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Old 04-24-2022, 12:59 PM   #1
TiggerinaF
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Default 1st Time in a DVC Villa at DLR

I finally was able to book a 1 Bedroom Villa at the Grand Californian. We have stayed at Grand Californian before but never in a DVC Villa. We are very excited but need some Help.

We have a few Questions that I hope you all can enlighten us on. I Found MouseOwners to be the best advice last summer when we went to HHI for the 1st time. Hoping some left coasters can help us out for DLR.

1) What room Requests should we make ? We don't mind being far from the main Lobby if there is another Elevator or a short cut. Tell me location and what makes it good room or area to be in. I know there are lots of Elevators but since I have never been in the DVC side of the Grand Californian I have no idea where they are. Are there any rooms with Views of Fireworks ?

2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.

3) What is the must do Character Dining ?

4) How far in advance can you make dining Reservations ? 60 Days and at what time do they open.

5) Is the Napa Rose family friendly ?

6) We are Flying into LAX(Free Flight) we usually Lyft or Uber from SNA. Any recommendations on a Car Service from LAX to the Grand Californian ?

7) Is Genie+ like MaxPass and you have to be in the Park to Make 1st Selection ?

Thanks in Advance for your Help !
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Old 04-24-2022, 01:45 PM   #2
Brian5581
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I can answer a few…


Some (very few) rooms have a decent view of World of Color. Based on how few I wouldn’t count on the request coming through, but I’m sure other threads will have information on specifics.


Character dining has changed since my last visit a few years ago but your best bets are Storytellers Cafe at Grand Californian and Goofy’s Kitchen (very similar to Chef Mickey’s) at Disneyland Hotel. There’s also now a Princess dining experience at Napa Rose, but that’s only certain mornings I do believe.


For normal dinner service I wouldn’t really call Napa Rose family friendly unless the children are used to a more elegant dining experience. Of course doesn’t stop people there or at California Grill….
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Old 04-24-2022, 05:33 PM   #3
J9W
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We regularly use Lansky for car services. They will do a half hour grocery or fast food stop for you included in the fair.

https://www.golansky.com/services.html

The villia's are all to the left of the main lobby. There is a rooftop area for DVC guest to see the fireworks from both parks (vs worrying where your room will be). We have been parkside and pool side and the pool side is better if have little people that need to sleep.

We have taken our son to Napa Rose - try and go early, he was tired and grumpy and the staff were amazing - they took to arm chairs and tied them together with napkins and made him a bed. That was before he was old enough for the child care option which is now gone. The kids menu was fair compared to the adult menu

I've used instacart before - the bell desk will hold it if there is no alcohol in your order.

Dining reservations are 60 days out - Olga's is the hardest to get lately as well as the newly reopened parade packages.

The character experiences are limited - https://disneyland.disney.go.com/en-...ng/characters/
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Old 04-24-2022, 05:39 PM   #4
cali09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post

1) What room Requests should we make ? We don't mind being far from the main Lobby if there is another Elevator or a short cut. Tell me location and what makes it good room or area to be in. I know there are lots of Elevators but since I have never been in the DVC side of the Grand Californian I have no idea where they are. Are there any rooms with Views of Fireworks ?
VGC is very small. To the point there really isn't a "closer to the lobby" situation of any significant distance. There are a few rooms with views of World of Color, but none with views of fireworks at Disneyland. There is a deck just for DVC members for viewing of WOC though.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.
Check with Instacart. My guess is they can deliver to the Grand. I don't think there is any "best" grocery delivery service because "best" is a subjective term.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
3) What is the must do Character Dining ?
We like Storytellers. Not sure if Character Dining is back yet at any of the ones that had it before.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
4) How far in advance can you make dining Reservations ? 60 Days and at what time do they open.
60 days. And they go extremely quickly. I would make back-up plans for times when you might not be able to get a reservation for sit-down restaurants. And the time the reservation systems opens is a crapshoot these days. Some have luck at 2 or 3 am, some at 7 am, some at 8 am (all PDT), and some at noon. I would recommend using the dining reservation finder service (free) at Touring Plans. And be ready to jump on as soon as you get a text if they find what you want.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
5) Is the Napa Rose family friendly ?
Technically, yes. Practically, I agree with Brian, your kids should be used to a fine dining experience and the length of time the meal takes.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
6) We are Flying into LAX(Free Flight) we usually Lyft or Uber from SNA. Any recommendations on a Car Service from LAX to the Grand Californian ?
There just a thread about this recently. I'd do a search for it on the Transportation section of MO. Lots of good info there.

Found it:
http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=148095

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7) Is Genie+ like MaxPass and you have to be in the Park to Make 1st Selection ?
Mostly, and yes.
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Last edited by cali09; 04-24-2022 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 04-25-2022, 10:43 AM   #5
Presley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
I finally was able to book a 1 Bedroom Villa at the Grand Californian. We have stayed at Grand Californian before but never in a DVC Villa. We are very excited but need some Help.

We have a few Questions that I hope you all can enlighten us on. I Found MouseOwners to be the best advice last summer when we went to HHI for the 1st time. Hoping some left coasters can help us out for DLR.

1) What room Requests should we make ? We don't mind being far from the main Lobby if there is another Elevator or a short cut. Tell me location and what makes it good room or area to be in. I know there are lots of Elevators but since I have never been in the DVC side of the Grand Californian I have no idea where they are. Are there any rooms with Views of Fireworks ? You won't have a lot of choices because there aren't many rooms for the villas. They are all what most people consider far from the lobby, but honestly there aren't any rooms far from the lobby. They may be the furthest away, but it's not bad at all. They will assign a room to you based on when you made the reservation. If booked far enough ahead of time, you'll likely have a WOC view. The music from WOC is very loud and you'll hear it in your room
2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.

3) What is the must do Character Dining ?
People who like character dining swear by the breakfast at Plaza Inn in Disneyland park. You'll need to have a park reservation starting at Disneyland for that. Storyteller's is next popular, but bear in mind that it is very pricey.
4) How far in advance can you make dining Reservations ? 60 Days and at what time do they open.
Dining reservations have been a nightmare since reopening. Check 60 days in advance throughout the day and sometimes they are loaded a day or two or three later. They get booked up fast and people buy a third party program to notify them of reservations. If for whatever reason you don't get everything that you want, check every couple hours the day of and the day before you want the reservations as there are cancellations. You can also be put on a waitlist by walking up right after te restaurant opens.
5) Is the Napa Rose family friendly ?

6) We are Flying into LAX(Free Flight) we usually Lyft or Uber from SNA. Any recommendations on a Car Service from LAX to the Grand Californian ?

7) Is Genie+ like MaxPass and you have to be in the Park to Make 1st Selection ?
You do need to be scanned into the park to make reservations. Park hopping starts at 1:00pm if you have a park hopper ticket, which is the way to go. Keep the time in mind when making reservations.
Thanks in Advance for your Help !
For grocery delivery, many people use Vons or Target which are both close by.
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Old 04-25-2022, 10:58 AM   #6
Presley
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Forgot to mention about Napa Rose, yes family friendly. However, extremely limited menu at this time and no substitutions. Book a reservation when the window opens, but check the menu a few days before you go to see if you even want anything and cancel if you don't.

There's a princess breakfast there in the morning that people like. I don't like princesses and I can't eat that much in the morning, so I've never been, but people who do like princesses love it.
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:32 PM   #7
the donut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
I finally was able to book a 1 Bedroom Villa at the Grand Californian. We have stayed at Grand Californian before but never in a DVC Villa. We are very excited but need some Help.

We have a few Questions that I hope you all can enlighten us on. I Found MouseOwners to be the best advice last summer when we went to HHI for the 1st time. Hoping some left coasters can help us out for DLR.

1) What room Requests should we make ? We don't mind being far from the main Lobby if there is another Elevator or a short cut. Tell me location and what makes it good room or area to be in. I know there are lots of Elevators but since I have never been in the DVC side of the Grand Californian I have no idea where they are. Are there any rooms with Views of Fireworks ?
I like all the views at the Grand Cal. There are really 3 views, pool view, park view facing paradise pier/World of Color (WOC), and park view facing Grizzly Mt. The Grizzly view is the quietest, and the WOC view is cool the first night, but it is kind of noisy if the show is running. That being said, it's pretty cool to pour yourself a glass of wine and sit on the patio while watching WOC. That being said, it is hard to see the projections of WOC from any of the rooms or from the dedicated roof deck on the 6th floor. Best experience for WOC is either from the 3BR Grand Villa or on the ground. And none of them have a particularly good view of the fireworks, but you can just make out the tops of them from a pool view. Long story short, I generally request a high floor, park view and leave it at that.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.
We're coming from San Diego, so I have no experience with this. If you end up stopping on your way from LAX, there's a Costco in Norwalk that's basically on the way. Otherwise from the hotel, the Garden Grove location is the closest. For grocery delivery, I guess instacart?

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
3) What is the must do Character Dining ?
My kids have never been into character dining, but we liked the food at breakfast buffet at Storyteller's back in the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
4) How far in advance can you make dining Reservations ? 60 Days and at what time do they open.
60 days, sometime between 3-6am PT. Doesn't seem too reliable. I would keep an eye out for cancelations if you don't get what you want. If you can stay flexible, it's probably best.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
5) Is the Napa Rose family friendly ?
We did counter service when our kids were 4 and 7, and the chef loved talking to my kids. He barely said hello to us! They did get a little antsy by the end. There are a lot of kids in the dining room. You'll probably get the stink eye from other diners if they're noisy though. I would say family friendly under the right circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
6) We are Flying into LAX(Free Flight) we usually Lyft or Uber from SNA. Any recommendations on a Car Service from LAX to the Grand Californian ?
No suggestions here, sorry, but I know that if you get a car service, many of them allow a grocery stop.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
7) Is Genie+ like MaxPass and you have to be in the Park to Make 1st Selection ?
Yes, though one key difference is that you can only book each attraction only once. There's a lot of tips out there, but when we tried it, we realized it was best to wait until the parks got busier to maximize the advantage that it buys you. In the morning, if it's less than a 20 minute wait, it's best to wait to use your genie+ reservation.

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Originally Posted by TiggerinaF View Post
Thanks in Advance for your Help !
My other best tip for the Grand Cal villas is about half an hour before the rides close, get dressed in your swim suits, throw some regular clothes on over them, put on some flip flops, ride Grizzly River Run until you're soaked and shivering, and then jump in the hot tub at the Grand Cal. It's about a 3 minute walk to the Grand Cal pools. I actually cross my fingers to get hit by the geyser for this!

Last edited by the donut; 04-26-2022 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 04-27-2022, 12:49 AM   #8
cali09
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We're coming from San Diego, so I have no experience with this. If you end up stopping on your way from LAX, there's a Costco in Norwalk that's basically on the way. Otherwise from the hotel, the Garden Grove location is the closest. For grocery delivery, I guess instacart?
Hey there neighbor! I'm in San Diego too. Relocated from Pasadena in Fall 2019, right before Covid hit.


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Originally Posted by the donut View Post
My other best tip for the Grand Cal villas is about half an hour before the rides close, get dressed in your swim suits, throw some regular clothes on over them, put on some flip flops, ride Grizzly River Run until you're soaked and shivering, and then jump in the hot tub at the Grand Cal. It's about a 3 minute walk to the Grand Cal pools. I actually cross my fingers to get hit by the geyser for this!
This is a great tip! Going to put it on the list for the next time we stay at the Grand.
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Old 04-27-2022, 12:53 PM   #9
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2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.
We used UberEats for grocery delivery multiple times. No issues. Bell desk will put groceries in fridge/freezer as appropriate without a request. Delivery times are sometimes in a 2 to 4 hr window. Go enjoy your time and no need to worry.
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Old 05-22-2022, 01:12 AM   #10
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2) Is there Instacart Delivery to VGC ? What is best Grocery Delivery Service ? I have read amazon grocery delivery but I have a had experience with them so I am hesitant to use them.
For our past two trips in 2014 and 2018, we used Vons grocery delivery. They usually have promo codes for first-time delivery that make it free and provide a discount. For the 2018 trip, delivery to DLR's zip code redirected us to their sister store, Pavilions (just checked and that's still the case). Their current promo code deal is $20 off when you spend $75 or more and free delivery for your 1st order. Since they were Vons the first time and Pavilions the second time with a new system where we had to reregister, we received free delivery plus a discount both times. One delivery was to DLH and the other to VGC with no issues. Bell services held the groceries until our check-in.
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