Disneyland Hotel v. Grand Californian (closed pools) for California Adventure

Hi there,

We are staying at Disneyland for just one night, arriving early afternoon from the airport, and hitting early magic hour the next morning for California Adventure. I’m struggling to decide whether to stay at Grand Californian (where it appears that the pools will be closed this spring and I think my kids will want to swim the afternoon we arrive since we’re not doing a park that day) vs. Disneyland Hotel which has the pools open, but is a farther walk in the morning to get to California Adventure.

I haven’t been to Disneyland in 30 years and have no conception of how far apart things are. MouseSavers made it seem like the walk from Disneyland Hotel to California Adventure is a pain? Looking for firsthand recommendations based on wanting to both swim AND be at CA first thing in the morning. We’re coming from Central Time so guessing we’ll be up early. My kids will be 6 and 9.

Any help is much appreciated! The cost isn’t that different between the two so I’m really looking at what is the most convenient for both swimming and California Adventure. Thanks!

The GC has an entrance directly into DCA - HOWEVER - it’s not really a good choice at EE/RD because it’s slow due to limited bag check, and puts you in the park farther from Carsland than the main gate. It IS nice for a mid-day break. The side exit off of the lobby puts you in DTD, less than a 5 minute walk from the entry plaza (to both parks). Other than the beautiful lobby at the GC, I really like the theming and grounds of the Disneyland hotel much better (and the pools are great). It’s about 5-10 min further away than GC, depending on how fast you walk. And as long as you have a park ticket, you can take the monorail from just outside the DLH directly into Tomorrowland (no mono stops at DCA).

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I agree. Disneyland Hotel! The pools/slide are amazing. It is not that much further than GCH and the theming is better. Make sure you sleep with the fireworks headboard on, so magical!

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We are fans of the Disneyland Hotel too. It is the most Disney themed of them all. The walk is not that far to the parks, especially when using the GC entrance for DCA.

For the Disney feel the Disneyland Hotel wins for us as well! It really isn’t that much farther; however, having children in tow the convenience of the Grand Californian being literally adjacent to DCA is a huge luxury. That being said, if your kids do want to swim, I would pick the DLH. Although, I believe they may allow you to access other on-site hotel pools if the one you are staying at is under refurbishment (but I would still choose DLH over the Grand for the theming plus the pools).

About the monorail, while it is a convenient way of getting from the Hotel to Disneyland Park, it does not have a stop in DCA and it sounds as if that is where you may want to be… Not sure if you have park hoppers for your day. However, I have found that the monorail is only really useful to get back leisurely in the middle of the day (for swimming). It’s also very enjoyable as an attraction riding it round-trip from DL park all the way back in (it loops around DL park a little bit and is a very fun transportation attraction). It’s not so great an option from an efficiency standpoint, especially at the start of the day trying to make it for EE.