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  1. #1
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    Default Help...so confused.

    I am a WDW expert, but Disneyland? NOT AT ALL! I can't make heads or tails of the accomodations to start.
    We are going next August. My DH is speaking at a conference at Disneyland Hotel. Does a monorail run through any of the resorts? We are debating between Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian. (he is at the conference just briefly, so either would be fine in terms of the conference) How does one get to the parks from these resorts for one? Are there buses like WDW? Monorails?? Walking??
    What are the vibes of both places?
    We are a family of five, do both places accomodate us in one room? What about club level?
    Any or all info would be so helpful.
    Lisa
    Multiple visits over Multiple years
    30 plus stays at Disney's Polynesian resort

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  3. #2
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    The Grand Californian is right on the California Adventure site, and a short walk or a monorail ride to DL. That would be my choice, have a great time!
    nicci
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseketeer mom View Post
    I am a WDW expert, but Disneyland? NOT AT ALL! I can't make heads or tails of the accomodations to start.
    We are going next August. My DH is speaking at a conference at Disneyland Hotel. Does a monorail run through any of the resorts? We are debating between Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian. (he is at the conference just briefly, so either would be fine in terms of the conference) How does one get to the parks from these resorts for one? Are there buses like WDW? Monorails?? Walking??
    What are the vibes of both places?
    We are a family of five, do both places accomodate us in one room? What about club level?
    Any or all info would be so helpful.
    All 3 of the resorts are a short walk from the resorts, and the GCH has a private entrance into DCA. There is also an entrance into DTD that lets you out about 100 yards from the Esplanade and the front gates of the resorts.

    DLH is at the end of the DTD and its about a 10 minute walk (leisurely) through DTD to the esplanade or there is a Monorail stop. The Monorail drops off in Tomorrowland.

    Any of the resorts are an easy walk to the parks. You can find info on the hotels in the Resort Section -- the Paradise Pier is a beachy Disney Themed Property, GCH is a typical Lodge designed resort and the DLH is the original (and going though a HUGE remodel, so keep that in mind).

    All 3 hotels have the option of a room with 2 queen beds and a day bed so I believe a family of 5 will be fine.
    Michael aka: NotaGeek

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  5. #4
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    Is the remodel of DL hotel a good thing, or will it still be in full swing and be potentially disruptive next August?
    I still don't understand if the monorail stops at either the GC or DL hotel?
    Lisa
    Multiple visits over Multiple years
    30 plus stays at Disney's Polynesian resort

  6. #5
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    Hi Lisa:

    Perhaps it might help to understand the scale of DLR. The entire DLR area would easily fit in the area Epcot and the Boardwalk area. So that should let you know that there are no long walks here. In comparison to WDW its pretty tiny. So transportation like buses and monorail really aren't needed.

    The monorail was originally built as a demonstration ride and still retains a lot of that feel. The last time I was there, a couple of years now, it was still just the two stations, one in Tomorrowland and one in Downtown Disney. The DTD station really serves all three hotels but is not in any of them, so no, it doesn't stop at any hotels.

    I'd suggest staying at GC. Everything is like 5 minutes from there (including Disneyland Hotel) and level easy walking. Have a great time.
    26 years staying at the Polynesian
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    Twenty six straight years staying at the Polynesian
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  7. #6
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    Hi, I am just the opposite of your situation...

    There are no stops at DLH. There is a monorail stations just east of the DLH that will take you into Disneyland and the Tomorrowland station.

    The DLR does not have the convenience of the monorail service like at Contemporary/Poly/and GF.

    I would equate the walk from the DLH to monorail like the MK monorail station to the MK entrance... very short.

    The monorail runs through the GCH (not like Contemporary) but no stops. You can see it from a hallway though.

    Have a great stay....
    Marci
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseketeer mom View Post
    Is the remodel of DL hotel a good thing, or will it still be in full swing and be potentially disruptive next August?
    I still don't understand if the monorail stops at either the GC or DL hotel?
    The remodel is an awesome thing ... and Its a LONG remodel (with 2012 as the complete date), although in true Disney fashion they will no doubt keep it non-disruptive as the hotel is still open during the remodel.
    Last edited by NotaGeek; 08-29-2009 at 01:33 AM.
    Michael aka: NotaGeek

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  9. #8
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    ok..now I'm catching on. I like the idea of both of these hotels (not Paradise Pier, that doesn't interest me at all)..and now its up to choice.
    This might help:
    Do both hotels have balconys? We like a good balcony or patio, helps us feel like we have more space..And..do either of them have ground floor rooms with a patio? That would be our first choice.
    The Grand Californian is supposed to be their top of the line hotel, like the Grand Flo is to WDW...well, we don't so much enjoy the Grand Flo..too stiff for us..I'm not getting that sense about the Grand Californian..is that correct? It seems just lovely, but laid back at the same time..hoping I'm getting the right sense of it.
    The DL hotel seems like a hotel rather than a resort...is that right? I love the idea of it being a classic at Disneyland, like the Contemporary is to WDW, but I don't want to feel like its "just a room" or a place to stay. We enjoy that resort feeling. Hmmm...
    Lisa
    Multiple visits over Multiple years
    30 plus stays at Disney's Polynesian resort

  10. #9
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    The Disneyland Hotel has more of a 'classic' Disney feel in regards to themeing, but you're basically in the Disneyland Resort all the time, so there is the Disney feel everywhere. The GCH does have a Disney feel, but it's more of the rustic, cabin feel. Not so much Tinkerbell and Mickey, more of Chip N Dale, the Dwarves, foresty-like. I love the GCH and it's decor. It's not stuffy at all! The lobby is huge and you can snuggle up in a big old chair and just relax at the end of the night. This is my daughter's favorite place to go when the room feels too small for her teenage self. And for the little ones, GCH opens up into California Adventure just around a bend from the Redwood Creek Challenge. It's a rope bridge play area that my son (11) loves. He'll stay there all day if we let him. Just a warning, though, you'll get tired chasing the kids all around, but the kids never seem to tire!

    The Grand Californian Hotel has ground floor rooms with balconies, and some upper level floors have them as well. I'm drawing a blank on the Disneyland Hotel -I think they just have sliding glass doors with bars to keep you from falling, but not an actual balcony.

    Since you're a family of 5, something else you need to consider is the pool. DL has a great pool, but it gets super crowded and lots of little kids. GC has a great pool too and the benefit of this pool is that thirty feet away is another pool. Both hotels have fun slides for their pools, so at GC you have the slide pool and another rectangular pool for kids and adults who don't want to slide. They both have jacuzzi's, too.

    I've stayed at all three hotels many times and when I want to save a few bucks, we stay at DLH. When it's a special occasion, or I just feel like splurging a bit, we stay at GCH. Paradise Pier is just not what I want when I go to Disneyland, so we usually skip that one. Some people absolutely adore PPH, but not me. I live at the beach, I don't go to Disneyland to see the beach.

    In all, I love both hotels, but GCH is my favorite. I almost bought into the DVC just so we could stay there more often, but I couldn't convince my husband why this was a sound investment. But don't worry, I'm sure he'll come around in time... mwah haha haha!

    You're going to have a fabulous time no matter which hotel you pick! (but get the GCH just in case).


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  11. #10
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    The GCH is much like the Wilderness Lodge at WDW. You will be very surprised of the scale of the DLR. You will love the "vibes" at both parks. Of course DL is alot like the MK, but you will definetly see differences. DCA has alot of construction going on. It really had a beach type feel to it and received alot of criticism that it did not have enough Disney feel to it. I personally have enjoyed the park. And I think you will too the lagoon (Wonderful World Of Color Show) will be finished by the time you get there and that should add alot to DCA. I have never stayed at the GCH, but a friend of mine loves the rooms with the balcony's above DTD.
    First Trip To DL 11/56
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  12. #11
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    Hi MMOM!!

    I too am from NJ and we visited DL for the first time in July and I am returning this week to run the DL 1/2 Marathon.

    We stayed at the DLR in July, The GC was booked to capacity. BUT I am returning this thurs and am staying at the GC. If you can swing it...there is no comparison. I was given a sneak peak at the GC on my July trip.

    I love the WL...and have been many times. THe GC is comparable...and even a bit more upscale. The club level is a bit different as to the servings and times. BUT if you like deluxe resorts at WDW ( i do). Then absolutley this is the way to go.

    Feel free to PM me if you need anything else.
    FT Wilderness every year since 1976..TRIPS IN 2010....Princess Marathon March10 (Contemporary),Easter 2010 (AKL), Memorial Day Weekend 2010 (FW Cabins), June 2010 (Wliderness Lodge), Disneyland 1/2 Marathon Sept 10 (DGC), Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Oct 2010 (WL)

  13. #12
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    We just got back from our THIRD stay at the GCH Concierge. This is the BEST Disney resort, EVER, in my opinion.

    I grew up going to WDW and I have stayed at many resorts there as well (see my signature). BUT, for a TRUE Disney Deluxe Resort experience, you have to stay at the Grand, and if you can swing it, in Concierge Level. While it is true that Disney WORLD's "Club Level" is a bit lacking, the Concierge Level at the Grand Californian is truly a wonderful experience, and worth it to us. However, I do have to mention that we get an AP discount, so the "worth" is based on that. Rack rates for Concierge are sometimes exorbitant so keep that in mind.

    The Grand Californian Hotel was designed by the same guy who designed the WL and AKL at WDW. So, it has a similar "lodge type" vibe. The theme is turn of the century Arts and Crafts Movement. It is a beautiful hotel, architecturally. There is lots of deep colored wood, rose motifs, and lovely marble tile work. The lobby is very elegant and relaxing, and NOT AT ALL stuffy. I hate the feeling of the GF...totally uppity and stuffy, so I get what you're saying. I love the feel of the GCH lobby. I go there all the time just to sit and relax. I live about 15 min away, so I have the pleasure of being able to just hop in my car and drive over to DLR anytime I need a "fix". The hotel is NOT AT ALL "rustic" like the WL. It is actually totally opposite. I find it to be very elegant and upscale feeling. It's like a really, really nice house. The furnishings are mission style, large wood frames--thick cushions, beveled glass edge tables and mirrors, large grandfather clocks, etc. There is a huge stone fireplace (the Hearth) with rocking chairs and a wraparound sofa in the lobby. There is a pianist who plays classic Disney tunes while dressed in a tuxedo. There is soft ambiant music played all around the resort...you can hear it everywhere and it is SO peaceful and relaxing. You can even hear it when you are at the pool area!

    Housekeeping at this hotel is great. We have never had any issues with cleanliness or promptness of service with housekeeping. Plus, you get turndown service at this resort (whether you stay concierge or not).

    The Concierge Level is EXCELLENT. It is very exclusive. In fact, even if you book a suite here, you don't automatically get concierge service. You have to pay extra to add it on, and they will only let you do so if a certain percentage of the concierge level rooms remain unbooked, in order to keep a certain level of service in place. The lounge is open from 6:30-10pm. First of all, I can say that the staff is great. There are about 10 staff members dedicated solely to the Concierge guests and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them greeted me by name every time I saw them. Their desk is located right off the elevator bank on the 6th floor, and every time anyone exits the elevator, they stand up and greet you...by name! That's pretty amazing, at least to me. At one point, my son spilled some chocolate milk on the carpet in our room. I went to mention it to the concierge on duty at the desk late at night. I had not met her before. I wanted to let them know, so they could shampoo the carpet upon our checkout. SHE KNEW who I was and which room we were in...blew my mind. That's personalized service. The lounge has great food too! From all the pictures I've seen of all the lounges around WDW and DL, it has the best food, even better than the Grand Flo, IMO. From 6:30-10am, breakfast. From 11-4, afternoon tea. From 5-7, "The Grand Hour" (evening appetizers and wine), from 8-10pm, dessert. Also, every night, around 8:15pm, there is either storytelling in the lounge or a guitar player who sings bedtime songs to the kids. They lay out a huge blanket and throw pillows on the floor for a 'pajama party'. And, on nights where there are fireworks at DL, the lounge hosts a viewing party on the balcony, and they pipe in the music. Very cool. The lounge is always accessible via room key for drinks from the fridge and whole fruit from a fruit bowl. In addition, you can get board games, dvd's and use the computer in the lounge to access the internet if you wish. Concierge rooms have upgraded bedding, a Bose sound system in the room, dvd players in room, and flat screen televisions. The lounge accommodates 49 people. It was never crowded. In fact, there were never more than about 15 people in there at any given time. And, people were very well behaved. Food was plentiful and ALWAYS stocked. In fact, if a tray was half empty, it was taken away and replaced by a new, full tray.

    MOST of the rooms at the Grand have balconies. There are a few rooms that do not, and they are the "standard" rooms located over the front entrance of the hotel. It is easy to avoid these rooms, just request a balcony, even if you book a standard room. Every balcony has a table and two chairs. I do not think there are any ground floor rooms at this hotel. All the hotel services are located on the first floor. I have not seen any rooms with patios here. Perhaps in the new wing? Not sure...

    This hotel easily accommodates 5. Your options would be: 2 queen beds and a daybed (which actually nets you a BIGGER room). OR, a room with 1 queen bed and bunk beds. The bunk bed rooms here have a TRUNDLE as well, so three people can sleep on the bunk bed total. However, the trundle is pretty small, meant for a child under 10 years old. We just stayed in a bunk bed room. Our 3 year old slept on the trundle. I like the bunk bed room because it makes the room larger (since the bunk bed is smaller than a queen bed).

    The pool area is fabulous! The lounge chairs are wrought iron with HUGE THICK cushions (like 5" thick). There are waiters who come around to take your food/drink order and will serve you poolside! (like a REAL deluxe hotel!) The main pool features a great slide for the kids as well as a slide for toddlers. There is a second pool called the Turtle Pool that is the "quiet" pool. Both pools go from 3-5 feet deep. They are kept at a perfect 85 degrees. There's a kiddie splash pool and two spas. In about 2 weeks, a third pool, the Mariposa pool (an oval shaped pool) will open up along with the Villas wing. This pool will be right next to the main Redwood Pool.

    As I mentioned, we just got back (yesterday) from a 3 night stay at the Grand. We live locally. We go to Disneyland about every other week. We chose this hotel as a RESORT vacation getaway, and it truly was. We barely hit the parks, since that was not our intention. We needed to getaway and recharge, relax, and reconnect as a family. The Grand is perfect for that! While there we were totally immersed in the experience of being "away". It is great! It is a great plus being so close to DCA and DL. The ability to exit our room and be INSIDE DCA in the space of 5 minutes was priceless, and vice versa, especially with two special needs kids (one of whom was constantly saying "I want to go back to the hotel room"). And, the little counter service restaurant there, Whitewater Snacks...BEST hidden gem at DLR. When we weren't eating in the lounge (which, honestly, was most of the time), we were there! Also, Storyteller's Cafe (the full service restaurant) has a pretty excellent dinner buffet and hardly ever has a wait, especially during the week. No need for ADR's. SO NICE! DS and I had a great dinner there our last night on a whim. Excellent food, excellent service. All around great!

    I think all of your major questions about the layout of Disneyland have been answered. For a perspective of the property, try using Google Maps or Google Earth so you can see a true satellite view and real life scale of the property. You will have a much better understanding of how things are laid out. Basically, you have Disneyland Park. Across from DL Park you have DCA. In between them is a plaza containing the ticket booths (the Esplanade). Extending to the west from the plaza is Downtown Disney. The Grand Californian Hotel is sort of sandwiched between DCA and Downtown Disney. You can enter GCH from either DCA or Downtown Disney. At the far end of Downtown Disney is the monorail station. Anchoring the far west end is the DLH. About one block south of the DLH is the Paradise Pier hotel. The PPH is, essentially, across the street from the FRONT LOBBY entrance of the GCH.
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

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