Grand Californian Super Thread Updated 11/7/13

ParkHopper1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Hi All - does anyone know if non hotel guests are still able to enter the GCH through the DtD security check point? We have hotel reservations in December, but our friends are staying elsewhere. Are they able to meet us in the hearthstone Lounge for drinks? Or only if they have reservations at one of the restaurants? I have read conflicting information online, and thought maybe if someone had recently stayed would have some incite on the topic. Thanks!
Yes...anyone can enter GCH from DTD or DCA at any time. Only restriction is entering through the front doors from the street for non GCH guests...they must go around through DTD.
 
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dhorner233

Disneyophile
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
So where are the security check points now? I'm staying at the Grand Californian. Will we go through security when we arrive to check in? Is there security entering CA Adventure from the Grand Californian? Is there security going from DTD into the escapade/parks main entrance? That would be so nice instead of going through security every time we leave our room to go to the park.
 
  • Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    So where are the security check points now? I'm staying at the Grand Californian. Will we go through security when we arrive to check in? Is there security entering CA Adventure from the Grand Californian? Is there security going from DTD into the escapade/parks main entrance? That would be so nice instead of going through security every time we leave our room to go to the park.
    There is no security check when you arrive at the hotel, GCH is not inside the security “envelope”

    There are 2 security checkpoints:
    1. Leaving GCH to enter DTD
    2. Leaving GCH to enter DCA
     
  • Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    All spaces in the Self Parking lot are available:
    (self park is the far lot, the near lot is valet)
    gch_selfpark.jpg

    Only the key card exit to Disneyland Drive is blocked for construction.
    (The key card exit seldom works, and is usually blocked by cones)
    gch_selfpark2.jpg
     

    Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    Is there still an unloading zone for people (VGC) who are going to self-park?
    I don't know about an unloading zone, but I don't see how it would be very helpful.
    GCH rooms (and VGC in particular) are often only available at the 3PM checkin time (4PM for VGC), and I have waited for my villa past 6PM. I just assume the room is not ready and have Bell Services unload my car and store the luggage. Luggage carts are not available for guest use, which is typical of full-service hotels.

    You may leave your car in front of the hotel while checking in, just let the valet know you plan on self-parking (valet might ask for your keys, in case your car needs to be moved).
     

    sgrap

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    I don't know about an unloading zone, but I don't see how it would be very helpful.
    GCH rooms (and VGC in particular) are often only available at the 3PM checkin time (4PM for VGC), and I have waited for my villa past 6PM. I just assume the room is not ready and have Bell Services unload my car and store the luggage. Luggage carts are not available for guest use, which is typical of full-service hotels.

    You may leave your car in front of the hotel while checking in, just let the valet know you plan on self-parking (valet might ask for your keys, in case your car needs to be moved).
    Thanks! We'll actually be arriving late this trip, so our room should be ready. Usually you are right, we get there before our room is ready.

    Is there still no online or pre check-in at VGC?
     

    meggles

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2014
    I just returned from GCH and have a few updates.

    The pool bar construction is well underway. While the pools are open, there are jackhammers working during the day. If you rent a cabana, request #1 (1, 2, 3 face the Mariposa pool)

    Photo from October 10
    View attachment 358237

    Concept Art
    View attachment 358238
    Yikes! I hope the jackhammering is done by the time we arrive in early November. I don’t mind some construction but super loud noise will definitely bother me while I’m trying to relax at the pool. I wonder if they ever allow use of the DL or PP pools in these instances?
     
  • Aby

    Obsessive and Compulsive
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    Deleted, was just a non constructive vent on my part. Sorry all.

    Aby
     
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    LongTimeFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2014
    I just wanted to give an update on Hearthstone Lounge offerings while Whitewater Snacks is closed. We just checked in last night. If I had not been doing my research here, I would have had no idea the quick serivce option was closed. Never notifed prior to arrival and was not mentioned at check in. I had read here there would be options in Hearthstone for breakfast. Just wanted to warn selection is severely limited. Had choice of a few muffins, premade fruit plates, some whole fruits, and yogurt parfaits. I just wanted to let people know what is being offered and unless you want breakfast buffet every morning, you would need to look elsewhere. They did have complementary coffee available.
    Oh no! I am very disappointed to hear that they are offering nothing substantial for breakfast. Where else to go nearby for an early breakfast... 6-7 AM, something with protein? Never been to GCH so do they have room service? If yes, for breakfast?
     

    murcor

    All you need is faith and trust...and a little pix
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2004
    Yes...anyone can enter GCH from DTD or DCA at any time. Only restriction is entering through the front doors from the street for non GCH guests...they must go around through DTD.
    What about returning to DTD or DCA from GCH if you are a visitor.
    Is this possible?
    I assume you show your park ticket, anything else?
     
    Last edited:

    julesann

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2013
    What about returning to DTD or DCA from GCH if you are a visitor.
    Is this possible?
    I assume you show your park ticket, anything else?
    They will scan your ticket and you will go through security when returning to either DCA or DTD.
     

    Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    ...Is there still no online or pre check-in at VGC?
    There is no online check-on (or pre check-in).
    Considering VGC is so small compared to the overall size of GCH, it seems unlikely online check-in will be added -- until there is online check-in for the entire hotel.
     

    lmb80129

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 5, 2006
    We just returned from three nights at the GC and I think that Disney has failed to inform guests of the impact of the construction. The porte cochere construction impacts the standard rooms at the front of the hotel and has slowed down access to the hotel. It took us 25 minutes to make the left turn into the hotel from Disneyland Dr around 5:30 Saturday night and it took 45 min to get our car and bags when leaving at 1:15 on Sunday. The Storyteller construction had a significant impact on our pool day with jack hammering all afternoon. I would be upset if I paid for a pool view that came with construction views and noise. If I were making a GC reservation anytime during the next few months, I would try for a courtyard/woods or theme park view to try to stay away from the construction.
     

    bethwc101

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2012
    How do you self park at the GCH? If we self park and then walk over to the hotel to check in won't they ask for our room key? Or do we need our room key to be allowed in the self park lot?

    We will keep our luggage in our car since we will be arriving about 6 am so we know the room won't be ready, but we want to do magic morning.

    Do we just need our room key to exit and enter the lot or will they give us some separate ticket?
     

    Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    We just returned from three nights at the GC and I think that Disney has failed to inform guests of the impact of the construction. The porte cochere construction impacts the standard rooms at the front of the hotel and has slowed down access to the hotel. It took us 25 minutes to make the left turn into the hotel from Disneyland Dr around 5:30 Saturday night and it took 45 min to get our car and bags when leaving at 1:15 on Sunday. The Storyteller construction had a significant impact on our pool day with jack hammering all afternoon. I would be upset if I paid for a pool view that came with construction views and noise. If I were making a GC reservation anytime during the next few months, I would try for a courtyard/woods or theme park view to try to stay away from the construction.
    I stayed over Columbus Day weekend, and did not receive any notice of construction (of course I'm aware what is happening). I agree that Disney should send out information to guests prior to arrival.

    The Porte Cochere construction is slowing down arrivals, and I have heard reports of hour long waits on Friday evenings. Bell Service is slowed, since the unload area is a greater distance from luggage storage and hotel rooms.

    The small cost to upgrade to courtyard/woods view will avoid looking out at Porte Cochere construction.
    Premium View combines both Park and Pool view, so that expensive upgrade risks a view of Pool construction.
     

    Nonsuch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2009
    How do you self park at the GCH? If we self park and then walk over to the hotel to check in won't they ask for our room key? Or do we need our room key to be allowed in the self park lot?
    We will keep our luggage in our car since we will be arriving about 6 am so we know the room won't be ready, but we want to do magic morning.
    Do we just need our room key to exit and enter the lot or will they give us some separate ticket?
    This is the process I recommend:
    (sorry if this is overly detailed)
    1. Drive to the GCH entrance from Disneyland Drive, and tell the CM a the gate you are checking in.
    2. You will be directed to the temporary unloading area near the convention center.
    3. CM will greet you and ask if you need assistance with luggage or valet parking.
    4. Let the CM know you will be self-parking, and have Bell Services take your luggage.
    5. Leave you car at the unload area
    6. Enter the hotel and check-in to receive your room keys (no line at 6AM)
    7. Return to your car and drive to self-parking (immediate left from the unload area)
    8. Show room key at self parking lot, and use key to open second gate for dedicated GCH area (attendant usually opens the gate).
    9. Walk back from self parking lot, and use room key to open pedestrian gate.
    10. Enjoy Extra Magic Hour
    11. When room is ready, you will receive a text (or phone call) and may go directly to your room (no need to return to registration).
    12. While in your room, call Bell Services for your luggage.
     

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