sale for $12!!) Similar here / Denim Jacket Adidas Sneakers / Leather Crossbody / Rose Gold Minnie Ears

I am sooo excited to write this post! I can't wait to gush about my mini vacay graduation gift. We only got to stay one night - I also wanted to have a graduation party, and since the hotel is expensive, we opted for one night at the hotel and a party.


As I mentioned at the end of my graduation post (read it here), we left for the hotel the afternoon following my graduation. We didn't get to check in until 6pm between traffic and errands. Nonetheless, we checked in, loveddd the room, and hung out for a bit. One thing I just loved is when you walk into the room, the TV is on and playing various instrumental Disney songs; I think Peter Pan was playing at first. There's a special channel the TV has that lists activities going on in the hotel, in the parks, park hours, the parks schedules, etc. Also, our room had a really nice view of the pool area and the rest of the resort. I wish I had remembered to take photos of inside the room! :(

Something really cool this hotel has is personalized room keys for each guest. We all 4 got one, and they also give you access to the park early on the days you stay at the hotel (more on that further down)

After we settled in, we ventured to Downtown Disney for some beignets - Jazz Kitchen Express has the best bite size ones! If you're not familiar with Disneyland, Downtown Disney is a shopping district just outside of the park. The Grand Californian has direct access to it, as well as to California Adventure. So we had a great time going in and out of the hotel & parks with ease in a matter of minutes. 

That night, we tried out the jacuzzi - heavenly! Then we got pizza at Naplolini at Downtown Disney, and we ended the evening with a couple of rides in Disneyland. At the risk of sounding corny, it was so magical to be in the park late at night, ride the Matterhorn, and then walk sleepily back to the hotel room in a few short minutes and fall asleep in the most cozy bed EVER. Seriously, the beds in that hotel are the most comfortable beds I've ever tried. Usually we don't stay too late at Disney because we have to drive about an hour home, so it was a real treat to stay until the midnight close and go to bed on Disney property.

Would I recommend staying at the Grand Californian? If you're willing to spend an outrageous amount on a hotel, a million times yes!! The convenience of it is probably the best part. Your room is practically in the DCA park, so you can wake up in the morning and be on rides in like 10 minutes! You get something called an "extra magic hour" when you stay at a Disney hotel, which means you get to go in one of the parks an hour before it opens to the public. Plus, if you want to run back to the room or take a break and enjoy the pool, it's really easy to go back and forth - which is what we did! 

Our extra magic hour was from 8-9am, so we left our room at 7:51 and got through the Disneyland gates by 8:02, including awesome! We went on a few rides, got a fastpass, went over to DCA for other rides, and then went back to Disneyland for breakfast at the Red Rose Taverne, which is a Beauty and the Beast themed quick service restaurant.

We had wanted to try Belle's cafe for some time but could never arrive early enough for breakfast between traffic, parking, security, and the tram ride to the park. We went for it since we were finally there in the morning! And let me tell you, I was not disappointed!! I typically eat at the Carnation Cafe on Main Street for breakfast - such a cute little spot with a great breakfast menu. However, I am a huge fan of the Belle breakfast. For one thing, they have a breakfast platter that includes a couple of scrambled eggs, 3 stripes of bacon, breakfast potatoes, AND a croissant for $7.99! This kind of a deal at Disneyland is an anomaly - large portion, really delicious, and reasonably priced. 

After running around the parks all morning, we went to the pool and tried the water slide. When it comes to the slide...let's just say I lost track of how many times I went on it! Haha. I would've stayed in the pool even longer, but it was only about 68 degrees out. I was still too cold even with the heated pool, so I hopped in the jacuzzi and then relaxed on a chaise for a bit.

We had to check out by 1pm...sadly. When we checked in, the front desk told us there was a chance we wouldn't have to check out until 4pm the next day. We were hoping that would be the case so we could enjoy the pool longer, but it didn't happen. I'm not kidding you - at 1:02pm, a housekeeper knocked on the door asking if we were checking out. Ha! We were JUST about to open the door and bring our luggage out to the hall, too. One nice thing about the hotel is even after check out, they hold your bags and car until midnight so you can go to the parks for the day. 

Leaving the Grand Californian was soooo depressing. I wanted to stay way longer! It was such a fun experience, but definitely too short. If I stay there again, it's gotta be a couple of nights. It's too hard to leave so soon, lol! PS - my outfit from checking in to the hotel is linked below <3

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