Last weekend, I went against all of my past advice and headed to Disneyland over the Easter holiday. I know I know, “What were you thinking?!”. I had my reasons. Two of which were, I got into the parks for FREE (thanks, Jenna!) and I was staying on property at the Grand Californian (thanks again, Jenna!), so it was a bucket list endeavor. However, I may be the worst blogger EVER because, unless you follow us on social media and caught some of my videos, I only took ONE photo of the blingsling® and the resort to share with you! I know, I’m the WORST! But honestly, I think I’ve been spoiled by the number of times I’ve been and just don’t think to snap away like I used to. Ugh, now I’ve lost you for sure! Anyway, it was a wonderful staycation and now you’ll just have to go and see for yourself! In the meantime, since this was my first time staying on property at Disneyland, I thought I’d sum up a few of the “extras” I enjoyed by staying the night versus going just for the day. Enjoy…
First, there’s Magic Hour. We drove up first thing in the morning on a Saturday, to take full advantage of our one-night stay Saturday night, but still missed the extra park time since it started at 7 am. If you’re able to get up for it, this is totally a perk. Even when we got there a little after 8, California Adventure was practically empty. In hindsight, this would have been the perfect opportunity for pictures. Wow, I am bad at this!
Moving on! It was such a breeze to have direct entry into the California Adventure park. The security line was nonexistent and the entrance is discreetly located further into the park. I would have loved this as a kid getting a head start to the roller coaster line! But as an adult, the advantage is obviously an easy stumble home after the Food & Wine festival. Brilliant!
On normal day-visits, the girls and I take a break in the gorgeous, timber-filled lobby and enjoy it the most at Christmastime when it is truly magical with the fireplace, massive tree, fragrant gingerbread house, and carolers. It was nice to have a place to go back for a midday snack and nap without feeling weird half-sleeping in the lobby. Because...this is adulting. We opted for the pool this round and they NO JOKE passed out cupcakes like they were glasses of water. I don’t think you could have impressed us anymore.
Back in the room, we realized if you get just the right view, you can tune into the fireworks or World of Color to get music and watch from your room. But if you don’t get that extra special view, like us early-checker-inners (I know! I’m going against ALL my advice!) you’re likely to still have a balcony with great people watching. Ours was of the pool…and the snack bar construction. I TOLD you this is what early check-ins get. But the view wasn’t a big deal to us because our plans consisted of lounging, pooling it in the best spa robes ever, and of course, visiting the parks.
If you do plan to spend some time in the room, you’ll quickly see that they have every. Disney channel. ever. made. so you can sing yourself to sleep with Moana and wake up ready for an adventure with Nemo. We definitely didn’t do this, because as I said earlier, we are full grown adults. <insert eye roll here> Did I mention they give you free Ghiradelli chocolates for turn down service?!
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the perfect combo of serious and fun. You have the excitement of everything in the parks but are steps away to Downtown Disney for shopping and bars. It was a luxurious weekend stay that has forever changed our already-spoiled view of Disneyland and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Have you been to any of the Disneyland properties? I’d love to hear how you liked them! Let me know in the comments!
Happy Disney travels!
Love. Inspire. Grow. Enjoy.