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Old 09-13-2017, 05:47 PM   #1
Lovetheboardwalk
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Default Must do's at the Grand Californian?

taking our daughter there next year as a grad gift and really don't know much about DL or the resort. Pls. share your DVC knowledge! What are the highlights for you?? ( the parks and hotel)
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:28 PM   #2
PurrfectPrincess
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Originally Posted by Lovetheboardwalk View Post
taking our daughter there next year as a grad gift and really don't know much about DL or the resort. Pls. share your DVC knowledge! What are the highlights for you?? ( the parks and hotel)
Never stayed there before so I cannot tell you. I hope to someday. But I am sure someone on this board has and wll have many great stories to tell.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:32 PM   #3
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We loved the Grand Californian! Instead of eating at Napa Rose we went to the lounge instead as we had heard that many of their items could be had at the lounge. I highly recommend their seafood appetizer, not sure of the exact name. I still dream about it .

While the special entrance is very convenient to come and go from CA, in the morning the opening line was horrendous. We found it faster to go to the main entrance.

We loved the pool chairs, much nicer than at WDW pools. We wished we had scheduled even more time at the pool.

Have fun, you'll love it!
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:49 PM   #4
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We had no issues with lines getting from VGC to DCA when we went late April. Breezed right through. Very convenient. We did not try Napa Rose, but I'm sure many here will recommend that. The resort is gorgeous.

As far as the parks go, do the rides that they do not have in WDW such as Radiator Springs Racers (try and get a fastpass around sunset), California Screamin, Indiana Jones ride etc. Grizzly River Run is much better than Kali Rapids, and is located right next to the entrance to VGC.

Bengal BBQ is my favorite QS in any Disney park (aside from WS in Epcot). Love the Mint Juleps and beignets at the Mint Julep Bar.

Maxpass was not out yet when we went, but I've heard good things about it.

Expect massive crowds in DL at firework time.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melk View Post
We loved the Grand Californian! Instead of eating at Napa Rose we went to the lounge instead as we had heard that many of their items could be had at the lounge. I highly recommend their seafood appetizer, not sure of the exact name. I still dream about it .

While the special entrance is very convenient to come and go from CA, in the morning the opening line was horrendous. We found it faster to go to the main entrance.

We loved the pool chairs, much nicer than at WDW pools. We wished we had scheduled even more time at the pool.

Have fun, you'll love it!
This past june the vgc entrance to dca was not as crowded as years past. Could be because only grand cal guests can use the entrance now. It used to be any guest staying at paradise pier and disneyland hotel could use entrance.

Could also be guardians just opened and everyone used the main entrance since it is closer to the ride.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:52 PM   #6
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Another vote for Napa Rose (lounge works too). An absolute must-do.

Definitely visit the far superior versions of Pirates and It's a Small World.

Cars Land also very impressive.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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I'm going next week and staying in VGC. Look for a trip report in the coming weeks.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:32 PM   #8
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Great tips... thanks! and I am looking forward to your trip report!!

Will 3 nights be enough? Also thinking of taking the train up the Coast.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:48 PM   #9
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My 'must-do' list for the Grand Cal:
  • Spend some time enjoying the stained glass door at the main entrance while the afternoon sun streams in.
  • Sit in the fireplace in a rocker enjoying live piano music.
  • Use the special GrandCal<>California Adventure park gate. For me, returning to the hotel from the park, through this gate, is even more special than entering the park.
  • Join the Power Walk through the Park! (Morning activity, before the California Adventure Park opens. Sometimes the walk is through Downtown Disney instead ... either way: join the power walk!)
  • Cook foods on the gas grills and enjoy dinner on the patio. Or grab dinner-to-go from either Brennan's (table service) or the related Jazz Kitchen (quick serve), both nearby in Downtown Disney and enjoy these from your patio.
  • Keep trying for that 'perfect photo' of the stained glass lamps in the lobby.
For Disneyland:
  • Indiana Jones
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • IASW ... be sure to stand outside to watch the clock at the top of any hour.
  • Fantasmic!
For California Adventure:
  • Carsland, of course.
  • The updated Guardians of the Galaxy (formerly Tower of Terror)
  • World of Color
  • Clam Chowder in a bread bowl from San Francisco Wharf (Boudins)
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:51 PM   #10
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FYI Guardians has multiple fight videos, and even more different opening songs. The CM said 6 different possible rides, but I think she may be counting songs and not fight videos. I experienced 5 different songs at the start, and 3 different fight videos. I think it is like Star Tours in that if you count all the options there are a lot of possible ride options (something like 96 for Star Tours I think).

If you are a fan of the elevator ride and the Guardians movie I suggest MaxPass and riding as many times as you can. Actually I suggest MaxPass either way, well worth it.

Single rider line for the win on the Matterhorn, worth it for the short wait. Just make sure your back is ready for it, not a lot of cushioning there! I liked the left track more than the right, but that is just me.

Get an apple slushy (name?) from the cone motel in Cars Land too, although I think it is just a LaFou's Brew.
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