We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

1 post
Save Topic
Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

Hi,

We will be travelling to Disneyland in late December with our three children (6,4 and 4). We are deciding between the Courtyard Marriot and Grand Californian.

We will be arriving around lunchtime on the first day and spending another two days in the park. As the days will be pretty crazy we only think we will need one day early access which will come with our three day pass anyway (we would get early access BOTH days at GC but won’t use the second day).

That being said which would you recommend? Save the money and stay at the Courtyard and spend the money in the park or stay at the GC? Which is closer to the turnstiles? Any feedback would be great!

Thanks!!

11 replies to this topic
Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,115 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

I would stay at the Grand Californian because it's nicer. There's nothing like it and if you have the chance to stay there, that's wonderful. The Grand Californian is beautiful at Christmastime. The lobby has a tall Christmas tree and a gingerbread house. And, of course, the large fireplace also looks fits wonderfully with the season.

Another factor to think about is the difference in the security bag checks. When staying off property you will use the same security check as everyone staying at all the hotels on the east side of Disneyland Resort and there are a lot of them. Those people coming on the ART shuttles will also need to go through that security check.

The Grand Californian has its own security bag check as you exit the hotel into Downtown Disney on your walk to the park entrances and it's own entrance into Disney California Adventure with a security check there. In the morning hours these are often restricted to guests of the hotel or the hotel restaurants.

I have heard that the security check into DCA from the hotel can get a line in the early a.m. But if it is a super busy day at the parks it still might be better than the lines at the park entrance.

The walk from the Grand Californian to and from the park entrances is through part of Downtown Disney as opposed to on city streets with the off site hotels. So it's walking through an area designed for pedestrians only, with piped music.

Edited: 27 November 2017, 23:51
Mentioned in this post
Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney
8,042 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California...
13,771 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,115 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

I should mention that the private entrance into DCA from the Grand Californian will take you into the Grizzly Peak area of the park. I would think that area of the park will be less crowded as you enter than through the front entrance and kind of woodsy. Still make time to see Buena Vista Street, which is festive at Christmastime.

You can also re-enter the hotel from that entrance.

Edited: 28 November 2017, 00:00
Santa Clara...
Level Contributor
23,624 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

How much money is the difference between the two? Our family has never stayed at the GC or the Disneyland Hotel due to the significant premium. If sky is the limit for the budget, for sure stay at the GC. But if it will cost a grand or more (which is usually the case when I have just contemplate), I chose to stay elsewhere. You have to decide if the $$$ saved vs the experience is more important to you.

Mentioned in this post
Disneyland Hotel
Disneyland Hotel
3,139 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Seattle
Level Contributor
1,234 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

For me, without a doubt it would be the Grand. I love it and for me it is worth the cost. The location is amazing and it is so much fun to live in downtown Disney!

Mentioned in this post
Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney
8,042 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
57,883 posts
431 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

Warren M, welcome to the forums.

Night and day, steak vs chopped liver.....

The Grand Californian is a grand resort that will be spectacular in December and create great, lasting memories.

The Courtyard Theme Park Entrance is nice, but it is just a Courtyard.

I would stay at the Grand Californian regardless of the cost difference.

Mentioned in this post
Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
Courtyard Anaheim Theme...
680 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
29,979 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

If your not really able to take advantage of the early entries with staying at a Disney owned Hotel, and just want a nicer Hotel to stay at, I would suggest you just pick one of the new Hotels in walking distance such as the Hyatt House.. about a 13 min walk, new Springhill Suites.. on Katella, or the new Courtyard Theme Park entrance mentioned. But its really up to what you may want to do. If you want a really nice Hotel, the Grand Californian will offer that. But if you are not going to be using the amenities much, then I would say no.

BTW, you can expect crazy busy crowds in late Dec. The period inbetween Christmas and New Years is the busiest time of the year at Disneyland.

Mentioned in this post
SpringHill Suites at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center
SpringHill Suites at...
440 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
Courtyard Anaheim Theme...
680 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
United States
Level Contributor
2,881 posts
144 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

I’m cheap. I’d stay at the courtyard. But you should compare the price of the HomeWood suites. We live it there.

Mentioned in this post
Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort – Convention Center
Homewood Suites by...
1,460 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Santa Clara...
Level Contributor
23,624 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

Lol... value/budget minded is what I consider my approach. But cheap will work. :p But still will consider a stay at the GC one of these days.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
31,009 posts
6,307 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

We love the general public areas of the Grand Californian a lot. We often go there for dining (Napa Rose) cocktails, or just to listen to the piano player. The hotel location is superb.

That said, we have stayed there and I was disappointed with the rooms. The noise from Downtown Disney can be a factor. The rooms were OK (not amazing like the public common area); It was however perfect for a nap during a long day at the park. It was a good place to "recharge" and be ready for more time. It was also a good place to change out of wet clothes from the California Adventure water ride. So it worked for that.

We usually spend all day and night at the parks so we go for a place that allows for a good sleep at a reasonable price. I find that as long as the beds are comfy and the place is clean and safe, its to choose the Courtyard (or other - we usually choose now the Mariott Main Gate Residence Inn).

So as others have well said - choose what looks best for you based on your budget/value.

Mentioned in this post
Napa Rose
Napa Rose
897 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney
8,042 Reviews
Anaheim, CA
California
California
United States
Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,115 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot

Update:

The rooms at the Grand Californian have all had a very recent renovation. The last ones were finished in September.

The carpet in the lobby has been replaced with a fresh carpet of the same unique style and the wood floors were refinished prior to that.

Edited: 28 November 2017, 08:33
Reply to: Grand Californian Vs Courtyard Marriot
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted