The Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel is one of the most popular vacation destinations for families in California and beyond. Around 8.5 million people visit Southern California each year. The park offers legendary rides, exciting attractions, and delicious food.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are two parks in the Disneyland Resort. There are also a few hotels on the property you can stay at, including the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel.
The Disneyland Grand California Hotel offers guests a luxurious and unique experience that transports them to a mountain lodge. There are plenty of hidden gems for you and your family to check out. This guide will discuss the top 10 secrets of this Disney hotel.
1. There Are Secret Entrances to the Parks
You don’t have to worry about going out the main entrance of the hotel and waiting in the long lines at security to get into Downtown Disney. Simply follow the signs in the lobby of the hotel to find a special entrance. The wait time at these security lines is much shorter than at the main entrance.
There’s also a secret access door you can use to pop out right by the former La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney. The Earl of Sandwich will soon be in the spot where the bakery was.
You can head to the third, fourth, or fifth floors and use the fire exit between rooms 448 and 450. That’ll drop you right at the beginning of Downtown Disney.
Guests can also access Disney California Adventure from inside the hotel. The entrance is only accessible to guests of the hotel until 11 AM. You’ll enter the park right by Grizzly River Run when you use this entrance.
2. Look for Hidden Mickeys
Disneyland is known for placing hidden Mickeys throughout the property. They even do this in some of their movies. A hidden Mickey is a representation of Mickey Mouse that gets subtly inserted into the design of an attraction, ride, or other location.
There are countless hidden Mickeys scattered around the Grand Californian. While a big part of the fun is finding them on your own, some of our favorite ones can be found in the following locations:
- The hotel’s carpet
- The Grand Californian Marquee
- The lantern in the hotel’s driveway
- The glazed art panels outside the main entrance
- The planters along the exterior pathways and main entrance
- The floor mats at each entrance
- The main lobby fireplace
While you don’t win a prize for finding a hidden Mickey, it’s a fun activity for you and your family to enjoy as you tour the hotel. You can even look for them while you wait in ride lines. It’ll give you something to do while you wait to hop on your favorite ride.
3. You Can Request an Exclusive Room
One of our favorite secrets about the Disneyland Grand Californian hotel is you can request exclusive Grand Californian hotel rooms when you check in. You can’t request these rooms when you book your online reservation. You’ll need to ask about them when you get to the front desk.
The three types of exclusive rooms include:
- Premium Grand View Room
- Grand View Room
- Standard View Room
These rooms give you an amazing view of Disneyland or Downtown Disney. Don’t worry if you can’t get an exclusive room. All of the rooms on the property are full of amenities and big enough for the whole family.
4. Treat Yourself to a Massage
While you and your family might be focused on cramming in as many rides as you can during your stay, you could be interested in treating yourself to some self-care. The Grand Californian has a spa on the property. Take some time for yourself while your partner takes the kids to the park early one morning.
Some of the signature services the Tenaya Stone Spa offers include:
- Herbal body treatment
- Foot treatment
- Skincare treatment
- Salon services
These treatments are a wonderful way to rejuvenate yourself, especially after a long day at the parks. You can also enjoy the spa’s steam room, sauna, and pool. Spend some time in the relaxation room after your treatment before heading back out to the parks.
5. Eat at the Chef’s Counter at the Napa Rose
The Napa Rose is an upscale restaurant that’s inside the Grand Californian. If you’re a foodie looking for an amazing dining experience, you’ll want to book a reservation at the Chef’s Counter.
It’s no easy feat trying to book a reservation. Since you can’t make the reservations online, you’ll have to call the hotel and get connected to the restaurant. You can also make reservations in person at the Napa Rose.
The seats are limited at the Chef’s Counter. Each reservation time fits 12 guests. Eight people get seated in the main preparation area and the remaining four sit by the dessert station.
The cost of this experience varies. You can order food in the following ways:
- Off of the menu
- A seasonal four-course vintner’s menu
- Custom six-course tasting menu
You can also ask for a custom wine pairing to match your meal. You’ll get an inside look into the kitchen at the Napa Rose when you sit in either dining area.
6. You Can See the Fireworks From Club Level Rooms
You and your family will be able to watch the fireworks if you’re staying in a club-level room. All you have to do is head to the hotel’s veranda located on that level.
Club-level guests also have access to the Craftsman Bar on the sixth floor. You can watch the Disneyland fireworks along with the soundtrack that’s playing at the resort. Keep in mind that being able to watch the fireworks is dependent on the wind and weather.
Some of the other things you can enjoy while waiting for the fireworks to start at the bar include:
- A glass of wine or beer
- A handcrafted drink
- Artisanal pizzas
- Kid-friendly meals
We recommend making reservations in advance if you want to see the fireworks from the bar.
7. You Can Have Your Purchases Delivered to the Hotel
The last thing you want to do is carry around the souvenirs you’ve purchased in the park. You can have your merchandise delivered to your hotel when you purchase it in one of the parks. Keep in mind that delivery can take up to 24 hours and you should expect to get your items the next day.
As a guest of the Grand Californian, you can pick up your packages at Acorns Gifts & Goods. This shop is located right off the lobby of the hotel. It’s open from 7 AM to 11 PM every day.
You’ll also have to claim your package seven days after delivery to the hotel. If you don’t claim it, your items will get shipped to your address at your expense.
8. Arrange an In-Room Celebration
Are you staying at the Grand Californian to celebrate someone’s birthday? Maybe you’re going to Disneyland on your honeymoon. Whatever the reason is, you can coordinate a special in-room celebration as part of the Grand Californian hotel booking process.
You can also work with a Dream Maker if you want something more custom. Their goal is to create experiences and gifts that celebrate special occasions with the magic of Disney.
Some of the themes they offer include:
- A Pluto Welcome Amenity
- Mickey’s Magical Birthday Celebration
- Minnie’s Magical Birthday Celebration
- Sweethearts Celebration
- A Mickey Welcome Celebration
- First Order Enlistments
- Happily Ever After Celebration
9. Get Early Access to the Parks
Guests staying at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels can access either Disney California Adventure or Disneyland Park before other people. You can get into the parks 30 minutes before they open. Keep in mind that you can only access select shopping locations, attractions, and rides during this time.
You’ll need the following to take advantage of early access:
- Park reservation
- Theme park admission
- Valid hotel stay
You and your family can jump ahead of everyone else trying to get into the park and hit your favorite rides before the lines get too long. It’s also a great time to head toward certain areas of either park where people will run after the rope drop. Popular attractions people like to rope drop include Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland.
10. Take a Fitness Class
You’ll be getting your steps in each day as you tour the parks. However, you can kick off your stay at the hotel with a group fitness activity. These activities are only available to people staying at one of their hotels.
The best thing about these activities is that they take place in unique settings. For example, you can take a yoga class that has scenic views of California Adventure before the park opens.
You can also go through an obstacle challenge at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. One of our favorite activities is paddleboard at the fountain pool on the hotel’s property.
Book Your Next Stay at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel
The Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel is one of the most beautiful and unique places you can stay on the Disneyland Resort property. It perfectly captures the forests and redwoods that California is known for. Make your stay even more magical by looking for these secrets the next time you visit the property.
The experts at Fun Park Go are here to make your upcoming Disneyland trip amazing. Reach out to us today to help book your park ticket and hotel stay.