Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

1600 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA

The first Disney resort built inside one of its theme parks, the Grand Californian puts you in the epicenter of the happiest place on Earth. And being on the inside has its benefits: Hotel guests get extra time at Disneyland before normal visiting hours, as well as a special entrance for Disney California Adventure Park. The upscale hotel’s 948 rooms, which were redesigned in 2017, blend the park’s playful magic—you’ll find subtle murals of Disney characters throughout—with an authentic arts and crafts motif (for views of the park, choose a deluxe or premium room). At the Storytellers Café and Hearthstone Lounge, kids can hobnob with Mickey Mouse and friends. No less notable is Napa Rose executive chef Andrew Sutton, who connects with diners at his Chef’s Counter, where personalized menus are available alongside the seasonal prix-fixe selection. More than 50 servers with sommelier training can help you choose from the 17,000-bottle wine cellar. Pro tip: Recover from a long day at the park with the Zen Buddhist tea ceremony and Balinese massage at the Mandara Spa.

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A hotel that feels like the Yosemite Lodge

The Grand Californian is Disney’s higher-end hotel and spa just outside of Disneyland, and with a direct entrance to Disney’s California Adventure. The lobby feels like one of the grand lodges at Yosemite or Yellowstone, with a six-story high ceiling and exposed wood beams. The rooms range from pleasant, in a Westin-like way, to some very nice suites that would give a Four Seasons a run for its money. There are several pools, waterslides, and some incredible views of the California Adventure and Disneyland parks.

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