Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Disneyland Resort
When: September 26-30
Resort: Grand Californian (aka GC)
Why: A Disney and Baseball Fix
Our last trip to Disneyland was in June when we stayed at the Hilton for baseball, beach, and Disneyland. Well, that taught us that we much prefer staying onsite these days. The problem is that after staying at the Grand Californian (Park View) during the Food & Wine Festival, we have become so spoiled and don’t want to stay at other Disneyland resorts. But we also don’t want to pay those prices every time. So when we saw online that the AP standard view rate was actually quite reasonable, we decided to book it, thinking that any room at the GC was better than no room at the GC.
The problem was that Saturday night was full. We booked Sunday through Tuesday at the Grand Californian, and then booked one night at Embassy Suites, Dyer Road, near John Wayne Airport – an old favorite of ours when we used to come down from San Francisco. We also bought 2 tickets to the Angels vs. Texas Rangers game at Angel Stadium to catch another baseball game this season and we got some really good seats this time. But a couple of nights before the trip, we were sipping wine and Rich got the idea to check to see if any rooms had opened up at the GC for Saturday night. And, sure enough, there was availability, so we cancelled Embassy Suites and added Saturday night to our reservation. Woo hoo!
We left our home around 10 a.m. to start the four-hour drive. Last time we were at the GC, our room wasn’t ready when we arrived so we sat out by the pool and ordered a FAB (frosty adult beverage) while we waited. We love how the GC has food and beverage service at the pool – unusual for Disney. But this time we decided to wear our swim suits underneath our clothes so that we could get in the pool while we waited for our room. When we arrived at 2 p.m., picketers were outside the front of the hotel – protesting Disney’s treatment of workers – construction perhaps?
I followed Rich to the registration desk and a CM approached me and said, “This is the line for check-in – are you checking in?” Didn’t know why she asked – maybe doing a little crowd control because it was so busy. We had a pleasant surprise when the CM checking us in found a King room that was ready. LOL! Of course it was since were prepared for it not to be. But that’s okay – we weren’t complaining. 🙂
The registration desk with wonderful Disney theming.
The room was in a nicer location than the one we had before because it was just off the lobby – I’d always wanted a room located off the lobby at the Wilderness Lodge at WDW, but we always booked a water view. We were on the 4th floor and we noticed a wonderful cozy sitting area on the 3rd floor overlooking the lobby and planned to hang out there over the course of the trip, but never made it. The GC lobby is a combination of Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian – it has the western architecture with the upscale touches like the pianist playing throughout the day – a very nice touch!
View of lobby taken from the 4th floor.
Standard view overlooking the porte cochere.
A standard king room – nice but lacked some amenities and we later discovered they were refurbing this wing.
We unpacked and headed for the pool. It was very hot today and the pool was packed. Also, we noticed the GC was very busy with check-ins. This was the first weekend that the DVC villas were open, and we also noticed the hotel and parks were full of locals for the weekend – also the kickoff weekend to Halloween with new fireworks, decorations, and themed attractions. It seemed almost as busy as Christmas.