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But the granddaddy, the king, is the Grand Californian. A luxury hotel from top to bottom, and designed to exemplify the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century, the hotel features woods from the Monterey pines to exquisite redwoods. You'll also find fine dining and shopping opportunities at every corner, and underground valet parking - it's all here. Such pampering has a price, of course, so be prepared to do some significant damage to your bank account if you choose to stay here. Prices start at about $300.00 a night.

Our stay here during the Grand Opening event for Disney's California Adventure was all you'd expect from a luxury class Disney hotel. The amenities were plush and ample, with plenty of room for the wheelchair that Maggie had to use at the time. Disneyland fanatics that we are, one aspect of the hotel that we truly appreciated was the easy access to Disneyland and California Adventure, as well as Downtown Disney where there are so many wonderful shops and restaurants. So if it's just the two of you, you can put in a full day in the parks and still have some get-up-and-go left for a special night of fine dining and entertainment. And if you've got the kids with you, you'll have something left in the tank if everyone's clamoring to see one of the night parades or fireworks shows in the park. In either case, if you're going to pick something to splurge on for your vacation, choosing the Grand Californian is worth your consideration.

Grand Californian Hotel interior lobby image

Grand Californian Hotel image

One of the perks of staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel is the character breakfast. Walk Around characters are there to entertain the kids and get them into the Disney spirit for the day. The picture here is taken in the Grand Californian's Storytellers Cafe where the kids are also entertained by Belle from Beauty and the Beast who reads a story to them and the characters act out the parts. The cafe also offers classic American cuisine for lunch and dinner. The featured dining room of the Grand Californian is the Napa Rose Restaurant with noted chef Andrew Sutton. The 237-seat restaurant features a display kitchen and a 78-seat lounge. For lighter fare, there's the White Water Snacks stand by the pool. The Hearthstone Lounge features gourmet coffee and wine and cocktails in the evening for relaxing after a long day's fun.

Another perk of your stay is early entry into the parks - usually about an hour before they open to the general public. Located adjacent to California, the Grand Californian has its own gate into the new park. As a guest of a Disney hotel, you can buy special multi-day/multi-park passes at promotional prices. And if you and your partner want to spend an evening enjoying Downtown Disney, the hotel offers supervised playroom for children.